She curled into a ball in the empty bathtub to avoid being stabbed to death by an angry boyfriend. The “boyfriend” clearly intent on killing her, managed to slice her left arm and leg along the calf several inches above the knee. He also cut away the left corner of her lip, and plunged the knife into her neck a few inches from her carotid artery. Fortunately for her, he broke the knife against the side of the tub. Neighbors called the police. He fled. She recovered, the scars marking her ordeal.

 When she described this trauma, her concern was for her boyfriend.  She told the story of his terrible childhood, his stint of abuse in prison, and how her own anger had triggered his PTSD. Poor boyfriend, now on the lamb for attempted murder. She just hoped he wouldn’t kill himself. Her great fear was that his attack might have that unhappy ending. She blamed herself for provoking him.

 My friend took her upstairs, and prayed for her. She shared how she too had been a victim of abuse. As far as I know, this friend resisted the temptation to argue with this victim’s mental illness. The amazing thing is that a person can live into old age responsible for every misfortune, having no core self, nothing of value at the center, and dependent on sucking into oneself whatever attention one can get, even in the form of a knife attack.