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Public therapeutic putty

June 22, 2010

Something very unusual happened at the weekend. I was on a train in the middle of the afternoon, drunk (this isn’t what I’m getting at) and my mother and I noticed that a young woman was crying. I asked my mum in Italian if she had any tissues or water, but the only things we had to offer was a box of petit-fours, given to us at the restaurant where we had lunch.

We tentatively walked over (I think I stumbled) and the offer of chat and chocolates was gratefully received. The story was that she and her partner had just split up and she was naturally feeling lousy, vulnerable and emotional. She was surprisingly open with us and her story sounded so similar to mine; never-ending heart-sinking cycles combined with the small but constant chipping away at self-esteem and the inevitable question of, ‘Am I going mad?’

I reflected on all the reassurance I was given by so many kind people who used their own experiences and common sense to show me the way, almost a year ago. The woman was looking at me through her teary eyes and asked the same anxious questions I did: Would I ever get through this? Would I ever meet anyone else? Am I strong enough to go it alone?

I was in turmoil out in South-East Asia and so many people told me that everything would be fine. Some were long-time friends, others carried on for me from a distance. There were new friends and others were fleeting faces I met at a parties. But the resounding message was the same: I would get through this, it wouldn’t be easy, but eventually everything would change for the better.

And it did!

I learned to trust myself again. I had confidence in my perceptions and found peace. And because of a great coincidence, I was able to pass on everything I had learned to someone who needed it. In time she’ll believe it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. elle permalink
    August 12, 2010 7:42 am

    Aw, dis is nice. Well done for stepping in to help a stranger – many would pretend they hadn’t seen her.

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