My mother was never tired of commenting on how I didn’t do my laundry correctly: I didn’t separate correctly, picked the wrong cycles, and I also ironed and folded without following correct procedure.

It’s ironic that I had to be the one in my family who aired our dirty laundry.

For a long time, it was hard for me to write about my memories and experiences; putting them in writing felt scary because it made them real. But I was also fighting against programming that has survivors keep our abusers’ secrets for so long.

It is not until you discover the wet towel someone left at the bottom of the laundry basket, that you really see the need to air that mess out.

For me, the wet towel was what I call The Ambush. My parents “happened” to turn up at my sister’s place when I was visiting. It was about 6 months into going no contact. This ambush finally made me feel angry enough about their disrespect toward me and my boundaries that I suddenly didn’t feel guilty for sharing my story (at least in the privacy of a forum). Since they obviously felt no guilt about going against my expressed wishes, why should I feel any about going against theirs?

At first my opening up was about exposing my abusers’ secrets, but afterwards, it became more and more about processing and healing for myself.

Do you have any towels sitting at the bottom of your laundry basket? Maybe it’s time to air them out.

Fly free,


we love to read your comments belowPS. I am not suggesting you start a blog about your experiences. At least not when you are first setting out on your journey. Start by sharing some of your experiences with fellow survivors. Like in the SwanWaters Facebook Group.


Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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