This will sound kind of pathetic, but it's a memory that makes me sad for the little girl I once was.
I was supposed to make no sound and never cry when I got shots as a kid. My father was very proud of this. I had no problem with it when I was as young as 2.
But this time, I was 6, and sick, and had to get penicillin shots twice a day, I think. And my parents took me together that afternoon and the nurse obviously had no idea what she was doing because it really hurt a lot, for a long time.
I was fighting tears and getting ready to pronounce the obligatory "Thank you" to the nurse. I thought "If I just get out of here soon enough, I'll be OK. But will I be able to say 'Thank you' when the moment comes that anyone even looks at me?"
But my parents were chatting with the nurse, flattering her, charming her, impressing her, I don't remember which it was this time. And it went on and on. No one looked at me once.
When it was finally over, I managed to squeeze out "Thank you." I hadn't cried, but was worried someone would know I was close. Thankfully, we could get home soon after that.
I remember feeling angry and invisible and embarrassed and ashamed of myself and wanting to be even more invisible, all at the same time.
It makes me sad because I have a girl who's almost 6 now. I'm trying to imagine her in such a situation and, mercifully, I'm failing. But the exercise is kind of sad.