Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ed Gavagan’s Moth story

He was attacked by a gang and left for dead.  He lost his business, apartment and became homeless. He lives in constant fear and when hired as a day laborer weeps on the job and is fired time and again. http://themothbook.org/stories/whatever-doesnt-kill-me

“I walk out of there [Victim Assistance office], and I go to my favorite bartender, who’s this cute Lebanese-Canadian girl. She’s a poet. And she lets me move in and stay on her couch. She’s rocking this Simone de Beauvoir look, and she’s smart and funny.

But the biggest thing is she listened, which was amazing. Because most people—-and they  were all very well-meaning—-had one of three responses.

The first response was, when I tried to talk about my feelings, and my fear, and this turmoil in my head, they would say, “Well, everything happens for a reason.” And that made me want to punch them in the face, and ask them if they knew what the reason for that was.

The second thing that people tended to say was “You’ve just got to get over it, man. You’re alive. You’re lucky. You’ve just got to put this in the past, and move on.” And that made me want to stab them six times and come back and talk to them in six months and go, “So how’s it working out, you got any advice for me now? Because I could really use some help from somebody who knows what I’m going through.”

And the third thing that people would say, and again, very well-meaning, but it just was absolutely no help, was that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

1 comment:

Joan said...

What people don't seem to know is that most people in pain just want to be heard. Advice and/or observational generalities are not usually welcome.