by silvershoes   Sep 28, 2019

Fridays, 2pm: Therapeutic Interventions with Individuals.

In the midst of lecture, she catches my eye from across the room and asks,
“You’re hurting, aren’t you?”
Her tone doesn’t change.
I look behind me.
Twenty-three chairs creak as bodies turn.
“Yeah. You. You’re hurting.”
It isn’t a question. I mouth, “Me?”
My finger points to my chest like the barrel of a gun.
Forty-six eyes bore a hole into my heart.
She nods.

I could fall apart in an instant, to be seen like that — I mean, SEEN.
But we’re in a room full of people and I’m embarrassed. I feel naked. I gulp and nearly crumble to dust, but instead mumble, “Yeah.”

She lets me off the hook.
Back to the topic at hand, class as usual. It was just a blip in reality.
Noises are muffled like my ears are underwater as only a few eyes linger.
I don’t look back at them, instead staring straight ahead at the professor who just unraveled me nonchalantly in a room full of people and then left me unraveled like a spool of yarn. How could she do that?

It’s been four weeks and I haven’t recovered.
Yes, I’m hurting. I wish I could scream it.


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by Mary

    I don't like to have my boundaries crossed. When I'm in pain...I would like to be the one to decide if, when and whom I share it with.

  • 1 year ago

    by nourayasmine

    I'm hurting too, and I wouldn't have described it better than you did. You have a way of describing a scene that makes me feel that I was there too... I mean some lines are just heart-rending:

    "I feel naked. I gulp and nearly crumble to dust, but instead mumble, “Yeah.”"


    "staring straight ahead at the professor who just unraveled me nonchalantly in a room full of people"

    You're taking a class to learn how to improve the mental well-being of others, while you're hurting silently, suppressing it inside that you became almost unaware of it, until that teacher "unraveled" you. I wish I could write like you.

  • 2 years ago

    by Kitty Cat Lady

    Crikey Jane, that's just awful ... and the irony of the perpetrator of such insensitivity being the lecturer of 'therapeutic interventions with individuals' !!!
    We all sometimes recognise pain in others that we can empathise with, but the moments of 'intervention' have to be carefully chosen. Throwaway comments across a room are clearly damaging and now you're having to deal with your original hurt and now this too. I really feel for you. :-( x

  • 2 years ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    Oh, Jane. So many hugs to you. I hear you. Scream as loud as you need.

    This reminded me of all the silent hurts we harbor, then when someone sees us and sees the pain, it puts us out there. Uncomfortably so. We are exposed and our shell, our defense, is poked through. Others see a side that is personal and intimate, that we don't allow just anyone to notice. I know that feeling of being out in the open, not in your exact way of course. It's scary and can be terrifying to see our hurt portrayed and affecting us like that.

    All the love in the world to you, dear friend. Thank you for sharing this <3

  • 2 years ago

    by Em (marmite)

    Wow. Jane this is extremely hard hitting, the words you use are just magnificent and make the poem.. Like being bare as someone asks if you're OK and then leaves you to it is just... How could anyone do that :/

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