After The Abuse: The Price Of Speaking Out

After the Abuse The Price of Speaking Out

A few months after abuse and escaping an emotionally abusive relationship, feeling strangled and suffocated by the enormity of that secret, I made a controversial choice: I wrote about what had happened on my Facebook page.

My confession was met with an outpouring of support, although I noticed the prominent silence of the friends my abuser and I had met as a couple. After I started writing articles about emotional abuse and the struggle of living with its consequences, more and more strangers started reaching out to me as fellow survivors.

emotional abuse
After The Abuse: The Price Of Speaking Out

Conversely, I got fewer and fewer responses from my friends and acquaintances; in fact, some ceased all interactions with me. I was experiencing first-hand what I had observed for a long time whenever someone finds the strength to reveal the abuse they’ve suffered:

Speaking out about abuse has its price.

An Uncomfortable Topic

It has got to be hard to read for those who have not lived it: I get the awkwardness of not knowing what to say. I get that friends and relatives feel powerless reading my story. There is nothing to say or do that can solve the problem. What comfort can possibly be offered? There are no magic words that can fix the long-lasting damage left by abuse, or make it easier to understand.

On a strictly practical level, talking about it is useless: I do not do it in order to find a fix, because there is none. I get that someone might therefore think there is no use in discussing it or analyzing it if it is not going to lead to any concrete results. For those who have been through it, that is not the case: there are one hundred facets to process, a hundred different consequences to face. It is a long, tortuous process that strains your mind every day.

At times you would like to keep repeating the same thing over and over again because then maybe, sooner or later you will find some meaning, an explanation, you will be able to accept the senseless cruelty that has been dealt with you for no discernible reason. You would like to scream it out until the whole indifferent world hears you, or even just to get it out of your bursting head. And, maybe, to make other survivors feel a bit less lonely.

Read In The Mind of an Abuser: “I Have The Right To Punish You”.

Dirty Laundry

There are some who disapprove of openly discussing experiences of abuse: the belief that dirty laundry should not be aired in public is hard to kill. Because it is unpleasant: because it makes people uncomfortable. Maybe some think it is just attention seeking. Maybe some, especially if they only know the charming side of the abuser, think it is “unfair” for the victim to speak out and ruin his scintillating reputation.

It is the same reason why I suffered his abuse in silence for months: to not make him look bad, to protect him, to be “fair”, and what was the result? That he kept behaving worse and worse, sure that nobody would find out, and I was alone in that horror, unable to ask anyone for help. Covering for my abuser out of love and politeness only enabled him to keep abusing me.

Read 6 Painful Ways Emotional Abuse Changes You

The Abuser’s Fan Club

There are those who knew us as a couple, and I get that it is going to be awkward and unpleasant for them. Maybe some do not believe me: after all, with them, he was always kind, generous, fun, the perfect drinking buddy. I remember how everyone adored him, especially the girls he worked so hard to impress.

3 thoughts on “After The Abuse: The Price Of Speaking Out”

  1. Avatar of Morgan

    Thank you for sharing this. I am 2 years out of being with my ex but am still struggling due to having a child with him. I have a protective order and have experienced some uncomfortable reactions from lawyers and such. I am in group therapy and individual therapy. My 5 year old son is in therapy. I get angry knowing he is still moving about and trying to get custody of my son. It takes strength everyday to remember why I have blocked him. My hope is more people do post and speak out.

  2. Avatar of Jennifer Smith

    I’m in the phase of trying to separate and no contact with my boyfriend of 12 yrs. My story is very long but is quite similar to the rest. My abuser has/continues to mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically abuse me. I’m afraid of him and what he might do if I completely stop contact with him. And a piece if paper or a 911 call will never prevent him from anything. I’ve empowered myself by reading blogs, others stories, and any information I can to try and help me. but still I am being pulled back because of the threats of harm and having our daughter taken completely from my life. He keeps me on a tight rope by ‘making’ me do meth with him so its in my system. I am currently under dss for his CDV and meth use. No one understands what I’m going thru and the reasons I can’t just leave him alone. This is very stressful and I knowit’s only going to get worse. I don’t know how to get help or get someone to understand my situation before I loose my daughter. I’m desperate and would like anyone’s advice please thank you

    1. Avatar of Morgan

      I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. My situation is different but it’s still the same major component. I do not feel understood either. My hope is that you are able to get through all of this. We do what we can to protect our children, that should be enough.

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