Thank you for the compliment--coming from you, it's fuel to keep me warm for the week!
I didn't have anyone to tell me it wasn't the end of my life. Every time I felt myself flagging and losing my will to struggle and succeed, I remembered my mother, and it was like the sting of the lash driving me on. I was damned well determined to survive her abuse, though I thought of it in terms of not letting her win. My next oldest sister, who was battered as well as emotionally abused, felt the same. We supported each other, telling each other we were going to survive our mother and make good lives for ourselves.
It's funny. I still hate to talk about being abused. (I stopped writing for five years after a fight with my mother.) But I do it at appearances when asked, because I know it's important to some of those in the audience. So definitely, no silence and no shame.