Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good little girl

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.


  1. Sad is an emotion remembered and important to allow to happen. I think too often children are invisible. You are making a difference with your daughter that she isn't invisible. High five.

  2. How cruel and abusive to deny you to express your pain at all (and in a completely appropriate situation, but that's beside the point.) I am so sorry that this happened to you. I'm sorry they forced you to hide your emotions, to put on an act. To force you to thank someone for "hurting" you. And then to refuse to comfort you. I can't imagine not hugging my babies and holding them when we've had to get vaccines.
    I'm sad for you too.

  3. That's made me cry tonight, reading about your worry that you might not be able to emit your compulsory words, because of your huge effort to suppress your pain and tears. And then not being able to find the right moment due to the despicably false flatteries thrown at the nurse. YUK. hugs to you and I salute you for surviving all of that and emerging sane and compassionate.xx


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