This was the comment I wrote:
"My sister was afraid of leaving her husband. She was afraid of leaving the state with her kids. Her county and "local" women's shelter was of no help. I drove up to her home, a state away, and packed all her belongings. I rented her a UHAUL. I rented her a storage unit. She became afraid...she knew if her husband found out she was leaving him, he would hurt her. I helped her file for divorce. She was afraid, yet she didn't want to leave for fear of the unknown. A month later, she was found dead. Don't let that happen to you."
I've never written publicly those words before. For the last ten months, just thinking about what happened to my own sister has been difficult for me. I haven't wanted to think about what happened to my dear, sweet sister Shelly last May. Still, I feel angry, helpless and confused over her untimely death. Her death was ruled accidental--we may never know the truth about what really happened.
After I wrote the above comment, I had to stand up and walk out of the room. I cried--the emotions of how I have felt and hidden for ten months finally revealed itself.
Someone asked me last week why I was sharing with the world what has happened in my life. They wondered how I could be so comfortable sharing something so intimate. To be honest with you, I wonder each day if sharing my life experiences with the world are worth it. My hope is that I am reaching out to someone else. I am also healing. Truthfully, I am more nervous about my own family reading this than I am about anyone else reading. Family can be more judgemental--more critical.
My family has never fully approved of me sharing with others the abuse that occurred years ago. Their solution has always been to keep the past in the past. Shameful things are to remain hidden. However, I have learned that hiding shame promotes protecting evil.
It was by fate or destiny that a friend of mine sent me an email one night about a website she was posting on. This website, Violence Unsilenced, promotes helping all victims of abuse to shed the shell of shame and find help. The website has encouraged me to let go of the past by writing about it.
I encourage you to read the stories of women and men affected by abuse in all its forms. May you too help to shed the shell of shame.
If you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Also, I have created a blog where I am compiling all my experiences into one. It will make it much easier for new readers and those unfamiliar with my story to start from the beginning. It is a work in progress, but I have added a photo link in the right column on this page where you click to go to Screwed Up: My Life. Check back often, as I will be adding to it in the next coming days and weeks ahead.