Quote by Juliette Lewis.
I just saw this, and it spoke so true for me that I ended up in tears. When people hear my story, they sometimes say I must be brave. When I speak at events, I’m called brave. None of them feel brave to me. I survived because I fought. At the time this didn’t feel brave, and looking back I did some very cowardly things out of reasonable fear. I didn’t choose to be in the situation I was in. I think bravery is not determined by how extreme a situation is, but by how willing you are to keep going irrespective of how painful it is. We kept fighting despite never knowing if the day would be our last. That fear keeps hitting me in waves lately – we couldn’t afford to feel it at the time. But that heavy stomach sensation of dread whenever we closed our eyes. Would we wake up again? Whenever we opened our eyes too… would we make it through today? We had no idea. But we kept going, because the alternative was to give up. And that we wouldn’t do.
But by far the bravest thing is continuing when I wanted/want to die. That takes such a deeper and more profound level of inner strength – to not only face pain, but to face it knowing that actually what you want to do is to give up, and surrender to the pain, and die. It takes a huge amount of energy to just get up in a morning now, not because I’m scared I won’t live, but instead because I’m scared to live. Life scares me, and cripples me with pain. I get to campus, plaster on my big smile, and try to carry on as normal. In reality, I’m going back over and over each suicide attempt and tearing myself to pieces for the fact they didn’t work. I’m dreaming of death. I’m dreaming of the nothingness. I’m dreaming of no pain. No grief. No fear. I want to die. That want and desire consumes me. Chokes me. Leaves me sobbing in a bathroom because I’m still alive.
But I keep going. Why? Because as much as all I want to do is to die, I equally don’t want the abusers to win. And it sickens me to the core to think about how joyous they’d be if they discovered they’d finally won. Finally, after all these years, I’d snapped and given in. Surrendered to them. I wouldn’t be here to see their joy, but I can well imagine, and worse…it would fuel them, make them feel invincible, and god knows what child would suffer more as a result of me giving up.
So I have to continue my life. But I really do not want to. I just want to die. I just want to be away from all of this.
But I will not let them win, so I force myself up and force myself to do things.
That’s the bravest and most difficult thing I’ve ever done. And I have to do it everyday. The quote is so powerful, and so so true.