An open heart and an open door

All my life it seems that people in need choose to seek refuge in me. For me, this is part honor, and part horror. The honor part is because I feel honored that somebody realizes that by coming to me, I can find some way to help them. The horror part is because I worry that my help may not be enough, and as I lack the proper training, I often feel as if I should attend university and do a few psychology courses, never know.

A while ago I worked in an electronics store. When we sold computers, I was always asked to go to the customer’s home to install the computers, set up the networks, printers, etc.

On this occasion, I was to visit the residence of a woman who I will call Diane. Diane and her small child lived alone in a small, run down apartment in one of the rougher sides of town. I could see from all the artwork on her walls, Diane was a very talented artist. I could also detect sadness in her work. Diane’s small daughter dealt with hearing issues, and Diane said that this caused her grief, not only because her daughter’s father refused to help, but because she could not afford the expensive hearing aids that her daughter so desperately needed.

I was surprised at how much Diane revealed about herself while I was there. It was as if she knew me all her life, as she told me things I really had no business knowing. I tried to direct her to the proper avenues to seek help in receiving the proper assistance with her issues, and she seemed thankful for this. She was, however, angry when I said I had to leave. She asked if I could drop in again sometime.

I returned to work, and apparently she called my employer to ask him for my home phone number, which he provided without my knowledge.

One night, at approximately 2 a.m., I received a call from Diane. She sounded grief stricken and she asked if I could drop by. I worked all day, and with work in the morning, I didn’t feel as if it were a great idea. Despite the fact that I had not been in a relationship with anyone at the time, I decided against pursuing any relationship with this woman, leaving it to a professional relationship instead. She practically begged me do come to her home.

She got to the true reason why she had called after about a half an hour on the phone. She said that she could not take it any longer. Her boyfriend had abandoned her with a small child, her child had hearing issues and was struggling in school, she couldn’t find work and her rent was due soon, and she had been drinking. She said that she had a few pills from a friend, and she had taken them while talking to me on the phone. She said that she was beginning to feel weak.

I asked that she hold on for one minute, and while talking to her, I also called the local police to report a possible suicide. The officer asked if I thought she was serious, and I agreed that this seemed very serious. I remembered her address and provided it to the officer, and then I rejoined Diane on the phone. I talked to her, and assured her that there was a future here. I explained that her daughter needed a mom in her life and without her, her daughter’s life would be so difficult.

During our conversation, she said that her door bell rang, and she rushed to answer it. She returned to the phone to tell me one thing before the officer could take control of the issue. “You Bastard” she said, violently, and hung up the phone.

A few years afterward, I ran into Diane at the local grocery store. I was surprised to find that she came over to talk. “It was you, who called the cops to my home that night, wasn’t it?” she asked. “Do you know that they took my daughter from me and forced me to seek counseling?” she inquired.

“I had to do it, I felt that you would do something drastic like end your life” I told her.

“I would have, but thanks to you I am still here” she said, surprisingly.

Apparently she stayed in counseling, eventually got her daughter back, and then received the help she needed to purchase the hearing aids for her little girl. Diane has a job now, and has met a nice guy. The three of them live in a beautiful home with two dogs and a cat.

Diane’s story ended very positive, but for years I regretted calling the police. I know now that I did the right thing. For some reason, suicidal people seek me out for answers. I am not sure whether this is a gift or a curse, but my door is always open, and I always offer whatever help that I can.

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