Do You See Me? (a lengthy poem)

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Posted by Joy Michele ( on March 31, 2000 at 04:47:37:

I tried to post this, but it disappeared, so I'll try again. I couldn't sleep and started thinking of all of you, the posts I've read, your different stories, your hardships, and challenges and felt inspired. Here's what came of it:

Do You See Me?
-- Joy Michele

When you look at me with my face in a grimace
Rocking back and forth pounding my fists into my thighs
As I bang my head on the floor hoping to knock myself unconscious
And pulling at my hair almost hard enough to scalp myself
Do you see me?

When you see me writhe in so much pain that I
Hear you talking but can't comprehend what you're saying
As you take my vital signs and run the tubing to start the oxygen
While you decide whether or not I'm just here for a Demoral fix
Do you see me?

When you write that memorandum that goes into my personnel file
Placing me on probation because I've missed yet another day
Due to headaches that you think are the result of me
Being emotionally unstable or simply lacking self-discipline
Do you see me?

When you roll your eyes and sigh with exasperation
Because I had to cancel plans with you for the second time
This week and now you have to rearrange your schedule as a result
Of my headaches interrupting your agenda
Do you see me?

When you stomp through the house complaining and swearing
Snatching open drawers and cupboard doors looking for the
Car keys because I have to go to the emergency room again
And you were looking forward to sleeping in
Do you see me?

Do you see that
I am the mother who loves to read to her children?
I am the sister who used to play jacks with you?
I am the brother who protected you from the school bully?
I am the neighbor who gives you cuttings from her rosebushes?

Do you see that
I am the friend who dried your tears after that bad breakup?
I am the boss who recommended you for that promotion?
I am the teacher who made you fall in love with history?
I am the employee who met your deadlines a week early?

Do you see that
I am the cyclist on the freeway shoulder smiling at the warmth of the sun on my face?
I am the accountant who kept reassuring you the IRS audit would be alright?
I am the mailman who delivers the lipstick-covered letters from your lover?
I am the diligent student who made you remember why you became a teacher?

Do you see that
I am the father who gently soothes his frightened child back to sleep?
I am the aunt who taught you to power shop and the magic of accessorizing?
I am the uncle who showed you how to string a fishing pole and catch a spiral?
I am the grandfather who talked your dad into letting you sit at the grown-up's table?


See that I am NOT your next appointment, but an unique person with unique needs.
See that I am NOT a disappointment, but am hopeful.
See that I am NOT confined by your expectations of me, but I am defined by my own.
See that I am NOT trying to interrupt your life, but I am fighting for a way to reclaim mine.


See that I am NOT my headaches and they are not me.
See that I am NOT weak, but mighty
See that I am NOT a casualty, but a victorious warrior
See that I am NOT defeated, but a conqueror!


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