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Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:47 PM

Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Here's what you should know about abuse.

Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Here’s what you should know about abuse.


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Images of Colbie Holderness after an alleged incident with her then-husband Rob Porter in the early 2000s. (Courtesy of Colbie Holderness)
By Colbie Holderness February 12 at 7:39 PM

Colbie Holderness was the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she has no reason not to believe statements that Jennifer Willoughby and I have made about our ex-husband, former White House aide Rob Porter. I actually appreciated her saying that she at least did not not believe us. But I was dismayed when Conway, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” went on to say that she does not fear for White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who has reportedly been dating Porter. “I’ve rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts.”



Borrowing Conway’s words, I have no reason not to believe her when she says that Hicks is a strong woman. But her statement implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong. Recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship take strength. The abuse can be terrifying, life-threatening and almost constant. Or it can ebb and flow, with no violence for long periods. It’s often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly.

For me, living in constant fear of Rob’s anger and being subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth. I walked away from that relationship a shell of the person I was when I went into it, but it took me a long time to realize the toll that his behavior was taking on me. (Rob has denied the abuse, but Willoughby and I know what happened.)

Telling others about the abuse takes strength. Talking to family, friends, clergy, counselors and, later, the FBI, I would often find myself struggling to find the words to convey an adequate picture of the situation. When Rob’s now ex-girlfriend reached out to both Willoughby and me, she described her relationship in terms we each found familiar, immediately following up her description with “Am I crazy?” Boy, I could identify with that question. Then there is the just-as-serious issue of being believed and supported by those you choose to tell. Sometimes people don’t believe you. Sometimes they have difficulty truly understanding what you are trying to tell them. Both Willoughby and I raised our cases with clergy. Both of us had a hard time getting them to fully address the abuse taking place. It wasn’t until I spoke to a professional counselor that I was met with understanding.

. . . . .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rob-porter-is-my-ex-husband-heres-what-you-should-know-about-abuse/2018/02/12/3c7edcb8-1033-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html?utm_term=.843b031e624c

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Reply Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Here's what you should know about abuse. (Original post)
niyad Feb 2018 OP
Eliot Rosewater Feb 2018 #1
niyad Feb 2018 #2
niyad Feb 2018 #3
Sophia4 Feb 2018 #6
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #4
niyad Feb 2018 #5

Response to niyad (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:51 PM

1. I sincerely believe the GOP as a party does not DISBELIEVE her, they simply

believe that women need to be beaten sometimes and there is no reason to punish any man for beating a woman, unless maybe he beats her to death and then maybe, but even then they will have reasons why what he did was OK.

That is the GOP.

And sadly in November millions and millions and millions of WOMEN will vote GOP.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:54 PM

2. sadly, you are quite correct.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:56 PM

3. so many women do not resist the brainwashing of the patriarchal institutions that tell them

that it is god's/society's will that they be abused, that they deserve it.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:51 PM

6. Hitting others is a sign of serious personality problems.

First, it means that you don't have a strong sense of empathy, that you don't feel the pain of others.

Second, it means you are impulsive, that you cannot control yourself and your reactions to things, statements, conduct that you don't like.

A person who hits others needs to deal with his or her lack of self-control and respect for others.

I knew someone who was accused by his daughter of having hit her. He went to the "dependency court" and the judge there required him to go to classes where he learned about his own violent reactions, about self-control, and about how to discipline his daughter without violence, etc. He loved the class so much that he signed up for it a second time.

Porter needs to be brought before a court and sentenced to a class on anger management. Many of us would benefit from that.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:04 PM

4. Five will get you ten that within a week we come across the variation

Five will get you ten that within a week we come across the variation: "if I slap the sh*t out of her when we're both drunk, is it really abuse?"

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:06 PM

5. dear goddess, I had not seen that one. and I worked with dv for many years.

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