Had you told me a month ago that I would tell an urgent care doctor to shut up, I would have laughed in your face. Had you told me a year ago that I would ARGUE with a cop when he pulled me over, I would have fallen over in a dead faint. And had you told me at any point in my life that I would be discussing the political side of homosexuality with my mother, I would have just known that I was dreaming. But I have done all of these.
I must credit some of this to my dear Amy who tagged me in her post of questions. I do intend to write the post answering the questions, but there has been one that has stood out in my mind and so I'm going cheat a little and tell you about it first. If I could go back and change one thing, what would it be? This has always been a bit of a difficult question for me. When I was younger I would say the abuse would have never happened, or the assault that left my bra broken, the buttons on my shirt ripped off and my sense of safety ripped to shreds. There have been points in my life I would have said that I would have changed the eating disorder, the abusive boyfriend, or the allowed touches that I could and should have stopped. But the reality is that I wouldn't change those things. They hurt me, inexpressibly. Sometimes I hurt me, sometimes others hurt me but always they hurt. And yet I wouldn't change them. They've made me who I am now. They've given me strength to face other hard things. They have given me the compassion to share with others in the same situations. They've given me the ability to look at my dear friend and say "Please don't walk down this road, it will cost you more than you can ever understand. I know, I've walked it."
So what would I have changed? I would have found my voice sooner. I would have not been afraid for as long as I was to speak up. The abuse may not have gone on as long if I would have not cowered and changed my mind when I tried to talk about it. I would have pressed charges against those who attacked me, and gone through the pain of the legal process, to have stood up for myself and hopefully protect another girl in the future. I would have asked the questions that I wanted to have answers for without worrying that I would get in trouble for asking questions. I would have found my voice and used it and not worried that I was being difficult or contrary.
I guess I finally found it. A year ago an officer pulled me over. He was rude to the core and was yelling at me before he had even asked for my license and registration. He told me I broke the law. I informed him that I didn't, that I had followed the traffic sign exactly. He told me I cut someone off. I informed him that I had merged into traffic and the car in question never had to brake until the officer turned on his lights and cut her off. I don't know what got into me that day but I had had it and I wasn't going to be bullied by this officer on a power trip when I hadn't done anything wrong. He was grumpy about it, but he realized he had no legitimate reason to ticket me, yelled at me some more and then got in his car without ticketing me and sped off. Hubby tells everyone this story.
When I was so sick the past few weeks, the on call doctor at my doctor's office sent me to urgent care. I had a bad reaction to albuterol and she wanted me to get checked out and also rule out blood clots. I tired to tell the urgent care doctor about my reaction and she kept nodding and saying, "Yeah, that's all normal." Finally, completely fed up with being talked down to and repeatedly interrupted, I looked her dead in the eye and said, "Fine, since you aren't going to listen to what I'm saying to you, why don't you just finish up what you want to say and I can leave and go somewhere else where they will listen to find out what is wrong with me." She was taken aback. I was a little surprised at my gumption but I felt so horrible physically that I just didn't care about tact anymore. She claimed she was listening to me. I let her know she wasn't, that every time she asked me a question she interrupted me before I could answer it. Suddenly the b.s. stopped, the talking down to me stopped and the attitude stopped and she was a real doctor. I told a doctor off!
I argued very exaggerated stats that my mom threw at me regarding homosexuality. I talked politics with my mom and maintained my stance and my sanity. While in the mental hospital, I told the therapist assigned to me that I refused to say another word to him, that I did want to work through my issues but not with him and I would not talk unless assigned a different therapist.
I've found my voice. Now so far up to this point the times I have used it have been because I was so exasperated that I didn't care what the end result was but nonetheless, I have used it.
Yes, I really did just say that!