I Give You The Right To Suffer


I see it in the face of my patients every time they walk through the door.

Confusion. Chaos. Disorientation. Was this what their live’s had plan for them all along? How could this be? They have done everything right. Yet they are finding themselves in a place where they feel like the biggest failures. What has happened?

I see them rapidly break down into sobs of desperation to the point they can’t breathe anymore. Or maybe the first time they can, as they vent out their hurts, pain, and frustration that these sufferings are bringing into their lives.

I was talking to my friend on the subject of suffering in today’s society. How people end up going through a tough time, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, and the first thing they question is why they have to suffer. For years I’ve see young and old patients come through the door dumbfounded, as if they hit a lottery that they did not want to win.

So I am writing this here to remind you of something.

Suffering affects all of us.

Yes, all of us. One way or another, it affects every single one of us. Those that are suffering feel like they are the only person in the world going through it. They also feel as if they do not deserve this. As if suffering is something that some deserve.

Truth be told, we are all suffering.

Whether in loud burst of tears and anger, or in quiet desperation. We are all going through things.

That sense or place of normalcy that we all want to experience, really does not exist. We can only create it by changing our focus, not our circumstances.

And those are moments. Moments like the ones you put up on Instagram, or Facebook. Moments like the one we share with the world, as if we lived euphoric lives. Knowing we are desperately suffering.

Suffering to allow us to differentiate between times in our lives.

Suffering that allows us to grow, and mature into the humans we are called to be. Producing a brilliance is that is unmatched.


Part of every human.

Simply put, what helps us breathe, once again.


9 thoughts on “I Give You The Right To Suffer

  1. Not long after I was shot I saw a therapist (I called him daddy long legs) who throughout our first session annoyed the hell out of me. He, by the way, specialized in victims of violent crime and came highly recommended. As I told him how angry I was, vented my fury at my loss of physical freedom, talked about my new found fears, cried because my family was so fractured and I was so filled with fury his only contribution to the conversation was this, ‘you have the right to feel that way’.

    After nearly 50 minutes I simply stared at him, now he was making me mad too. I knew I had the right to my feelings. I was under no illusion regarding my ownership of my feelings or whether they were out of sync. I knew I was suffering from PSTD and so were my children for that matter though to a lesser extent.

    Yes, we have the right to suffer. We will all suffer at different times of our lives and to a greater or lesser extent, for different reasons. It is what we do with that suffering, how we handle it. Whether we allow it to rule our lives, destroy our futures.

    I never went back to that ‘expert’ by the way.

    1. Val,
      Sorry to hear that this was your experience. Unlike your experience, the majority of the patients tend to go through a phase of guilt first. Some question why they were in that situation. Also, could they have done something else to avoid the consequences. Maybe that is why he emphasized “the right to feel that way”, to validate your feelings. Apparently you had passed that stage, but I must say this is one of the most crucial steps. If a patient feels validated already, then you go on to dealing with the suffering. But usually after the 3rd of 4th session.

      Every patient is different, and I am deeply sorry that this was your experience. Glad you found another one, that seemed like a better fit for you and your needs.

      1. Perhaps I am just an odd human being, I never felt guilty for what happened to me. I only felt guilty that it happened and my family was so terribly affected. I was furious so many friends and family had to spend so much time caring for my needs. I am a bit over protective of others and not near enough protective of myself.

        My PTSD manifested in very strange ways, I was able to develop specific actions to avoid triggers.

        I actually never went back to therapy (I know my bad) for this specific issue. I worked through the issues using other activities. I used techniques from past intervention and applied them.

        Personally? I think he simply didn’t listen to what I said, didn’t understand where I was in the process and so didn’t personalize the session.

        Don’t be sorry, you didn’t do it he did. Those he ‘specialize’ in victims of violent crime have to work with a very different type of patient. I have actually spoken to a group of therapist in my area about this issue and how to talk to ‘us’. Just as I have worked with First Responders and violent offenders.

        Humanity is a terrible and wonderful thing, isn’t it.

        1. Val,
          I am sorry, I think I now further understand what you said. You know what (speaking candidly), there are times that the psychiatrist is not listening. Its a sad thing, not because he is getting paid for it, but because that emotional connection needs to be made in order to help the patient. Distractions can lead to in accurate advice, and can be detrimental.

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