The following is a message I received by email from another woman who has gone through a very similar situation. She writes so well about something we will all understand:
"I think so many folks are inclined to think that stories like this only lie within the fringes of society, or are the makings of Jerry Springer spots. It's so easy to flip on the news or read the paper and see the stories as distant, removed - the problems of all those "other people." There really aren't words for the day when you find that your own life is the leading story on the 11 o'clock news and the front page of the newspaper. I don't have any friends that are divorced, much less have spouses or family members, or even distant acquaintances who have been convicted of felony crimes. My husband and I were active in our community and church, good-standing members of society. I find that my friends, family, and colleagues don't even know what to say and most have opted to simply ignore that anything has even happened. It's as if even the mere reference to my husband will taint them in some foul, repulsive way. To this day, I'm still greeted by many with looks of pity or masked sympathy, when I know that the unspoken question from so many is "how could she not have known? how could she have married such a monster? what kind of issues does she have to have been attracted to someone like that?" I don't kid myself into thinking that people really don't make those kind of judgments.
"I confide in you on these points not so much because I'm dwelling on what other people think, but because I find that other than through professional counseling, there is virtually no support for women in our circumstances. I'm not trying to play victim when I say that - I take full responsibility for who I married and chose to have children with. I don't expect society to come running to my rescue. But I do think it's helpful to connect with each other and others in similar circumstances from time to time. . . It's just comforting in some ways to know that there are others who have experienced similar experiences and truly understand the pain and trauma of something so devastating."
When I first received an email from this woman, I asked her if she would like to share on this blog. She declined, saying that she wasn't ready to talk about her story, but in that second email was also the message above. I thought it was worth sharing. If anyone else out there wants to share a message, you don't have to give personal details of your life story because sometimes a sympathetic message to others in your situation is enough.