This healing process has been, by far, one of the hardest and longest journeys that I’ve ever been on. I’m strong and I feel like I’m “hanging in there”, but there’s this part of me that knows that I am not completely okay, because I sometimes tend to hide and cover the pain, instead of allowing myself to just feel whatever that feeling is at that moment and go through it. We were recently asked at my job to go and speak with a therapist at least once a year as a requirement at our department. At first it was something that I looked at as “a requirement for work that I would just do only because I had to”. Well the time had come for me to go to my appointment and as I entered into this nice quiet room, infused with the scent of essential oils and a calm ambiance I was thinking to myself that I didn’t want to discuss my problems and past with a complete stranger, but midway through the session I had, what I would call, a moment of clarity. I began realizing that as much as I told myself I had healed from the abuse, mistreatment, disrespect and infidelity of the past, I truly had not. From this conversation alone, all of the sadness and pain came rushing back with an overwhelming vengeance. Maybe this feeling wouldn't have felt this strong if I had learned how to cope with all of these unbearable feelings before now. It didn't feel good at the time but there's one thing that I'm sure of, and that is the fact that I NEEDED THAT.
Going through this session, I realized that I needed this way more than had I previously thought. As much as I have tried to handle and suppress these feelings on my own, it was not helping and I was not healing; I was only packing away all of these bad memories and bad feelings in the basement on my mind, knowing that there would be a time that I would have to eventually revisit this cold, dark, lonely place. I realized that I was still projecting that hurt onto others who never even deserved it. And I now acknowledge that I needed this complete stranger, with an unbiased opinion and a listening ear to help me unpack. I needed to unpack the hurt. I needed to unpack the guilt; and I needed to unpack the shame of my past. Sometimes accepting the fact that you need a therapist in the African American community can be a little taboo and no one really wants to talk about it, but no one knows what you need better than YOU, and I know that I cannot continue to shoulder the burdens of my past along this journey. I need a fresh start and I needed this therapy.
What started out as just a requirement for work has turned into, what will be, a much needed bi-weekly visit. My blogging has been a huge part of this recovery to happiness that I’m trying to find and the fact that I’m able to put it into words, how I feel, and share my feelings is the most freeing and liberating experience I’ve ever felt. I know that having a therapist is one of those things that not everyone wants to make know or even discuss, but here I am standing in my truth and all of my vulnerability saying that I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE and I made the conscious decision to seek the assistance of someone who can provide me with a sense of continued help and support through this. Not saying that a therapist is the answer for everyone, but this is part of the help that I have accepted on this road of trying to get back to feeling like myself again. The love that I have for myself is far greater than any burden of the past. I hope my readers are willing to go with me on this journey, and maybe through my truth, someone else can find their own; it won’t be easy but I am up for the challenge.
**Artwork by Natalia Murobha | IG: @murobhasart **