Personal Prompt: Describe a time when someone treated you poorly. Looking back at the situation, is there a way you would have liked to respond to express how you were feeling?
Unfortunately, being diagnosed with a rare chronic disease as a fifteen year old does not automatically classify you as the most popular person in your class. For me, it did just the opposite. To accommodate CRPS in my right leg, I was provided “special” seating at school. The hard plastic desks that we were expected to sit in at our high school put pressure on the back of my leg causing my pain and swelling to worsen. There was no way I could sit for one hour in one of those desks, an eight-hour school day was out of the question. So, I was allowed to sit in a padded desk chair, which traveled with me from class to class. Fortunately, most of the people in my classes knew I had been diagnosed with CRPS, which was called reflex sympathetic dystrophy back then, and were willing to help me out when they could. A few minutes before class was over, my teacher’s would allow me and one other student to leave. I was on crutches and needed someone to transport my chair from one class to the next. Leaving early allowed us to get there before the bell rang dismissing class and filling the hallways with students.
As I said, most of the students I had class with were understanding and helpful. However, the students in the class rooms I arrived early at didn’t know my story, didn’t understand, and were not helpful. From writing songs about me and my “magic chair” to untying my shoes to mocking my limp to acting like they were going to hit my painful leg just to make me jump, if they could think up ways to torture me, they would try it. Friends and relatives wanted to start fights and beat up the people who were causing me trouble, but I talked them out of it because I didn’t think it was worth my friends and relatives getting in trouble at school. Instead, I held it all in. Until I finally broke one day in the nurses station. She wasn’t sure what to do so she brought the principal in to talk to me. He told me he would take care of the situation and for me not to worry about those immature jerks. Sometimes that is easier said than done.
Looking back, I wish I had stood up for myself. No, I don’t mean high school fights. I wish I had joined in with their singing. If I had joined in singing and acted like I didn’t care, they would have stopped. As for untying the shoe, mocking my limp, and pretending they were going to hit my leg just to make me tense up and jump, I don’t know that I could have stopped that. I do wish though that I had explained to them my chronic disease. Who knows, they may have been picking on me without knowing I had a chronic disease. Maybe I could have helped them understand what was wrong with me and they might have found better things to do with their time.
Fifteen years later, it really doesn’t matter. It no longer bothers me, because I’ve accepted that there are a lot of self-centered, ignorant, and immature jerks in the world. I’ve learned to overlook people who can’t see past my differences. I’m who I am and if people can’t accept me as me, then it’s their loss not mine. If someone doesn’t want to be my friend, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
Creative Prompt: You receive a mysterious phone call. What does the caller on the other line say, and how do you react?
Ooh. I get mysterious phone calls all the time… I call it scams. You know, the phone rings, you answer it, and no one speaks. You hold for a few seconds, you keep saying “Hello, hello,” and then click you hear someone hang up. You get a busy signal and you hang up. I always run the number listed on the called ID and it usually comes up as a telemarketer or scam, so I know not to answer it next time. Okay, so I’m feeling a little creative tonight, so I’ll try to make up a mysterious phone call story.
Note: The following story is made up… it is not true.
The Mysterious Phone Call
It was 12:05 at night, when my telephone suddenly rang. Being awakened from a deep sleep, I answered the phone in a groggy voice, “Hello.”
The voice on the other line said in a robotic sounding voice, “Take me to your leader.”
I hadn’t paid attention to the caller ID, but I assumed it was a friend prank calling me. So, I hung up the phone, took the phone off the hook so no one could continue to prank call, and went back to bed.
The next day, I was talking to one of my friends and she told me about a phone call she had received the night before. She described my phone call perfectly. While she denied having anything to do with my phone call, I thought she had probably been the one calling me.
That night, I was awaken at 12:05 by a ringing phone, again. This time I looked at the caller ID and it was blank. I was tempted not to answer the phone, but I was afraid it would be someone needing to contact me, so I answered. This time the voice on the other end of the phone asked, “Is this the mother ship?”
Hearing that question, I laughed. I thought whoever was prancing me was pretty crazy if they thought I was going to fall for their fake alien calls. I didn’t believe in aliens and I wasn’t going to fall for it. I said, “Good try. I don’t who you are, but I’m tired and I’m going to bed. I suggest you do the same.” I hung up the phone and went back to sleep.
Every night for a week, I continued to get these phone calls. Everyone I could think of that might be prank calling me denied making the calls. I was tired of getting these calls, so I reported them to my telephone company. They began to research and found their was no sign of any phone calls being made to my telephone number during the night for the last seven days. I explained that I knew these calls had come through because I had woke up each night and answered the phone. They asked if the caller ever said anything and what the person sounded like. I explained that it was a robot type voice and told them everything the caller had said to me.
The lady at the telephone office chuckled and said, “It sounds like you’ve been getting phone calls from another planet. Do you talk to aliens much?” She smiles a sheepish grin and said, “I believe you’ve been eating too much junk food before bed. The indigestion must be causing you to have some pretty strange dreams.”
I stormed out of her office. I knew those phone calls had really happened. I was sure it was someone prank calling me, but why was there no record of the calls coming through? Had I been receiving calls from an alien? Was there life out there somewhere? Where those calls came from, I may never know. It all seemed very mysterious, but I wasn’t ready to believe in extraterrestrial beings, yet!
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