I like to think that medics have a similar experience to psychologists. Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do for someone. The life they have is the life they’ll have to live, however tragic it may be. Until our understanding and our execution improves, sometimes, there’s not much we can do besides apply highly sophisticated band-aids and hope for the best. The difference is that, when a medic fails, people die. When a psychologist is essentially helpless, someone has to live their entire life with whatever issue they have. It may be years of torture and hallucination… it might be a slight anxiety problem.

I’ve watched some of my best friends stumble into bad relationships and silly decisions. I’ve witnessed my own downfalls through the eyes of someone who knows that I could have done better and how. To date, I’ve never had to watch someone’s family, besides my own, tear itself apart, though. Within the folds and cracks of the banal, there is so much hidden pain and triumph. It may just seem that two people aren’t really talking any more to you, and that might not seem all that ground-breaking, but to them…

My point is that I’m not really cool with what I’ve had to watch happen in my life, even when I know that slapping them upside the head and giving them a stern talking-to might have solved the problem. I mean, it wouldn’t have, but it certainly seems like it should. BUT, you can’t strap someone to a chair and live their life for them. Even metaphorically, it would make you a monster… or a parent.

How then, would I handle having to watch as someone lives a torturous existence, especially when they’ve come to me for a magical salve? Sure, it can be inspiring at times and, yes, I’ve walked past enough of the ostensibly homeless to have it be a part of my daily life, but at the end of the day, I’m not sure I’d be able to. I think I’d learn pretty damn fast… that, or I’d tumble back into escapism. It’s a different sort of paradigm because I’m not looking at the entirety of humanity.

In this scenario, I’m standing in a hot, white room, looking down at a little boy, and he’s begging me to keep the monsters away.


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