An experience with Therapy.
Life never ceases to amaze me. It’s interesting really, the things it throws at me sometimes.
I’m a little confused by how things have panned out across the last week. It’s weird how one moment can change and alter so much. A little break in trust that caused havoc in my emotional stability for just a small fraction of my life. A day may seem like a long time but a day compared to a whole life, is most of the time, insignificant.
But Wednesday evening to Thursday afternoon was significant. It broke a trust I was trying hard to build. It may have been a trust built on money. A professional relationship that was paid for. A trust that was paid for. But even then, trust still stayed true to its’ essence.
It remained fragile.
Trust has always been rare with me. To build my trust, often takes years or an event that forced the trust out of me.
This professional relationship between a counsellor and myself, was new and experimental.
It proved to be difficult. I found it hard to pay someone I didn’t know anything about to listen to me. How was I to know that I could trust you? I don’t know anything about you and all I could do was go with my gut.
My gut said she was nice. Said she was patient and maybe, this was worth trying. My gut said, try to open up. You never try, you never know.
But despite my gut, my instincts were hard to fight. Habits, die hard..
Though little by little, the words came easier and little by little, each session became less of a dread. It is hard to admit, but there were times, I had looked forward to it.
Sometimes, nothing was said. Sometimes, nothing concrete came out of a session or sometimes, it just felt like a complete waste of time and money. But somehow, there’d also be one or two sessions, that just felt different. It it hard to describe how even though very little was said, it was still nice to have that little heard.
And when I knew it was coming to an end, there was a part of me that didn’t want it to. Though for the most part, I was looking forward to the sessions ending. There was less worry and anxiousness. There was less financial burden.
But miraculously or not, over the years, I have come to appreciate life. And I have come to appreciate stability. I have learned to live for my loved ones, not to die for them and there was worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep my own sanity in check. Across the last 3 years, I have managed to lose faith in my own mind and in my own capabilities. And that was what counselling was for me.
It wasn’t to better myself or heal any wounds. Perhaps speaking up and sharing and being more open could have been the possible indirect benefits of therapy but really, for me, it just served as a purpose of someone else looking out for me besides myself because I know, sometimes I couldn’t. Because I know sometimes, I wouldn’t be able to think clearly and sometimes, rationale is non-existant.
So ending this, worried me a little. It made leaving to a place where mental health is non-existant a little less tempting than it was 3 years ago.
But now I sit here, glad I ended it. In fact, after Wednesday, I didn’t want the last session at all.
I trusted her with the knowledge of how I decided to cope when I was in distress. I’m not sure why on Monday, I felt like overdosing was the way to go. It wasn’t the first time I’ve done it and I knew the side effects. I knew very well, how it was going to affect me but I wanted to do it anyway. I thought about it on my way home. I planned it as I walked home.
Get home, shower, change, pop a few pills too many. Get groggy, and sleep everything away. For awhile.. Not forever.
I’ve done it enough to know, I wouldn’t die. Each time I tried, I tried a different concoction or a different quantity but I knew how to not kill myself as much as I knew, how to kill myself.
But when I got home, I reconsidered a bit. Thought maybe just sleeping would be ok and browsed the net a bit but eventually, temptation took over and I succumbed to the lulling, numbing effect of Lorazepam.
I don’t remember much of Tuesday, but I remember detoxing to get the remaining drugs out of my system. Hydrate and increase intake of carbohydrates. Either purge or input more carbs to absorb whatever remnants of the drugs remained in my system.
I think the most dangerous thing I did that day, was cook.
I thought honesty, was the right way to go. I thought honesty, was what trust was built on and I was paying for trust. So I gambled on honesty and I gambled wrong.
I understand concern. I understand that my well-being was probably the cause of the action. But approaching my family, has been and will always be off-limits to me.
I understand wanting to form a support group for someone.
But my support group has never been my family. It has always been my friends.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family and I’d do what needs to be done to protect them but as much as I love them, it cannot change the fact that I spent a better half of my life, seeking solace elsewhere because the troubles in life, came from them.
It cannot change the fact that I’ve spent years, running from them.
And I’ve always ran to friends.
Though family may be stable now, Its only been recently stabilised. Probably only for about 1-2 years compared to the last decade of pandemonium.
It is going to take far longer than 1 good year, for me to trust in them.
People have threatened me. People have given me ultimatums and people have put fear in me, and that’s mostly come from my family. And these threats have taught me to be independent. To put things in my control so no one can push me around. So for me, that’s where I draw the line.
To approach my family sent fear running through my veins. Perhaps a question would have been better, like “Can I speak to your family about this.” rather than, “I’ll have to speak to your family about this.” and despite my request not to, mention that it was a “legal obligation”. I was petrified more than I was frustrated. Frustration was directed at myself for being stupid.
Anger at my counsellor and at the situation came later.
That night, that moment… That trust was broken and with me, once trust is broken, it is almost impossible to rebuild.
In the past, such an experience would have filled me with anger and hatred. Maybe I’m older now and have the wisdom to look at situations at a different perspective and understand where the other party is coming from.
The anger would be there for awhile, simply because I care, and then I would let it go.
In a strange way, I feel sad about the way this experience turned out. Probably because I don’t think this is the way it should have turned out. If everyone ended things so negatively with their counsellors and therapists, then the mental health industry would not be as lucrative as it is today.
If so many people have benefitted from such an experience then, the problem may lie with me. Perhaps, this just isn’t suited for me.
So I sit here, thinking about the $1,500 I invested and I’m trying to think of how it has benefitted me.
Indirectly, it has gotten me closer to a friend of 11 years because my distress on Wednesday night landed me at her house desperately trying to calm my nerves.
Directly, I’m not sure.
Perhaps I’ll just take it as a lesson learnt.
I’m sure my counsellor never meant it this way, but I doubt I’d ever trust the mental health industry with my mind and my thoughts again.
I’d like to wish her all the best, but I’m not entirely sure how to either.
I’d like to believe she meant well. I’d like to believe that her concerns were genuine but with the money involved, it’s somehow always very hard to believe. But I truly hope her new practice manages to help people the way she wants to.
I may not have benefited. But perhaps, someone else would. I want to wish her practice success but I’m just not sure if I should share my thoughts with her.
Like I said…. Trust is fragile. Once broken, it will never be the same.