Self-forgiveness— Sue Jackson



Some years ago a young woman came to see me in great distress. She was pale and thin, her skin was grey and she had dark circles under her eyes. She looked very small in her oversized coat. ‘Janet’ explained that she had come under duress. Her parents, siblings and General Practitioner were all extremely worried about her and it was for this reason that she had finally picked up the phone and arranged an appointment with a therapist.

Janet outlined her situation in the following terms:

Two weeks previously, on a Friday night, she was travelling home from Melbourne to the country, to spend the weekend with her parents. She had had a few drinks after work with some friends, but had not stopped for dinner. Halfway home, she fell asleep at the wheel. The car drifted to the wrong side of the road, where it collided with another car travelling in the opposite direction. Both the young driver and his girlfriend in the other car were killed instantly. Janet, who only awoke at the point of impact, emerged uninjured.