There, I said it (part 2)

(follow up to “There, I said it”)

The professor is talking to us, the students, about some important points regarding our major project, but I only see that her mouth is moving. My mind can barely register what she is saying because today, for the first time, we are all talking about our progress on our respective ethnography projects in front of the class. One by one, each student presents his or her general idea for the study as other students give feedback to the idea. I try to look and act interested in everyone’s projects, but in my head, I am rehearsing what I might want to say when it is my turn. What do I need to say? Can I get away with not saying certain things? Perhaps my professor noticed my looking a bit tense, so she points at other students to present their idea, but not yet to me. Pretty soon, there are only two of us left that have yet to talk about their project, and the professor gestures for the other student to start talking. “Oh, I’m going to be the last one….,” I thought to myself as I tried hard to listen to the classroom interaction. Then, the professor signals for me to present my project. By this point, I knew what I had to say to the class:

“I have bipolar disorder, and for the past year, I have been going through electroconvulsive therapy, or shock treatments, as some of you may have heard that term. And I am writing about what it’s like to be an ECT patient.”

I continue talking about some of the details and questions that I had, and some of the classmates ask me questions about the project. At the end of the discussion, my professor directs a smile to me as she says in front of the rest of the class, “You’re very brave in doing this.”

Class soon comes to an end, and one classmate comes up to me and says, “I’m really interested in your project, because I’m bipolar, too.” Another tells me that she was a victim of child abuse. It seemed as if, after what I said, some felt as if they could let their guard down.

Now, I can really say, “There, I said it.”

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3 Responses to “There, I said it (part 2)”

  1. You rule, yumers! :)

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