Friday, April 6, 2012

Wearing my heart on my...

Let me tell you a story. It's about me. Maybe it's about you, too.

The other day when you forced yourself to pretend you weren't bothered by something even though you were really, really bothered by it and you wanted to say, THIS MAKES ME FEEL SAD AND ANGRY AND TRIGGERED! NOTICE THAT I AM NOT OKAY! But then you didn't? That day?

I hated that day. I bet you hated it, too.

I thought hard about why we didn't say anything. I think I was just bracing myself for all the things I didn't want to hear, all the dismissals. So I dismissed myself before anyone else could. Don't be so sensitive, Elizabeth. Stop taking everything so personally. I started checking under the bed for my sense of humor, my thicker skin. And you and I, we tried to learn to take a joke.

This happens to us all the time.

If I had been braver, I might have said...

  • I don't think jokes about domestic violence are funny. 
  • That scene in that movie made me feel uncomfortable. I didn't want to watch it. I just talked about the cinematography because I didn't want you to think I was a prude.  
  • It bothers me when I hear people making fun of that girl who dresses differently. It doesn't just bother me. It makes me worry. Do people say things like that about me, too?
  • That comment about other people's religious beliefs was hard to hear. I really want to honor the faith of others, even when it's not my faith.

If I had been braver, I might have let my heart show. But I was afraid to let them see it broken. This is a story about me. Is it a story about you, too?

love, elizabeth


Katharine John said...

Definitely resonate with this! I always feel like I'm going to be attacked if I speak up, but the reality is that when I don't stand up for someone or something I believe in... well, the attacking is still taking place.

A Spinster's Guide to Dating said...

I. LOVE. THIS. Way to be an example.

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

I totally understand. I've become the person who people say, "Oh, we can't make that joke around Ashley...she's too sensitive." So rather than thinking about their own behavior, they single me out because I do say something. But if you don't...then you hurt like you describe in this post. How do we "win"?

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