It was Saturday morning and I sat down at my computer to check my emails as I drank my first cup of tea.
There were a few emails from Twitter letting me know of new people who are following me. One person was called Tormented Soul. I clicked on this one…
Her bio read: “I am a Tormented Soul. If you are ever fortunate enough to touch the heart of a tormented soul… be thankful. It takes a special person to do that.”
I clicked on her website – Confessions of a Tormented Soul.
Wow! Powerfully, haunting music begins, the images are beautiful and my eyes fall on the first post: “A heartfelt letter to the selfless people on Twitter who saved my life.”
As I begin to read my heart flies open… The writer shares her story with such deep honesty. She tells of reaching a place of confusion, hopelessness and despair, contemplating suicide and finding herself on Twitter. Perhaps sensing her need, caring people came forward and offered her hope.
“I began clicking on the links to the various causes these selfless people on Twitter represent and I discovered so much. What I learned made me feel hopeful; what I learned helped me understand that there are complete strangers in this world who will take time out of their busy lives to reach out to another in need, without expecting anything in return.
My heart was touched by a beautiful and compassionate woman; a 13 year cancer survivor, who selflessly took my hand and walked me through a myriad of painful emotions that likely, would have contributed to a tragic outcome. A man in St. Petersburg, Florida; a complete stranger who is an advocate for homeless people reached out to me. Through his kindness and through his extension of healing thoughts and wishes, I became a bit stronger.
A Humanitarian and Activist in Boston, Massachusetts gently nudged me to the point of allowing myself to receive and to hear his message; his sincere words of wisdom. A survivor of institutional abuse who lives thousands of miles away in London, England, encouraged me, and helped me understand that I was not alone. A woman in Texas; a kind, uplifting mother and grandmother reached out to me and gave to me the gift of loving hope.
What I do remember is that I did not even ask for help. I am positive that this small group of amazing individuals sensed that I was in need through only a few words. In such a selfless and empathetic way, they held out their outstretched arms and opened my heart to receiving encouragement and hope.”
How inspiring to think of those caring people reaching out to this woman from all around the world. And how wonderful that they were able to reach her and give her the hope to continue on.
In her blog this woman clearly captures the pain of living a double life – of being a giving and productive member of her community and of living secretly with a history of trauma. mental illness and the isolation of having to wear a mask to protect herself from other people’s judgments.
We need to be aware that there are many people like this in our society – people who carry enormous pain because of mistreatment they have suffered through no fault of their own.
These people need kindness, compassion and tolerance. The blog, Confessions of a Tormented Soul, is a very potent reminder that things are not always as they seem. We need to stay awake to others’ suffering and be ready to reach out when needed, just as those caring people on Twitter did.
We also need to remember that those who have suffered are often the ones who especially enrich our society with the gifts of compassion, caring and wisdom they offer others. The helping professions are full of these people…
And if our lives are reasonably okay it is all the more reason to be mindful about what’s happening for others who are less fortunate.
I believe it’s really true that what goes around comes around. The love we offer others today may be the love that comes back to us in another way in our time of need.
I’m grateful to this woman for having the courage to share her story so honestly in this blog. I’m sure the gift of her powerful writing will touch the heart of many other tormented souls and bring them comfort of knowing they’re not alone. She also offers hope to us all in the reminder that there are many caring people out there who do understand what it is to suffer.
I wish her peace, strength and love….
© Kay Douglas. Kay Douglas is a psychotherapist, author and the founder of Self-help Online a website that offers inspiration and information for healthy, passionate, sustainable living.
Sometimes when we are going through challenging times it’s difficult to know where to turn. Here are some possibilities:
- Find a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist. If you live in New Zealand visit Talking Works.
- Find out about appropriate New Zealand community groups who can help you with abuse or mental health issues or offer you support.