I'm beginning to hear from women who are finally coming out of the shadows and seeking support. I commend them for their bravery in coming forward and sharing their stores. Bravo to you!!! These women have thanked me for providing a community for them but truth be told it is as much for me as it is for them. Community, fellowship, peer support or whatever you choose to call it is healing and it makes us realize that we are not alone. There is safety in numbers and my hope is that more women will come forward and seek the support they need and deserve.
I've spoken at length about guilt by association and the stigma that goes along with being a white collar wife. The shame and humiliation alone are enough to down even the strongest of women and the women I have spoken with are survivors of the most admiral kind. Having your life obliterated and then having to begin again, (especially if you are over 50), with a life in ruins is like trying to climb Everest in the deepest of winter naked without food or water! It is survival on an epic scale. Those of you who have never had to experience this kind of hardship may think I am exaggerating but I'm sure those that are experiencing this new way of being in the world would agree. Dealing with the aftermath of white collar crime is as debilitating as it is exhausting. Rebuilding a life does not happen overnight. It takes years to stabilize emotionally as well as financially. Seeing our children suffer is the worst part of the fallout. People are so quick to judge without all of the facts but the truth is we are also victims of this horrific crime and should never be judged or punished.
I'm sure my very well intentioned and beloved friends wonder why I still reach out to my fellow victims when in their minds I should simply try to move on and away from this chapter of my life. But the horrors of white collar crime continue because I am STILL living in the throes of the aftermath and will continue to do so for some time to come. And how can I walk away knowing the pain and suffering other white collar wives are enduring? It is common knowledge among us that this kind of catastrophic event is far reaching and long lasting. There was no place for me to get help and support when I needed it most. My goal in keeping a light on is that I want women to know that they are not alone. That there is a place for them to go to feel safe, heard and supported. The death rattle of our former lives echos in our hearts and souls and those of our children.
There are those that have little to no sympathy for women who once led a comfortable life and who are now facing such extreme hardships. To those people I say that I hope you never have to experience anything as devastating as what we are experiencing. Through no fault of our own we are left, in many cases, impoverished and without the necessary skills, (more on this in my next blog), to work a job that will support ourselves or care for our children. For these reasons and so many more, I cannot walk away from this pain and suffering and do nothing.
Many thanks to the strong women who have come to find me and help me along my way. We will keep a light burning for others as they try to find their way out of the darkness and into the light. Please join us at The Secret Lives of White Collar Wives on face book, (closed group), or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org