“At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.” —Gavin De Becker Gift of Fear
I believe it’s possible to be both anonymous and brave simultaneously without any kind of mental gymnastics. After all, bravery comes in many forms; ask any Gryffindor.
Definitions of “brave” are pretty consistent. “Brave” means having the mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty. (1) The confusion sets in when we change “brave” to “bravery.” The word bravery allows foolishness, rashness, to creep into our understanding. To take unnecessary risk becomes the hallmark of bravery. I’m not interested in undertaking bravery, but I will be brave.
You see, I’m going to tell you my story and in my story there is a man. If you asked me if this man would ever be capable of killing me, I couldn’t say “no” with any confidence. I know now that there is a great well of anger in this man. I know that he has a serious personality disorder and psychotic breaks from reality. I know that he needs me to keep hiding his horrible truth from the world and telling that truth is not allowed. Telling the truth is a punishable offense.
But I need to tell you the truth. I need to heal. I need others to know my truth, either to help them to never experience the same or to offer solidarity for those who relate. So, standing in the company of many centuries of brave woman, I will do my best to stay anonymous.