Breaking my silence

It suddenly occurred to me yesterday morning that the reason my sister-in-law was being cagey and evasive with me about whether or not my MIL was coming to J’s memorial service was probably the same reason my MIL didn’t respond to my olive branch text and didn’t send me a birthday card: she didn’t think I had painted her in a very positive light in my Medium articles.

I sent a text to Kris saying as much and she confirmed it; she was just struggling with how to tell me that.

So I wrote this story for Medium telling the whole truth about how J grew up. (Content warning of child physical abuse.)

I had Amy proofread it and made sure she was comfortable with both me disclosing her role in it and getting permission to use the family photo. She had me make one small change, which I agreed with, and I hit publish.

She told me it was a beautiful essay and was an artistically well-done piece, too. I shared it with my mom and she also said it was beautiful.

But immediately after I wrote it, I was so exhausted that I pretty much collapsed for a nap. Writing it took SO much out of me.

I have finally said what I’ve been holding in for 28 YEARS.

Already, I can feel a significant shift in my health. I think that living with that secret for so many years was literally making me very, very sick.

It was SO FUCKING HARD to see MIL or talk to her and have to pretend that everything was fine. Part of that was in deference to J; he held out hope until the very end that his mother would prove that she loved him and he didn’t want me to rock the boat.

Now that I know that I will likely never ever see her again, I finally brought the truth into the light. I feel like in some small way, it’s trying to get justice for J, even if it’s far too late.

But I wanted to call out his mom and essentially say: I know what you did. You fucked up so bad as a parent that it affected the lives of every one of us in J’s family.

She’s a true narcissist and always wants to look good. I also know about how she wants to rewrite history and pretend these things never happened but I know that they did.

I thought about writing her a letter but I knew that as a narcissist she would either twist it into me just being “mean” or retaliate or disregard it altogether.

She can’t disregard this, though—perhaps it’s truly the only way to actually reach a narcissist. I was very careful to state everything as fact and she can’t deny any of what I said.

I hope she squirms. I know she can’t self-reflect as a narcissist but I wonder if it will change the views of some of our mutual contacts. If it doesn’t and they side with her anyway, good riddance, assholes.

But now I’m just left with this feeling of shock, like OMG I actually said it. All the truth you tried to hide is now out in the open.

And while I’m feeling much lighter and healthier already, I’m also feeling extremely anxious. Will there be repercussions I can’t predict? Am I forgetting something major and unrelated because writing this took up so much of my brain (which I feel like I am?)

What’s going to happen next, if anything? I highly doubt she will ever apologize and most likely she will just hate me even more than she already did.

Usually when I say that I don’t care if people hate me, there’s an element of bluffing. Not this time.

Honestly I am GLAD I finally told the truth. I only wish I could have done it sooner.


  1. SH says:

    Huge hugs. I’m really glad you spoke up

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SH says:

    I can only say your MIL is just like my mother and my friend, you did the best you could and did wonderfully. It’s not fair he and you got horrible decks of cards. Sending you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holly says:

      Thank you so much. I am only terribly, awfully sorry that you had to deal with that, too. Nobody deserves to grow up like that, nobody. Love to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SH says:

        You deserve so much love, and to get the support you absolutely deserve. 💜


  3. An enjoyable read, bold and insightful 😀


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