I am often told that I am brave, and I feel uncomfortable with that expression. For I feel for most of my life, I had little choice but to be “brave”. When you live inside male violence, not giving up is brave.
Only when, I view my time then, I can see that I could not let fear in for it would of destroy me.
As a child, I was known as a “brave girl” for I never cried. The last time I remember that I cried, was from pain was when I was six. Then I cut my knee and got poison in the cut.
Then I cried – only for my mum to say I was a baby.
I never cried again in public.
As a teenager, I made a fantasy that I was brave for I could not feel pain.
This was proved as men treated my body as a dustbin. They would hurt me in all parts of my body, and I felt nothing. If I did feel pain – I know to smile. I know I had to pleased the men to stay alive.
I never thought why I felt so little. Why I made everything into films.
I never thought I was in a constant state of fear.
I had closed from seeing that I had reach a bottom.
Now, I can see that time. I do not think “brave” is the right word for who I was then.
Courage is nearer, not right, but nearer. For me “courage” is a more emotional word.
It expresses a situation where there seemed to no exit except imagination and the will not to be destroyed.
It takes courage to know to be passive and silent, when so much wants to fight back, When I was abused by men, if I had been brave and fought, I think I would of been killed.
Instead, I went into myself, and place my hate and anger in my heart. For, I know if I got away from the life I was living, one day I would say who those men really were.
Courage is prepared to be patience. Courage believes that there is life outside male violence.
Now, I can speak out, I feel so proud that child and young woman lived.
As I say their truths, I will not turn away when it is hard. For, if they had the courage to believe there could be a future. Then I must have the courage to lie bare their realities.