_[The following article is about Ms. Zhou's Psychological Counseling for Rural Women. It chronicles a day in Ms. Zhou’s experience as a counselor for the mentally ill. To learn more about this organization, please go here.]
“Responsibility allows me to forget pains of the past.” -- Ms. Zhou
Yesterday, Zhou got a visit from a man who looked about 30 years old. He was wearing a hat as well as a mask, so she did not realize that she knew him until after he sat down. He turned out to be the son of one of Zhou’s former colleagues. He said to her, “Ms. Zhou, I’ve been wanting to come visit; but I was too afraid to do it. I hesitated for 20 minutes or so before calling you today.” After chatting with him, Zhou learned that he is plagued by serious clinical depression due to complicated family problems. His SDS is as high as 78, while the average for most people is only 50. Zhou suggested that he take his condition seriously and go visit a doctor, as there are medications to help him. He left after an hour and proceeded to send Zhou several texts later, all of which expressed frustration and sadness. Ms. Zhou tried to resolve his confusion through her kind replies. This visitor remained on Zhou’s mind throughout the night. So she texted him, hoping to obtain his family’s contact information and communicate with them. But he did not message back. Zhou was worried all night, concerned that he may take extreme measures. His condition was so bad that any setback may break him down completely, leading to drastic decisions.
_First thing the next morning, Zhou employed all her resources and sought out one of his friends, hoping that the friend can contact the man’s immediate family and instruct them to take him to the hospital for treatment. This friend called Zhou later in the afternoon, informing her that the man is going to the hospital in town with his family. At this point, Zhou finally felt a sense of relief.
Many years before, Zhou had just transferred from the military to a local position. While on her way to work, Zhou was stopped by an unknown woman who then berated Zhou loudly in public. Many people paused to watch the scene. Though Zhou did not understand the local dialect that was used in the insults, the woman appeared terrifying in her demeanor. Zhou felt wrongly accused but too afraid to assert herself. She cried for a long time afterwards. Later Zhou heard that the woman was one of her colleague’s wife, who was enraged because Zhou was hired as a replacement for her husband. Everyone recognized the injustice and stood by Zhou’s side. But she decided to let it pass and never filed a complaint.
The man who came to visit her yesterday was the angry woman’s son. Zhou remembered him as soon as he stepped in the door.
As a psychological counselor in a small town, this type of thing happens all the time. Every time, Zhou tries to face it with her conscience; it allows her to feel better inside. She says, “tolerance and responsibility can resolve all the enmity in the world.”
[Original Article was written by Ms. Zhou, and translated and edited by U.S. Tfish Intern, Sarah Chang.]
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