There's been some push-back to this video - people saying some stupid thing like "Way to teach women to not be polite". I disagree. Vehemently. I have to admit, this topic gets my water boiling a bit - so to speak. (You may pick up on this in just a bit).
The message, as I see it, goes so much deeper than many people realize. We all bring our own stories; our own "filters" into the way we view things. My "filter" includes not just my story, but the stories of the women I've come across over the past three years. Women who are so tired of feeling like they're the "bad guy" for asking for ______ (fill in the blank). Women who have been gaslighted and told they were being too demanding; expecting too much; too co-dependent and should be focusing on themselves NOT the behavior of their SA; women who have been told they need to "move on" and "heal", even though safety has NOT been established in the relationship.
The result, far too often, has been that we feel like we have to apologize for wanting what we want. Like wanting a healthy relationship is unreasonable. Like wanting to feel safety in our relationship is asking WAY to much. Like wanting to see evidence of change or remorse or desperation for freedom (from our SA) is just absurd!!!
I'm sorry, but I'M NOT SORRY!!!!
- I'm NOT sorry that I expect my SA to live like he's desperate to be free - for life!
- I'm NOT sorry that I require honesty and accountability in his recovery AND in our relationship!
- I'm NOT sorry that I expect my SA to connect with and validate the pain I've felt and CONTINUE to feel due to his past acting out, and the collateral damage it's brought us!
- I'm NOT sorry for wanting and expecting fidelity from myself AND my partner!
- I'm NOT sorry for being broken, feeling broken, and needing things because of my brokenness!
I'M NOT SORRY!!!
Now hear me - I'm NOT saying I expect perfection. I'm NOT saying that I don't expect recovery and healing to be a difficult, messy, and LONG road. I know this takes time and hard work - I DON'T expect either of us to get there overnight.
I'm also NOT using this as an excuse to be demanding. I don't use the things I want as something to hold over my SA's head. This is not my point NOR my heart.
What I am saying is that I refuse to apologize, back down from, or feel like I have to beg for what is healthy and good. And you don't have to, either.
What I am saying is that I will live my life, free from guilt, expecting certain things from the person I am in relationship with. I will ask for those things, with love and respect - knowing I will gladly give in return anything I am asking for. And so can you.
I will say I'm sorry when the situation calls for it (after all, I'm not perfect!). I will say my "please" and "thank you's" - because I believe people have value, and I want to treat them as such - not for some stupid rule, and DEFINITELY not because I feel I owe it to them.
So, now I've shared my little impassioned speech on the topic of "sorry, not sorry"... what does this stir in you? How do you relate? Do you or have you struggled with this in your past? Are you stuck there now? If not, what helped you find empowerment?
If this is a message you hear from people around you, and don't know how to respond, let me know. I'd love to help you find the tools you need to be able to live from a place of "sorry, not sorry"!
Until next time, ladies, take care!