I am not sure if you are absolutely clueless or have a mean-streak, but your “friend,” and my patient came into my office in tears. She feels betrayed and abandoned in her terribly difficult situation.
Perhaps you have forgotten what it is like to have kids. Do you think it is easy to see your child self-destruct in front of your eyes? Yes, I know that parents can make this worse by “enabling” them, but do you think it is easy to pull back? Personally I think that she is doing very well at balancing the need to pull back and the impulse to be a mother. She is doing better than I would. This is her son going committing slow suicide before her eyes. I can’t imagine the pain.
I find it very disturbing to see how quickly people feel they could live another person’s life better than it is being lived. No, I find it sickening. It is the pinnacle of arrogance to assume that you would do any better if you had the same life experiences and traumas that she is doing. She does not need to be told how to live her life, she needs compassion. Compassion means you identify with the emotion and feel it alongside of this sweet woman. She is torn up. She is battered and bruised. And all you can do is tell her what a mess she made? She showed you her open wound and you threw acid on it. Shame on you!
You don’t realize how deeply you have hurt her, but I saw it in the exam room. She won’t sob in front of you – she would be afraid you would criticize her tears. She won’t even express pain to you. You have cut yourself off from her by poisoning one of the only sources of comfort she had. Now she doesn’t know where to turn. She doesn’t know where to go for comfort. She is distraught and destroyed.
You probably feel very smart and righteous in your proclamation of your opinion, but I see you as foolish and utterly selfish. Is life a game of who is the smartest? Is life a contest of who can make the most “good decisions?” No, life is about caring for those who come to us with needs, hurts, and loneliness.
I do hope you learn, although I suspect you will have to go through hell to really understand what this sweet woman is feeling. I pity you. I also feel like planting my fist in your face for what you did to her (no, I would never do it, but just thinking about what you have done fills me with rage).
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Blessed are the peace-makers.
I pray that she finds comfort. I hope that you find reality.
Dr. RobThis material, written by me, is free to re-post and share under the Creative Commons agreement. In other words, use it all you want; just give me credit.