It can take tremendous courage to seek help and face your fears. I was given this from a client (permission granted) which captures this fear, as well as the triumph (Michael Tomek, Clinical Psychologist).
I am led to a small room. Jumping with anxiety yet frozen with fear and I sit in a chair. Fear of the unknown, fear of what might be. My eyes scan the room. A man sits across from me with papers resting on his lap. I sit waiting and then the first question is asked.
And so starts this journey. A journey of discovery.
There have been many twists, turns and a few roadblocks along the way. Each teaching me, each showing something about myself.
I have spent most of my life trying to figure myself out. Sometimes succeeding but most times not. Wondering why I am the way I am, never making the connections.
I needed someone, a guide, to help me make those connections, to help give me understanding.
That guide is you. All that had gone on in the few years before was preparing me for the journey ahead. I knew I’d have to work hard in letting you be this for me. It went against everything my independent self is.
In the beginning I know I tested you a lot. Somewhere inside me I needed to know you would stick with me if the going got tough, if I started showing the bad parts of me. I also needed to know that you had boundaries and that those boundaries could be flexible. Without realising it I also needed your humanness within the relationship.
And in staying constant with your reactions toward me no matter what I bring into the room, a safe place has been created. Without me even being aware of it. All these things made it so I could start showing the parts of me that no other human being has ever seen. The bits of me that can be easily hurt, the dark parts, the vulnerable parts.
When I ran into a roadblock, when I had no words, when I couldn’t communicate, you found other ways to help me out, to make the connections.
Those connections are never easy for me. I’ve heard words I’d never heard before; words that for some reason make me cringe. Abuse, shame, pain, hurt. They all lead to a truth, a truth I have avoided all my life. A truth I would still rather avoid. A truth that really, I didn’t realise was a truth.
In the safety of that small room I have slowly started facing that truth. The truth of my life. Speaking some of those truths out loud so my ears and your ears could hear have been some of the hardest things I’ve had to do. This is the reason I have spoken little of my truths. It’s hard for my ears to hear.
This journey has at times amazed me. Amazed that I’m not alone in my experience. Who knew? Amazed that you would even stick with me through this difficult journey. Amazed that I would stick with this most difficult journey. Amazed that this is actually a journey.
This journey has at times startled me. Startled that just maybe what I went through was somewhat bad, not a normal life. Startled in realising what had happened to me. Startled about the connection of what I am now and my childhood life. Startled when I matched a word said to a feeling felt. Startled that others shared the experience and called it bad. Startled when you knew what was what when I didn’t even know what was.
This journey has at times discouraged me. Discouraged when I don’t see the progress I think I should be making. Discouraged when I can’t make any connections no matter how hard I try. Discouraged when there are no words to express myself. Discouraged when I realise that I can’t jump from point A to point B, that there are all these little steps in-between. Discouraged that I only have fleeting memories. Most of all discouraged that I will have to come to terms with the effects of the past.
This journey is giving me hope. Hope that even though I may have to live with the effects of the past I can just maybe learn to work around them. Hope that I can excel in this endeavour. Hope I will be able to recognise what is happening in the moment. Hope that there is a future. Hope that one day I will be able to acknowledge, and accept and most of all have compassion for what is within, both dark and light. Hope that the little girl within will have a voice one day. 🙂
As I have sat with you I’ve come to know that there may not be an end to this particular journey. It’s not so much about the destination but the journey itself. I’ve learned that there are actually many facets involved in this healing journey.
You have been and are a big part of this journey I’m on. I’ve tried to work hard in this journey, to try to discover the self within. And over time I’ve slowly come to know that you are working for me as well as working along with me. That you have worked hard for me.
I am grateful for that small room. For the man with the papers on his lap.