I need to preface this post by stating something that has weighed heavy on my heart and soul. I wrote this for me—as a way to process the things I have had to deal with. It was at least therapeutic, if anything. I saved it as a draft, and it stayed that way for a week. I wanted to publish, but I also wondered what my motive was. (This was thanks to a friend in the faith who counseled me to examine my motives, examine Scripture, and pray about how the Holy Spirit would have me handle this situation. Thankfully, she also assured me that I hadn’t overreacted—that my situation really was defined as abusive).
Scriptures came to mind of God promising to vindicate just people against wicked people, evildoers, and liars; so, I thought I’d leave it to God to vindicate (Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 135:14; Isaiah 35:4; Jeremiah 9:3; etc.). But other Scriptures about justice also came to mind—how we are told to do justice and seek justice (Proverbs 21:15; Amos 5:24; Isaiah 1:17; Micah 6:8; Psalm 37:27-29; Isaiah 61:8; Psalm 106:3; Proverbs 21:3; etc.).
The more I try to look at Scripture holistically, I see a connectedness between vindication and justice. Because God is a God of justice, He will vindicate those who have been wronged. I truly believe that this is a 2-step process: I actively do what I can to seek justice, and, after that, I step back and allow God to work in my situation as He has promised. By following a process I see demonstrated in Scripture, I believe I am “seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God” (from Micah 6:8). With that being said, here is a small portion of my story.
For roughly 8 years now, I have been verbally, emotionally, mentally, and, even a few times, physically abused by my brother’s wife. On top of being an abuser, she is a master manipulator, liar, and gaslighter. (For more information on “Gaslighting,” check out this article from Psychology Today).
Recently, she has been stalking me on social media. I let it go until it became freaky when she began adding former friends of mine from my university—people she doesn’t even know. I privately brought it to my brother’s attention that I found her actions creepy, but he brushed it off and said to just let it go. I said something anonymously about being creeped out by the behavior of someone who was stalking me, and she found her way to my post…where she outed herself.
I’d just like to insert part of a conversation from one of Kayla’s old, deactivated Facebook accounts. I have many comments and conversations with her where she provides me with positive reinforcement. Notice the change her tone takes when something upsets her: She completely flips past stated positive reinforcement into negative reinforcement and degrading insults. Simply observe the above comment with those directly below. This is a manipulation tactic and it is gaslighting.
The comments were very nasty and hateful from the start, and they very quickly turned into threats of violence. She shifted the conversation onto her own page (something I wasn’t aware of until a friend messaged me to let me know how sorry she was that such awful things were being said about me). One comment of mine—which, I admit, was harsh, but certainly contained no threats—was cleverly cropped out and put on display while she hid from her own words. I pointed out her wonderful job of cropping, and more threats ensued. There were threatening remarks made prior to my comment. There are threats from both her and family members of hers that include threatening me with physical violence, abduction, torture, and death. And the ole “Go kill yourself.”
I have not been a social justice advocate all these years only to let someone continue to emotionally manipulate me, verbally abuse me, and threaten me with physical violence. I believe that abusers of all kinds should be exposed for who and what they are.
Kayla Whitley, you are an abuser (and it’s more clear than ever who and where you get it from). You are a liar. You are a manipulator. You are a gaslighter. And now, you and your actions are exposed.
Because of the lies about me found in some of these comments, I need to set the record straight:
1) Pills: I have one prescription drug that I take for anxiety disorder. Due to it being a controlled substance, I only get a months worth at a time, and I have to personally call in my refills every month. I am also required to do a follow up with the prescribing doctor every 6 months. There are plenty of days where I only take half of my allotted dose, so I actually end up with some leftover at the end of each month.
2) Alcohol: I don’t drink often… Kayla has seen me drink once, at my 21st birthday party, when I had one mixed drink in front of everyone there. The top of my fridge is decorated with all of the wine and liquor bottles that I’ve bought since turning 21. There are 20 bottles up there (I had to go count). 6 are wine. 1 of the empty liquor bottles I took from a friend for decoration. 4 of the liquor bottles have been split between myself and 3-4 other friends, when I made punch on a couple of occasions. I’m 24 now. Divide up all the alcohol I’ve had over the past 3 years, and it’s definitely not much and not frequent. She seems to have a personal conviction to be a teetotaler. I, however, do not have that conviction. Trying to use the label “alcoholic” to insult me for a different conviction is emotionally abusive to me knowing that my aunt died from alcoholism. Also, I don’t mix my prescription with alcohol. That combination can easily result in death (another reason I don’t drink often).
3) I haven’t ever liked her since we met: False. Prior to her first pregnancy, we were pretty good friends. When she got pregnant, she changed big time. She lost ALL of her friends at the time due to treating us all like garbage. The problem for me was that my parents let her live with us in our house, so I could not escape from her except to go to school. I was only 16 at the time—a minor. My home should have been a safe place for me to go, but it wasn’t. Even after trying to tell my parents about her behavior towards me, nothing was done; and here it is continuing to this day. Had it been nipped in the bud all those years ago, maybe today would look differently. Instead, it was swept under the rug, and everyone did what they could to keep easily angered Kayla appeased.
4) I don’t work: Correct. I don’t currently work because I left the job I recently had in order to pursue something with better pay and more hours. I’m currently waiting on an application for a full-time, salary-paying position to be reviewed. If someone is going to attempt to mentally and emotionally exhaust me over the fact that I’m not currently working, we should keep a few things in mind: Kayla has never worked a day in her life, has a 10th grade education, and nothing she has is of her own earning. She doesn’t have to worry about making rent payments, because she lives where she does for free. I have worked several jobs, was an intern for 3 years, have a Bachelor’s degree, and made it to grad school. ***Update: I became re-employeed around 2 weeks after this published.***
5) Almost anorexic: I assume this was meant as an insult due to my weighing a good bit less than she does? Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love food and how much I eat. Using an eating disorder as an insult is downright low. There are many women and men who actually do struggle with anorexia, and using the tern to attempt to body shame someone is shameful. This is also emotionally manipulating to me due to the fact that the stress from dealing with this causes my anxiety disorder to become extremely aggravated. As a result, I lose my appetite and often will lose some weight as a symptom of stress and anxiety.
I feel it is important to expose these lies for what they are: slanderous lies. Exposing the claims of an abuser further helps to expose the abuser, so that is why I felt it necessary to clarify what is and isn’t true.
I’m not a victim. I refuse to be Kayla’s victim. I’m a victor, and the first step out of abuse is to bring it to light. Don’t allow abusers to hide. Exposing this was what my soul felt would be the first step to walking in victory—walking out of what has been holding me hostage all these years. In the end, abusers won’t win.
There is one last thing that I need to bring up. Apparently, some people have way too much free time on their hands. Enough that they can create multiple fake social media accounts and continue their abuse behind a fake identity. I’m not surprised—abusers don’t often want to publicly expose their own abusive behavior. This is what Kayla and her cohorts have done on multiple occasions. Once this past summer over being upset at something petty; again during this latest incident. This illustrates what an abuser really is—a coward. (The names displayed below are of fake accounts).
People may think that this is merely childish, bullying behavior, but it isn’t. This is abusive behavior, and no one should ever have to tolerate being abused.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
I think that I should end with pointing out that this post would go on for quite a while if I included all of the harassing and abusive conversations that I still have sitting in my Messenger app. Messages that have been sent to me over the years by Kayla from five different—now deactivated—Facebook accounts. There’s also all the text messages that have long been deleted.
This may seem like a piece meant to point out an isolated incident, but that is far from true. This is me finally standing up and bringing to light to a pattern of abuse that has been 8 years in the making.
Acknowledge. Expose. Be free.
*Disclaimer: The above screenshots were originally written and posted under the “public” Facebook privacy setting, so I find them fair game to be shared publicly here.*
Kesha’s “Praying” came on my Spotify just as I was publishing. It’s like God sent a sign to let me know that it was ok to move on now and heal.