I had two women recently as patients and both struggling so much.
The first was a woman who had been married twice and both husbands died unexpectedly. She attempted suicide and told me she wanted to end her life. I got out a piece a paper and on the top of one side I wrote: “Proof that we have that life will not get better.” I showed this to her and underneath it she wrote “none.” And on the other side I wrote: “Proof that we have that it will get better.” And I looked at her and said: “It will get better but what is so difficult is that we do not know when and so it takes patience. It takes a great deal of patience. We don’t know why bad things happen to good people, and believe me, I see it over and over again. I see teenage girls sitting in that same chair who come in and they’ve been raped as a young girls. Why does this happen?? We don’t know but all I can say with 100% faith is that IT DOES GET BETTER.”
The second woman was a victim of domestic violence. She cried and cried and sobbed: “I don’t know why I deserved it. I was just me. I would get up and go to work and just be me. I stood by him because I loved him. And now I have no friends. My family might not even want me now. I woke up the other night and my husband was raping me. And not I just want to be done with life. He hurt me so deep and I didn’t do anything. I don’t care if I wake up for another day.” I took a training a few years ago dealing with domestic violence. And one thing you are not supposed to do is say “He’s such a jerk! Just leave him and never go back.” Domestic violence happens because of a variety of reasons but one of the main reasons is the one abused continues to go back because of love for the abuser. There is a cycle that happens over and over again and only when the victim has enough strength can the cycle stop. So what I told her: “You loved him and he was the way he was probably because of his childhood. Did he have a rough childhood?” Her: “Yes.” Me: “So he is only going to change if he gets help. He needs help so bad. And you deserve to not be abused. And so I’m so proud of you that you realize this shouldn’t happen anymore.”