I witnessed someone lose it yesterday. It was a professional meeting. The roles of the four people in the room were scripted. We knew our roles. We were playing within the rules. And yet, an unscripted combination of words and conversation triggered something within her.
I first noticed a conscious effort to control her voice. My senses jumped because I knew that sound! I have listened to myself on two occasion where I was caught in something I could not control. I am not sure I know even now how to describe what happened to me. I felt an overwhelming wave of intense emotions rushing from my heart to every part of my being. I wanted to control myself but I could not do anything but let it play out, staying or fleeing made no difference. Today was a replay of that scene.
The trembling voice gave way to a visible sense of consternation in her voice and fear in her eyes. Tears seemed to be hiding just beneath the surface. As she stood to point something out on a document, her shanking hand could not hold her pen steady.
Others shared my look of wonder. We did not see this coming. We had not intentionally provoked the emotion. As she left to get another document and compose herself, I thought things would return to normal. Her control lasted less than a sentence. She was done. Whatever it was that held her mind and soul together had crumpled into a mound of broken wood.
I could remember what it was like for me. At that time, a friend stood beside me, doing what he could to help. I hope she found someone after the meeting to do that for her. I remember my earlier plea; “Treat me nice for a change; I’m so starved for affection. Can’t you see I’m black-and-blue, beat up badly in bones and soul? God, how long will it take for you to let up?” (Psalm 6.2, 3) I whispered, hoping God would be able to hear the sound as her voice.