As I sat there and listened to everyone's stories, I silently judged them. ME, Michelle Goodman, the person who takes ten years getting to know a person and still keeps an open mind about them... I was judge, jury and executioner to the others in The Room.
- To the grandmother who was there straight from the hospital via her suicide attempt, I judged. How could she do that? What about her granddaughter? I conveniently overlooked that I very nearly came to them the same way, by drugging myself to sleep and never waking up.
- To the schizophrenic teen with Aspberger's who regularly mutilated himself, I had no sympathy. Grow up, I thought to myself, conveniently overlooking that when I was his age, my arms were covered with scars on top of scars, all self-inflicted. Twenty years ago, I don't think 'cutting' was something I had ever heard of, but I was doing it.
- To the two people who were in there by court order and had monitors strapped to their ankles, I was merciless. Hitting your wife?! Drinking and driving?! I conveniently overlooked all of the terrible things I'd done and decisions I ever made in my life...it was too easy to focus on someone else's.
I was content to sit there in silence, listen to everyone else, and silently judge; and then the tables were turned and it was my turn to speak.
And then I remembered how I got there. And all of the judgment that I'd been using to hide how I really felt drained out of me. And I started talking.