Pointing people in the right direction

9 Jul

There is a young woman working in my office. We come from rather different backgrounds and aare so different in our opinions, morals and views of the world that, although we get along pretty well during office hours (after all, we share a room), we will probably never be friends.

This woman has, over the last months, exhibited symptoms of great emotional and spiritual need. Currently she is turning towards Islam (probably for the wrong reasons – but that is not my decision to make, and presumably not my business anyway). I do not feel particularly tempted to help her (got rid of my savior complex long time ago), but it is tough seeing her like this. I would like to show her a way to a safe personal place in life, but the only way I know is witchcraft, which is most likely not for her.

This is a conversation we had today.

Her, “Do you think I could work overtime during Ramadan?”

Me, “You will have to clear that with our boss. But why would you voluntarily work overtime while the weather is nice?”

Her, “I don’t want to go home to my SO earlier.”

Me, “In this case I strongly suggest looking at this”, forwarding a link to a real estate search engine, “because if you do not want to go home to your SO, it is time to get out. If I were you, I’d look at at least three of those places this week.”

Her, “Uhm, thank you?”

Me, “Don’t thank me. If you are unhappy, you cannot concentrate, and then your work sucks, and then I will have to reprimand you and start checking all your work as if you were a rookie, and I simply don’t feel like doing that. Heck, I’d even help you pack and carry if it would stop you from complaining.”

Yes, we are extremely different. If there is a problem with my life, I sit down and try to come up with a solution. I do not tolerate abuse , and am not willing to make myself unhappy to avoid conflict. Or, to say it more clearly, if we were locked with a monster in a room, she would probably play dead bunny and hope the monster changes its mind. Me, on the other hand… well. I would prefer to bash its head in with a bat, but tools are optional. I have tried explaining to her that you have to put the fear of the furies in those who would otherwise try to take advantage of her, but her reply usually is, “But I love him, and he can be really nice.”

(Nice??? My ass…)

Now… after some thought and hesitation, I have offered to put her in contact with a rather modern Muslima I know in case she needs questions answered. Personally I cannot understand why anyone would want to follow a restrictive monotheistic religion where what is said in a book (no matter how holy) is more important than what is in your soul, but I know that everyone has got to follow their own path. Maybe this quest will bring my colleague some peace of mind and help her rebuild a stable life. (Maybe it won’t. One step at a time.)


3 Responses to “Pointing people in the right direction”

  1. Magaly Guerrero July 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Rationalizing abuse and making excuses for the abusers is quite common, and very sad. To you, to me, and I think to many healthy minds it makes sense that if we are being hurt be someone we walk away from them (some of us might even free the abuser of a few of his/her teeth first), but like you suggested you and that lady are so different.

    I’m not sure how things work in Germany. Were she in the US, I would have provided her with some paperwork for a good counselor or a group that would help with her issues.

    Fear is an ugly place, and sometimes people just don’t know how to live it. I hope she finds a safe place and the strength to get herself there ❤

    • diandralinnemann July 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      There are plenty of options, and we have offered most of them to her – even contact information for a counselor working with the police (after she came to work with a bruised face because he had “accidentally” hit her during an argument – I would have reported him, but unless she presses charges, the police can’t do a damn thing). She simply does not use it, because according to her parents the guy is a good catch because he is wealthy.

      (If anyone were to lay a finger on me, my family would be waiting for them with heavy clubs. Money or no money.)

      • Magaly Guerrero July 10, 2013 at 3:43 am #

        This is very sad. It is very difficult (almost impossible) to get someone out an abusive relationship if they don’t want to (or can’t). And there is family pressure behind the issue… well, poor woman.

        It’s the same here, the police won’t do anything if the victim doesn’t press charges.

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