(Read Part 1 here about my dramatic encounter with a comedian over his hurtful jokes about Guatemalans.)
After the comedy show was finished, I immediately started spiraling. “What did I do? Did I overreact? Am I crazy? Too sensitive? Ugh, everyone in the audience hates me.”..and so on and so forth.
I didn’t sleep a lot that night and woke up to journal. I let all of my thoughts flow out and it became so present for me the dysfunction that is present around speaking up when it’s an unpopular thing to do. I started to think about my own reactions as a microcosm of a bigger picture. This experience helped me make a connection to other times in my life when I had these feelings after a public confrontation. It also reminded me of times when I wanted to speak up but I was held back by society’s norms, knowing that I would confront disapproval, judgement and disturb the peace.
It’s no surprise given that hundreds of years of abuse and trauma have led women to believe that they do not have the right to stand up for what they believe is ‘right’. Throughout history if women had a minority opinion, they were berated, called crazy, and silenced by the disapproval of others.
I have been present to the fact lately that in order to create change, there has to be a level of discomfort. I’ve started labeling the butterflies in my stomach as indicators of a next step to take.
I’ve discovered that the key for me to continue on this path is the understanding that taking a stand will always create a ripple of emotional blow back. And, instead of staying silent, I choose to do it afraid and be prepared emotionally for what’s to come.