I'm not one to get too angry. If I'm criticized by someone or a massive group of someones, I generally turn it towards myself. What did I do? What could I have done differently? Was my perception skewed to begin with? Maybe I was just too much of a wimp? Could I have shared this information in such a way that it would have been more likely to be received? Did I not work hard enough? Did I deserve mistreatment? This litany of questions that I regularly direct towards myself is not reserved for criticism surrounding my book. I do it at work. I did it in my marriage. I do it everywhere.
Amidst the group pile-ons around "Chalked Up" (Reader Reviews or Is Jennifer Sey a Liar?), I never got truly mad. (There were a lot more that were a lot harsher than these, I just can't find them right now but I digress...) I sometimes felt unsure of myself. Questioned my experiences, my worth. But I wasn't angry - at least that wasn't the over-riding feeling.
But here's the thing. Now that the Peters' improprieties I alluded to have been confirmed by actual victims - and I do recognize that these are still allegations not charges - I'm mad. I think I actually want an apology. No, I do want one. That's saying a lot for me. And here's the other thing - people knew. People that mattered knew. Back then. It was discussed. It was whispered and swept under the rug. And those in charge, chose to protect him. Of this, I am certain. Yes I'm mad. This is bullshit.
And for all of you out there who are saying: well, that was in the 80s. It's different now. I call bullshit again. Peters was still coaching up until about a month ago. You think he changed since the 80s? Unlikely. These leopards don't change their spots because the decade lurches forward.
I'm channeling "Network". I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I'm not going to do anything dumb. Or mean. But I'm not going to be the one apologizing all the time, feeling like everything is my fault. I'm not going to be the pushover. Just this week, a peer at work said something I found insulting about the work that I am responsible for. He called it embarrassing. Usually I'd apologize. Seek feedback. Say: it will be better next time, I promise. Grovel grovel.
But I would never refer to anyone else's work as embarrassing. That's just not cool. Or productive. Or helpful in any way. And this time, rather than grovel and request "feedback", I said, "I'm offended by these comments and I'm not going to have this conversation right now." Wow that felt good. He apologized later.
It's not lost on me that women generally say Thank You while men say You're welcome - a Prostrate vs Assertive stance but maybe something can be done to even the scales a bit. I'm gonna try to stick with this approach and see where it gets me. At the very least, it feels a whole better. And, to be clear, I'm not asking for everything to be sunshiney and light, rainbows and unicorns. I want helpful constructive criticism. But don't be overly emotional, vindictive, aggressive or passive aggressive. Don't use your perspective to belittle others. Just give me your opinion. I'll listen. Really.
I would like an apology about the Peters' assertions. I'm not demanding one. And I don't know who it would even come from or how it would be delivered. But I believe I deserve one.