Letter To Harley Quinn: From A Fellow Abuse Survivor

Letter To Harley Quinn: From A Fellow Abuse Survivor

Forwarded to all the girls searching for the "Joker to their Harley"


Dear Harley,

If I had a dollar for every time I have seen a picture of you being choked by The Joker captioned “relationship goals” I’d be a rich woman. Probably rich enough to track down every single young woman that is looking for “the Joker to my Harley” and talk some sense into them. I know that is what you would want me to do. Because I know how you feel: I have been in the chaise lounge, with the tables turned on me and realizing I am falling in love with the wrong person. I know what it is like to feel like you’ve moved on only to be thrown back to square one at the tiniest glimpse of something resembling love in my partner’s eyes.

I remember being Dr. Harleen Quinzel: young, successful and with the world ahead of me, and meet someone who gave me a different name and a different future. One that I didn’t necessarily want but at some point felt like I needed. And, finally, I remember becoming Harley Quinn, his property and so-called one true love. The person that would find an excuse to every single one of his mistakes, the one lying amidst the garbage bags thinking over and over “it’s my fault, it’s my fault.” Because it couldn’t be his fault, he loved me.

So I understand, I understand how angry you are by Entertainment Weekly saying that your abuser’s role in "Suicide Squad" is “to reunite with his true love.” I understand how much you hate that what people make out of the film is that you and the Joker are in a loving relationship, that the fact that he jumped into the acid after he was the one that coerced you into doing it, means nothing but true love. I know how much it sucks to have people romanticize your abuse, your pain.

Harley, you are my hero. Because you fell down and you fell apart as many times as I did, and you still stood up. Because to me you are more than a cheerful sidekick to a great villain, to me -- and to many other survivors of abusive relationships -- you are hope. I want to thank you for helping me be strong, and I promise that I will continue to be strong. As my gift to you, to thank you for helping me when I was in a dark place, I will speak to the girls you can't speak to, I will translate the message that every one seems to be getting wrong. As your co-creator Paul Dini said, your story is a cautionary tale: "Do not love so unwisely and do not charge into something. Do not try to change yourself for someone else. That leads to tragedy."

Because you send a very important message, Harley. In everyone's head, you don't fit their stereotype of an abuse survivor; they tend to picture abused people as those who are curled up into a ball, shaking because of their own sobs, covered in bruises. Yet instead of seeing all that, they see you: tall, beautiful and self confident. She is too strong to be in an abusive relationship, they say. It's not abuse, he is just as crazy as she is. They get each other. He just had a terrible childhood, she can heal him. It's her job to heal him. He loves her, he hurts her because he loves her. They don't think people like us can be broken down and, therefore, they don't realize they are being abused.

You moved on, Harley. You realized the kind of twisted and unhealthy relationship you had been in for so long, you healed and recovered and now you are stronger than ever. And I did too. There is hope for people like you and me, there is hope for all the women around the world going through a similar situation, and there is hope for all of those young girls who have been fooled into thinking the Joker is a Prince Charming in disguise. That is the message you send: hope and strength. Your story broke my heart, my dear Harley, but it would break my heart even more to know people are willingly repeating our mistakes instead of learning from them.

Love, always.

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