Too Embarrassed to Admit the Truth | Janice Holland Blog

Too Embarrassed to Admit the Truth

I was working with the incredibly courageous ladies on my transformation journey the other day and I made a comment that struck a chord with every woman in the group. I don’t remember exactly what I said but the idea was this: “Do you feel embarrassed by the way you allowed yourself to be treated by your ex?”

The women all immediately responded with a loud “YES”. I suspected this was true, because I know it is the number one thing I had to work through and forgive myself for. I was just so full of shame and embarrassment for how Iong I let all his BS go on. I covered for his BS because I was too embarrassed for people to see what was really happening behind closed doors. I told myself that I was just going to have to deal with it because I chose him. I told myself I couldn’t bust up the family and hurt my kids just because I didn’t like the way my life was turning out. Only weak women did that. I was swirling in toxicity and honestly had no idea most of the time. I thought I was doing the right thing and being strong. 

I have yet to work with a divorced or separated woman who hasn’t struggled with these thoughts on some level, especially women who have survived long toxic marriages. What I have found is that most of these thoughts stem from the conditioning American women experience from a very early age. Especially women who grow up in religious and/ or conservative environments. We are taught to ignore our own needs and meet the needs of others. We are taught that we are to be of service and loyal at all costs. We are taught that supporting our husbands is the honorable thing to do and how he acts, behaves, or treats us doesn’t even come into the conversation. It is just an assumption that he is doing the best he can. He is the provider and the leader. A man who isn’t a loving and honoring partner is never even considered a possibility in conservative religious circles. If we have a problem with our husband’s leadership style, then we are ungrateful and to blame.

I remember when my oldest son was six months old and I was in the throes of postpartum depression. My husband had no emotional, physical, and very little financial support to offer. He was focused on playing video games and maintaining his own self-absorbed needs. I found out he was addicted to gay porn and was devastated. I went to our church leadership for help and in the end all I was given was a directive to stand by my man, even when he was showing no signs of remorse or desire to change. He expressed no desire connect with me. The church leadership and my husband all treated me like I was being a pain in the ass for acting so upset. I learned quickly to keep my mouth shut and internalize all the fear and anxiety I was experiencing. I had to make it look like we had “worked through it” and that we were happy and moving forward as a family. I buried the pain, embarrassment, and doubt. I didn’t know I had any other choice. I was too young, naive, and stuck in my preconditioning to even consider that there were other options. 

Fast forward through 15 years of emotional neglect and abuse before the marriage finally completely fell apart. It wasn’t even me who pulled the plug. Like so many other women I know I just kept going because I truly believed it was the right thing to do. 

What I have learned in hindsight is that my intuition was right all along. I am not crazy and I don’t have to endure anyone’s BS no matter what commitments I have made. I have had to work hard to understand what that truly means. I have had to untwist and deconstruct all the generational preconditioning and develop a new north star. This work is so hard because it challenges everything you have ever felt was true, righteous, and moral. 

The light of love that lives inside each and every one of us wants us to know how incredibly valuable and worthy of love, connection, and support we are. It wants to show us what true love is and how it is always for us no matter what. This guiding light showed me how to trust my instincts, forgive my past choices, and remove the protective walls I built to try and keep myself safe. Religion taught me to abandon all that I am, and my spirituality has led me back home to myself. I found the peace and comfort I was looking for and it wasn’t through making anyone else happy or pleased. I found it sitting in the presence of the true love that is within me and allowing that love to guide me to authenticity and vulnerability. 

Through this personal process I developed The Freedom Formula that women can use to find their way home to themselves and trust the guiding light within. It took years of trial and error to do so. Years of swirling around in self doubt and shame. Years of trusting and following the wrong people because I just couldn’t let go of all I had been conditioned to believe was true, even though it never brought me any peace. But I got there. And it was all thanks to the Freedom Formula. 

I don’t want any woman to have to suffer for as long as I did. I don’t want any woman to suffer, ever. It’s my life’s mission now to show as many women as I can the way out, the way home to their hearts, so they don’t have to put up with anyone’s BS ever again. I imagine a world where women are empowered to fully know and express themselves. It is a magical world full of joy and inspiration and I am doing all I can to bring this heaven to earth. 

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