When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?
I’m much older now and had this question come up twenty years ago, I’d tell you that I’d probably be the one in flight in the blink of an eye.
Although looking back, I have had my share of fighting back when it was all worth it. Like when my uncle began walking towards my apartment with a gun in his hand because my servant dared fight him off when he tried to take his liberties with her, and I stood by the door and stared him down, gun or no gun, though I think it was the adrenaline talking.
That and the look in my eye that told him if he took one more step forward, I’d tell everyone what he’d done – to me. Not that anyone cared then.
Or when my mom’s boyfriend started hitting her in the middle of the night because she dared break up with him so she could marry the man who would be my stepfather, one who could give her more than an already-married man ever could. Until then, I’d never heard the sound a hand hitting skin makes – and it’s not something one can easily mistake for anything else.
My confrontation was more like standing solidarity with her, with me staring at him in silence because I could not speak, daring him to take one more swing at her because if he did, I’d start telling everyone what he’d done – to me. Not that anyone cared then either.
These days, if I do confront someone, it would have to be after I run through a checklist inside my head which would have my 3-year old munchkin right on the top of that list, as in how will my actions, confrontation or otherwise, affect him, if at all?
And the second question would be: Is this all worth it? Even if no one cared?