“Oh, that’s rare. You are the first I know who still doesn’t have Netflix. I guess you haven’t been converted? Or which platform do you watch your series on?”
“Just let me be. Am I not allowed to be angry, upset or frustrated? This is how I express myself, just like when you screamed or punched me a few times. Don’t try to kill my emotions. I don’t have to be okay.”
“No, I’m totally surprised. You just seem so normal! Wait, was that offensive? Sorry, but please don’t take it the wrong way. And man, I can’t imagine, overcoming that must have been a hell of life experience.”
“I had depression, too, and then I found God. All those conversations, you should be having them with him. Philosophy and psychology… these things will drive you away from God.”
It works like any drug that provides temporary relief, then it’s gone. So you do it all over again. Everything in moderation. The ability to balance all void-fillers plus understanding oneself may unlock the benefits of retail therapy.
When both sides lower their guards and choose to share, they connect honestly. Many, however, would rather not risk the shame, insecurity and embarrassment, because the truth is many of us do judge. We prefer to separate ourselves from those who are “abnormal.”
“I think your sister is suicidal. Please don’t tell your parents. I don’t think she’d want your parents to know. I’ve tried to calm her down and she sounded better on the phone, but I thought I should tell you at least.”
I was reminded of the time when I stayed home for 5 days straight without seeing or talking to another soul. It may not sound like much but the aftermath of self-isolation scared me into a frenzy.
“I don’t know. All I know is that I can’t go to the kitchen. I can’t look at knifes right now. I’m also afraid to look at the balcony window. I’ve been gripping this chair in the den for 10 minutes already to calm down.”
He enjoys math and statistic but has trouble keeping up with school attendance. I have asked about his tendency to skip lectures. It was not easy for him to put those thoughts into words. Perhaps he also did not really understand it. At the time, he had already been in college for 8 years.