I’m unashamed about the fact that I am/was seeing a counselor. I believe in the power of good counseling– I was studying to become one in school for goodness sake! I’ve seen it work wonders on members of my family and have witnessed the healing power of it during traumatic times in friends’ lives. I know it’s not for everyone, and most people scoff at it and scorn it, but, honestly, I think everyone could use a therapist now and then 😉

I literally ran to see my counselor before the dust even settled on my ex moving out. I knew that I had made the biggest mistake of my life by marrying him, so I wanted to do any and everything to prevent it happening again.

During our final session last week, we talked through all the lessons I’ve learned over the 2 years I’ve been seeing my counselor. It’s been a life-changing transformation and I know that I could not have done it without the patience and encouragement from her.

I’ve become stronger, learned to trust myself and my instincts, what a bitch shame can be, and above all else to see (and run away from) the RED FLAGS! I cannot tell you how much heartache I could have saved myself if I had just listened to my instincts and let those red flags wave goodbye as I ran as fast as I could away from them… but alas I did not…

It’s a strange sensation to not have my counselor to go see every other Wednesday night at 5:45. I’ve been seeing her for 2 years solid and now I feel strange without something to do on Wednesday… Is it weird that I’ll miss it a little bit? She and I agreed that I’m at a point where I don’t need to come in any more, and that for right now, I’ve learned and processed everything I need to learn and process. I know my weaknesses, the traits in the opposite sex that I need to be on extra-high alert for, and I know my tendencies towards trying to be “perfect.”

But I can only process that so many times in my counselor’s overstuffed couch.

I need to go out and live to test and push myself. I can’t learn to stand up for myself if I don’t actually go out and face people who just might try to tear me down. I need to risk getting my heart-broken by letting a guy in– keeping them at arm’s length will only continue to remind me just how good I am at building walls. I need to practice and become more comfortable with stepping through the walls and put myself out there– and take the risk of pain with the reward of pleasure.

Counseling has enabled me to become the woman I want to be and am continuing to grow into. If it weren’t for her, I’d probably be with another Voldemort, letting him leach off my life and my happiness, all the while trying to change him and make him a better person while I let myself disappear.

NEVER AGAIN!

Never again will a guy be able to take advantage of my low self-esteem, manipulate me into doing what he wants, and above all else, I will never let a guy into my life who does not love and respect me. Before counseling, I would have nodded in agreement that those words sound inspiring and wonderful… but not possible. Now I see that they ARE possible, that a life with a man can be fulfilling for both people, that I can be happy on my own or with a significant other– that being in a relationship with someone does not have to mean I have to lose myself in the process.

Thank you, L, for all you have done to help me find myself and learn to stand by myself, learning that I have something great to give other people, and trusting myself will continue to take some work, but it will pay off big time in the end.

This is a weird addition, but I feel that I need to add it: Along with counseling, the single most influential thing I read when I ended my marriage was Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher. If you, or someone you know, has recently ended a serious relationship, I cannot recommend this book more! The book was recommended to me by my boss and have been an advocate for it ever since. Throughout the entire book, it was so reassuring to know that I was not alone in how I was feeling or thinking.

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