What Happened When You Shared Your Abuse Story with Someone for the First Time? Did They Believe you?
This is the fourth time I’ve started this post. I can tell when something is triggering me when I lose my writing mojo. Last week, the media reported additional women speaking out about being sexually violated/raped by Bill Cosby, a man who has been so highly esteemed in show business as a comedian and actor, and a respected father figure in his very popular and successful television show, The Cosby Show. The news stories were shocking, did Bill Cosby really do that?
But these women, some after decades, have finally spoken out. Their stories are remarkably similar in details and their reason for silence makes sense. Who would believe their story? Everybody loved Cosby. It wasn’t worth the risk to disclose.
I’ve gotten into some debates with people about this – some have been with my friends – about these women who finally came out and told their stories. As I debated with these people, I realized it has been hitting me emotionally.
It brings me back to the time I first shared my story of abuse, first as a child who experienced physical abuse growing up, and then later, as an adult experiencing spiritual abuse and being sued by my former pastor. As I read the accounts from the alleged Cosby victims, I was emotionally connecting with these women whom I’ve never met, who were brave and speaking out. It got me thinking back to when I shared my story of abuse with someone. Just thinking about the responses I received brought me back to that very lonely and dark place. I never felt so alone.
This “coming out” process is always so difficult and this picture represents what it was like to me – like an uphill battle with ominous clouds.
We don’t know what is on the other side. What will we face if we share? Will we be better off having shared our story, or should we have remained quiet?
It doesn’t matter whether the abuse was sexual, spiritual, physical, emotional, the patterns are very similar. There are many obstacles to overcome before we get to the point of sharing. It’s our word against someone else’s word and reputation. Will they believe me? Will they think I’m nuts?
Many of us have experienced different kinds of abuse and eventually got away from the abuse and maybe eventually shared our story.
I thought it might be helpful to hear some of these kinds of stories. What was your experience when you decided to share that you were abused? Did people believe you? Did they help you? I’d like to hear your story.
As always, you are free to use any pseudonym when sharing here.