Beginning of July I shared with you the journey I was embarking on, seeking professional help in the form of therapy.
In the article, I shared about how I was raped and molested by my oldest half-brother whom I met for the first time between the ages of 6-10 years and he was between 14-16 years.
I shared that you can forgive but can’t forget because you can’t erase experiences, even after burying them very deep inside, thus the title of my article.
I started therapy and did 5 sessions; my therapist was a white lady who seemed to be in her 40s and really looked like a spinster, and seemed quite fragile with a soft voice…
This was my first encounter ever with this form of help, so I didn’t know what to expect, other than what I’ve seen on TV. Therapy is not a very popular notion in the black community still, especially for those of us who come from the townships, perhaps the black middle class is/has gotten receptive to it. In actual fact, venting/seeking advice/solace from another in itself is not a foreign concept to us, it’s the professional aspect of it, particularly from a stranger that still seems odd.
The first session started with introductions naturally, her just getting to know who I am and what I’m about and thus the reason I’m sitting on her couch, then what I hoped to achieve with this journey.
I’ve always felt that if I were to become an actress, I would totally kill and thrive in the emotional scenes, because I am one person who is not short of tears. In most instances it’s not that deep but clearly my river is over flowing and always ready to flow out into little streams, so yes the first session was quite teary, just telling the story alone was enough to get me sobbing.
I think more than anything, I was overwhelmed because, other than my immediate family, and my then childhood best friend who was there when I confided in my older sister, then current best friend whom I also confided in about 3 years ago, no one else in my life knew.
These however, are people in my immediate circle thus I did not consider this as necessarily letting go, thus I was only doing it then in that session for the first time and it was a lot!
She’d actually sit there quietly whilst I gathered my thoughts to articulate myself properly, it also felt like she knew when I was holding back and would quietly wait for me to speak up.. it used to annoy me LOL.
A few things I’ve picked up in therapy are that, therapists are not God/ly thus not ready to give you solutions to your life problems, theirs is for you to find a comfortable space to HONESTLY share your feelings with no judgment (supposedly) whatsoever, they observe you closely; to see and understand you and your inclinations so they can coach you into figuring out the answers you need or at least the path to finding them by yourself, for yourself.
This understanding came later on though, at first I thought she’d just tell me what to do and how to do it and thus I’d be done with this whole ordeal. I’d never have to carry it with me again; I’d be completely relieved of its burden and adverse contributions in my life.
Therapy was just a start, it was a start of me letting go and not allowing that experience to have a hold on my life anymore. It was a start for self-love, accepting that, that horrid, cringe worthy and very unfortunate situation happened, to stop blaming and to forgive myself.
Most importantly I learned/realized that self-love is a verb, conscious and active.
My last session was about a month ago and I had started feeling a form of relief as soon as I started because I got to offload and have been taking it a day at a time. My life did not immediately and automatically change but I can feel the ripples of change in me and I’m ready to take charge.