Vanessa Reiser is a licensed therapist, physically active in her late 40s, and was in a relationship. Those sound an awful lot like everything a person would want to be in their 40s, but don’t be fooled in the slightest.
Her partner made it a point to be as horrible to her as possible, something that happens far too often.
Manipulative and abusive partners remain prevalent in the world, and even a successful therapist like Vanessa isn’t safe from them.
That wedding dress she’s wearing? She’s wearing that for all the 285 miles she plans to run it in. Vanessa is doing this for one big reason : To raise awareness for domestic abuse.
“Narcissists generally will use the wedding or an engagement as a form of control and manipulation. They entangle you. And so, the dress is a representation of how they do that.” – Vanessa Reiser said to PEOPLE
From verbally antagonizing, to threatening and locking her out of their house, her ex-fiancé crossed the line. This sort of behavior is exactly what an abuser will constantly get way with. Their gaslighting skills are often so good, that the victims end up refusing to talk about it or seek help.
And he crossed it again and again.
But of course, abusers are extra good at gaslighting and being manipulative. That’s why it took a while before Vanessa truly came to terms with the situation she was in and left him.
Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy with that.
“He padlocked me out of the house. A few months later, I left him and he spit on me, called me a bunch of really awful names, told me that my dead father was a loser — my father died when I was 18 — and then he bleached all my clothing.” – Vanessa Reiser said when she broke the story to outlets like People
Abuse is ugly, it’s common, and the abusers will never ever apologize. Vanessa knows this, and so does every other person who’s had the horrible misfortune of going through it.
It could start with kind words, a smile, or gifts. Some time passes, and you’re pretty confident that you know the person pretty well. It isn’t until they develop that sense of security around you that their true colors start to show.
And they’re some pretty bad, nasty colors at that.
“It is becoming more evident that this is something a lot of people are experiencing. Certainly, with the pandemic, the rates in domestic violence have gone through the roof,” – Vanessa explained again
Reiser’s ex-fiancé happened to be a diagnosed sociopath and narcissist, making it pretty easy to imagine why he had zero empathy or any self-awareness.
That’s not all, he even tried to gaslight and spin the blame on Vanessa.
He went as far as attempting to get her kicked off the board for the Domestic Violence Center when she reported his behavior. His goal was to convince them that she was the one abusing him. The audacity, right?
So it’s not hard to see why Vanessa is working up one hell of a sweat to raise attention to this. Abusers will go to insane lengths to shift the blame away from them, and this means hurting their victims even more.
“Running is my passion. It’s my therapy, so I’m excited. I’m looking forward to crossing the finish line and seeing all of the support there.” – Vanessa Reiser said
You go, Vanessa!
I think it’s fair to say Vanessa’s story is one of bravery and finding her power, and those are the two things that abusers hate the most. So she’s got the right idea.
If you found this article about Vanessa’s story interesting, then please share it with a friend too!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.