(For entertainment purposes only)
Growing up, I never would have given it a thought but today in this new world it mattered. All of the differences mattered. We were being labeled and grouped together for really no reasonable reason, just because.
My newest client Miriam had gotten some awful news that she needed to share with someone, so I was happy to lend an ear. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard but I have learned to be less judgmental. My goal was to assist my client to the best of my ability. Since I market myself now and survive off of word of mouth, I couldn’t risk getting a bad review. I reminded Miriam that I don’t act as a therapist, if that’s what she needed. She appeared to be coping fairly well with her newly surfaced dilemma. I didn’t have any experience in dealing with this type of situation, so I thought it might be helpful for Miriam to join a support group. She could meet people who faced the same irreversible problem. I truly didn’t belong in the support group but I wasn’t going to leave her hanging during this stressful time. Honestly, I was afraid that it would be obvious that I didn’t belong.
BREIGHTON COMMUNITY CENTER- MEETING ROOM C- NIGHT
As with most support groups, the people were friendly upon approach but when they introduced themselves you could sense the sadness rising. We sat together in a big circular formation. I didn’t want to introduce myself however I didn’t want to look shy or weak in front of the group because I wasn’t. Internally, I needed to awaken a different Jonathon. A Jonathon who pretends to be suffering from years of shame. Luckily, I had dreams of becoming an actor before I studied marketing at university.
Sophie, the support group leader, focused her huge tired eyes on me. “Alright, would you like to introduce yourself next?”
I exhaled, stood up and began to make up my story. “Good evening. My name is Jonathon. I came here with my friend Miriam. I’ve been suffering in silence for some time. I wish like you that I had never found out in the first place. It’s impossible to forget. But it explains so much in regards to how my life has turned out. Maybe I should be relieved. Maybe my parents are to blame. I don’t know. I’m just glad that I found this group.”
The room was very quiet. I slowly sat down in a chair next to Miriam. “Thank you for sharing,” Sophie voiced. Everyone in the room clapped for me except for a man named Gus. Instead he peered straight into my soul. I figured that he was busy dissecting everything that I said. I had possibly made a tiny mistake.
Gus pointed his two index fingers at me, said that I was a faker and then began to clap his hands. “This man is not one of us. He has ulterior motives. He came with this friend of his.”
Sophie spoke up. “That’s enough. Forgive him. It’s one of his traits not ours.” She addressed Gus, “Don’t scare the guests away. It’s hard enough to come here.”
Gus took a sip of his water. “He’s an extrovert who allegedly left his identification at home. Means he’s lying. I’m right this time.”
“I’m not an extrovert,”I practically shouted. I guessed that I should’ve been offended by the label. “I am here to get help.”
“Get it some place else,” Gus returned. “If you truly shared our problem you would have never used the word relieved.”
Sophie looked up at the wall clock. “Everyone, I think we should end early tonight. At the next meeting, I will go over the group rules again.”
Sophie apologized to us after I apologized to Miriam. I told Miriam that I would look for another support group for us to attend for people who were born on a Tuesday. I was born on a Thursday, so I wasn’t surprised that Gus singled me out. I expected of course to be paid in full for my time and effort.