Lesson Learned

People will never truly understand something until it happens to them


My response to the death of my baby is going to be vastly different to anybody else’s response due to a myriad of differing factors and contributors. When I started psychiatric nurse training in England many years ago at age 18 I had little life’s experience. A very wise tutor assured me that this would not be a disadvantage. Instead it would give me an opportunity to listen carefully and feel empathetically and actually stand a chance of understanding the patient instead of assuming and presuming and projecting any of my personal experiences on to them or judging them or dismissing their experience as ‘not right’ because it didn’t mirror mine (or any page in a text book). What valuable advice that was and it has benefited me enormously in my career. All of our experiences are different as are our responses and to suggest that we can only understand someone if a similar thing has happened to us is entirely missing the point in my opinion. If you are open, kind and willing to not judge but just listen you can develop empathy and be of a great help to those in need just by being there. Giving clients an opportunity to be heard and explain themselves and have their story valued and accepted can be a very cathartic and healing opportunity. So lovingly listen to all stories. ~ Tricia Mark 

Everyone experiences things and cope with things differently. I’d never expect anyone to understand the mental and physical pain I am in, even if they’ve experienced it themselves, no two people are exactly the same, however a bit compassion goes a long way to helping someone feel a bit better and we’re all capable of that. I’d hope so anyway. ~ Tracy Howard 


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