I’ve been called ‘brave’ a lot recently. I’ve also been called ‘stupid’ within several victim-shaming comments. Whether it was within the comments section or on a Twitter RT, I must admit that to me, I have not been brave.
It certainly wasn’t brave of me to absolutely collapse as soon as the negative comments came pouring though. I ended up hibernating in bed, the duvet covering my shame, my body convulsing with the heaviness of tears trying their hardest to escape. That day took me back to my darkest days – my depression getting the best of me and almost killing me. My poor beloved boyfriend had to listen to me talking about death. I was much more cowardly than brave that day.
It wasn’t brave of me lying to my mum about not taking time off work for depression. She doesn’t (and still doesn’t) know that my mood over the Christmas break – which she noticed was not my usual state of mind – continued throughout the whole of January and spilling into most of February. I could have been brave and told all of my family about it, but I didn’t, because I was ashamed. Yet again, more cowardice.
I didn’t feel particularly brave writing about my experience with Revenge Porn. It wasn’t really for anybody else apart from me. It was a way to find some sort of closure. It did in fact help a bit, but not as much as I first thought. After some of the comments came through, my brain jumped to the conclusion that the article will follow me around, therefore letting the experience follow me around. I would never be rid of it, and will always be blamed by others who don’t even know me. I regretted publishing it, and that isn’t brave at all. It shows more of my cowardly side when really I should of been fighting harder for those other people who have had similar experiences. Sorry guys.
I appreciate every person who told me I was indeed brave for writing up my story, and honestly cannot thank them enough for their support.
I think everybody who reaches out to anyone simply to say nice things and even to share their stories are incredibly brave. They saw a story similar to their own and decided to thank that stranger, as well as describe the experience they have gone through. I may have told my story indirectly to lots of strangers, but they came directly to me, some internet lady, and decided to trust and support me. If that’s not brave (and also super nice) then I don’t know what is.