This is the phrase I’ve been struggling to forget for several days. It is like a poison in my mind, creeping up on me at unexpected moments. A piercing pain in my side that I cannot seem to get rid of. This one sentence sums up all my insecurities, my fears, and the feeling of inadequacy at my site. Because I am not like Val. I am not as good at my job as Val is nor am I good enough to be here. It would be better if the interns from the previous year were there – for they are better than me. Why did they not come?
These are the lies I face at my site. I deal with enough doubt and insecurity and then I had kids at my site tell me the very things I struggled to keep hidden in the darkness – that I was doing this all wrong. The disaster began on Thursday afternoon. One of my kids left a giant mess of paint in one of the back rooms and failed to clean it up when they left. Paint was left out and the couch now had six new colors on it. The room was a mess. Since neither Kevin nor I knew who had actually left the mess of pain, we decided that the kids needed to be punished as a group. The room was a community space and as a community they did not treat it was respect. No one was taking responsibility for the mess and when confronted about it, they all blamed each other. The punishment then was to take away computer privileges for the day
When we told them we faced screaming, yelling, and near cursing from almost everyone. They couldn’t understand why we would punish the whole group for one person’s mistake. They blamed each other, never taking responsibly for the mess. Then when they could no longer blame each other, they took their frustration out on Kevin and I. I was fine until I heard the potent words: “I wish the other interns were here, they were better.”
I tried to keep my cool but inside I was broken down. Little did that person know how much words can hurt, and especially myself I have developed a reputation for being blunt and I speak truth even when it hurts. But when lies are shot at me like bullets, I cannot escape their piercing sting. But this wasn’t the truth. No, these were lies and that is why they hurt so much.