I have been debating since I started this blog whether I was going to share my story with people I knew or not. Yesterday I made the decision to share it with people that I have met along the way that struck me as understanding, kind and open-hearted. It was a tough decision because I am pretty much laying everything out there in this blog. I am sharing my feelings of inadequacy and my insecurities along with my trauma. In the back of my head there is still a little voice that is whispering … “What if he was right? What if no one believes you? What if they think you made everything up and you are just subjecting yourself to judgement and more feelings of inadequacy?” See when I first told the people that I am closest to what was going on, some of them believed me and some of them would say things like, “I find this really hard to believe” or “I’ve never seen him act like that. He seems really quiet to me. Are you sure?”. Every time someone I loved questioned my truthfulness they reinforced why I had stayed quiet about it for so long. They reinforced John’s statements that no one would believe me. It prolonged the abuse without him even being present because by that time the self doubt that was planted was stronger than my perceived self worth.
But then the voice in my head that is slowly becoming the louder one reminded me that I am not the one who deserves to be judged in this scenario. And it is the friends that I trusted with my story early on that helped me to see that this was not normal or healthy. How am I going to really help anyone with my story if I’m not willing to share it with people that know and love me? So I took a huge leap of faith and I shared this blog. Some of the people I shared with were family members that I trusted. Others were friends that knew bits and pieces already. I shared with friends that I haven’t seen in years but know, despite that, if we ever needed each other we would find a way to be there for one another. I shared with people that I have met over the years that, while we were never close friends, they had impressed me as caring individuals who would support me in getting my message out there to people who might need to hear it. I could not be happier that I took this leap.
Since I shared with these incredibly supportive people I have been inundated with messages of support and love. Not one person questioned my honesty. Not one person told me they hadn’t seen it for themselves so they were having a hard time believing it. The abuse was not prolonged. My courage and strength were celebrated. I could not feel more blessed. And what I found to be the most impactful part of all of this is that I had multiple people tell me that they had been in a similar relationship or that they knew someone who had been in a similar relationship. This just reinforced for me that I need to continue to tell my story. It made me think of the #metoo movement that recently circulated social media. We have brought the world’s attention to the sexual harassment that women endure … and now we need to bring their attention to verbal abuse. Our daughters need to learn that this is not acceptable behavior. They are valuable and they need to be treated as such. Our sons need to learn that women are not their vessel for taking out their frustration. They should be treated as partners … they are equally as important. Silence will not break this cycle that our young men and women are falling into.
To all the people who are reading this blog and who are offering me your encouragement and support, thank you. Thank you for helping me to move past my trauma and helping me to get my truth out into the world. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for helping me to share my story so that I can help other woman understand that there is more out there for them and they ARE worth it even if they don’t believe it yet. By just reading my thoughts you are helping at least one person heal the scars that were left behind and I am hopeful that together we will help others do the same. ❤