I hate it when someone speaks to me sharply. I begin to feel nervous, inadequate, incompetent and invisible- I want to melt away into nothingness and disappear forever. And it is at times like that when I am most likely to fumble and drop the ball-proving the point that I am indeed a worthless idiot. I don’t know why this happens- I just know that when it does, the old familiar tapes from childhood begin to play fortissimo: “stupid, useless, unwanted, unimportant”. I guess that I would be labeled “sensitive”. Whatever. Labels don’t patch up the wounds left by verbal bullies who think that they are the only ones with the right to have a “bad day”. The same sensitivity that makes me a compassionate nurse also leaves me broken in spirit.