China Elevator Stories

I saved a person's life

I see a student sit on a windowsill in Changchun in 2019.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


One of my friends from high school took her life by jumping from a building in 2012. I was in Shenzhen when another friend contacted me from Austria and told me about her death.

sunset in Vienna - Ruth Silbermayr

A few years go by, and I remember one day where I was in Changchun to teach. When I went to class, I saw a student sit on a windowsill of the 14th floor, legs looking to the outside of the building. I immediately called my boss, who was in the building and asked her to stop him from jumping. She ran up two stairs, found him and could stop him from jumping and make him come down from the windowsill.

When I told my husband this story in the evening after I was back home in Siping, he would say: “You are just imagining that. The student was just sitting there for fun. He didn’t mean to take his life.” 

The reason I am explaining this is because this is a good example of gaslighting. The person who is gaslighting you will usually tell you or sometimes suggest more subtly that you are crazy, that you are imagining things, or that you made that up.

Have you ever experienced gaslighting?

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