There are days like today when, as I’ve written before, I want to be public about who I really am: use my real name, give a few facts about my day-to-day life, and so forth.
Because today I have something really cool that I could share — if only I were out from behind the pseudonym of Lucy Johnson. As it is, it would reveal too much, could jeopardize my anonymity.
I love Lucy (no offense to Lucille Ball, of course). Lucy is part of me, a big part of me. Her story is my story, to the letter, literally.
I could say she IS me, and it would be the truth, naturally. Because everything in the book is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent … and the guilty.
I worked hard to get my real name back, to shed my abusive first husband’s last name and reclaim my sense of self. I’m still working on that.
In working on my speech, of course, I’ve avoided the obvious question: How can I speak publicly and not reveal who I really am? Do I introduce myself as Lucy Johnson, author if “I Am Just A Woman”? Do I introduce myself as, well, myself? Do I use my real first name and then explain why I used a pseudonym to write my memoir?
The fact is, I don’t know how risky it would — will — be for me to tell my story, give speeches and talk to men and women about domestic violence using my real name.
He’s still out there. He knows where I live. Revealing my identity will reveal his, and I’m damn sure he’s worked very hard to hide everything he did to me and to our daughter. He’s denied it all to everyone who would listen.
I don’t know how to measure the risk. I only know that today, I can’t write about this wonderful thing in my life that’s happening right now, this very moment, because it feels … scary.
I’m tired of being afraid.