- 1. It's not your job to keep their secrets
- 2. You're only as sick as your secrets
- 3. Secrets are dangerous
- 4. Have some sympathy for his next target. By telling, at least the new person goes in with their eyes open
- 5. Revenge stimulates the same reward centers of the brain that desserts, desire, and drugs do. Revenge is better than using drugs or gaining 10 lbs.
- 6. Like smoking, the more people you tell, the harder it will be for you to go back to the way it was.
- 7. Vindication. People will now realize you have good reason to act the way you do.
- 8. If lucky, you might prevent him or her from breeding with anyone.
- 9. Role model. Other women (or men) may stop playing victim when they know what you went through.
- 10. Your partner will have a harder time going after you if everyone knows.
Here are some ways to stop keeping the secrets
Join a Domestic Violence Group (most are free and are for verbal and
emotional abusive too. You can see how their behavior often escalates to violence
and how if you don't stop it now, things often escalate)
Participate in their public demonstrations, especially if its in the same town where you live. (I marched in a "Take Back The Night" parade for my domestic violence group and gave a speech explaining how emotional abuse is as bad or worse than physical violence. I had a lot of women shake my hand afterwards because I was telling their story. They were surprised because my husband seemed so kind to everyone else.)
Tell the people who ask the truth without sugar coating or "protecting his job." (Although I didn't run around volunteering info on why we were divorcing, when anyone asked, I told them as many facts as interested them.)
Don't go for a no-fault divorce if your state allows you to list the reasons. I was able to file for divorce with cause. Although I eventually settled for a no-fault for financial reasons, my story is still a matter of court record and can be cited as such.
Write press releases for your DV group and use your marriage or partnership as a concrete example. (Being published like this helps other women know they are not alone.)
Be honest with your kids. Depending on their age and circumstance, don't lie to them. They already know things aren't right. Lying only confuses them.
Tell your counselor. If your counselor keeps trying to say you are half the problem because of your behavior, get a counselor who understands verbal/emotional abuse. You are part of the problem, but its not what you do that cause's him to treat you badly, its what you allow to happen to you that perpetuates their nasty and belittling behavior.
Tell your mother, father, and friends everything! This actually saved the life of Marcia Ridgeway, the Green River Killer's 2nd wife. He had tried to choke her from behind once. She told everyone, including her father who talked to Gary about it. Years later, after his arrest, he told police that he had wanted to kill Marcia, his wife, but was afraid he would get caught because she told everyone that he attempted it once. Remember that the next time you think you are "protecting" your mate or marriage by not telling the abuse, you endanger yourself.
Keep a detailed diary. This will help remind you when you forget how bad it is and can help you see your patterns. You can also later use it when you want to write a book or if you need evidence in court. Dated journals are court admissible. (My journal was a god send. When Bob tried to "forget" what he had done, tell me he didn't say such and such --I would have the date and time that he did!-- My journal kept me from believing his words "you're crazy, it never happened, you blow it out of proportion, and other crazy-making ways he tried to turn it around on me.)
Write a book and publish it. Do your own web site with your story and pictures. Post all pictures that relate--things he tore up, the car he crashed, all his toys and you have none--whatever pertains and illustrates your life together.
List him as an abuser on one of the many websites that let you put a partner up to expose them. This may be only after you have divorced. If you stay in your relationship, listing your abuser on the net may not be wise. Not everyone wants to be retributive--but for some it helps. If you decide to leave you not only get to express yourself in an emotionally satisfying way, but you may save another woman tremendous grief if she finds his name on one of these sites.
Take the steps that will help you. Doing nohting is probably not a good idea because if nothing chnages, nothing changes--you are working for change. Decide what change you will do, then follow through. If you are in counseling or a 12 Step program--talk it over with your counselor and/or sponsor first. Then do something about taking the secrets out of the dark. My Best!