Hi lovies, there is something I have not shared with you. I keep telling myself it's because of your age but that's not true. The real reason is that I haven't found my voice yet. So, I'm going to write it all down, think it over, find an afternoon to read this to you and then have a very long conversation about it all.
Several months ago, I had an incident. I sat in a room with someone that made me feel so little, so gross, so belittled, so wrong. But they were so evil, so ugly, so awful...and I did nothing. I sat on my hands and I did nothing. I listened, I got teary-eyed, I whispered when I did speak, I had the weakest of voices when I did answer questions, and then, someone else had to swoop in and save the girl. He had to save me from the situation. He, of course, did not feel this way. His profession is such that he defends all day long. He doesn't allow people to be taken advantage of and the second he saw the direction the conversation was going in, he stopped it. He is a very kind man, he is caring. He understands that life can be hard on people sometimes and he could feel how wrong this was and he made it stop. For me, he spoke up for me. Because that is what he was there to do, protect the situation and I was part of the situation.
I, continued to sit. And although I am so grateful for him being there with me, I had to have him there no matter what, I am just very disappointed in myself. Anna, all I could do was picture you. Your desire to also appease, your ability to sit quietly and listen when you are being spoken to, your want to make things right. I was picturing me watching you do this. I pictured your little shoulders bearing this weight, I pictured your head down, cowering. I pictured your big blue eyes filling with tears, I pictured your voice, shakey, upset and sitting in your rightness, but not knowing what else to say.
See, sometimes, it's good to sit silently. Sometimes, it's important to have people feel heard. Sometimes, the words you do use, they will not land, not when someone is in that place. All of that was true in this case. But, the one thing I could have done and should have done is refused to join in the disgusting way he wanted to act. He asked me to join in and I did. And then I felt like I had to be saved, and I was. And that was wrong of me.
Yes, I needed to be more silent than loud. Yes, me speaking the truth would not have mattered, it would not have been heard. Yes, they needed to feel heard and go through a tantrum. But I needed to speak up for what was wrong with the way I was being asked to join in. When I picture you there sweetie, I am mad. I am screaming from across the room "make that stop right now and don't you dare Anna". I feel like I let you down, I wasn't proud of how I handled that and I let you down. That was not a moment I could have you watch and feel good about. I was embarrassed by who I became in that moment. I was embarrassed and mad at myself more than anyone else.
So, I'm sorry sweet girl. I know you weren't there and I know I can decide not to ever share this with you but here's the most important lesson of all...it wasn't my fault. When you are in that situation, your reaction is your reaction. Someone else is trying to get you to react, force rage out of you, make you feel small. And, we react the way our bodies react. I go in, and I shut down. I can work on this, yes. But when in this situation, this is more likely than not how I will respond. I can fight to get a little stronger, a little more set and find a way to say this stops now. But, more likely than not, I won't.
Luckily, I had a clear thinker in the room. And there was no way he felt like he was saving the girl. He was just doing his job, what he was there to do. And as angry as I am that he needed to swoop in and be my voice, well, sometimes we need an advocate and I was smart enough to have that represented. My strength comes in different forms I guess and yours will too.