Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Haven’t written lately; life has not been cooperating with all of my good intentions. And my heart just isn’t in it anymore.
I have given up on the whole mental health/counseling thing. It just does not work. Not the way I believe that it should. Over the years I have been through countless sessions, in and out of church, survived two exorcisms (don’t ask) and, most recently, a psychologist insisted that I work my way through the alphabet during a panic attack. Except that I don’t have panic attacks; have never had one in my entire life, and therefore don’t feel an urgent need to treat them. At least, not my own. But, the session was ending, and she had boxes to check, and I know that ‘give client homework’ is one of them, so I politely said okay. The next time I have a panic attack in Wegman’s, I’ll stand in the middle of the aisle saying “A, apple. B, ball…” And she was happy with that.
We won’t be going there again.
I got in the car thinking This is why people drink. This, the way I feel right now. This ‘nobody is hearing me’ feeling. It is the most horrible painful, twisting feeling, in the very innermost parts of your being. Like having your insides pulled up and out through your heart. Depression doesn’t begin to describe it.
What I am is sad. And tired. I’m grieving, not panicking. And I’m tired of talking to strangers, and doctors, and counselors, trying to explain things they don’t understand, about a situation they can’t fix, and didn’t have anything to do with in the first place. All I get from the church is silence, and all I get from the world is “it sounds like you should maybe just not go to church anymore”. Neither one is right.
Good counseling takes time. I don’t believe in ‘short-term therapy’ for long-term problems. Not for real growth, healing, and a changed life. It’s a combination of discipleship, mentoring, teaching, and sometimes parenting. We are hurt in the context of relationship, and so are healed in relationship.
Nor do I believe in changing therapists, or constantly starting over, or trying different ones like so many different pairs of shoes. I don’t bounce from person to person in my personal life, and don’t care to in my counseling. Many, many clients have told me the same thing. They establish a relationship, begin to build trust, open up, (or wake up) and suddenly the rug gets pulled out from under them, whether because of insurance, or mandated treatment, or the high turn-over rate in agencies. It makes it impossible to learn how to trust anybody, or get any sense of stability and safety.
There is no box for ‘client gives up’ so they get checked off as non-compliant.
I think life was easier when all I had was God, my Bible and my kitchen table. So I will go back to waiting. And praying. Waiting for God to move in my life, for healing to come, and things to be resolved, and the whole mess to be untangled. To be able finally, once and forever, to put the whole thing behind me and not carry it around anymore.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12