Selasa, 01 Oktober 2013


Sometimes my heart breaks. I hear sad stories from my clients frequently, and I can sit with suffering. As a therapist, I know that my ability to be present with a person's pain is a gift, and sometimes my presence is all that I can offer.

The quiet woman is still coming to see me. She is still reluctant to tell me much. This week, she was willing to talk a bit more. In the midst of our session, she handed me a note, addressed to her, and stapled shut. She asked me to open it and read it to her. It was from the social worker at the shelter where she is staying.

The note said that she would need to leave the shelter by June 1. And that she needed to follow the rules, and meet with one of the shelter workers every day at 9:00 a.m.

After I read the note to her, her face crumpled and she started sobbing. Heartwrenching, wracking sobs. She said that people were harrassing her. She said that a few months ago, the director had met with the shelter residents and said, "The people of Chapel Hill hate you, they say they love you, but they hate you." She described feeling humiliated and degraded as the women were following strict rules, and were locked out of their rooms at 8:00 each morning.

I knew that the things she described to me were colored by her paranoia, but there was a truth to them that broke my heart.

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