You know the feeling. A cold, clenched stomach. Darkness. A pounding heart. All you want to do is hide. You beg the eyes fixed on you to disappear but they won’t. They gape and you wonder what they must think, how they must see you. You feel worthless. Exposed. I’m talking about shame. Is there a more miserable feeling? Growing up with a seizure disorder left me with plenty of fodder for times to reflect on this feeling. Most of the time I felt normal.
“Runt.” “He’ll never live.” “He’s so scrawny.” I don’t know what I did wrong. I was born, I guess. While all my brothers and sisters were cute, wriggly little pups, I was the outcast. Never expected to do much. To be much. At the pet store, the chubby, groping fingers of girls and boys would rove over all of our heads, scratching our ears, picking us up and snuggling their cheeks next to ours. Such happy feelings filled me, I couldn’t help but lick their