Tortured Souls

‘Twins,’ said Mrs Ogg. She picked up the brandy glass, looked at it, and put it down. ‘There wasn’t one. There was twins. Two boys. But …’
She turned on Susan a glare like a thermic lance. ‘You’ll be thinking, this is an old biddy of a midwife,’ she said. ‘You’ll be thinking, what does she know?’
Susan paid her the courtesy of not lying. ‘Part of me was,’ she admitted.
‘Good answer! Part of us thinks all kinds of things,’ said Mrs Ogg. ‘Part of me is thinking, who’s this haughty little miss who talks to me as if I was a kiddie of five? But most of me is thinking, she’s got a heap of troubles of her own and has seen plenty of things a human shouldn’t have to see. Mind you, part of me says, so have I. Seeing things a human shouldn’t have to see makes us human. Well, miss … if you’ve any sense, part of you is thinking, there’s a witch in front of me who’s seen my granddad many times, when she’s sat by a sickbed that’s suddenly become a deathbed, and if she’s ready to spit in his eye when the time comes then she could probably bother me considerably right now if she puts her mind to it. Understand? Let’s all keep our parts to ourselves,’ and suddenly she gave Susan a wink, ‘as the High Priest said to the actress.’
‘I absolutely agree,’ said Susan. ‘Completely.’
«Thief of Time» by Terry Pratchett

Recently, I was listening to an episode of “The Tim Ferriss Show” — “My Healing Journey After Childhood Abuse” — and yeah, as the title suggests, it’s not exactly “easy listening”. And perhaps listening to it walking to and from work wasn’t the best idea, but …

Personally, I am of two, or rather, multiple minds when it comes to this episode. There is a (very) cynical part of me that looks for an angle of Mr. Ferriss, for a way to break into self-help literature and wanting to get “Street Creed”. There is also a part of me that wonders about his interview partner and going … woaw, decades of therapy, dafug!?!? … when does something become a life style instead of something to get over?

But another part of me … yeah. I haven’t experienced something as bad (I think, without knowing details I don’t want to know, I’ve listened to enough stuff when I was studying psychology, before I knew how to keep people at an emotional distance, I mean, I’m a scientist, not a fucking therapist, and especially not your paid therapist), but … yeah. Yep. Looking at it face value, more than just yep.

And there was a nugget that I’m going to keep in the back of my mind, because I agree, the … shit I have experienced, it would have helped. Certainly more than “You can try to use legal action against them, but it will lead nowhere, as they were drunk.”

And it’s this gem:

Well, I can only speak to my experience, since I wouldn’t claim to have this as an area of expertise. But I will tell you that the first thing that Jack did, Jack Kornfield, when I was in a complete tailspin—I mean, I was really fracturing at every edge, and felt like I was about to sort of irretrievably break. And when I told him about the history, and I’m paraphrasing here, so Jack, please forgive me—but he is such an incredible empath, and such a conscious and focused listener. He listened and he said, “Tim, that’s awful, and that never should have happened to you. That never should have happened to you. That should never happen to anyone.” And he consoled me, and that meant so much to me, and had such a visceral emotional impact.
I feel like that was the primary parachute. It’s like you have the primary parachute, then you have the backup parachute. And I’ve never been asked that question. So I’m improvising here, but the backup parachute, which is still so important to have, might be the prescriptive advice-giving. “You should do this. Here’s advice on how to address this.” But if he had skipped directly to that, I would have been in no condition to begin to digest the recommendations. It would have felt like I was being deflected. So for me, the critical safety net was just being with me and witnessing what I was going through, not rushing, and simply saying, “I’m so sorry. That never should have happened to you.” (my boldface)

Yeah, I totally agree, this is the perfect response.

And yeah, it might have saved me a few scars. It would have certainly been better than leaving me to myself.

And yeah, to go back to the topic of the posting … one thing I can’t stop wondering about … perhaps the reason why we feel the need to help other people is because maybe that’s a way to stop others from hurting us. Or to restore some kind of balance, or prove some kind of worth.

Just a … few jumbled thoughts after a long day.