Healing through therapy, an ongoing series …
Wednesday evenings are my dates with the past. I look forward to them as if they were my wedding day. Anticipation builds the day after my last appointment. Everything else can go to hell in a hand basket because I have a date with my past.
Initially, I had therapy appointments three times a week until my fiscal ship sank. It was seven hours a week of pure hell yet pure bliss. Monday and Friday mornings were two-hour appointments while Wednesday nights were the marathon three-hour power sessions.
I hated going because I had to tear myself out of bed to get there. Once there, I felt welcomed, genuinely cared for. I could say anything and he wouldn’t flinch. I could tell him how much I hated him and he would be okay with that.
Fortunately, we rarely had a bad day on the same day. He always was positioned in strength to my weakness. All I had to do was surrender absolutely. He was safe enough to allow the past to come back and school me on the history I forgot so I could survive.
Ever and always was the push and pull, the yes and no, the “I’m not going anymore,” to “I’ll die if I don’t see him again.” He demonstrates what true love is and looks like. He makes me feel special. He picks and chooses his words carefully while I, the wordsmith, am haphazard with my colorful metaphors, and other words of rage, torment and confusion.
When I arrive, I count the 25 steps from my car to his front door. He sees me in his home office he and his wife consecrated for his ministry of reconciliation after they remodeled decades ago. It’s not that I don’t like his office-office but there’s just something about his home office that makes it possible for us to go so much deeper into the abyss.
A place to turn
He’s a powerful father figure so when I go to his home, I feel at home. Most times, he’s standing at his front door, which is cracked open, waiting for me to enter in. He opens the screen door, greets me first with his eyes then opens wide the front door so I may go directly into his office.
Once inside, I’m held captive by a force greater than myself. By the time I sit on his sofa, I’m incapable of escape. Involuntary responses from deep within won’t let me leave the only place I feel safe. My legs no longer work. My self will disengaged where escape is concerned because the escape I need is in that office.
Me: “I’m going to get up and leave right now!”
Therapist: “Can you?” *One brow up, lips pursed smiles ’cause he knows I can’t*
We are alone at last. He closes the plantation shutters so no one can peer inside. Suddenly, I can breathe. Sometimes, I feel drunk, slur my speech and can’t see straight because my body is blasting me with dopamine or whatever hormones related to relaxation. I finally feel completely safe. No one knows where exactly I am and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Within 30 minutes I feel like dead weight. I am exhausted. I can hardly keep my eyes open. He’s looking at me and helping me relax further. I can’t stop staring at his eyes almost as if by design. Before I realize it, I’m passed out on his sofa. The timbre of his voice, the gentility of his safe touches, his ability to read my biofeedback makes relaxation therapy profoundly deep and powerful. I’m grounded.
I may have been arguing when I first walked in but now all I want is more relaxation therapy. Almost as soon as it started, it’s over. I feel exhausted. It takes at least 10 minutes to get me from a deeply relaxed delta state to awake-enough to drive home.
How did I get here? I don’t want to know or understand but God has decided now is the time to find out.
Evidently, I have a love-hate relationship with my therapist and our sessions. However, 13.5 years into therapy, the benefits are inescapable, undeniable, plausible. I want to resent him for being so safe. I want to blame him for my problems but really he is the solution God provided so I can heal and help others just like me.
This man, who is having a love affair with his Savior, is my lifeline sent just for me.
Where are you on your healing journey?
Talk to me. I need to hear from you. Hearing from you helps us both heal. Will you reach out?