I may never forget the awkward look on my mom’s face. It was as if I had suggested something that would put the whole family to shame. Or perhaps, that was exactly what I did.
“No, I’m totally surprised. You just seem so normal! Wait, was that offensive? Sorry, but please don’t take it the wrong way. And man, I can’t imagine, overcoming that must have been a hell of life experience.”
When both sides lower their guards and choose to share, they connect honestly. Many, however, would rather not risk the shame, insecurity and embarrassment, because the truth is many of us do judge. We prefer to separate ourselves from those who are “abnormal.”
“I don’t know. All I know is that I can’t go to the kitchen. I can’t look at knifes right now. I’m also afraid to look at the balcony window. I’ve been gripping this chair in the den for 10 minutes already to calm down.”
He enjoys math and statistic but has trouble keeping up with school attendance. I have asked about his tendency to skip lectures. It was not easy for him to put those thoughts into words. Perhaps he also did not really understand it. At the time, he had already been in college for 8 years.