A reader-writer here on Medium commented on my Fuck a Forgiveness Platitude piece regarding how confrontation was, for her, the first step in coming to terms with what the aggressor has done to her. And I spun, a little. In my casual memory, I was mostly in agreement with her; confronting my aggressor crystalizes my anger and makes the disrespect and neglect a tangible hurt that I can toss at the sun in the hopes that the gleam of its enraged facets will hit the asshole hard enough to make him think. But, there was at least one occasion where I was convinced that I would never confront that person. That I had never confronted him and wouldn’t ever, because there isn’t a single thing I need to come to terms with about that event. My terms came and went. That fuckery is done.
I started writing that piece, the piece that talks about why I wouldn’t confront this dried up shat, past tense intended. And mid second paragraph, I realized:
Well fuck. I did confront Rancid Grundle Butter Jr. I confronted his ass immediately and loudly and was belligerent the entire time. I confronted my parents and nurses and all manner of supposedly safe people who should have helped me. I wasn’t heard. I was a kid and I was being over-sensitive and hormonal because that’s what 12 year old girls are, and I was not heard.
So, that post is out. So’s any introspection I was about to do regarding why I didn’t (because I did) and wouldn’t (because I don’t need to) confront him. Wohoo! Self-improvement holiday!
To be completely honest in (a more complete) response to the original comment, I don’t think me confronting him was the start of me accepting what he did; being clear about my feelings and my boundaries is something I have always prioritized, even when I hated myself and had forgotten myself and wasn’t sure I even wanted to find myself again. I actually spent a large chunk of my high school and college life without having the entire incident in my active brain space at all. It came up randomly years later, possibly after I’d finally found an endocrinologist I trusted, and I have since heavily considered writing about the experience in detail. (This isn’t that post, either; that post needs more research, and I haven’t done enough for it yet.)
I’ve loved reading the responses to that forgiveness piece; I love that women are talking to me and claiming their anger and their space and their strength. I love that (a few) men have talked about how their anger feels to them, without needing to twist my own narrative and with the intention of sharing how sometimes anger isn’t helpful (again, for them). Another friend of mine commented (on Facebook) about DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) founder, Marsha Linehan, and radical acceptance, which kinda made me fall for psychology even more. I appreciate having a community that lets me be who I am without too much fuss. I appreciate being able to have my anger and finally, finally, trusting that I will be heard. Who knows, maybe if I’m always heard, I’ll never be angry and then I can be that mostest lovingest trusterer that drives everyone into a full throttle grimace.
Ha. Like I’d give up an emotion that leads me to rope possum genitalia into an insult. #nope