House of Cards: Secrets, Lies and Denial

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Recently, I was asked why the employee’s family seems to be siding with the employee’s abusive spouse and is refusing to help. The woman asked me, “Why does my employee’s own family not believe her?”


Then she explained the fact that the employee has said their family has been hiding the secret of abuse by their father toward their mother for years. That’s when it all started to make sense.


Here is my response. Maybe it will help some of you who better understand why your employees cannot get help from their own family members.


“They most likely do believe her. It’s most likely they all know she is telling the truth and it absolutely kills them. It infuriates them. It saddens them – for about 5 minutes and then it scares them.


They are all hiding the secret of abuse. Dad has been abusive and they have been taught not to tell. So, they haven’t told. They have done nothing to protect Mom all these years. They are guilty. They are victims. They are probably dealing with abuse in their own homes now as adults. Some of them are likely abusers.


If they side with her then they are admitting that abuse exists and the lies they all have been hiding become truth. Mom may even be unable to admit this out of fear or anger that her daughter is going to stir the pot and cause Dad to turn up his abuse.


How about the kids in the family? If the true definition of abuse comes out, then the cops may show up on their doorsteps. The whole family is sad, angry, hurt, torn, guilty, victimized, and terrified. All they can do is lie and fight on the side of the devil in the hope they can keep their house of cards from falling apart.


Hopefully, your employee will hang tough. They are breaking free. Their toxic family, however, will go on living in bondage to a cruel master and there is nothing that can be done about that until they come out of the F.O.G. (fear obligation and guilt)”


Until Next Time, Be Safe and Be Aware!


Lisa Smith

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