“I’m sorry. I can’t translate it into dumb.” KM told me as I complained that the redraft he had written of my supporting statement sounded too much like him and not enough like me. It hurt me to hear him say that even though I know he was only joking. I’m over sensitive to these things particularly at the moment given how much STRESS I feel to get this statement perfect. After trying to explain why I was so upset he compounded the problem by telling me I aught to grow a sense of humor. I have a sense of humor – I just didn’t find it funny.
Is this just me? Possibly. I know now that as a consequence of my past I have real trouble with people poking at me. I can laugh at myself, sure. The problem comes when you attack my intellect, my ability to understand something or my sense of self worth. The simple way of explaining it is I don’t have to much confidence or self esteem left, so I don’t appreciate anyone trying to take some of what I have from me even if they are joking. But the real explanation is I can’t register sarcasm when you’re insulting me. I simply can’t tell if you’re joking and my default setting is to assume you mean what you say. The nasty stuff is easier to believe – especially when those a young person trusts are reinforcing their judgment by yelling it in your face, driving it home with their fists or worse. If I’m not sure what you think of me, I’ll assume you think the worst. It’s just the way I’ve been wired.
I’m not dumb. Just because I want MY statement to sound different than how you would write it does not mean I’m stupid.
It’s not that he doesn’t support me. He’s not some evil guy. He’d helped me redraft this darn thing three times already. Overall he’s nothing but encouraging of me at college. Potentially, he’s agreed to move anywhere in the country that will let me in to study midwifery next year. That’s a big deal.
Practically he’s doing everything I could ask and more.
It still doesn’t change that this one throw away remark really bothered me….