The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
“Are you not giving me any medicine?” her patient asked?
Ms. Shahab was silent for a moment, and then said with a sympathetic gaze, “Medicine for you will not cure your abusive husband.”
"The therapist was born in the isolated Afghan village she still lives in, in 1987 or 1988 — she is not sure. Her father was shot and killed at his mosque shortly before she was born. The reasons for the killing remain unclear, but it shattered their family and forever changed life for Ms. Shahab and her two siblings.
Ms. Shahab and Client (NY Times)
"A marriage was arranged to a man almost 20 years her senior when she was only 13. But the marriage did not stop her from completing her education. She took two of her youngest children with her to school, placing them at the kindergarten as she attended classes."
She is now a therapist in the village, caring for women battered by family and war.
If you were sitting with me in my office, this is what I’d tell you.
I’m sorry you were beaten. How scary it must have been to see the video. To have this one, incredibly brutal moment in your life on display, over and over again. To relive an experience months old, as if it were yesterday, when you might have been working to put your life back together. To move forward. Please know you did nothing wrong. Ray did. With all this publicity, give yourself some time alone. Find a safe place for yourself. One you can go to when you need some quiet. See supportive women friends. Talk to someone who knows the dynamics of intimate partner violence on a regular basis. You’re in this relationship for your own reasons. Try to figure them out. Get a handle on self-care. Treat your body with respect. Discover your passions. Learn what brings you comfort. Surround yourself with people who nourish, not deplete.
Jane Seskin is a clinical social worker and writer whose poetry has appeared in journals, newspapers, and magazines.. Her book, Witness to Resilience, consists of moving, poignant, vivid poems about violence towards women. They touch our hearts and sear our souls. The first poem in this book is “Home.”
I never thought of the kitchen as a battlefield with hot foods, dishes, pots, and silverware used as weapons.
I never imagined a broken mirror could scar flesh, a bedroom pillow could smother a breath, a curtain rod could gouge out an eye.
I never realized the handy tool chest could be so lethal;
roach spray could blind, hammers could break fingers and screwdrivers could puncture arms, legs, breasts.
I never thought, imagined, or realized,
but now I do, since I started listening to women
talk about the violence.
William Carlos Williams wrote:
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
In Jane Seskin’s poems, the voices of the abused women she sat with, are a cry, a seminar, from the heart.