March 21, 2020
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Yesterday, my phone rang early in the morning. The voice on the other end of the line whispered, with strain, “I’m sorry. I came home for spring break, and I won’t be returning to Pittsburgh for a while. I don’t know what we can do. Is there anything we can do?”
I had only met her a few times. She had come with her boyfriend who held her hand as she described her family: the physical slaps, the strict rules about never leaving the house, and the humiliation that was served up anytime she mentioned wanting to see her friends. She cried, she shook as she told her story.
We agreed to meet via phone sessions at a specific time. She would try to get out to her sister’s car, the only private space in the tiny house. She sounded relieved that we could stay connected.
Miriam DeRiso, PhD, has a private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is affiliated with Keeping Our Work Alive: Relational Psychoanalytic Training Group.
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