Thou shalt not judge

There was a knock on the door of the Teachers’ room. I sighed. I had just started grading and I was hoping to finish a certain amount of work before heading home. But hey, I was there, so I opened the door. One of my students, that actually missed my exam that morning, was in tears, asking for a colleague that had already gone home. When I told her that, she broke down completely and as I was the only one available, she shared her story with me. I was lost for words after that.

Last year she finally freed herself of an abusive relationship. Supported by her parents, intensely followed by a psychologist and with a few months of mental recovery at a specialized centre for young people in her case, she managed to get herself back together, trying to claim back her life and self-esteem. She came a long way. All was well and she was in a new relationship for quite some time now, with a boy that was in my class last year. A caring, gentle young man.

Her ex had managed to contact him though and now she was receiving horrifying messages from that sweet boy. She didn’t recognize him at all, was so disappointed that her ex once again had managed to slip into her life, trying to ruin everything she fought for.

The mascara was making her look like a panda at that moment and my heart was aching and I felt naive and completely unable to say anything useful. This girl, whom I didn’t think much of first, was hiding a battle that no woman should ever have to fight. She opened up to me, because she knew she had to tell and I was the only one there. I am one of her actual teachers, didn’t know a thing about her life, and still she found the courage to tell her story, knowing that she could not take back her words and I would keep knowing it until the moment she leaves school (and ever after).

I admired her while my heart broke for her. I encouraged her to call her parents and psychologist, to surround herself with people that actually loved her, as in a warm bath. She left, smiling, and thanking me for my time. I returned to my desk, feeling like I didn’t have a clue and being very very upset about the fact that people actually have to deal with this kind of situation, at such a young age even.

And it learned me, once again, I shouldn’t judge. Ever.


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