Humanity in an elevator; You Were Seen

November 25, 2019 2;15pm

I just had such an odd but refreshingly beautiful *truly* human experience.

I was leaving a particularly difficult therapy session where I cried most of the way through. As I was leaving my therapists office I booked it to the elevator because my puffy red eyes and the potential that I was going to burst into tears and shatter into pieces was happening and I wanted to get out of there as soon as I could so if I broke down it wouldn’t be in the lobby and I could just get outside.

I clicked the button to go from the 5th floor to the lobby while I stood alone in the elevator. Then the elevator stopped one floor below me- a different floor of the therapy center I was at.

A young 20 something female presenting human came into the elevator and stood slightly in front of me. I heard sniffling and realized she was silently, bravely trying to contain her crying. Their faux fur coat hood obstructed my view of their face but I could hear the restraint. As we stood there descending in the elevator I just thought to myself very mindfully “here are two people who are hurting in the same space, each going through something different but feeling pain and yet we stay silent.”

For a moment I had the urge to reach out and hug her. I felt the same way as I walked half a block down the road behind her, with her cries still being stifled the whole time but audibly getting a bit louder.

I chose not to touch her because some people have trauma and would be startled if you touch them so I didn’t. But that’s the only reason I didn’t do anything. To respect that she might be startled by my intentioned loving and empathetic touch.

But to have two humans together in a box descend 3 floors and not acknowledge each other was powerful. I don’t know if she noticed me, if she knew it was okay to cry in front of me because internally I was still crying.

The silence of two peoples hurt was ear shattering. Painful. Sad. But the most visceral human experience I’ve ever had.

My eyes are open, I saw another persons humanity and we were linked in one way or another. We stood in silent solidarity. Resilient, we stood in tandem in our hurt.

I hope they are okay. I hope they have someone that can hug them in the way that they need. In the way I need right now. But instead I sit here on my hour ride home on the train now filled with a curiosity, heaviness, sadness and yet peace. I hope they know they were seen and not feel invisible.

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