I’ve been a big fan of Melissa Benoist from the moment she danced across my screen wearing a pageboy cap in “Glee.” I’ve watched as she got married, divorced and took to the skies as Supergirl.
She’s always been someone who I looked to as a hero. Someone stronger than her character — and she’s a woman of steel. I never had a clue how strong she truly was.
Benoist recently disclosed she is a survivor of domestic violence and intimate partner violence (IPV). In her emotional video, Benoist describes how she fell for her abusive ex-partner and elaborates on how her relationship turned from healthy, to emotionally abusive, before becoming violent.
Throughout the entire video, however, Benoist refrains from sharing his name. The moment I started watching her video, it hit me just how strong Benoist is. Even while describing what can only be defined as pure and utter terror, she gave hope to others. I could never understand her pain, but what I do know is it takes a very strong person to speak openly about a painful time in their life without putting the abuser on blast.
We live in a culture where “canceling” people is more important than objective facts, but that was not her aim. She simply wanted to share her story and provide others with the resources to do the same. There is nothing more selfless than that.
She shared painful moments in her life, not to gain fame or sympathy, but out of a deep respect and love for the people who look up to her. As one of those people, I can tell you honestly, I have never seen her so strong. And that’s saying something because I’ve literally watched Supergirl carry buildings.
If you can relate to her situation, take hope in her words. I’ve always been proud to call myself a fan, but this is a new level. Melissa, thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for showing us our idols are not perfect and they don’t claim to be. Your heartbreaking honesty gives thousands of people in your position the strength to do the same.