Back when I was inpatient, and I had group therapy a million times a day, we had a group where the therapist decided to practice "scream therapy".
He had each of us find a spot in the room. Then told us to scream our hearts out. I could not do it. Not a peep came out of my lips. I actually covered my ears, closed my eyes, and curled up in a ball. The sound, the emotions, and my own desire to scream was too much for me.
I spent a lot of time in the mountains. I WANTED to scream. I felt like if I could just scream loud enough and long enough, all the pain would get out of me. When I was out with Sunny and BJ, I'd try. I'd yell and swear, but there was something about screaming that was too... primal... for me.
This afternoon, BJ got an email from his son. BJ asked, "If you sister was being beaten by her husband, what would you counsel her to do?" He only read one line to me, and it was too much.
I screamed. And screamed. And screamed.
No swear words. No words at all. Just a scream from deep inside.
Don't talk about the abuse. Don't tell anyone that he beats you. Don't share the secrets. Protect him. Protect the marriage.
I BELIEVED this. I BELIEVED that to use my voice to share what happened to me was wrong. I WAS WRONG. My voice is the only thing I can use. My voice is the only power I have to stop abuse. (That and my ability to walk away from the abuse.)
It turns out, I can scream. Really loud and really long.
(And if I were answering the question, What counsel would you give your sister? I'd tell her to get out. Leave. Then sort out the whys and what-fors. Once she is away, THEN decide if the relationship is worth working for. If it has gotten to the point of abuse, there is A LOT that she is going to have to learn and fight through. It won't just go away, and she needs a lot of help and support. That said, each person has their own journey... I would want my sister to know she is loved. No. Matter. What.)