yes, I see a shrink

She is helping- by hurting me. It’s such an oxymoron to say that but it’s true. She is the surgeon, cutting, digging, prodding. She knows it hurts me but sees that it must be done and I am the willing patient who has signed the releases, acknowledged the risks, all because I know the benefits of fixing this mess far outweigh the pain I have the endure now.
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It only took me 15 years to go (well, longer really). Everyone I tried to get “help” from either turned the tables on me blaming me for everything I was going through or put a bandaid on a rampant infection, saying things like “pray about it. Just trust God. Everything happens for a reason.” I’m not saying I don’t believe all that but my issues ran so deep that pat phrases weren’t going to touch anything beyond the surface.
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I had all but given up when I landed in that particular place-the place where I’m safe enough to spill my soul, ugly cry, and tell my secrets but still a place where I experience the pain that must come before healing. I’m learning about grief, anger, and everything that was buried so deep I didn’t even know it existed even though the symptoms were slowly killing me. That’s why I fought for so long. I’m not weak. I can handle this. There’s no way this was anything more than circumstances and brain chemicals and trauma had nothing to do with it. After all, being abused just toughens you up; but nothing could be further from the truth. Circumstances just exaggerated my symptoms. Those around me pressed into my wounds like a serrated blade. I felt suffocated with feelings that I couldn’t even grasp. Normal stress that I used to be able to cope now made me dizzy and nauseated. Then came the uncontrollable flashbacks.
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Getting “help” always seems to have such a stigma. Seeing a counselor, psychologist, or psychologist or being put on medication is a sign of weakness, of instability, a prophecy that you’ll undoubtedly be three next person to lose it and kill everyone around you when you do finally snap. I know this because I used to think the same way. I used to be the one who shook my head and felt pity for that person who “went crazy” but I also saw myself as stronger and better because I could handle my stress unlike THEM. Then came the day that I realized my world was falling in on my head and there was not a thing I could do to stop it. I reluctantly asked my doctor for help from my physician and began seeing the psychologist I was referred to. But even that wasn’t enough because it was still just bandaids and didn’t address the real issues. I was told to take a vacation I couldn’t afford with a husband I didn’t want to be around. It was the perfect recipe for a worse situation than the one I was already in. As fate (or God, I think) would have it, I found a new one. I am still nervous and guarded with the start of each session, wondering what she is thinking as she looks at me sitting there in that yellow chair. Do I look pathetic and needy? Does she think I am making all this up? Does she regret taking me on? But eventually I start to open up again and she patiently sits and listens as I cry and spew out the toxins that have built up for years and years. And at the end of it all, she says, “When do you want to come in again?”

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