—Since my sister’s murder,
my sensitivity thermometer has been sharply & acutely heightened.
I mean, if it used to
be a 10, it is now 10 x 10. You
So, when people utter ignorant things because they don’t know what
else to say, that thermometer rises like hot red lava.
For example, a few weeks ago I’m talking to this person and
she says something like this:
“I can really identify
with what you’re going through, Kim.
I quite smoking a few months ago and I think of that cigarette every
I wanted to yell, “My
sister is not a fucking cigarette, you
stupid stupid stupid person!”
Yeah, I wanted to, but I didn’t.
I just write about
it. Here. Now.
Which brings me to yesterday at the grocery store.
I’m walking down the cereal isle and I see this familiar woman.
Shit. Damn. Poop.
She asks, “Are you
I reply, “Yes. I am.”
“Do you remember me?”
“Oh, yes. I do.” I
I kind of
remember. Was she from church, school…?
“I can’t believe what happened to Kay. We were supposed to go for lunch. I gave her
my number, but we never got together.
And then….” she laughs an
“I’m sorry, I don’t what to talk about this right now.” I say nicely.
I grab a cheerio box, pretend I’m reading the label.
Salt. Calories. Who really
gives a shit.
“I wish I would have called her for lunch. Are you doing
better? I can’t believe it. I just can’t
believe it. I was…”
Heat. Anxiety. Angst.
rises from my toes to
the top of my head like heated flashes.
“I’m not talking about Kay right now, okay?” I repeat.
I lay the cheerios inside my cart and begin walking down the
isle, which seems like an extended plank into nowhere.
She follows me.
Go awaaay. Get away from me.
Leave me alone. Go Go Go
go go go
Then I feel a startling whisper of breath inside the right
side of my ear.
“When he murdered her I….”
I turn quickly now– look her strait in the face now.
I try desperately to
be rational, considerate, kind.
But that has all passed now.
“I. Am. Not.
Talking. About. Thiiiis.”
I articulate the words deliberately, slowly,
clearly, loudly so she understands.
She has to understand I can’t talk about this. Not here.
Not now. Never with her.
What else could I possibly do…except
I neglect the rest of the isles. My milk drops to the floor. I don’t pick it back up.
I walk swiftly to the check out lane.
When I get home, Mr.
Liverpool says– “Wow, we must not have needed much food this week, huh?”
I put down my grocery
bags, sit on the couch, & tell him
the whole sad story.
—–Dear Reader, how
do you respond in uncomfortable situations?
Have you had a similar situation like mine?
~~~~Get Help NOW for Verbal Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Finacial Abuse- or any other kinds of abuse…..800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/ Do Not Wait One. More. Day.