Below her viewing
I am feeling infantile
Small I am, lower
This was my impression when I walked into her cubical, lower. In front of her I felt lower then dirt. Lower then I had ever felt before. She sat behind her desk, like it separated her world from mine, a queen waiting for supplication from a lowly peasant. Her hair was meticulous, as was the rest of her appearance.
I sat and straight off she started with the questions. At first each one was different, but that soon changed. Over and over she asked the same question in a different way. I answered honestly. I answered true. The look on her face turned slowly from disdain to horror. Lower and lower I felt as the look in her eyes got more disturbed.
After what seemed like an hour of her uncomfortable questions, the look of judgment and horror and disdain growing throughout, she put down her pen and said something that crushed me in a small way, and angered me in a huge way! How dare she! I bare myself to her humiliating process and she does this to me.
“You are a garbage can user” she says with no shame….
Looking back with an older and more experienced perspective, I have a different view on this than I did at the time.
This woman was an intake counselor at a long term hardnosed drug and alcohol treatment center. “All alcoholics and drug addicts lie” a friend of mine likes to say. For all intense purposes this is true. The questions she asked me were about my drug and alcohol use. I had turned twenty about a month before and I had, three days before the interview, been released from an eleven day stay at a low, end of the road, detox center.
My first impression, the one that told me she was judging, weighing, and viewing me with disdain was probably accurate. All drug addicts lie, and she was prepared for my lies. The dawning look of horror that I misinterpreted was due to the fact that she was coming to understand that I was not lying. The things that I did to myself were horrendous, and I was a late stage drug addict at an age where most people are just beginning to cut the apron strings…
Chris McQueeney 3/4/12 12:32 PM
Last night I went to a Birthday party for my sister at my Step-mother's house. My Step-mother is more of a mother to me than my "real" mom. The conversation got arround to my writing and she started telling me that when I write about my childhood and the things that happened to me it breaks her heart, and she started crying. "We didn't know" she said. This is directed to my family, you gave me everything you could based on the information you had. You are an amazing family and I am lucky to have you...
With love, Chris
The prompt comes courtesy of Tess at The Mag #107
The picture is by Sarolta Ban