When the Teacher Hurt Me

I'm a very sensitive person. Though I can be quite sensitive emotionally, I mean this in the physical sense. Be it temperature or touch, it can be very intense. I've never really liked being touched because it can be quite painful, especially regarding my back. I can recall the favourite game among friends at age eleven being to poke me in the back when I least expected it: They liked to watch me jump. It was a cruel game, but children can be cruel.

However, when I was about thirteen I had a cruel teacher. I wasn't a huge fan of her to begin with, I thought she was a bit loud and too free to share her personal opinions. That and I thought she was an idiot, but that's a story for another time. Having been so young, my teachers were told about my juvenile arthritis and all that fun stuff. Unfortunately for me, this teacher couldn't hear over her own thoughts. I think I had even brought it up with this teacher, trying to help her remember when she made us do experiments that required running up and down stairs or lifting things.

Try as I did, it didn't work. One day we were assigned an experiment. Thankfully there was no need for running around, but we had to observe something under a microscope. I had been working in a group with two boys and I was staring intently into the scope, describing some observations for the others to write down. I didn't know that my teacher was trying to get my attention, so instead of maybe lightly tapping my arm or even just saying my name, she decided to use a more dramatic method. She pounded on my back three times, and I doubled over from the pain and shock.

In her defense, it was probably a tapping and not pounding. But to a person with chronic pain, it felt more like a hammer than a hand. I immediately asked her to never do that again because it hurt so much, but she just smiled  and walked away. The boys I was working with were very taken back by my reaction: They knew I had arthritis but I think they got a sense of what it was like.

To this day I still question the whole event. I never told anyone about it. I really should've told someone at my school, but I didn't. I took the pain and got on with the class. But it was wrong of me: I shouldn't have accepted that. Don't tolerate acts like that from anyone. It's rude, it hurts and it's downright cruel. Help yourself and stick up for yourself.


  1. It's hard for others to understand someone with a chronic illness, but I know how it can feel when it feels like someone is intentionally being cruel to you. It's unfair for someone to treat someone else with anything less than respect, no matter the circumstances. I'm sad for you that you had such a painful, both emotionally and physically, event and didn't get a chance to say something then. Hopefully posting on here will release some of that pain for you.


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