How a Stranger Helped Me Heal From Childhood Abuse

The Mighty

August 30, 2018

By Vanna Winters

When I was a teenager, I served at a small diner between college classes. I was painfully shy and found myself preparing to “go into character” each shift as I buttoned up my uniform and pinned on my name tag. One day, on a particularly busy lunch time, I found myself in the weeds trying to cover my section and the section of a co-worker who had called off. I remember double checking each order before I put it in, paranoid I would let something slip my mind.

A gentleman, watching me stare down at my notepad over and over, chuckled as he loudly, sarcastically exclaimed to me: “If this is too hard for you, sweetheart, maybe you’re not cut out for it.” My eyes welled up and I bit my lower lip in anger.

He didn’t know me. He didn’t know I was covering nine tables. He didn’t know I had worked a double the day before or that I had a second job after that. He didn’t see my backpack full of textbooks for college classes while all my peers were still in high school. He only saw what he wanted to see.

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