It wasn’t until about 6 months after I left him that I finally told my online community. I thought about it for a long time, wrote a post, re-wrote, re-wrote again, edited, thought about it, edited some more, and thought about it again… for about a month. It was visible only to me, until I made it available to most of my friend connections (‘most’ being the key word here). I was nervous, to say the least. The lion and I were still connected online at this point, even though we hadn’t been talking in at least a few months.
The outpouring of love I received was overwhelming. They took the time to write responses, to write to me privately. The notifications kept coming for days. Most of these people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years. I’d already lived abroad for 3.5 years, after all.
Most people don’t talk about abuse and extreme pain they’ve endured. Maybe they’re embarrassed, maybe they’re scared, maybe they don’t know you can talk about it. But I didn’t want to be like that. I want others to know that it’s okay to talk, it’s okay to share stories and to support each other.
So, on August 2, 2016, I broke the silence online with this bilingual post:
One year ago, I was doing everything I could to hide a black eye with make-up, trying to protect the person who’d given me both of those things (in that particular order).
I was contemplating the value of my existence.
So much love and gratitude to those to pulled me out, to those who showed me I’m worth something.
And there was so much positive feedback that I couldn’t do nothing, I had to say something. So 18 days later, I did:
Thank you to everyone who commented, reacted, and/or sent a private message about this post.
Thank you for letting me say something. Thank you for accepting it so openly and warmly. Thank you for melting away the fear and nervousness about breaking the silence in the first place. Thank you for your kind words.
And with this, I knew that yes, it is okay to talk.