NEED HELP? 1-800-273-8255 TXT "CTL" to 741741
You don’t like to your life?
“No I don’t like my life.”
Me neither. I need a change. That’s why I’m trying out school again..
“But I’m old. I know I can’t change it now.”
An do is to take care of someone. If I can do that, I’ll be successful
This encounter was a wake up call screaming to me what listening really means. As this guy slurred his way through this conversation, a moment of clarity put me at the fork in the road. I could firmly get him to leave me alone, which would only feed his isolation and capacity of public disturbance. On the other hand, I could just do what I planned to do- start my new book as I wait on the bench- and if he starts talking I’ll listen.
Simple, right? It is because my perspective has changed. I don’t have to be mean and say &÷@! off. I also dont have to run in the other direction scared of this poor guy as if he is undeniably dangerous. I can keep boundaries and just listen. Not even a conversation. Just listening.
As a result, I began to think how ‘listening’ can be defined differently across different contexts. on that bench in that moment, I had a sense that only a professional could help a case like this, yet simultaneously, this case was just a person with no intention to get treated. The sort of listening a pro could provide would by no means effectively help the person in any way. There’s no way my form of non-diagnostic listening could ever help…is there?
I’m really not sure. I know “just wanting to take care of somebody” may not always raise a flag to the pro’s. As someone who understands things from an experiential perspective, this raised a red flag to me- as if that’s the root of all his suffering. I’m really unsure of the dynamics of his suffering soul and he isn’t my responsibility…though I know he smiled and laughed. He quieted down and stopped making a scene…
So I’d say it helped him for the moment!
Yay! But wait, am I just enabling and perpetuating his struggle then?
Also! I don’t want to be like a crooked study and leave out some facts….uhm…It all ended with him screaming as I walk away, “I’m gonna kill you.”
Yep. Clearly he held on to my kindness with great yearning and desperation to ‘have someone to take care of.’ I imagined he felt abandoned after a fleeting sense of hope. I felt bad.
I left feeling uneasy and pulled in multiple directions. I just don’t know. Do you??? My only answer is that I don’t have an answer. I don’t think I even need answers- I just need to talk this shit out!
© 2023 TurningPointCT.org. All Rights Reserved.
2 Replies to “Unorthodox Learning”
I don’t have an answer either, but I think your moment on the bench was powerful. I know you came into that moment with the intention of listening and connecting, which may help him down the road as he continues his journey.
Have a good week – Michael
sometimes the validation of just knowing someone read this was enough haha