Greetings Tim, and all..
I tend to agree with Vince on this, though such situations are indeed complex. 
As there are a number of licensed psychologists and medical professionals here, 
they may  have opinions as well.
My own training is in health care--wellness/ fitness/ preventative  health, but 
I am not a clinical professional. 
I have a "friend"  that I met some time ago who seemed to be devoted to caring 
for others and to social justice. Always the volunteer in crisis situations. 
Trained in counseling and fire-fighting as well as law enforcement, he seemed 
outwardly dedicated to humanity.
Yet he is obsessed with his own body and health-- he sees a medical provider of 
one type or anothe, about  once or twice a day  or more on average. In my 
opinion, he suffers from a psychological malady wherein he gets his intimacy 
needs met this way.  He is quick to anger, and his whole life is committed to 
some kind of drama.  Most recently, he is working with  the fire-station and 
search & rescue to find a wandering alzheimer's patient, searching  until the 
wee hours, he says.  He asked to be part of this search as a volunteer, though 
he tells me he cannot hear without a hearing aid, and it is being replaced by 
the VA--which is caught up in bureaucratic channels for a week, or so he says.  
He also says he  is seeing an orthopedic specialist because of his knee 
pains--but then the next day, he is back  at the doctor's office to be treated 
for insect bites sustained in his heroic  search.
He claims a childhood history of physical abuse by his mother and being raped 
by a stepfather. Claims to have anal bleeding from the scars now that act up 
every couple of months, requiring him to wear a "pad".  Yet he has  a 
close-enough bond with her  now to play dominos with her for hours--work with 
her on insurance and legal matters. He claims he was tortured in the army as a 
POW.  He claims that he lost his wife and child in a terrorist attack.  He 
claims he tried to hang himself.  He claims to be suffering from  heart and 
liver diseases that will ultimately  take his life. He is completely 
self-aborbed--and focused on his daily dramas.  He has said that I am the only 
person he is living for.  I am a saint  sent by God to be with him.  When he  
saw his liver specialist two weeks ago, he  told me that he is no longer on the 
national transplant list because his liver has miraculously healed...  
But without me--life is not worth living..
Okay~~ I am a tough-sell when it comes to compassion. I am a skeptic by 
nature. I have a family chock-full of attorneys, so need I say more on that?  
This man actually really got  to me, and I believed him  for a long time.  I 
posted on him not long ago about how deeply he humbles me by his compassion for 
others despite his own personal misfortunes.  
I have learned in the intervening time that he is the one I need to find 
compassion for, instead of being justifiably  angry at him for playing with my 
empathy and  wasting my time. I'm sure pieces of his story  might  be true.  
But the majority of it is just a  drama he has created to erect a persona that 
allows him to get  his needs met, (no matter how manipulatively).  
Back to Tim's situation..  We all find a way to survive within ourselves. 
Yes--suicide does happen far too often. But sometimes, the drama may have 
become her habitual way of living. She may not give that up without  having 
something similar to replace it with.  That is not likely to be "happy" , 
"feel-good" acts or activities.  Often, I recommend people  get the focus off 
themselves by getting busy working for others.  But as you see above, my friend 
 has turned service to others into his own egotistic reward. This is tricky.
She may simply be addicted to the pain, and without  knowing any of the 
details, perhaps seeking out a professional trained in this kind of counseling 
or medical intervention is the only answer.  Seek out  someone who has worked 
with "cutters" , for example.  (Cutters are people who intentially cut and scar 
themselves. Its a form of OCD, I think). Continuing to do as you are only 
reinforces her behavior..  Moreover, harsh as it reads, you may  be caught up 
in doing this  to make    your opening statement true for you. So-- I  guess 
I'm saying that giving is a razor-edge experience. Our ego is 
rarely absent from it, and there is a place in life and service for "tough 
love", to include ourselves.
Enjoy  the weekend..

--- On Thu, 9/23/10, Vince <> wrote:

From: Vince <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] If you save a life
Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 4:24 PM



I don't know the circumstances or situation, except what you have posted below, 
so correct me if I'm wrong, but are you saying this woman has been threatening 
to commit suicide for 15 years? If that's the case, then she obviously WANTS to 
live to some degree, otherwise she would have cashed her chips in a long time 


From: tim <>
Sent: Sat, September 18, 2010 7:14:35 PM
Subject: [Zen] If you save a life


The Jews and Muslims share a saying: If you save a life, it's as if you saved 
the world. That's rather Zen also. The truth is out there. That's a X-File 
term. I have a friend who is has been very resistant to letting me or anyone or 
herself try to end her death wish and painful way of being. But I'm gong to be 
very insistent in till she decides to try and save her life or tells me to get 
lost. The soft sell for 15 years has not worked. I all ready mailed her one 
hell of a letter. It got a thank you but has not worked magic yet. Tim


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