Nobody told me there’d be days like these

One of my favourite students is starting to worry me.  She’s a beautiful, educated suburban housewife who takes exactly four private lessons a month, pays top dollar, and doesn’t give me a hard time at all – in fact, I look forward to meeting with her every Tuesday morning.   I also respect her for being a model wife and mother, not to mention a pillar of the PTA. 

Recently she has been beset with the kinds of problems that affect most women on her age and station in life.  As a typical Sandwich Generation woman, she is dealing with two sets of aging parents and two rebellious teenagers at the same time.  She is also going through a rough patch in her marriage (no doubt caused by the above conditions).   To top it all off, she has fallen out with a few of her friends … and it’s interesting to me that this problem is the one that causes her the most agony, perhaps because she relied on those friends for emotional support. 

A few weeks ago she started asking me, apropos of nothing, some very odd questions.  For example “do you ever feel like you could die now and no-one would care?”  Or “do you ever just want to go to sleep and never wake up?”  or even quite bluntly, “do you ever just want to end it all?”  This is a topic that she keeps coming back to despite my efforts to brush it off.   I recognise that she is suffering from some form of depression (and who would blame her?) but I don’t feel safe in recommending her to go to a Japanese doctor, because they are generally hopeless at dealing with these things. 

Anyway, I hope that she manages to work it out somehow, but given the Japanese prediliction for suicide, I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t.


3 comments on “Nobody told me there’d be days like these

  1. Karen says:

    The questions she is asking are typical of people considering suicide. If she starts giving away possessions that she treasures, that would signal an immediate crisis. Is it possible you could mediate some sort of restoration of the friendship with her buddies that she is on the outs with? That might really help. Don’t brush her off. She needs to talk. Tell her that the crises WILL pass and things will get better. If she has children, get her to think about what a suicide would do to her children’s lives, forever. Ask around, see if you can find the name of a doctor that actually has some skill in dealing with these issues.

  2. Miko says:

    I’m looking around. I think she’s exhausted and could do with a break in a sanitorium, one of the nicer places. Persuading her to go could be difficult. Some women drive themselves to be all things to all people, until they just can’t do it no more. We have a lunch date next week, so I’ll bring the subject up then. Thanks for your advice.

  3. Jeni says:

    Let us know what happens. I hope she is okay. I have a great therapist here who does therapy by Skype. If she speaks enough English and can arrange to get payment across the ocean, I highly recommend my therapist.

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