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Metal Insider’s response to domestic abuse in the metal community

Posted by on June 20, 2019

On Saturday (15th), while I was sitting in the airport waiting to head back to New York, I noticed MetalSucks published a rather disturbing story on Katy DiSanto, the wife of Vektor vocalist/guitarist David DiSanto, of accusing her husband of abuse. You can read Katy’s full story via Facebook as well as make a donation on her GoFundMe campaign. I could simply readdress what happened and leave it at that. However, reading Katy’s story was in one way or the other like looking into a mirror and I had to speak up about it. I’m sure there will be some instant backlash on this piece but we have to stick up for our brothers and sisters in the metal community. Some may claim what Katy wrote is considered attention grabbing and I’m sure there will be a laundry list of trolling insults that go along with it since, that’s what people do on the internet. However, what Katy wrote was perhaps one of the hardest things she had to do. And for anyone who doesn’t understand: It’s never OK to attack a woman. It doesn’t matter how needy, naggy, angry, bossy, etc.. there’s no excuse to hit a woman.

Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship would typically fear making their experience go public. Abuse circles around the need to always be in control. And a narcissist and/or sociopath will always strive on looking good, real good on the outside and would manipulate anything and anyone who thinks otherwise. Unfortunately, unless you’ve been involved in an abusive relationship, it’s commonly too complex to understand including the difficulty to escape from the situation. Many people who find themselves in a physical and/or verbal abusive relationship doesn’t make them weak, pathetic, nor lack any self worth. In fact, there’s sadly a decent amount of highly intelligent, strong, and confident men or women who somehow find themselves trapped in a world of abusive hell. And going into a relationship, you cannot predict right off the bat that it will be your worst nightmare.

When someone is being abused, they tend to blame themselves and apologize for everything. They will experience a feeling of shock, denial, and somehow end up losing friends and people in their lives who claimed they care due to the frustration and lack of understanding. However, that only causes the victim to fall into a darker hole whether realizing the abuser is all he or she has or picking a poison for a new addiction. It’s a vicious cycle and not every domestic abuse story is the same.

When you go to a show or event and you see a friend wearing a turtleneck that they never wear, or hear them blame pets for a shattered bone, or stating “x” gear as the cause for bruises, chances are they are most likely terrified to tell the truth and hoping others would believe in their farce tale. When you notice a friend’s lack of calls, distance, or excessive apologies as well, chances are they were afraid to tell the truth. The same friend could be sharing the opposite on social media, which can include excessive relationship posts and 365 days of joy. Therefore, there’s always a grey area but now is the time to pay attention and look out for the signs.

In addition to abuse, people who battle with an addiction and/or mental illness shouldn’t be afraid to get help. It’s OK to not be OK. We have lost way too many musicians over the last few years from suicide or addiction and now it’s time for us to look out for each other. Metal Insider aren’t the only ones speaking up on this subject as Disturbed have listed out an entire resources page and Katy mentioned Women Against Abuse.

You can read Katy’s full story below:

“CW. Abuse, addiction,

Hello friends. It’s not hard for me to write this, but it is hard for me to admit its content. I’ve felt like a failure for so long, like a bad feminist hypocrite stubbornly clinging to a sense of misplaced duty instead of paying attention to my own rights and well-being. A few people are aware of how my marriage has been deteriorating, especially over the past two years. For those of that aren’t, here goes.

Let me start by saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry for keeping this from so many of you – I really thought it would get better. I thought I would be a burden if I reached out for help – and I’m still afraid people will be angry that I didn’t tell them sooner. I was so inundated with admiration for the public aspects of my/our life, that I dared not let anyone down by telling the truth. You can only imagine the mental toll it takes when, for 8 years, I was repeatedly abused then gaslit out of my mind, believing him whenever he flew into a rage and told me I needed to keep “our business between us”.

I’m sorry for how I’ve let this situation alienate me from my friends, forced myself to hide things from my family, and sometimes caused my personality to warp and distort into the worst version of myself. I’m sorry for not intervening when I knew he was lying to other people in his life. I’m sorry for putting up walls. I’m sorry to any Vektor fans – I’ve experienced some of my favorite music ruined by harsh truths about fallible people, and now I’m wracked with guilt, feeling like I might be taking something away by speaking out. I’m also sorry David – despite it all, I don’t want his life to be bad. I just want my life to be good. And that can’t happen while I’m keeping these secrets.

There is no perfect way to handle this. I feel it’s best for me to release this information all at once, instead of letting the rumor mill leak and distort the truth. I expect to get blowblack, hate mail, invasive questions no matter what I do (as has every other abused woman who’s come forward in the 21st century) but for now I feel like I’m doing what’s rational.

The thing with abuse is, you don’t see it coming. If you knew someone had the capacity to be awful, the relationship never would’ve started (presumably). Unfortunately, as in my case: narcissists are very good at being flashy and flattering to keep you distracted until it’s too late. Down the road this turns into pervasive manipulation that warps your perception – a spiritual death by a thousand cuts. Some victims never see their way out of it.

But who, me? How could it happen to me? I’m too smart, independent, take-no-shit kinda gal. I’d never let that happen to me, right? But here I am. So now I know. It can happen to anyone.

For those of you I’ve met more recently / don’t know my background: Almost nine years ago, I connected with someone who seemed like a smart, talented, ambitious man (at least by the standards of someone barely into the naive wilderness of their 20s) and seemed eager to make my life wonderful. In the years since, we made monumental accomplishments – there’s no denying that. We planned a future, adopted animals, toured, traveled, bought a house. (Perhaps it was the relentless pace of progress that kept me going in spite of obvious problems.) He bought me gifts and provided material things. It crushes me to say that on a parallel timeline, I’ve watched pre-existing, untreated (or under-treated) mental illness and alcoholism erode his mind and expose the monster hiding inside.

I soldiered on in the worst of times, hoping against hope that he would get better. I’ve been given so many promises that never came true. He sometimes made sincere improvements, all of which were ultimately negated by selfish enablers and his own bad choices. Many, many people have been caught in the same trap as me – only seeing the single glimmer of hope in a briar patch of lies, believing that love can cure all ails and overpower addiction. I still believe sometimes, it can. But not in this case.

The warning signs were there from the beginning, but my optimism and his manipulative love-bombing overshadowed them again and again. I should’ve known when he stole our wedding money and spent it on booze because he’d been fired from his job for showing up hungover too many times (or not showing up at all). I should’ve known from the compulsive and incessant lying. I should’ve known when he strangled me in that San Antonio hotel room until my cries for help prompted another room to call the cops. I should’ve known the handful of times he claimed he was sobering up – until I inevitably found all the empty liquor bottles and beer cans he’d been hiding. I should’ve known from that time I was sexually assaulted in SLC and he locked me in a basement and told me to not talk about it. I should’ve known when he showed preference to other women just to try and make me upset. I should’ve known from the literally thousands of times I was told that his indiscretions and abuse were my own fault. I should’ve known when he tried to rape me. I should’ve known when he smacked me across the face with his phone. I should’ve known when he slapped me and threw me against the wall because I tried to move his beer. I should’ve known when he picked me up in the air, slammed me on our bed, and hit me over the head as hard as he could with a cushion. I should’ve known when he’d fly into jealous rages, fabricate scenarios, and punish me for things *I never did or said* (things that existed only in his imagination, but had real life consequences). I should’ve known when he punched holes in our bedroom door and later justified it by saying I should calm down, it could’ve been my face. I should’ve known when he locked my dog outside in below-freezing temperatures for over an hour. I should’ve known when he vandalized our house with spray paint and told me to clean it up. I should’ve known when I was standing in the police station at 2am, trembling, filing a report but begging them not to arrest him because I had no money and I’d lose everything if he went to jail again. I should’ve known when he repeatedly abandoned his own dog so he could stay out and get drunk. I should’ve known the dozens of times he put our lives in danger by picking me up from work drunk – and the hundreds of times he’s put other people in danger by driving drunk (sometimes to the point of blacking out) all over town while insisting it’s his right to do so. I should’ve known every time he weaponized other people as tools of abuse – falsely claiming others did or said things in attempts to undermine or humiliate me. I should’ve known every time he left me crushed, crying, alone, confused, then apologized and did it all again.

I should’ve known, but I didn’t – because a person who confuses narcissism with love, slowly conditioned to view abuse as acceptable, isn’t thinking clearly.

I also should’ve known it was a mistake to let myself become financially dependent on him. This, above all, left me trapped far longer than I would’ve been otherwise. After years of equally sharing all household financial burdens, I pushed aside my skepticism when he told me that he could support both of us with the business I helped him start, the staff I helped him acquire, the client base I brought to him, if I quit my paycheck job and fully pursued my apprenticeship. I rationalized it by telling myself I’d done my part in supporting him for so long in all his professional pursuits, so I didn’t feel badly about letting him return the favor. (I was also still somewhat in denial of the severity of my situation) Now, I cringe when I realize how I played right into his trap. Once I did go all-in, instead of being a loving benefactor to a long-time partner, he used it to ramp up his control of me. Whenever I expressed dismay at any of his reckless, illegal, or abusive actions, he would respond by using escalating threats of abandonment to scare and silence me. He knew loss of his income would lead directly to my financial and professional ruin, and reminded me of it frequently.

I’ll always have love for the good version of the person that used to be inside him. But memories can only steel you against pain for so long. During all this, I’m not sure what exactly was the tipping point where I realized I was living as a shadow of myself, acting as my own prison guard. But, something did eventually snap – and for at least the past *year and a half*, I’ve been adrift as a living widow. Realizing the man I married was gone, but still unable to leave my castle – only imagining my life on the other side of the walls while trying to exist in an unstable reality.

During this transitional phase, I became increasingly exhausted by his denials of events and started recording many of our conversations and arguments (with his knowledge) to guard myself against gaslighting and assess what my contributions were to the conflicts (which is how I wound up with the footage attached this post). I’ve also taken advantage of the past year to learn more about my legal options and rights.

Thankfully, I’ve gained more emotional and mental strength in recent months, and I’ve been lucky to know a few amazing people who’ve helped me see up from the depths and/or reconnect with my self-worth (I can never thank you enough for that). I’ve worked very hard to learn how to leave the past behind and now I’m speaking for the present. I’ve stopped begging and started bargaining. We’ve “agreed” to separate multiple times – with him offering to continue temporary financial support in order to be rid of the “burden” of me, as he puts it – but he never actually leaves. He yells, threatens, runs away, disappears, etc but then he wants to pretend everything’s fine the next day. I’ve been living in a Lynchian purgatory, never knowing where he’ll be, what version of himself I’ll be confronted with, when I can let my guard down. Still constantly being assigned blame for all

problems. Despite my efforts to stop enabling his addictions and behavior, the abuse continues whenever he gets an opportunity.

Now that I’ve exposed my private life to an almost pedantic point, the obvious question is: Why am I doing this so suddenly, all at once, now? It’s not an emotional knee jerk, to be sure. It’s been so long coming. I’ve long since cried all my tears and mourned the loss of the future I thought I was building and the person I thought was my best friend. I’m able to stop hiding and share the situation with you all because I’ve had enough, and finally filed a PFA which will grant me temporary protection until an official hearing. A PFA (Protection from Abuse) order can be issued by the Family Courts of Philadelphia in cases where an individual seeks physical and legal protection from an abusive person outside of criminal charges (which I could file, but I’m not). I also have reason to be concerned that some individuals may catch wind of what’s happening and will try to protect David by slandering or disparaging my reputation while I wait for the official hearing, so I feel it’s important for me to take ownership of this publicly.

So, in conclusion: my life has looked shiny on the outside but inside it’s been a living hell. But, the tide is turning, and we will no longer be living together or functioning as a romantically married couple. I’m unsure of his next moves, but I will be in the same house and attending work as normal.

However, my mortgage, my health, my credit are still at risk. My current income won’t even cover my basic expenses for a week, let alone a month or more. It could take several months for any court ordered spousal support to support to kick in, if it’s granted. I know I’m doing what I need to do, but I’m somewhat at a loss of how I will deal with this going forward. If anyone has any input, I’m open to it.

Since you’ve made it this far, I hope I can count on your support as I go through these final stages of a difficult time. Even though I’ve been to therapy, there’s still human connection that’s needed. And, besides my financial and physical status, I have other concerns. I don’t know how to take care of my dog while I work 12 hour days. I don’t know to finish renovations on the house. I don’t know a lot of things.

What I do know is I’m able to move forward. I’m also scared, determined, relieved. I don’t have to keep feeling ashamed for hiding things from people I care about. I can be myself again and pursue rewarding relationships with good people. It’s time to bring back / experience more positivity. I have so much to offer the world, a partner, my friends. I never want to waste another day on some bullshit. I want to get back a simple, normal life. It’s my own fault that I’ve made myself go through this alone for so long, but I hope the road forward won’t be as lonely. I hope to see much more of you soon. Thank you for reading. I love you all very much

______

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you have protections. Contact me or google victim advocate services in your state. In PA, contact WAA

If you think you may be suffering alcoholism or mental health issues, please GET HELP”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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CW. #Abuse #addiction Hello friends. It’s not hard for me to write this, but it is hard for me to admit its content. I’ve felt like a failure for so long, like a bad #feminist hypocrite stubbornly clinging to a sense of misplaced duty instead of paying attention to my own rights and well-being. A few people are aware of how my marriage has been deteriorating, especially over the past two years. For those of that aren’t, here goes. Let me start by saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry for keeping this from so many of you – I really thought it would get better. I thought I would be a burden if I reached out for help – and I’m still afraid people will be angry that I didn’t tell them sooner. I was so inundated with admiration for the public aspects of my/our life, that I dared not let anyone down by telling the #truth. You can only imagine the mental toll it takes when, for 8 years, I was repeatedly abused then gaslit out of my mind, believing him whenever he flew into a rage and told me I needed to keep “our business between us”. I’m sorry for how I’ve let this situation alienate me from my friends, forced myself to hide things from my family, and sometimes caused my personality to warp and distort into the worst version of myself. I’m sorry for not intervening when I knew he was lying to other people in his life. I’m sorry for putting up walls. I’m sorry to any Vektor fans – I’ve experienced some of my favorite music ruined by harsh truths about fallible people, and now I’m wracked with guilt, feeling like I might be taking something away by speaking out. I’m also sorry David – despite it all, I don’t want his life to be bad. I just want my life to be good. And that can’t happen while I’m keeping these secrets. There is no perfect way to handle this. I feel it’s best for me to release this information all at once, instead of letting the rumor mill leak and distort the truth. I expect to get blowblack, hate mail, invasive questions no matter what I do (as has every other abused woman who’s come forward in the 21st century) but for now I feel like I’m doing what’s rational. Instagram limits captions, so please check my Facebook page for the rest of this PUBLIC post. **

A post shared by ⚡️ ..⚡️ (@katy_a.d) on

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