Dangerous Compassions


Yesterday I went to the opthamologist.  I hadn’t had my eyes dilated in ten years or something.

For some reason the nurse who helped me first, she was mean!  I went in there feeling sad, and her weirdness didn’t help.  It was like she hated us right away.  Maybe she doesn’t like long haired Asian guys and beautiful depressed fat women?

She asked me tons of questions then put some numbing drops in my eyes.  They burned.  Then she did a procedure, moving something closer and closer to my open right eye until she hit it, and it hurt.  I was scared and moved away.

“I put numbing drops in your eyes, so you didn’t feel that,” she said.

I’m thinking it’s the years of abuse I lived through that made me doubt my own experience, when she told me that.  It hurt because I felt it, right?  It’s like she was messing with my mind, like gaslighting:  I didn’t do the thing I just did.

It was too much, the discomfort and meanness.  I was trying not to cry.  Then she put the dilating drops in my eyes and had Ming and me wait in the dilating room.  There was a huge tv playing a nature show with captions.

The show was about glaciers.  Fun fact: I have a weird irrational fear of glaciers.  I asked Ming to talk to me about something inconsequential.  I’d skipped community lunch, so I asked about the food.  I asked what kind of vegetables were in the lasagna.  We talked about the salad and bread.

Then Ming asked me how I was, and I almost started crying again.  I didn’t want to cry because I thought the dilating drops might fall out of my eyes and we would have to be there longer with the mean nurse.

“Don’t ask me how I am!” I said.  He was holding my hand and standing.  He basically can’t sit down in a waiting room or he falls asleep immediately.

The place was fancy.  The show was now about the animals who lived near the glaciers.  There was a mother cat–a leopard–returning to her lair.  She greeted her cub by licking his head.  He was one year old and looked like an adult.

Later there was a giant panda with her baby–she licked her baby also.  It seemed emotional to me.

Then a different nurse retrieved us.  Thank God, different nurse.  This one was very nice and communicated twice as much.  I loved her.

A doctor in training examined the backs of my eyes.  Then my actual doctor came in and did the same.  He found everything was perfect.  So I’m supposed to go back in a year.

Ask me if I’ve had enough doctors for a while.  My doctor wore a red silk shirt.  I was afraid of him.  In my head I was telling myself, keep breathing.

So many people passing through my life–too many.  I try to be nice and pleasant.  But I feel like buying a one-way ticket to elsewhere.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

One reply on “escape”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *