Me: “Do you think it’s been worth it? This therapy with A?”
Husband: “Even if all that had changed was the way you communicate with me, how you articulate your needs, how you can identify if an emotion is past or present, how you are less ashamed.. the answer would be yes. But you also have stood up for yourself with brother and it stuck. You have also seen improvements in your relationships with friends. You’ve started to make a realistic schedule. You have drawn boundaries with your parents. Babe… I’d say it’s been worth it.”
It’s been a year. I was supposed to meet with A for the first time on February 15, 2016 but I had a severe allergic reaction and was hospitalized. I remember emailing her within the 24 hour window and thinking ‘this new therapist is going to drop me, she’s going to think I’m cancelling and I’m high maintenance’. And I remember her emailing me back and us rescheduling for the 17th. And I remember being surprised at her well wishes, and that I wasn’t being chastised, or punished. I remember our first phone call – she was at the park. And she just sounded so kind.
Sometimes, when I’m in the muck, like I am now, it’s hard to see how far I’ve come. It’s hard to get my head above water (it’s easier to just swim down – bonus points if you know where that line is from).
But I’ve done a lot of work. And A has stuck with me. I’ve lied to her twice. I’ve freaked out in anger, both misguided and very valid, at least four times. She has always, always taken responsibility for her side of things, and redirected and guided and educated me when I am wrong – without shaming or dismissing me.
I found what I was looking for in 8 other therapists, including Em. I found my therapeutic partner, someone in alliance with me. Someone who resonates on a human level, who knows all of me and loves me for me, and is committed to helping me to heal. Someone who knows herself, her limits, and sticks to her rock solid boundaries (which even in moments like these, I’m so thankful for).
I still don’t believe she isn’t going to leave. But I do have hope that we will get another year, and I’ll have more progress to look back on.
I doubt she’s thinking of me right now, but happy one year celebration to us. There’s kindness and care – but there’s also trust. From all parts of me. And that’s never happened before.