Big Strong Yes #24. The Whole Truth

edited January 2018 in Big Strong Yes
In this episode of Big Strong Yes, story expert Lani Diane Rich and researcher Dr. Kelly Jones tell their authentic truth inspired by Chapter 5: Yes to Speaking the Whole Truth from Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes.


  • Hello Lani.

    Long time listener and fan, first time poster. I haven't been following BSY, but following the recent activity on Twitter I felt I needed to listen to the latest episode.

    It can't have been easy to bare your soul. I admire the hell out of you.

    I really had no idea. I'd picked up on a few things over the last year, but as little was said openly I made certain assumptions and continued to follow you both on Twitter and your new sites.

    I was one of those who'd been staying neutral, because I do love the work you both do. In good conscience, I can't do that any more. The problem with sociopaths is they can be so charming, but once you know the truth, it's like the breaking of a spell.

    Stay strong. I wish you all the very best.


  • Hey Lani,

    When you speak your truth, as difficult as it is, you open the way for others to also speak theirs. You know this from A Year and A Change. Your strength and honesty created an entire community of people, many still remain connected, years later, who care and support each other. This is a direct result of your courage.

    I am so sorry that #2 was able to hurt you because of your courage and vulnerability, but I am so happy that you spoke your truth in public, as painful as it is. I hope that you are able to heal and move on, and I believe your capacity to love will be rewarded.

    Big Love Lani,


  • Hi Lani,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I know this wasn't about us, but I hope you know that you just gave us all a little bit of armor. Like white witch Willow with the axe :) You can't save us, you can't protect us, but you can help make us stronger.

    So thank you <3

    In return for this gift you've given us, I'd like to share this lovely musical homage to Prophesy Girl from bufferingcast. It's a bit melancholy, but also hopeful and cathartic. I hope you can find as much bittersweet joy in it as I do.

    Also, if you need some assistance washing the Number 2 out of your love for Buffy, maybe the delightful gals at bufferingcast could help :) This song is sad, but most of them are just really goddamn fun. (There's one for every episode they've done so far!!)

    And I think you'll get that extrovert girl back. She'll be older, wiser, more badass, and probably make better financial decisions :) I kinda think maybe you already did :)

    Lots of love and just keep fighting <3


  • I know I'm late, but I'm just catching up on BSY and these last few episodes have been incredibly moving and powerful.

    Lani, I deeply admire your courage and openness. You did what was right.

    Kelly, I hope other people have said this before now, maybe on twitter or on discord, but you did try to leave. You didn't voluntarily stay with him, you tried to break up with him and his response was to trap you in your home and literally threaten you at gunpoint.
    Please don't blame yourself for what he did to you under threat of murder.

    To quote Judith Herman's Trauma and Recovery: "The historian Lucy Dawidowicz points out that "complicity" and "cooperation" are terms that apply to situations of free choice. They do not have the same meaning in situations of captivity."

    But emotional manipulation, isolation, lies, financial dependence etc can be just as effective as brute force and weapons. To anyone reading this: just because you didn't (couldn't) leave, doesn't make it your fault if you were abused.

    Again, thank you both for making this podcast and being so open and honest. It's such a positive force in my life.

  • This must be so useful for abuse survivors. But also for those who are loving them and bewilderingly watching on desperate for them to leave.

    My friend is in her 2nd emotionally abusive relationship. I can't tell you how frustrated I was that history was repeating itself. I had seen the Hollywood film's, the first abusive relationship was MEANT to make her loveself and be with someone amazing. So when she found someone two weeks after the first one left who was all of 1st bad traits magnified it was so disappointing. She was finally free and she chose him.

    Nearly everytime I see her he is screaming at her and I walk away from her house and I feel angry with her. She earns plenty of money she has enough in savings for a deposit to rent a flat and afford the rent and pay bills. She has friends and family who love her and would give her whatever she needs to get out.

    So it was an eye opener to hear your sides. I knew it was complicated and I'll probably never know how complicated and I'll probably continue to feel frustrated she isn't pursuing a relationship she deserves.

    But none the less you taking about it like this is SO valuable.
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