And there seems to sort of be two reasons why…
First, my friend pointed out something pretty interesting to me. I was telling him a story about this thing that had happened in the cab line at JFK. And I started by telling him the reasons I was taking a cab.
“I know I could’ve taken the train, but it was late and I had all this stuff, and just the cabs were right there.” [and blah blah blah]
And he was like, “Do you know you do this all the time?”
“You are always justifying your decisions to me – why you take various modes of transport, why you eat what you eat. Every story starts with something like, ‘I was doing this [completely normal] thing because……’ You know, it’s really normal to take a cab from JFK, right? That’s not a detail of a story I’d ever be confused by, or need clarification on…”
Then he basically said, “You do know I’m not actually counting your steps, or your calories, or the dollars in your bank account or anything else, right? You’re allowed to have a chocolate covered banana. You’re allowed to take an uber somewhere instead of walk if you want. You’re allowed to get home from JFK however you want. You’re allowed to live.”
And I hadn’t really noticed that. But it makes sense to me. Sexual assault guy was always questioning everything I did and always mansplaining how to do it better. (I feel like I don’t really use the word “mansplaining” all that much, but it’s never been more appropriate than sexual assault guy. He is the king of it. So, while it’s an overused word, I find it appropriate here.)
And so now, apparently, I just started every story pre-answering the questions and judgements I “know” are coming.
But, as my friend pointed out, I really don’t have to do that. And that’s kind of free and liberating!
Really. It’s amazing, isn’t it?! I hope I really take that in. It was such a nice (and astute!) observation from my friend!
The second reason I’m gonna expand on tomorrow, but basically, I feel defensive so often is because I feel like I’m always defending (whether it be in my mind, or on the blog, or to new people hearing the story, or friends I want to better understand what happened, or whomever), my decisions and what happened, and who this guy is, and all of it.
And I get that my goal is to tell a complete story, and that people will have questions. but I’m exhausted! (And the story is pretty darn complete. And a lot of things have been answered.)
And I’ll just get into this all tomorrow.