Stay SilentSTAY SILENT, and Invisible, “I don’t need to hear about the abuse you faced.  I haven’t read your blog, nor have I been tempted to!”

This message came from a woman who loves me, or claims to love me.

When I first got the message I have to admit I was a little shocked.  I have spent hours talking and laughing with her.  We have been silly together and talked about life’s hardships together.  I sat with my phone in my hands as tears fell into my lap.  I cried because I love her so much, and I recognized that she can’t see me.  I don’t think she ever saw me.

I prayed for solace, for peace because of the ache I felt.  If there is one thing I have learned with healing it is that some people aren’t ready to heal with you.

There are some people that do not want me to talk about being abused.  Not only do they want me to stay silent, but they add to the abuse. I received these messages this weekend:

  • “I don’t want to see you push your boys away.”
  • “Your hate, dislike, and condemning feelings towards your ex-husband will hurt your children.”
  •  I can’t stay your friend, “I have an obligation to those darling boys of yours.”
  • “Your ex-husband, He is a good man.”
  • “You are not giving him the chance to rise up, you are driving him down lower.”
  • “You shouldn’t write about this without his permission.”
  • “There is no way that you can help other women when you harbor so much pain.”
  • “You just need to love him through it all.”
  • “You should check to see where your promptings are coming from.”

After a few hours of facing my new loss, the loss of this dear friend; and facing all of the accusations and lies mentioned above I was able to get my feet back underneath me.

In a moment of silence, the spirit testified to me that this is why patterns of abuse continue.  Not only is the victim beat down by the abuser, but often times loved ones tell the VICTIM of the abuse to stay silent.

I don’t believe that sharing my story has anything to do with the blaming list above.  If telling my story pushes my children away from me, then there are deeper problems that need to be addressed.

I feel no hate or dislike towards my ex-husband, I am at peace with his decisions, this doesn’t mean that his choices didn’t and don’t cause me pain, because they do, but that pain is not bitterness or hate.

I feel empathy and compassion for him and his trials.

I recognize that the truth may hurt my boys, but it will not harm them.  Keeping secrets, and allowing abuse to pass to them, that will harm them. I can’t willingly pass on unhealthy family systems, silent rules, and abusive patterns.

I as the mother of my children have an obligation to my boys to be honest.

I can guarantee my love runs far deeper than probably anyone on this planet for my children.  I pray for their welfare, and I pray for a time when they are mature enough to accept my story and its truth.

I believe that my ex-husband is a good person who is struggling with his own hardships.  I hope that he will find Christ again so that he will have a gentle guide to show him the way home.

I do not write to pull my ex-husband down.  I write to be liberated from lies and shame.

I am helping other women daily and I am grateful for their beautiful messages telling me so, and I can honestly say that deep down I do care for my ex-husband.  I think it is impossible to not have love for someone you spent half of your life with.

Lastly, I felt prompted to write the blog for 6 months before I obtained enough courage to do so.  During that time, the spirit gently and lovingly kept pushing me towards sharing my story.  I attended the temple and church seeking guidance on what heavenly father would have me do.

I think we would be a foolish people if we didn’t believe that just like in the Book of Mormon when Nephi was told to slay Laban, we too will be asked to do hard things.

It is not my place to question why God sent me on this journey.  It is my place to try my best to follow his lead and see where it will take me.

So, to the woman that I love, who can’t see me, and has decided to never read my blog.  I pray for you and your family, and I will continue to see you and love you from a distance.

You said that you respect the pain that I have been through, but you can’t respect my pain and ask me to STAY SILENT.

Today I choose to stand.  As best said two weeks ago at conference:

“May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong.”   Thomas S. Monson

I will continue to choose the harder right and pray daily for God to guide me on the journey he has prepared for me.

Assignment for Healing:  Watch this amazing TED Talk on violence against women.  Jackson Katz: Violence Against Women-It’s a Men’s Issue