As I sat down with my family on the back row of the chapel I forced back unwanted tears and tried to ignore the bitter sting of what had just transpired. Someone–a good person whom I knew was well-intentioned–had just taken me to task based on something they had overheard my 13-year-old daughter say in passing.
The congregation gathered, friends smiling and nodding as they passed, completely oblivious. I squirmed in my seat–even more in my own skin. I needed to process the thoughts swirling around in my head, the knot of sickness swelling in my gut. I couldn’t breathe.
I made it halfway through the opening hymn before I bolted.
This wasn’t the first time, and it likely won’t be the last, in which I found myself misunderstood and unfairly judged by someone who made assumptions about me without having all the facts; someone who had made up his or her mind without taking the time to ask “Do I see the entire picture?” or “Is this consistent with what I know of this person?”
And even though I knew that what the other person was thinking of me wasn’t true, I was crushed.
There is, of course, more to this post, but before I get there, will you indulge me and tell me if you’ve ever been in my shoes? Please share in the comments your personal experiences with being harshly judged or grossly misunderstood. Particularly, tell me how it made you feel.
Be sure to come back for round two later this afternoon.