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.