Last week at group meeting I asked again. It was mostly different women this time, and I wanted more perspective. This time the answer was almost unanimous. You don't need to.
No one said it was the wrong choice. All spoke from experience, some had shared and some had not. But they all agreed that it was not what I needed to heal. That isn't to say that for some it didn't help, but for some it didn't. And for those who had managed to keep their secret hidden, they had survived and did so without resenting their husband in the process.
It is often said to the new-comers at our group meeting "Keep coming back until you get your miracle." All the seasoned women have had individual experiences where they felt the healing power of the atonement mend their broken hearts. As they described to me their various experiences, they reassured me that this moment would come for me, in some way, regardless of whether or not I decided to tell my brother.
As I thought about this over the past week I realized the truth of what they said. After questioning my motives over and over I finally got to the bottom of it. And ultimately I realized that what I wanted from sharing my struggle with someone who loves me, is pity. I want someone to feel sorry for me because I'm darn good at feeling sorry for myself, and it's starting to get lonely at these pity parties.
I don't think that pity is necessarily bad. I think the results are support and compassion and we all know that those are extremely helpful for us along our journey. But I know that I will be okay without my brother's support and compassion. It might not seem fair for Pete to deny me this request. I've asked him and myself many times "You've thrust this burden upon me, after all I've done to forgive you and support you, who are you to refuse me this opportunity?"
But whether or not his answer to me is reasonable, I know I must respect it for the sake of our relationship. I'm also coming to understand that I can't heal from this until I am willing to lay it ALL at the altar. Seeing myself as the victim, and portraying myself as such to my family members might even hinder my progress. Having said that, I hope for the day when Pete and I are comfortable sharing. I hope for the opportunity to involve at least some members of my family in my recovery.
For now I'm seeking my miracle. I'm waiting for the quiet whisper that says "I'm here. I understand your suffering. I love you."