Monday, November 21, 2011

Silence and Fear

When I was 19, I dated a man who turned out to have serious mental problems and was prone to violence.  I was able to run away. He hounded me for a few months, but finally he stopped. It took many years for me to feel safe again, to not jump every time I saw a man who looked like him. I stayed underground for a long time. Then, 20 years later, I started a book publishing company and set up a blog and website.

And that's how he found me again.

At first, I wanted to shut down my blog, delete the Medusa's Muse Facebook page, and strike my name from everything I'd ever written or published. I was petrified he'd show up on my front door one day after piecing together information he'd gathered from the net. And the idea that he was now reading about me and my family from four years of blog posts made me sick.

Do I have to destroy everything I've built just to feel safe again?

He wasn't threatening me; he said he just wanted to get in touch.

Why? What can possibly be gained by talking to me?

Staying silent seemed like the best option, and that included staying silent as an artist.

image from

How many of us have been silenced by fear of the past? Or afraid of what the power of our words could bring? How many writers have been gagged because others fear their words? For women, silence is particularly powerful. We are taught to stay quiet, because girls who speak their minds get punished.

He tried to contact me again, but I have decided not to shut down my press, or my blog, or website, or Facebook page. I will not change my name. I will not become quietly anonymous. I am no longer that terrified 19 year old girl hiding in the bathroom because she thinks her boyfriend is going to kill her, staying silent because he said if I made a sound he'd hit me. I am a grown woman with a voice and a vision and yes I'm still afraid. I'm afraid of him. But I won't allow that fear to silence me.

Not anymore.


Rick said...

we will stand by you. never fear.

Mr Lonely said...

nice blog.. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

Shannon Drury said...

When you speak out, I'll be right behind you--even if it's virtually.

Anonymous said...

Fear is a powerful emotion and one I've felt often myself. I still live in fear of bullying, even though I was bullied at school more than 30 years ago. But there comes a time in life when we have to make a stand and remember that we matter. And the bullies don't.

CJ xx