Counselling Session Number 1


“So, we were talking about your mum and, I wondered if you have any thoughts on that?”

Lots. How shit it is talking about less pleasant bits of your life. How shit it is when, describing your background and your upbringing, the thing counsellors pick up on is your upbringing and how you MUST talk about it. And how fucking guilty I feel about it afterwards. How fucking guilty I feel about coming to this session as my son was unwell today and I would much rather spend time making sure he’s well than exploring the recesses of my own fucked up head. My mum. Right. My mum. She’s had and has her problems. We had a difficult time. Have a difficult time. But SHE had a difficult time. She doesn’t get this sort of thing and God alone knows she could’ve done with it. I hate this, I hate the constant referencing to my childhood. Surely my problems now are MY problems. Perhaps they shaped me and made me feel a bit sad but that was a long time ago and I should be able to get over this depression without constant recourse to my fucking, bloody fucking bloody childhood.

That’s what I should’ve said. It’s clearer now. I started to, and then just said ‘Ohh what’s the point.’ And cried a bit.

A talking therapy for someone who finds it hard to find the talking words. Struggles with what goes on in their head and finds it very very fucking difficult to find any words to describe the things that are going on inside that fucking stupid head.

That’ll work. That won’t make you feel frustrated at all.

It’s worse when I’m in counselling. My stammer that is.

Stutter, stammer, speech disorder, call it what you want. I’ve had one for many years, since I remember. Sometimes my brain works quicker than my mouth and I say the wrong things and, which is worse, cannot talk, because I’m constantly trying to think of a path into what I want to say. I cover it well. Very few people know, have ever known. Some have guessed. Maybe more have guessed than I’ve ever thought. Dunno. I’ve been taught how to get over it. Get over it and deal with it but sometimes I forget. Usually at really fucking important moments.

Being nervous doesn’t help. Being tense doesn’t help. Being anxious doesn’t help. Talking about this sort of stuff doesn’t help.

This session, I think to myself, is going to be one where I say very little but want to say so much. But all I do is get nauseous when approaching the building. The tightening starts to the right side of my stomach and I’m glad I can get off the bus so I can retch a bit. The people passing probably think I’m drunk. Again, I can’t explain. I worry about what people think. And everything closes up.

I sit waiting for my appointment. I drink water as I start to get a tickle in my throat. Pure anxiety. I hear the click of heels on the floor and my name. “Spencer?” We walk into the room and I ask her if she’s had a good day. Very good thank you. And you? She holds the door open and I sit down. She sits in a chair not facing me, but off to the left a bit.  To the right hand side of us is a small nest of tables with a box of tissues.

“So, tell me why we’re here?” I think she said. I can’t totally remember.

This is so bloody hard.

No response. Just someone looking at me with a look on their face which says ‘I’m sorry you can’t now, but talking about it will help.’ Head cocked to one side. A sympathetic smile on their lips. She’s easy on the eye but this thing is harder on my head and my heart. And my bones feel like they’re crumbling.

We talked. I sighed and explained my background. Defensive. Not wanting anyone to judge or… poke. I was asked about my upbringing and so I told it. I stopped.

“So, you were talking about your mum and, I wondered if you have any thoughts on that?”

I wished I’d said the above. Second paragraph.

Instead I got an itch. In my ankle. I reached down and started scratching it. Then another on my arm. Just by my shoulder. Then I got an itch in my back and moved around to start scratching that. I probably looked like someone trying to escape from a straightjacket.

Which I guess I am.

‘Ohh what’s the point.’ And then cried a bit.

One thing I know. While talking therapies exist, the tissue manufacturers will never go out of business.

Thanks for reading.



5 responses to “Counselling Session Number 1

  1. I hesitated to press “Like” because I don’t like when people feel bad about things that happen in their lives. In this case “like” means I appreciate you writing honestly and openly as you always do. And I like that you are getting to try therapy that not everyone gets offered in our Postcode Lottery NHS. I wish I could answer your question “what’s the point?” but I can’t – only you may eventually be able to do that. I have my fingers crossed you get to that answer and a hug of encouragement to keep trying.

  2. In my experience it gets worse before it gets better.
    But then it does get better.
    If words spoken aren’t your forte, but words written obviously are, maybe start with showing her your blog entry?
    Good on you for going and starting this process – it can be fking scary, but it can also really help. I hope it helps you. xx

  3. Struggled a bit with how to start this response so decided to go with ‘xxx’
    I’m sorry if I’m speaking out of turn but sometimes we have to decide upon the people who are important in our lives and whether or not to keep them there. People who make us happy and feel good about ourselves, they can stay. Those who do the opposite, not so much with the ‘staying’. My mother is not a nice person. I ring her every week, she’s 4000 miles away which is good, but I refuse to let her make me sad. I’m sorry that you have much sadness and ‘meh’ in your life. I hope you reach a stage when you realise just how much you’re worth and, believe me, you’re worth so much more than that xxx

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