She told me she understood what I was going through and that I had to believe I deserved to be treated better than the way he was treating me. She understood it was hard to leave someone you loved, but that ultimately I was going to find the strength to do it. She didn't know me, but she had faith in me.
I just sat there and sobbed. Just a few minutes of kindness and empathy from a stranger had a profound effect on me. I wish I could say that I got up from that table, left him, and never looked back, but I didn't. I stuck around for a while longer, but her words stayed with me and I eventually proved her right.
Imagine if that same woman had pulled a Lynn Hirshman and had instead spent those few minutes hectoring me about my poor choices and questioning my feminist credentials. While perhaps her intention would've been to shame me out of my quagmire, I've no doubt the result would've been to simply bury me deeper.
Written by Judy McGuire for The Frisky.