Johnny spoke for all of us and he won – and now it’s your turn to share your survival and recovery stories in our section called “Your Truth,” at Partners in Men’s Health!
The last words of Johnny’s statement in his post-trial address were the Latin expression, “Veritas numquam perit,” or “Truth never perishes.”
There are no winners in court. It was a spectator sport that unintentionally resonated in the hearts and souls of myself and so many of you reading this today. There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who have experienced the collateral damage, agony, pain and suffering of a toxic person in their lives. Whether it came in the form of a mother, father, partner, spouse or employer, we have all witnessed this inexplicable experience in our lives.
But today, Johnny helped make our experiences explicable – and we thank him for that! Through telling our stories today, we can applaud him and many around the world who need to be inspired and empowered to reach out of their prisons of silence and away from the shame and stigma that binds them.
As Dr. Jamie of Partners in Men’s Health says:
This is why PMH is asking for your stories today. Stories need to be told by us to assure others that we are not alone. We have each other’s backs on this journey and can be a worldwide support group for each other.
Let’s face it, somehow in this trial, Johnny was able to tell our story through his experiences – and in doing that, he opened a window for all of us to climb through.
I, like so any of our readers, have had my share of experience with family court and have faced defamatory, and sometimes even discriminatory, statements.
I have mentioned to you often in my column on the PMH site, that I am a recovering alchoholic. You may be in the throes of your addiction as well or just disassociating from being in, or recovering from, a Toxic Relationship. I, like Johnny and all of us, have flaws and issues that I understand much better today as I continue with recovery. In fact, they drive my recovery and are my gifts today. I am sure we all related in some way to Johnny’s struggles – there are millions around the world trying to medicate the emotional pain caused by a toxic abusive relationship.
A few years ago I was dragged into a courtroom. The experience jeopardized my relationship with my stepchild, financially ruined me, and caused me trauma. I didn’t realize until I watched the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial how severely this experience had affected me.
I faced defamatory statements about my past alcohol issues. Their evidence? Nonexistent. There are no words to describe how I felt when they accused me of this: it was surreal. I could not wrap my head around it and I tried to ignore the accusations.
Here at Partners in Men’s Health, we know that’s what you want too: Peace.
Johnny was not invested in the outcome of “guilt or innocence.” He was simply invested in the effort of telling the truth: his story for his children, his friends and the world around him left wondering,
“What happened to our friend Johnny Depp?” Sound familiar?
The entire court case was absurd, and had devastating effects on all involved. I realized that I was targeted by a sad person, who was unhappy and wished to hurt me because someone else hurt them in the past. At PMH, we often say “Hurt people, hurt people.”
If you are reading this then chances are high that you have been hurt by a “hurt person” too.
My relationship with my beloved stepchild was jeopardized because of these ludicrous accusations. Social services considered it would be best if I attended the court proceedings to provide evidence in person. Even though their decision puzzled me, it also awakened me. No doubt a child, parent, brother or sister, in your life needs to hear your story – just like me.
I had a choice to make. You do as well.
Either I don’t show up or attend the trial and protect my relationship with my stepchild or defend myself and stand up to injustice and know that as Johnny said, “Truth never perishes.” The applause we speak of in this article is for Johnny but also for you to make today the “first day of the rest of your life.”
In court, they questioned me for two hours and spoke about the relationship with my stepchild, my past issues, and my life. I opened up, spilled my guts, and let the court feel my agony.
The prosecution kept on pressing. They were impatient and frustrated; they wished to break me but they could not. I could not stop talking, as I was silent for too long. I didn’t want to leave the witness box anymore.
Like the child in the Silent Scream, I just want my story to be told.
As Dr. Jamie told me:
That is the lesson from this trial which always stood on the precipice of “Mutually Assured Destruction.”
The world needed a moral to the story here, and they got one. Yes, there must be a reason. The world had to watch and there must be a reason this resonated so much with us. It is all about:
The truth of those who endured the psychological war, were gas-lit, and trauma bonded. Those whose lives, and children’s lives, have fallen apart because of their relationship with a toxic person.
I am a woman, but my first thought was: Did men around the world who were not listened to feel some measure of vindication today because Johnny was their proxy?
Though the trial triggered both men and women who have suffered from narcissistic abuse, the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial has opened the door specifically for male survivors to share their stories. At least 30% of Intimate Partner Violence has men as the victims but because of cultural roles, and the shame and stigma, they do not to tell their stories.
For Johnny, enough was enough. He spoke for all of us when he said “It was the only time that I could speak and use my own voice.”
Hearing a man say in a public outlet during a high-profile trial that he is a victim of domestic abuse could have long-lasting benefits. It often takes high-profile victims to change our society and change the narrative. Having a case like this served a greater purpose as it raised awareness of the fact that men can be victims.
Johnny Depp and all victims of domestic abuse deserve applause.
It’s over now. The trial had ended. Johnny Depp stood up for all victims of domestic abuse, no matter the gender. He:
- Did the opposite of what everyone wants and expects – for you to be silent.
- He did something intentionally, even though male domestic abuse is almost unheard of
- He acknowledged his issues and wasn’t afraid to shoot a fighter bomber (Hollywood) with a pistol.
As obstacles grew around him, so did his persistence. And so did his need to get his truth out there for himself and all of us who have suffered in silence.
Johnny Depp didn’t go gentle into that good night. His lion’s roar echoed through the courtroom and reached millions worldwide. He raged against the dying of the light.
And he fought against all odds. Johnny Depp, like many of us, faced injustice, and inequity. When Amber urged him to go to trial because no one would believe him, she was right. Or was she today? We are asking for your story at the end of this article, because we believe she was wrong. The world might be ready for us to tell our stories.
Johnny showed the world that even in the worst circumstances we should always do our best for ourselves. It is time to have an honest, guilt-free dialogue about mental IPV, toxic abusive relationships, and domestic violence. Only in this way can we help everyone heal.
So Let’s Applaud Johnny in the Best Way Possible!
Let’s Tell Our Stories Here.
Men can suffer from domestic violence but do not come forward. Men don’t speak about their feelings or experiences. Instead, they “suck it up,” which discourages them from coming forward, unwilling to show their weakness. Unfortunately there are no resources for men to share their stories.
At Partners in Men’s Health, we encourage you to speak up, stand up to injustice and share your survival and recovery stories. That is why we created the TAR stories page, where you can share your experiences with the rest of our community to help us raise awareness of the victims of domestic abuse.