Colbie Holderness, Rob Porter‘s first ex-wife, penned an op-ed for Washington Post where she spoke about what it was like surviving and recovering from her abusive relationship with him.
Holderness began by slamming Kellyanne Conway for her most recent media appearances to defend Trump’s handling of the scandal (which included him dismissing the multiple accusations against Porter). She eventually took issue with what the White House counselor said, arguing that Conway effectively stated that strong women wouldn’t let themselves get abused by their partners.
From there, Holderness offered her thoughts on the strength it took to survive the relationship, and how difficult it is to talk about what happened.
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.
After talking about the challenges of putting her life back together, Holderness returned to the scandal and wrote about how Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have tried to defend the president
“While I cannot say I am surprised, I expected a woman to do better,” Holderness said. “Conway and I definitely agree on one thing she said during that interview: “There’s a stigma and a silence surrounding all these issues…Those who are in a position to do something about it ought to.”
In certain ways, Holderness’ comments echo those of Jennie Willoughby, Porter’s second ex-wife, who recently came out with her own op-ed slamming the White House for effectively painting her as a liar.
[Image via screengrab]