Upretty Secrets

I just hung up the phone with a friend and am struggling to make sense of the last hour.

She talked.

I listened.

I’m not sure why, but she chose me to tell all the things.

The unpretty.

I wish I had sent her to voicemail, and for that I feel like the most ample ass on the planet.

____________________________

Where should I begin?

College maybe? Twenty-plus years ago. Okay, I’ll start there.

We were freshmen. Bailey always had a boyfriend. Always. Not only did she HAVE a boyfriend; she had multiple spares waiting in the wings the moment she and flavor-of-the-moment broke up.

She’s never been one to be alone.

__________________________

Today, Bailey told me a lot of stuff.

I listened to her share tales of what I consider control and abuse.

Financial abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse.

As seems to be the pattern, there weren’t really any signs, and it happened over a period of time.

I recently heard a pertinent analogy:  The frog in water

If you put a frog in cold water, it does what it does. It swims along as frogs do. If you put a frog in boiling water, it burns like crazy and the frog will immediately jump out to save its little frog self. But it you put a frog in cold water and gradually increase the temperature, the frog doesn’t realize that the water is getting too hot. The frog won’t jump out. The frog stays as the water gradually becomes warmer, hotter, boiling. The frog dies because the frog never realized it was in a dire situation.

Bailey’s marriage has been really bad for a really long time. I honestly can’t make sense of the horror she shared with me this morning.

______________________________

Did I suspect any of this? Maybe? I’m not sure that I did.

Bailey and Wade have had a lot in their marriage. The past year has been particularly difficult. Several tragedies have occurred in Wade’s family.

So…Wade takes it out on Bailey.

What is going on with men in this world?  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen. A man deals with something hard; he beats the crap out of his wife or girlfriend. Why? That’s the short of the Bailey and Wade story.

According to Bailey, this isn’t the first time, but it’s become more frequent and worse each time.

She’s so broken.

She loves him, but she knows she can’t stay.

He’s broken.

He cried, begged for forgiveness. She missed work for a week. When I asked her to break down the severity of all of it, she refused.

Bailey lives hours away from me. I offered to let her and her son stay with us, but she can’t take off that much time from work. They have “so many bills.”

Who else has she told? I have no idea. She wouldn’t say.

__________________________

So what does one do with this information?

Why do women insist on keeping secrets when our men hurt us?

Bailey has always kept secrets.

She has shared so many secrets with me and begged me not to tell. I’ve told and I’ve not told. What’s the answer in this case?

Does she want me to tell? To out him? Maybe. She puts the responsibility on someone else, and I’ve never understood why.

Today she told me this happened but that it was a past incident. She gives no dates. No timelines.

________________________________

It’s been an hour or so since our phone call, and I’m still sitting with the information, pondering what I should do.

I’m thinking about my own life and my own secrets. What do I truly want when I share my unpretty with others?

What do I teach my children about secrets?

Adults tell children to report certain incidents, but does that help? Or does it expose to children that some problems are too big even for adults? I’ve seen a bit of both.

________________________________

I remember being a kid and looking forward to being an adult because in my mind adults knew everything. (As I typed this I had a moment of recognizing how screwed up my thinking was. I lived among adults who it was painfully obvious how clueless they were about so many things.)

Okay, I need to run.

What do you do with secrets? Who do you tell? Why do you share? What is it we want when we divulge our secrets?

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6 thoughts on “Upretty Secrets

  1. Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I would tell her where she can get help. That’s kind of about all you can do. You aren’t God. It’s tough, but there ARE things she can do. You can’t make her do it. I’m sorry that conversation and her life is so tough right now. I really am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I know what I’m feeling pales in comparison to everything she’s dealing with, but it’s such a helpless feeling to know something like this when they live far away AND my mind is all over the place now as I’m concerned for her safety and well-being. I do feel better about the situation. I’ll update soon. Thank you!

      Like

  2. That’s pretty overwhelming. I’m not sure if the whole misery-shared-is-misery-halved applies to cases like this where the person is still stuck there. How to know whether or not she just needs to vent, or if she is indeed “telling an adult” and hoping you can do something for her? Can you ask her? Maybe say that you are prepared to do X, Y, Z if she doesn’t feel capable, but that she’s an adult and you don’t want to go against her wishes?

    Liked by 1 person

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