Friday, January 13, 2012

Everything I know I learned in therapy!

Following my divorce in 1978 I spent about six years in counseling.  I was fortunate enough to find a therapist that I felt very comfortable with and trusted completely.  Initially I didn't seek counseling for myself but for my children who were having a difficult time adjusting to the divorce, or so I thought.  What I learned was that my kids were fine, it was me that needed adjusting.  So began my six-year journey of self-discovery.  

The first year I spent the majority of my hourly sessions crying and working through my feelings of rejection.  Everything was centered around mourning the death of my marriage.  What I learned in that year was how to identify what I was really mourning wasn't the marriage as it really was but the hope of what I wanted it to be.   I was grieving the loss of hope.  Once I was able to learn the difference between the two I was ready to move on to focusing on myself and what I wanted in the future.

The following year I had my counselor's support as I tentatively began to open myself to the idea of dating.  I was able to talk about a multitude of feelings this evoked.  It took me to places I wasn't even aware of and how these experiences had impacted the way I acted in relationships.  I hadn't realized that being molested as a little girl actually impacted my ability to be intimate in a relationship.  Why I never connected the dots is still a mystery to me.  But we were able to go back and work through some ugly residue left over from that experience.  There is a time to look to the past but only if by doing so you can change the future.  Otherwise just keep moving forward.

In the end I felt I had been given tools that would help me as I moved forward in my life.  I finished all my work and I'm grateful I was finished before I turned 34 years of age.  I've continued to use the tools and strategies I learned and I believe I gained a much better understanding of myself.  I learned that happiness is not dependent on anyone but yourself.  If you are unhappy then change your circumstances, don't wait for someone else to change.


Arkansas Patti said...

You were so smart not only to see you needed help but to actually use the tool you were given. Many spend years in therapy and learn nothing.

Olga said...

Good for you to have made the committment and to have received the benefits.