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Don"t Look At Me That Way

Updated on June 21, 2012

Don’t look at me that way.

Not you.

You who shared such a special part of my life

A secret part

A magic time

When we were younger

And dreams were all brand new

Life was still a mystery.

We shared a part of life and love

Filled with playfulness

On snowy days

Or hot summer nights

Laughing and dreaming

Loving and scheming.

We drifted apart

Toward different horizons

and life went on.

I didn’t have all the luck that you did,

And it wasn’t all roses,

But I’m so proud of myself to have come so far.

When I saw you, I just wanted some of the old energy

I thought you would at least remember

How much I loved to laugh with you

I thought that with you

We could share and play like we could have all the world, if we wanted, like we used to

I thought the magic would be there

But you looked at me THAT WAY

You pitied me,

You treated me like a child

And all at once

My heart was broken

I expected you to see ME, not my handicap.

So I don’t walk as well as I used to

And I’m in pain most of the time,

You kept asking me about what happened to me

Not what I’ve done or learned since then.

I wanted to talk about dreams; you talked about yours.

You didn’t ask if I had any anymore.

I am not my disability.

The longer we talked, you built that chasm between me and you.

And I let you, because I don’t have the confidence to stand up

For myself yet.

You loved me once and thought I was brilliant

You were so taken with me, you said

Now, you won’t even look me in the eyes.

You used to send me flowers for no reason at all

We couldn’t wait to spend time together

Now you are rushing through everything so this evening will end.

Before we got together tonight

We talked on the phone about how nice it was to be close again

But tonight, you couldn’t get out fast enough

And you left saying, “well, keep in touch!”

I know what it all means.

I knew what the look was all about.

I knew the one time you called me “kiddo”

You were no longer seeing “me”.

And it really hurts. Because you really meant a lot to me

And because you really did know me before this happened to me.

But you haven’t got a clue about me now.


I allowed myself a good cry over it last night. Then I got back up and headed back out into the real world where I am fighting a lot of real battles right now. I’m stronger than this, and will forget it in my daily life – only think of now and then. Because it’s a recurring theme. I guess it’s human nature, to notice someone’s disability and want to help, but not to patronize or treat someone as if they are not as smart because of it. Having a disability doesn’t necessarily turn one into a dependent.


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    • Escobana profile image

      Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia

      This was a beautiful and very moving poem. In fact I could relate too well to that painful feeling of getting THAT look.

      Old love and new disability can create some of the hardest encounters ever in life. I fought my way through that struggle for a while, sometimes wishing my disability was actually visible.

      There will always be people who pity me. The difference now is that their looks don´t bother me anymore. Thank God for being almost 40 and wiser:-)

      Blessings to you and one big HUG!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

      shiningirisheyes, you made me smile. i've never been called a 'class act' before. lol I'm so glad that some good comes from my horrible night. I said I'd share whatever happened...I just didn't expect it to be so dramatic. It still stings even days later, I think about it at odd times. Not him, just the situation. Then I kick myself in the butt. I'm just going through so many things right now, I really could have used a different kind of ending, but c'est la vie. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

      mck, how many go through our lives, or in and out of the doors of our cafe and never see us. Its the people who do, the people who "see" us that make all the difference. I'm so lucky to have all of you to share with .... thank you for your words. I'm sure he's not in pain, they say ignorance is bliss. I never want to know that kind of happiness at another's expense.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

      Ruby, that one was really hard to sit through. But I did and I didn't say a word, it was like watching a movie and feeling the emotions and not believing what was happening. I think that must be what shock feels like. Well, my sweet sweet sister, we live and we learn. The only alternative is not really an alternative. I love you and thanks so much for you words.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow - The thought was entering my head just as I was reading your words. It would have made me cry also but I couldn't help thinking his definition of love is superficial and yours is pure. I commend you for creating beauty out of a deep hurt. I thank you for sharing with me the creativity from a night of soul searching pain that any self centered persons actions such as his would have felt like.

      And I thank you for showing me what its like to be a class act.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      His eyes could not see your heart. You expressed pain, it is actually his pain, his unseeing and his unknowing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Erin, I know few people who have your stamina and unyielding courage. You may get down but you get right back up, stronger than before. Your poetry is beautiful and so touching. I'm reaching across the miles to give you a BIG hug. Love ya my friend...

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

      Audrey, thanks so much for your understanding :)

      Phillydreamer, thanks so much for reading and your kind heart :)

      CloudExplorer, thanks so much for your words. you are absolutely right. we always want to believe the best about everyone and then are hurt when we find out they are only human too. Love seems so elusive these days. But that doesn't mean I'll give up. Its wonderful to meet you too :)

      Colin, you are so sweet. I didn't realize I was writing such a powerful piece, I was just getting all the emotion out of me so I could be rid of it, you know what I mean. I'm good now, I've made my peace with it. It is what it is. Thanks for reminding me of what I'm forgetting a lot these days. :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      I am having a good cry for you Erin just reading these powerful and emotional poetic sentiments and of course the true to life prologue which follows - please carry on dear friend with your valued life and always remember that you are number one and one very special and talented person and writer - lake erie time canada 8:34pm

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      Love is difficult indeed, and when that face you once loved and admired suddenly turns into a scowl for a case of poor judgement, its not to good at all, but its not the end it is just a shifting of emotions to me.

      I love your hub here, its filled with passion, and goes to show that you are only human and don't want or need other to hurt you, you want unconditional love, and you will get it for sure with such an attitude and outlook on life.

      Awesome work here Erin LeFey, voted up and getting shared, oh and its nice to meet ya on hubpages.

    • PHILLYDREAMER profile image

      Jose Velasquez 5 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

      It really does hurt when that happens. You really touched me with this poem.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Painful place to be--but you are so right--sometimes, pity can be a mean thing!