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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Lane

Story: Joan's Self-talk

March 25, 2022

Joan was sitting in the waiting room of a prestigious Law School for her admission interview. Accompanying her today was Self-Talk, who had accumulated information from Joan’s mom, foster care families, school teachers, and former friends. This interview brought her one step closer to her dream to become a lawyer. The receptionist came over and informed her the panelists who were interviewing had to delay her interview for another 30 minutes. “We have a lounge down the hall where you can get coffee and other refreshments, while you wait. I will come a get you when they are ready.”

As she thought about the two candidates that had gone in before, she mumbled, “Why did it have to be me who had to wait”? Once in the lounge, she saw coffee and some pastry trays. Sweets were what she needed, sweets were her relief. There were two others in the lounge. She chuckled to herself when she saw they each had only a bottle of water.

Joan’s mind drifted to when she expressed to her last foster parents she was pursuing Law. “Girl, you better get a good Administration Assistant position,” they said to her. “Law school is too expensive and there already too many now,” were the messages coming from her friends? She recalled one of her teachers telling her how dumb she was and she would most likely end up on welfare with a bunch of kids. A teacher should inspire you; she couldn’t figure out why she said those hurtful words to her.

Life had been painful for her after going into the foster care system at twelve (12) years old. She never knew her father. One day her mother informed her she had to leave, because the mom’s new boyfriend doesn’t want any children around. Her mother dropped her in the waiting room of the nearest hospital and rode off with the boyfriend. When the lady who worked at the front desk of the hospital came to work the next day she saw Joan was still there. After talking with Joan, she summoned the hospital social worker. From the age of twelve (12) she had been in three (3) foster homes, two she had run away from because of the abuse.

Self-talk was pleased, seeing all the messages being fed to her mind. “Why am I trying to do this,” she said out loud before realizing it. An older woman who had strolled into the lounge heard her and went over to her. “Why are you trying to do what?” she inquired. Self-talk had been at its peak in her mind, the place of defeat within. With her head held down and looking at the table with tears streaming down her face. The lady sat down and asked her again, referring to what she had spoken. “Nobody believes I can go to law school and become a lawyer,” she answered.

“Why do you want to be a lawyer?” she asked. Joan answered, “My mom left me when I was 12 years old and I have been in several foster homes. They treated me bad, I was merely a paycheck to them. I’ve been on and off the street for years because no one where I lived cared. When I saw other kids in my situation, something started burning inside of me to fight against the injustice that we were a part of. I put myself through college while holding down a full-time job. It was hard, I had to fight all the time the thoughts in my mind that I was no good and no one loved me. My thoughts tormented me, and I had to fight just to continue standing. It’s painful when you haven’t had a lot of positive words spoken to or about you. Each time I hear the voices inside me and I struggled not to give up, it’s as if the burning desire intensifies inside me.”

The lady stares at her watch, pats Joan’s hand and leaves. After a few minutes, the receptionist comes to the lounge to get her. Self-talk is now racing at full speed, causing Joan to shake inside and wishing to just run away. After about ten (10) minutes, the receptionist escorts Joan into the conference room. Her eyes lock on the older woman at the head of the table realizing it was the one she was talking to in the lounge. The lady smiles and looks at the other panelists. “You may have a seat,” one of the gentleman at the table says. “Well, young lady, you seem to have already made quite an impact on our director,” he said, looking at the lady at the head of the table.

The lady at the head of the table says. “One of the interviewing panelist got sick, and they sent word to my office asking for me to take her place. I stopped by the lounge to grab a cup of coffee on my way here.” The last interviewer speaks up, “again you have formed quite an impression. We were told that the impromptu interview was exceptional. Speaking for the board we would like to say, Welcome!” The lady at the head of the table, the Director stated further, “We are also giving you a full scholarship, so you can leave here debt-free.” Joan if I can make a request, please keep the fire blazing inside of you.

Once leaving the interview and on her way to the bus stop, Joan is filled with joy. Her significant moment wasn’t only her admission and scholarship, but through will and determination she knew this was the beginning of her ridding herself of negative Self- Talk.

(All Stories and Poetry are original mine and has Copyrights… Belinda M. Lane)

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