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Is It Okay To Talk About Abuse? How, When, Where, and Why To Share



The fact you are asking, is a positive thing. The short answer, is “Yes.”


And with that, I would also add it is important to find the right place to talk about it.

This is not a matter of shame or an indication that your story is not worth listening to. Instead, what I want for you is for you to have every possible option of being heard as you share such an important part of your thoughts and feelings.


Because of this, I want to take the next few pages and talk about how to share, who to share with, and small steps you can take as you work towards discussing the matter with someone who can help you take healthy, positive action.


As always, however, if you are in danger or harm, be sure to consult with a professional immediately; or call 911.


Ways to reach out:

  • Covenant House- 1800-999-9999

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255

  • Youth Crisis Line – 1800 Hit Home

  • Hopeline 1800-442-5673

  • http://www.crisischat.org/chat



How To Talk About Abuse



It can be scary to think about opening up and explaining what you are thinking and feeling. But, your story is worth sharing. Since the conversation is important, there are a few things you can do which will help it to be heard.


Prepare


If you have the ability to, jot down a few bullet points—things you are thinking and feeling. It is okay to have those with you when you share. It can help you keep going and know what to say next.


Give Someone A Heads Up


You do not have to immediately come out with your most vulnerable thoughts and feelings first. In important conversations it can be helpful to frame what you want to share by saying things like, “I need to talk about something important, that might be difficult for me to say.” or “I want to share something but I am afraid you won’t understand—would you be willing to listen?”


Be Clear


It is vital for you to be extremely clear on the extent of your thoughts and feelings along with the trauma you have experienced. It is good to be clear about what happened, instead of hope they read between the lines.


Take A Healthy Action Step


Opening up about what you are thinking and feeling is the first step. If someone responds positively to you, ask them if you can take an action step together. This might mean talking to a loved one, finding professional guidance, calling a hotline together, or a range of other ways to seek wholeness.


The goal is to leave a conversation with a clear understanding of what you are going through, what your thoughts and feelings are and have been, and what healthy, next steps can be taken.



How To Talk About It - Video Discussion






What To Share About Abuse


Just like the question, “How to share?” you might wonder exactly what to share. When there is a lot going on inside of the head and heart, it can feel overwhelming to decide what to talk about.


For starters, let’s consider a few key points.


  1. What you think and feel right now.

  2. What you have thought and felt recently.

  3. What the source might be.

  4. What you would like to do next.



What To Share? - Video Discussion





4 Ways To Talk About Abuse


If you are not in immediate danger or harm, and it is safe to take it a bit slower before opening up, consider these steps to begin walking towards reaching out to a loved one or professional support individual:


4 Ways To Practice Taking About Abuse:


• Practice telling yourself the story.

• Practice telling an anonymous advocate.

• Practice telling someone who cares about you.

• Practice telling someone who can be with you when you consult a professional.


Each step comes with opportunities for courage. And yes, each step could face obstacles. So, let’s explore those in more detail next.


Practice Telling Yourself The Story



Why this is good:


You are 100% in control of telling yourself the story, giving it room to surface however you want, with whatever words you want. No one’s reactions are part of your story coming to the surface.


Why this might be hard:


  • You may not know where to start.

  • You might feel lonely afterwards.


For a more in-depth discussion about these points, check out the video below.



Practice Telling An Anonymous Advocate



Why this is good:


You are building your courage to let your story be heard by someone else. This can give you confidence to know your story is not invalidated. Through this experience, you are learning how to share your story.


Why this might be hard:


  • You wish the connection could last.

  • You wish they had given you more.

  • Someone may not have been “in the game.”


For a more in-depth discussion about these points, check out the video below.





Practice Telling Someone Who Cares About You


Why this is good:


Sharing your story with someone who knows you and cares about you allows you to have a conversation with someone who understands your history. This can help you feel the most amount of support and validation.


Why this might be hard:


Sometimes, those who care about us listen and hear us–while they are thinking about how it impacts them. The combination of their own thoughts and feelings might mean they do not react well, even though sharing with them is important.


For more, check out the video below.


Practice Telling Someone Who Helps You Take Action


Why this is good:


You might know it is time to take a healthy action step and get a professional involved. This might mean a doctor, therapist, coach, pastor, or another trained, skilled individual. But, you may not want to do that alone. Involving someone who can be with you might help you to be able to move forward.


Why this might be hard:


At times, it might feel as if they are pushing you past your comfort zone. Feel free to have a conversation with them letting them know how you feel.





What Kind Of Help Exists?


Due to the intensive nature of abuse and the fact it speaks to deep internal struggles, finding help for abuse usually begins by sharing with a skilled professional. This often happens after telling a trusted individual life who can help us connect with that skilled professional.


Anything which is locked inside of your thoughts and feelings deserves a place to be processed in a safe environment which can give you actionable guidance and tools.


What Kind Of Help Exists? - Video Discussion




We Want To Partner With You



We are rooting for you, not only once you complete your journey, but every step through it.


If you are looking for a guide to help you process your story and walk a journey of wholeness - we would love to partner with you in the Abuse Matters - Change Your Narrative Video Mentorship Guide.


Check out a sneak peak below:



If you or someone you care for is in danger of harm, please contact one of the numbers below or check out our [77 resources article]



For Immediate Help:


  • Covenant House- 1800-999-9999

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255

  • Youth Crisis Line – 1800 Hit Home

  • Hopeline 1800-442-5673

  • http://www.crisischat.org/chat



For a “What Is It Like To Contact A Hotline?” Video Discussion – check it out here:


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