A few weeks ago, the woman who inspired the TNT character was acting depressed and suicidal, crying and complaining of loneliness and asking desperately for an answer to the question "Who Am I?"
I tried to make her feel better, by talking and listening. We talked almost every day for those weeks, many times for one hour or more. She liked it and asked each times if "we would talk" the next day.
I tried to get her not only to remember good memories, but rather to remember and relive how she felt at the time of those good memories: it looked as if it worked, she was smiling and laughing again, she said that she was going to the swimming pool and to the gym again, that she made her first new friend in 6 months, because she was not afraid to talk to another girl at a shop.
I tried to teach her what I have learned of positive Psychology. She asked me for three references of book for ger to buy, made me revise it to her taste, but in the end she didn't buy them because she "did not have the energy" to do it (I refrained to order it for her on Amazon: the energy to read and act upon them being greater than that for buying them).
I shared with her some youtube videos about the psychology of gifted children and adults, and in particular about the asynchronicity between their intellectual and emotional development:
In Erik Erikson's model of the emotional development of humans, the question "Who Am I?" rises between 12 and 18. TNT is way beyond 18, but as the studies show, many circumstances can stop or slow down one's emotional development.
I tried to explain/convince that the question itself is badly defined, as the "I" in "Who am I" is changing at any time, both from the outside (circumstances) and from the inside (the choices we make, the habits we form), and that much more relevant questions could be "Who do I want to be?", or "What do I want to do?" (and "Who do I want to be doing it with?"). This didn't seem to convince her as she affirmed her unshakable belief that people could not change (which, of course, is contradicted by her memories of being different before), which brought us back to the theme of growth mindset versus fixed being mindset.
Now she announced that she was not sure if she could talk again in the next two weeks, because a boyfriend that she used to (work and) date with will be visiting her for two weeks. He is visiting her from quite far away and at quite great personal expenses, just because she told him that she was "feeling lonely". It felt a bit like a betrayal but then: I was 'only' trying to help, right?
The theme of human's emotional development (my own and other's) is fascinating, but much more frustrating than mere Mathematics!