My youngest daughter has a toe that is out of joint, and has been for some time. She won’t let anyone touch it, because she knows it will hurt to pop it back in, so she lives with the poor little toe bent sideways. She will not go to the doctors for it, even though a doctor is what she needs.
This is how I was when I entered counseling. I successfully avoided all my old, deep-rooted little girl hurts, and drove my counselor to the point of exasperation. I am sure I am not fun to work with. We have talked, most of the time, about anything and everything but my deepest fears and most painful memories. I have talked about everything from work to the weather. Some of it is important, and a few years ago another situation came up, and needed to be dealt with. And she really has helped me with that, quite a bit.
But whatever you do, just don’t touch that. Don’t look at it, talk about it, bring it up, or I’m leaving the room.
I have done this for about ten years.
In counseling, we call this resistance. Some of us are better at it than others.
I have had several burn victims as clients; they are covered with either raw blistering skin, or peeling flakes of dried out skin. They shrink from being touched, even while desperately needing to be touched. Everything hurts. They are the clients I most identify with, because of their scars.
Healing takes a very long time.
I have wondered what to do with this blog; there are some who think I shouldn’t be writing about my personal life and my experience in counseling at all. That I should keep this very spiritual, and all about God. And I have read many beautiful blogs, about decorating, and cooking, and ministry, and all of the things I was interested in before all this happened. I want a blog like that: all pretty pictures and happy, uplifting thoughts. I have read blogging books, and books on how to build your platform, and drive people to your site. All very inspiring, if your goal is to make money. The thing about a blog is that once you start, if you do it well, the blog writes itself. And you forget when you’re writing that other people are reading it; that they can read your heart.
The only really bad feedback has come from my counselor herself. She read it, and was upset thinking that I am ruining her reputation, and trying to make her sound like a bad counselor. I’m not, and she isn’t. I only want to try to make sense out of all this, and salvage what I can of the pieces, and try to re-create my life. To put the puzzle back together, so to speak. But, this has changed me. I still love all those things: gardens, and art; music and decorating, but not now. I read somewhere once that depression kills creativity, and this is true. All of the things that make me me are on hold until this situation is resolved. I am simply too sad.
So, the blog will have to be a bit of all of it, because I am all of it. It won’t be really professional, or pretty, or even all that happy or uplifting to read. All I really am is a professional human being. That’s it; nothing more. And I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I can’t pretend this situation with my counselor didn’t happen, not even to make her happy so she won’t be angry anymore. I did try, for a while, but it was like wearing someone else’s armor, which is never a good idea. It doesn’t fit, and it slows you down. The situation at church, with the elder who created this whole mess has never been resolved, and because of my frustration with it all, my counseling came to a completely unexpected and inexplicable end. Suddenly. And ten years of work, of my life, was thrown away by someone I never in a million years thought would do that.
So, as I tell clients, I am a reality counselor. (Is it okay to say I have a counselor, and also that I am a counselor? Well, I did. And I am.) And this is a reality blog. God can handle reality; He is, in fact, only able to freely work in our lives when we are real. When we are honest, with Him, and with ourselves.
My daughter was home for the weekend, but on Monday she and her poor little out-of-joint toe headed back to school, leaving one very sad mama who isn’t dealing very well with an empty nest. It’s awfully quiet here.