Last week, my ex-husband, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, emerged from a year of silence to pen an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. It was a seemingly benign and inconspicuous return to a world he was compelled to leave a year ago. But it was not benign or inconspicuous to me.
By now, we've all seen the videos and formed our opinions on those Covington Catholic School boys. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of blame, fake news, bullying, or disrespect, one thing sticks out in every narrative: that smirk. It is not a smirk of an inherently evil or bad person.
My name is Jennie Willoughby. I was married to former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter from 2009 to 2013, during which time I endured regular emotional and physical abuse, of which I rarely spoke until last year.
Even people who knew me did not know the details of my marriage. You see, society encourages us to keep some secrets hidden. But in an attempt to conquer the shame that had been plaguing me for the three years since my divorce, I chose to reveal my darkest one online.
America is rolling over to show her ugly, racist, underbelly in broad daylight for the first time in decades, and many seem shocked and horrified to see it. I am not. Many people are shaking their heads muttering, "This is not what America is about."
The world is in a state of rebirth. As with all major shifts, these times of sadness, war, fear, hatred, divisiveness, anger, and mistrust are here to awaken a new state of consciousness. As a people, we grow through pain. As a species, we heal through growth.