I Owe You Nothing


Guess what kind of post this is going to be…

Before I get started I would like to take a moment and go back to yesterday’s post about how I think it is important for clinicians who want to do therapeutic work to do their own work first or at the same time.. Here’s the thing, after I wrote that post I thought about for the rest of the day. Something wasn’t quite sitting right with me about it. So I just wanted to circle back and say again that I recognize not all clinicians do their own work, that does not mean they are going to be bad at their jobs or harm their clients in anyway. This post was born from a discussion that took place in a class. When talk of therapy came up, once again some people had a negative attitude towards the idea and that really does baffle me. Anyway, sometimes I write a post in my emotional voice because something has hit a nerve, I am not going to stop doing that – in fact the post I am about to write will absolutely be in my emotional voice. What I will do though is continue to process whatever it is that set me off in the first place because sometimes when we (I) are/am emotional and reacting to that we (I) get it wrong. And when I get wrong I like to circle back and say so. I absolutely feel the way I feel about the topic, I stand by the post in terms of it being my opinion on the matter. I wanted to be clear though that my opinion is just that, my own opinion.

So, my emotional feminist voice will be writing this post. My super awesome feminist friend at school wore a shirt yesterday that I loved. On the back it said, I owe you nothing. She said she wore specifically for me, I loved it. Loved loved loved. What is funny is that it turns out that was the exact message/reminder I needed later in the night.

I was in groups class, the topic of group was transference/counter transference, and towards the end of group the person who had us perform the sexist activity a few weeks prior put out a question to the group that had nothing to do with the topic of group. He was talking about how he was called sexist in his last internship over something he said and he wanted the group to validate for him that he is a nice guy (his exact word was chivalrous) and not in fact sexist. He looked right at me and even called me out about it, like he wanted my input. Um Nope. I am not touching that buddy.

  1. He was attempting to derail group and I was not going to help. That was not relevant and I thought it would be unfair to the two students co-facilitating to help him hijack their group. (Although in real life, this type of thing totally happens in groups, it has happened to me when I have co-facilitated groups in the past).
  2. Most importantly though, I don’t owe you anything dude. Just because I have been identified as a feminist does not mean it is my job to teach you about it.
    1. It is not my job to protect your frail masculinity. Oh no, someone called you out and now you need a woman to reassure you that you are actually a nice guy. Um, No thanks. Not interested.
    2. It is not my job to teach you shit. You could go read a book, or talk to a professor, or discuss it in supervision, or google that shit. But me being a woman does not mean that I am your walking encyclopedia on how to not offend women. Get real!
    3. I don’t owe you an answer. I do not have to talk to you if I do not want to. Just because you ask a question does not mean I owe you an anything. I am not required to engage with anyone I do not want to. Ever. Under any circumstances. Period.

Needless to say I gave him nothing. No acknowledgement, no answer, nothing. Two other women were clearly triggered and bit on that line. They schooled him on the bullshit idea of chivalry and how Yes, that was sexist. Then one of the facilitators even chimed in and that is how group ended. In a blaze of glory, completely off topic. Oh well, that is how groups go sometimes I guess.

Side note, I was triggered by what this guy  said no doubt. This illustrates my point about the importance of doing your own work though. When I am triggered, because it is going to happen, I realize it almost immediately and then I have a choice to make. I can choose whether or not to react to my trigger. Because I am doing my work through therapy and by having this blog as a way to release some of this stuff, I feel like I have better control over that which triggers me. That is not always going to be the case I recognize, sometimes your triggers sneak up on you and you are reacting to them before you even realize what is going on but I do feel more grounded thanks to the working I am doing on myself for myself.

And that is the end of that rant.


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