Ms. Zhou focuses on mental and psychological counseling for women in rural areas. In this blog post, she writes about an encounter with a woman who has gone through much pain and suffering.
Last year when I was in Sichuan Province, I met a 30-year old woman who attended one of my lectures. She would follow me wherever I went, and would bring with her everyone she knew who struggled with mental problems. She was thankful for my service but it also made me very tired.
One weekend, she brought a relative, a 40-year-old woman dressed in all black. Just from looking at her, I could tell she had a very serious mental problem. She was thin and looked miserable. However, we were able to quickly build a trusting relationship, in which she shared her painful experiences with me.
The lady had many problems, such as thoughts of suicide and aches in her chest, shoulders, stomach, and heart. She was always nervous and afraid of the wind, rain, darkness, and loneliness. She often cried over trifles and wished to divorce her husband even though he treated her well. Her husband took her to the hospital where she was examined by many doctors, but the diagnosis remained the same: she was healthy.
When we met, she spoke for over an hour, and I listened to her carefully, only stopping her to clarify something. When she finally finished, I told her that I could understand the suffering she had endured. Upon hearing that, her folded brow relaxed for the first time, and she opened up even more.
I learned that the woman’s mother had cancer, so she felt obligated to look after her for over two years, helping her eat and use the restroom. She struggled a lot while her mother was ill and her mother’s haunting face prior to death had both scared and scarred her. Yet, no one even cared about her after her mother had passed away.
Hearing this helped me realize that what she had suffered in the past three years was connected to her current ailments. I taught her some relaxing exercises and advised her to get a new hairstyle and some fresh-colored clothing to embark on a new beginning. Finally, I asked that she return to me before I left.
She asked me, “How is it that you're able to help us when you're so far from your home?”
I responded, "Mr. and Mrs. Chao, they support me to help you. ”
It was difficult for the lady to recover from what she had suffered for 3 years, and it will take some time for her to be completely healed. It doesn't matter to me whether or not she thanks me, but she should thank The Transparent Fish Fund, which makes it possible for me to go and help people like her.
Original article by Yonghong Zhou, translated by Shishi Ma, and edited by US interns Isabel Auyeung and Kevin Mo.
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