23 March 2011

the little things

Lately I've been thinking a lot about life... and how more often than not it seems like it's the little things that make an experience, whether it's something from my service in the Peace Corps or a memory of always going to the same chinese restaurant with my dad after piano lessons when I was little.

Well, I found out today that a student attempted suicide. Rumors are already flying around the village as to the reason she did it, but when it comes down to it, the reason doesn't even matter because whatever it was at that moment in time was so big that she thought the only way out of the scenario was to end her own life. Hopefully later she can look back and say, "What was I thinking?"

But what hurts my heart the most is the story of what happened before, what could have happened after, and what will probably happen in the future. You see, her father died a few years ago and her mother moved to Moscow in order to make money for her family. She left her daughter (who is now a senior) to stay at home alone with her younger brother (I'm not sure how old he is). So, that is what happened before. What could have happened after she gets home from the hospital is a beating from her parents for her "selfish" act or for whatever reason caused her to attempt suicide in the first place (whether it be guilt, embarrassment, shame, or something else). This does not happen in every family, but it is a very common occurrence here and more times than not there is nothing that can be done to stop it for many reasons. Now this is how the scenario will probably work out given the circumstances of her family situation and the medical system here. She will probably remain in the hospital for a few days where she will hopefully talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist, who most likely will not be very well trained (but, fingers crossed, she gets to talk to someone who is well trained, very educated, very knowledgable, and she is willing to work with them... and we'll have a win/win situation). Then she'll be released to come back to our village where she will probably be frowned upon by some teachers, locals, and students at the school. With just 2 months left, she doesn't have to return to school because she has completed 9th form, and here they can stop attending school whenever they want after that. So, she may not return. She will probably not continue to have psychological counseling and who knows what will happen after that.

Now, I am not a psychic. I have no idea if this is how the scenario will play out, but after talking to some people about it, they said this is usually what happens in this type of a situation. I sure hope the exact opposite happens and that she does get proper counseling, she does get help, she does see a reason for living, her friends don't leave her hanging, and she finishes school. But my heart just aches to see a student going through something like this and I just feel that sometimes I can't do anything due to the language barrier, the fact that I don't know the culture or the system, and I don't know this girl very well at all. But maybe all of that will be more of a reason I can help. I have no idea right now, but my heart is aching for her.

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