Afraid To Be Me?

I recently wrote a piece called, “Gay… and Terrified“.

A few hours after I published it, I talked to a friend who “came out” to me as a victim of domestic violence. She is not gay, but she is leaving and she is absolutely terrified about it. It turns out that her “real me” is all of these things that her husband finds intolerable – strong, creative, social, brave, beautiful, and on and on – and she, like me all those years ago, is leaving.

This is terrifying in so many familiar ways because… well, there are so many really fine reasons to feel terrified. For example:

  • Being a single mother, which may very well be the only thing on this planet harder than being a mother.
  • Being financially responsible for herself and her young children.
  • Being forced to eventually leave her children alone with a man that she knows doesn’t have/isn’t capable of having their best interest at heart.
  • Being alone.
  • Being rejected by at some part, if not a large part of their shared community – including friends, in-laws, and in some cases even her family.
  • Being all of the things that for years she said she couldn’t be because he was holding her back.
  • Being all of the things that she will realize she still is, even in his absence.
  • Being crazy… because that what he’s told everyone for years when she tried to leave and didn’t, or left and returned, or sent him away and then let him come back. What if he is right?

I could go on and on but we all know how this works, right?

Next: Afraid? Perhaps. Be you anyway.

It can feel terrifying to free some previously imprisoned part of ourselves, to step into something that has always been true, even if we didn’t know about it. The door is opened and it feels to good to be a whole person.

And, I’ve watched people come out of all sorts of closets: You are creative. You are strong. You are gay or not. You talk to dead people or not. You are a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Witch, or a New Age Spiritual Woo Woo Master… or not. You are an artist. You are a singer, a vegetarian, or the kind of woman who gives birth in a bathtub at home… or not. You are a million beautiful and wonderful pieces of magic, woven together perfectly… making you exactly what the world needs you to be.

Once we’ve accepted a piece of our self puzzle and snapped it into place, it may mean that to live in our integrity, things that used to be true for us are simply no longer true. There can be lots of terror in that, in the letting go or at least being willing to let go, of the parts of your life that aren’t real.

Terrified? Yes, perhaps… but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Come out, come out, wherever you are! The world needs the real you. You need the real you. And, I’m a real-you junkie… waiting for you to show yourself.

30 comments

Ajla C.
Past Member 4 years ago

thanks

Becky Leiby
Becky Leiby5 years ago

Really needed this today. Thank you.

Kerry Stuparitz
Kerry G.5 years ago

thanks

Emil Perera
Emil Perera5 years ago

Purpose is to live happy rather living unhappy life,fear,freedom is essential to gain a good mentality.
Thank you for good article to awareness of society

Helen Allard
Helen A.5 years ago

I married 5 times, I guess looking for daddy who left when I was in the 2nd grade and sick. I think that moma married the first man who asked her and it was awful. Everyone says to come out but it still isn't easy. I don't know if I ever want to be with another man in my life. I kinda like being by myself b/c its safe here. No sense in going into what happened b/c all of our stories sound about the same and I kinda think at times that that is funny how we all were duped in the same way. We are such weird creatures. I hope I didn't hurt anyones feelings.

Danny Madzhurova
Danny M.5 years ago

Thank you!

Lynda G.
Lynda G.5 years ago

The decision can seem overwhelming and hopefully once the decision is made family and friends add support because it won't be an easy transition, learning to be yourself is a bumpy ride but stick with it, the journey will be worth the effort. I wish your friend well.

Christy Farr
Christy Farr5 years ago

Dianne... bless you, sister. Thank you for posting.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson5 years ago

In 1979, I came out. I'd been battered,raped,abused, dominated,threatened and called crazy.Suddenly ,I was OUT. I,too, was terrified. He kept my kids, trying to continue the domination into the court system.He was a hospital department head and expected to be able to put me through" hell by court date" then,by his position (and his malehood ) to win. My mental health doctor asked me to" let it go ", to focus on getting well and strong.He asked me to '''find Dianne" to "learn to be free". Thank GOD for that advice. Since then I've become a student , an employee,a Mom( as soon as my kids were allowed to choose, they came to me). I've been a good wife --twice and, now a widow --twice. I've been a nursing assistant,I've worked in a nursing home ,done home and hospice care,Worked in the Heart Center of a major big city Hospital and at a small town hospital in Northern Minnesota. I'm a friend ,neighbor volunteer,an activist,and a Church lady.I'm busy being Dianne. PLEASE BE BRAVE. Get strong. Then go find AND BE YOU! Remember, you've survived worse.

Dotti Lydon
Dotti L.5 years ago

Gary Stewart and Kathlene Lentz, thank you for sharing your stories. And also thanks to Christy for the great article.