You cannot have true free will until you overcome learned behavior. Most choices are not really free will. Each place of work has its own rules with choices within those rules until you are on your own. The world has no rules that make sense. Knowing how to make a choice is very important. Tom is confused coming out of stress or trauma. When you respond in a certain way it is learning. A choice is when you decide to do something other than what you have learned. You must challenge the premise of what you have learned.
The origin of stress or trauma comes from this place of learned behavior. You cannot make a choice because you are confused. True choice means you have exercised your free will to reject the learned responses.