Are you as sick as the secrets you keep?

Me beach The first assignment in our book, Abuse ends when you love yourself asks the reader to tell her story. Not only is it therapeutic to tell your story but it also shows us the links and patterns that connect the dots of how and why you landed up in an abusive relationship. This is where the healing begins.

Sue and I were discussing this topic this morning over morning coffee as we watched the waves break beneath us. She asked me if I told anyone about the abuse when it happened. I didn’t. Not a soul. I was too ashamed.

“Abuse is such a shameful subject that society helps us to cover it up and deny it. There were a number of times when Stan was aggressive, rude and abusive in front of my friends but it was easy to dismiss it as, “he’s just in a bad mood,” or “he’s tired or under pressure.” They and me were relieved to dismiss it so easily.

It was only when I told my story the first time did the healing begin. And once I got over the difficulty of saying the words “abuse” the shame was no longer mine but his. “If you remain silent,” I told the women I counselled in the domestic violence court, “the shame is yours. If you speak out the shame is his. Shout out as loud as you can.”



I was married to not one abuser, not two, but three. I fled from South Africa and from an extremely violent and traumatic marriage to a very well-known Johannesburg personality and resolved to learn a lesson and be more careful next time. In America I met a man who, on the surface, was everything that my second husband was not. Until I owned her own contribution to the dance of abuse I was destined to repeat the pattern. My story exists as proof of this. I am driven to help abused women as I know all too well what it feels like to be misunderstood and ashamed of my inability to let go of a relationship that was killing me. “It’s like wanting to hug a shark – why on earth would anyone do that?” I understand because I have been there, emerged damaged and broken from there and then – heaven forbid – went back! I know what it feels like to yearn for the love of a man who pulled out your hair, spat in your face and tried to choke you. I know what it feels like to tell people you are back there and watch their faces and see them thinking, “then you deserve what you get!” By telling my story, I hope to lift the veil of shame off abuse and encourage women to do the same. Un-silencing the voice is where true healing begins.

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Posted in abuse, codependency, domestic violence, healing, marriage, obsession, relationships, Uncategorized
2 comments on “Are you as sick as the secrets you keep?
  1. Shirley Peck says:

    Thank you am definitely going to purchase for my daughter.


    • Thank you for your comment. The book is available on Amazon and we have also formed a support group on our FB page When loving Him Hurts. Please let me know how she is doing.
      Warmest wishes,


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