A Spoonful Of Fear Makes The Medicine Go Down

| Tampa, FL, USA | Learning | May 9, 2017

(I am in kindergarten. The teacher aide for my class is an imposing woman who shouts at students to get their attention. I am a very tiny, quiet, shy child, so I am terrified of the teacher aide because of this. On this particular day, I am getting over an ear infection, and need to take an antibiotic. It’s in pill form, so everyone who’d given it to me usually cut it in half to make it easier to take.)

Teacher Aide: “Okay, [My Name], here’s your medicine.”

Me: “Um.”

Teacher Aide: “WHAT?!”

Me: *quietly* “[Teacher] usually cuts it in half.”

Teacher Aide: “I’m not cutting it in half.”

Me: *even quieter* “But my mom cuts it in half, too…”

Teacher Aide: *loud sigh* “[My Name], you need to be a woman about this. Take your medicine, because I’m not cutting it in half.”

Me: “But—”

Teacher Aide: *loudly* “Don’t be a baby! Be a woman!”

(I start to cry, which irritates her further.)

Teacher Aide: “BE A WOMAN!”

(Somehow I managed to choke down the pill and went back to class. However, my fear of the TA was reinforced, and I started running away from her every time she came near me. She had officially picked up on the fact that I was scared of her, which made her shout at me all the more. I was very relieved when I got to first grade and she was no longer around all the time. I found out when I was in college that she did not like my mom, and she’d taken her frustrations out on me. Nice, right?)

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