Behind Closed Doors
November 27, 2021
Penelope Trent

It’s been a difficult year and a half for everyone. Everyone’s life has been impacted in some way throughout the pandemic. As luck would have it, this was also the time my family had to self-implode. It wasn’t until my therapist had to sit me down and actively tell me that what I was going through wasn’t a normal situation to be in, did I start to look at things in a different light.

I’d find myself in public places like the park or supermarket, wondering to myself; how many of these people have complicated stories going on behind their smiling faces. When they go home later, does the smile stay on, or does it get wiped off with the makeup? Who here is going home to a sick family member, eviction notices on their apartments, or an email from the office to say they’re being let go. Sometimes I think about everything that I have on my plate and the fact that I get up every morning and make it to work, and get on with my day. Most of my colleagues have no idea what I have going on, and those that do, only know the tip of the iceberg. To them, everything in my life is fine. But they don’t know, and maybe that’s why they don’t understand me when I react to things in a way that’s not necessarily what they expect.

With time, I have chosen to reflect this on to others. It’s very easy to get angry when someone does something that I don’t understand, or if someone behaves in a way that might seem stupid. But maybe they have stuff going on at home too. Maybe they, just like me, have secrets that no one would ever believe. No matter what we share with each other, at the end of the day, we all go home and close the door. And we don’t know what’s going on behind other people’s closed doors. Thinking about this has helped me to be more considerate because we can never really walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, so we will never truly be able to judge anyone else.

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