What Courage Looks Like

Our narratives around courage are lopsided. We recognize derring do, rushing into bad situations. Even when it’s poorly thought out or downright suicidal, we reward that kind of behavior by calling it bravery.

We’re not nearly as good at recognizing the courage required to hold our ground. I don’t know why exactly, maybe because we want to be able to intimidate people with our strength rather than having to use it. Whatever the reason, it’s wrong to forget or discount this kind of courage. It takes real bravery to face opposition with the power to hurt you–physically, emotionally, or through damage to your social standing–and persevere.

So I got a little emotional when I saw this today.

Screen cap of pic from Melody Hensley. Text in the post.

I will relapse. I will be retraumatized. I will come back. One day I hope to conquer this disorder and feel in control every day.

She shared a pic of one of her dogs with David Futrelle, too, after he wrote a very supportive post over at Man Boobz. It’s not business as usual, but it is claiming her Twitter account as something harassment can’t take from her. That’s brave as hell, especially given that the abuse goes on.

If you’d like to reward Melody’s bravery, you can send her a supportive message, either on Twitter or here (where the comments are screened for her), or you can donate to a campaign she set up to raise money earmarked for PTSD research. Even if you don’t do that, though, at the very least you should recognize it for the courage it is.

What Courage Looks Like
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9 thoughts on “What Courage Looks Like

  1. 1

    I see that the haters wasted no time in flocking to the fundraising page to say still more shitty things to/about her in the comments. The cognitive dissonance it must take to pursue someone across all corners of the internet for years on end for the express purpose of harassing them for speaking out about harassment–it just makes my brain hurt.

    I do think you’re courageous, Melody, and you have my complete support.

  2. 2


    I think that behavior is also partially an attack on those who wish to show support for Melody, so they can harass them (us) directly or by harassing Melody. So, not only is she a direct target, but she also takes collateral damage which they also just don’t care about, or rather enjoy.

    Of course, when calling attention to a problem means necessarily calling attention to oneself, that just makes one a bigger target as well. It’s a very damning situation. Which does take bravery to deal with.

  3. 6

    You don’t know whether someone is strong until they’ve been tested. The way that someone reacts to trauma is a good way to do that — but an even bigger test is how other people respond to them in turn. And I have no problem seeing who’s strong and tough and who’s despicably weak and small in this situation.

    I support you, Melody.

  4. 7

    Christ what a shitshow on Melody’s Twitter. I don’t know why, but just started at the top of her TL and started replying with facts and a dose of mockery (my specialty). Makes me wonder what would happen if decent people completely overwhelmed them and made them look (and feel) like the clueless fools they are.

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