Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is Going to Sting A Bit.

"Yeah, he told me how you guys are close." My face began to warm, I strained to calm my vocal cords and attempted to reply in a stoic manner, "Oh, you mean he told you he kind of took me in after I found my dad murdered." After the words fell out of the air I felt a surge of blood to my head, so I turned and walked back to my desk without looking at either one of them in the face. I wonder how long this guy has known - and now, who else knows. It has taken me five years to learn how to interact with another person for more than a few days without infecting them with the details of that tragic event. It became part of my identity for so long - the girl that found her father shot to death. The pity was always bitter sweet. Sweet in that I didn't have to hide this looming storm cloud that follows me around. Bitter in that now I would have to deal with being "that poor girl."
We all quickly delved back into surface conversation and I felt my body calm. This is a familiar cycle, but it never seems to lose that initial sting. I have learned how to disconnect enough to deliver the words without seeming phased. The truth remains that ever since that 10 second exchange of words at 2:00 my day has not been the same.

1 comment:

Sean said...

My dad died in my arms when I was twelve. It still makes me sad to think about it at 34, but it doesn't define me. For a long time it did.

I would bet this event only defines you in the minds of others by how you deal with communicating it. I've learned to be casual about mentioning my own father's death and people no longer react with pity.