I met a lady who was miserable. She was yelling at anyone who would listen, and seemed very frustrated. I started talking with her, and she said that she needed to recertify for Medicaid and this is why she came in to see someone. I reassured her she would be seeing someone soon. She told me that she was having a terrible day, and when I said I hope it gets better she says it won’t because she has been in pain for 20 years, and I am just a baby and do not know this pain. I agreed. She told me she is getting knee replacements and about how she falls everywhere. In my eyes, her chronic pain is debilitating  both her mental and physical capacity. She was clearly worn out and her optimism was all gone; she was very abrasive. A lot of outsiders may feel like she is harsh and rude, but they do not realize her pain. 

She said that she prays, because there are so many people who have the devil inside them–like those who smoke and are alcoholics, and the man who spit on her earlier, and the boy who would not put his feet down and so she said he had no manners–so she says she prays for them. I asked her if she prays for her pain to go away, and has faith that it will get better and she says no, and that I do not understand because I am “just a baby.”

This is what strikes me the most. Why is she so fixated on fixing other people? She has problems of her own but she just keeps on talking about “the people who need help.” Perhaps it is her way of feeling powerful. Through my client contact, I can see how people can feel powerless in their situation. After being through the washer again and again, it would be easy to think that I do not matter anymore. Maybe I would get frustrated like her, frustrated even in my own body. I hope that she finds peace, whether we can help her improve her quality of life or we help to relieve some of the pain she feels.

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