Writing an email response that is Powerful vs Validation-Seeking

I’m struggling with an issue around seeking validation vs calling out what I think is disrespect.

I spent 8-10 hours in brainstorm meetings with a consultancy, sharing my expertise with their team (and they shared back), and then they said they were going to write an article.

Now, I never asked if I would get credit – the consultant who originally reached out to me said “it would be great if we could work on client projects together and let’s start by writing an article together.”

So – I assumed this was a “test run” of sorts, to see if we were a good fit. But after we had our last brainstorming session, and they said they would start working on the article. Then they ghosted me.

It’s been a month, and so I wrote them to see where things were at and it turns out the article was published a week ago. Only credit for the head consultant.

I want to write them to get clarity on where we stand, but I don’t want to be needy or weak. I want to be powerful! I’ve rewritten the email about 5 times and still don’t like it.

My UM:

C – I didn’t get credit on the article
T – they don’t think I’m smart enough to work with them / they ghosted me
F – foolish
A – spend loads of time worrying about what to say in response, rewrite the email numerous times wonder if I’m overthinking things, think about all the effort I put in, kick myself for not asking for credit up front
R – I get stuck and dwell on it ????

My R isn’t that “I don’t think I’m smart enough to work with them.” I know that I am (thank you TW!). But my concern is how to respond.

My IM:
C – I didn’t get credit on the article
T – I want to respond to the consultant with grace and confidence
F – Calm
A – write an email. Send it.
R – move on to the next thing. (Or “I am confident”?)

Second IM:
C – I didn’t get credit on the article
T – I deserve an response on what happened
F – Powerful
A – decide what I want to say, write an email, send it.
R – Move on.

I just can’t seem to decide what to write in the email – they all come out being a little needy. I don’t need validation that I’m smart, or worthy (I don’t think…?), but I want to call them out on what I think is disrespectful behavior, without alienating them or burning bridges. Any suggestions on how to find a Thought that would help me work through this and just write and send the email?

Or should I just pick one and send it? Maybe I’m just spinning on it too much.

Thank you!