I think I should have looked her in the eye;
That would have shown I’d healed, that I was confident,
A woman ready to take on the big bad world.
Instead, I spent each session staring at that plant,
A yucca in the corner, drooping slightly
But always being there for me, when conversations
Lulled into an awkward silence or
The tears began to flow. As painful breaks
And buried hurt come bubbling to the top.
It was not Sophie, the kindly therapist,
Who held my eyes, it was that plant,
The yucca in the corner standing solidly.
I attended therapy sessions for several years and my strongest memory of those Wednesday mornings are of the yucca plant that stood in the corner of the room.
I’ve always had problems with looking people in the eye as I speak to them. I don’t know whether that’s because I feel shy or because there is something a bit darker bubbling below the surface. After all, our eyes give away so much of ourselves.
Even today, I spoke to my boss and as I walked away, I realised that I had spent the entire time talking to the shelving unit just behind her. I just hope that these people don’t think I’m being rude.
Whatever my reasons, I will always remember that yucca plant and all the deep, dark secrets that I told it over those two and a half years. I could have just gone to Homebase and bought my own plant to talk to; it could have saved me a couple of grand…
4 thoughts on “the yucca plant in the corner of the room”
If that yucca plant helped you to open up, Rachel, then I’m glad it was there for you. It’s funny about eye contact. Some people find it really easy; for others, it’s too anxiety-producing or perhaps too intimate. Either way, you’re not alone in finding it a challenge!
That yucca plant knows more about me than almost any human on the planet. That’s quite a strange thing to think about!
Margot’s right, eye contact is a challenge. Ironically, it becomes an issue when shy people overall are mistaken as aloof. It’s really sad, and I wish the perceivers would get it right.
I think us quiet ones are misunderstood a lot of the time, for a whole heap of reasons.