The Healing Horse, Ch. 23, Scene 15: Reflection on Clinic

image of gender-neutral toilet signKaren has a moment to reflect and gather her courage. Notice how positively she speaks to herself. Even though she has just been brutalized by the experts and reduced to tears, she never lets their criticism turn into self-criticism. She is her own friend, and she knows who her enemies are. Stay tuned for the next scene, when she discovers how bad things can get, if she does not fight back.

(Image courtesy of Sam Killermann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 15: Reflection on Clinic

The ladies’ room was always quiet and stuffy. A faint odor of urine permeated it. Karen knew it was for adults, and she was not supposed to be in it, but she needed some quiet. The little girls’ toilet was always noisy. It would not help her now.

She locked herself behind the gray, steel door of the stall farthest from the door and sat on the toilet, where she could think and calm herself. She was dazed, her nervous system in shock. She tried to retreat into her imagination by visualizing herself outside, walking on the lawn, at peace and safe from the wrath of the experts. But, her imagination brought her back to the clinic room. The doctors stared at her like robots, their cold, icy, empty looks chilling heart. She did not want to endure those looks again, but she had no choice. She had to withstand them.

The adults in her life, except for Mama and Pegasus, thought they had all the answers. They were the experts, she was only the patient, and Mama was only the parent. They did not want to help her fulfill her potential. They wanted to make her fit their preconceived ideas. They cared more about proving their theories and enhancing their incomes than they did about her and the other students.

She was not going to allow the experts to put her more on the defensive. She was not going to play their psychological games. She was not going to get upset again. She had a destiny better than their clinical definitions could ever describe. Every meeting with them made her stronger.

She was not going to give them power over her. She was in command of her life and her destiny. This was a big problem for the white coats. They had not dealt with a handicapped person like her before. They had not dealt with a girl who knew their tricks, their schemes, and their ability to manipulate their patients.

They are cold, callous, and calculating. Don’t they know I’m a human being? They don’t ask me what I want or what I need. They are so wrapped up in their own power, they don’t even know I have wants and needs. If only they could use their intelligence and education to help me as an individual, instead of using their power to label and pigeonhole me. And, after lunch will come all the stupid questions as they try to label me retarded. Please, someone save me from their ignorance!

Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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