when someone uses the wrong pronouns and it consumes you, pushes you down. chronological.
  1. like being punched in the stomach
    but you expect it, as if this is the tenth in a long series of punches and your energy to brace yourself against it is gone
  2. eyes go down, words stick in your throat
    it feels like when someone tells you you're nothing, worthless. their words sting and you can't respond
  3. sounds become muted
    you can't hear what people are saying, your ears ring
  4. you come back to yourself
    it's too late to correct them. the conversation has moved on
  5. you're spacey for the rest of the conversation
    you can't pay attention, don't participate. the world passes you by.
  6. you can't focus for the rest of the day
    nothing gets done, you can't remember anything or learn. productivity takes a nosedive.
  7. every time this happens it's like another brick being thrown onto your back
    no one sees them but you have to carry them everywhere
  8. that night, it's all you can think about
  9. the next time you're with the person, you are hesitant and feel unsafe
    you don't want to speak for fear of it happening again