The terrible things we overhear

Sadly, those words we hear that we wish we didn’t simply can’t be unsaid.  We wish we could unhear them or undo them and we wish they’d never been uttered, but what’s been said can’t change.  It’s over.

Do you know that feeling?  You overhear something, and boom! in an instant, life changes.  Have you been in this situation?  I’ll bet by the time you are 21, you have.

Don’t ask me why I picked 21.  Out of the blue, okay?

So I think I must have been 18, and I can recall the scene as if it were right here happening this instant.  Okay, so I was drunk.  Not drunk enough to fall over or get sick, but yeah, I’d been partying.  Or maybe still 17.  I lived in the dorm at UMass/Amherst.  I’d been with my friends, or folks I assumed liked me.

That, readers, was what changed instantly.  No, these people were not my friends after that night.

So this was what I heard.  Or, rather, this was certainly not intended for my ears, but sorry, I happened to be standing right there.

My “friends” were in the stairwell. They had no clue I was in the same stairs but up a flight.  Or I may have been down a flight, but either way, I was in the same stairs and heard all their words.

They were talking about dancing in a bar.  I’d danced with one of the guys. So this other guy, mutual friend, asks the guy I was dancing with how it was to dance with the likes of me.

I guess there was some laughter and a shrug and some rude remark.  He said, “I felt like I was dancing with my little sister.”  I guess you had to be there.  His tone wasn’t nice at all.  This wasn’t some sister he cared about.  He looked down on this babyish child like she was a piece of crap.

They rudely laughed and that one who had asked the question said further rudeness by pointing out the height difference.

That was enough.  I went back to my dorm room and cried.

2013.  Summer.  I was with a group of people and I guess anyone labeled “mental patient” is assumed to have no hearing and can’t read or understand anything.  The “mental patient” is assumed to be out of it and “retarded.”

So I heard some people who did not have the label discussing someone who did who wasn’t me.  They said she was unreliable and that no one with “mental problems” should ever be relied on in this manner to do anything of significance for this organization.  They said, “We need to think about whom we ask to do things.”

Okay, so it has taken months for this to sink in, but the past few days it has all hit home very hard.

When you are not wanted, you walk away.  I am okay with it.  I guess I am quite happy to be standing on my own two feet.

Julie

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