Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sessions with Sue 1

After 13 years of living in darkness and denial, today I did something that I've been afraid to do. I started seeing a counselor. This may make me seem weak to some of you, but at this point I can't afford to keep worrying about how things make me look. I'm turning 21 a week from today, and I wanted to use this symbolic time of transition as an opportunity to make things right and learn how to be happy.
As I approach real "adulthood", I've learned that there's a difference between being ready to do something and recognizing that it's time to do something. It's been time for me to talk to somebody for years, but I was always too afraid, didn't feel like I was ready, believed it was for weak people, was certain I didn't need it. But I do need help, and there's nothing wrong with that.
This morning I met with a lovely woman named Sue. When I arrived at her office we sat down, she had me fill out some forms, then she asked me "Now, why are you here?" So I basically told her my life story. I hadn't meant to, but it wasn't possible for me to tell her about all the problems I'm dealing with without going back to the beginning (which was age 7 or 8), and talking a lot about my dad. Plus, I rarely have the opportunity or feel safe enough to talk about myself and my feelings in front of other people, and I just had so much to let out! So I just talked and cried, talked and cried. And she listened.  She offered her input and asked me questions here and there, but mostly she just listened. In our conversation she pointed out the following things, some of which I was already aware:
  • For a long time I have been, and to a lesser extent I am still being, emotionally abused.
  • What I experienced during my childhood was not normal. It was trauma.
  • I suffer from depression and anxiety, and the things that I feel are not my fault.
  • I did a good job of recovering in the best ways I knew how. I am no longer at the lowest point. Now I just need some assistance and tools to help me get the rest of the way.
My head's still pounding from all the crying I did during that hour that flew by. But you know what? I've also been feeling lighter all day. It's difficult, it's painful, it's awkward, but expressing your reality out loud to others is a really cleansing and empowering experience. I know I just started and it's not my place to get on a soapbox or anything, but I suggest anyone who's even considering counseling to give it a try. Even if it doesn't solve all your problems, sometimes it's worthwhile enough just to have someone to talk to.

Anyway, that was my morning. Just thought I would share. Love y'all.

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