On a Sunday, I’ll wake up and think about my clients. The ones with crippling anxiety, the ones with no sense of self-worth, the ones struggling to cope with manipulative family members, the ones who don’t know why they act out in anger, the ones who have tried to hurt themselves to quiet the monsters in their head.
When I’m thinking about them, I am thinking about me. I think about the panic attack I had when my professor made me do a French oral presentation. I think about the years when I felt I had no place in the world. I think about the anger that bubbles up because of the man who hurt me. I think about the loss of self I’ve experienced when I thought about hurting myself.
When I’m thinking about them though, I’m thinking about the sense of power and the vindication that comes from sharing my stories. I think about how it allows people to support me and hold me. I think about my friends who tell me time and time again that I matter. I think about how sharing a little bit at a time makes me trust people more. And that having them understand makes me want to trust.
On a Sunday when I am constantly thinking, I think about how I am a work in progress. In all the rage and the sadness and the fear, I have people around me that will be there for me. That will back me up when I bring it in to class or when I write it down for the world to see. That even though I’ve been hurt in the past, they will always be my salvation.
I relish in the empowerment of a strong support network. I relish in the fact that the people who hurt me in the past can’t touch me now. I relish the feelings that make me a better therapist and a better friend. I relish in the thought that any person I’ve shared these stories with has felt the same way in a different context.
And as I sit reflecting on a Sunday morning, I feel lucky. Lucky to be offered the opportunity to share. Lucky to have women behind me and women out in the world who advocate for me. Lucky to have friends who understand why it takes me longer to trust anyone. Lucky to be alive. And lucky that I am allowed to be a work in progress.