There are some things that are hard to say to people… so I’m told.
Yes, that dress does make you look fat; no, orange is not your color; actually, your boyfriend does suck; and you have something in your teeth. Love you.
You know, just to name a few…
These things I actually have to trouble saying or being told. Yet, there are a few things that I do have trouble saying. Sitting high atop that list is “I need help.”
Whether that’s needing help to lift a heavy bookshelf, needing someone to take me to the hospital after dropping said bookshelf on my foot and breaking it (my foot, not the bookshelf), or needing someone to talk to about how I feel after the dropping of the purely hypothetical bookshelf on my foot now that I’m so frustrated and it feels like everything is going wrong; it’s hard.
Ah… college memories.
This is a hard phrase to say. It’s a phrase that feels like defeat, and yet…
I need help.
At one point I was so mind fucked that I didn’t care that I was falling apart. It didn’t matter to me if I alienated people because I didn’t have much of a grasp on reality. Now, though, I’m so close to okay. Most days are totally fine and I’m happy. Breakdowns and outbursts are becoming more and more rare. But, now I care.
I’m close enough to be able to see what healthy looks like and it bothers me when I can’t even come close to resembling it. It bothers me that I push people away at the moment I need them most. I’m healthy enough at this point to be able to see in stark contrast when it breaks down.
I’ve been doing a damn good job, though, of recovery and of dealing with all that’s happened (if I do say so myself…) but a wise girl knows when there’s a better way. Just because I can deal with this by myself doesn’t mean that I have to.
This isn’t an “I’m falling apart and need therapy” post, it’s an “I’m going to utilize all the tools that I have available to me” post. It’s an “I’m getting there and want to be smarter about it” post.
So, on Saturday night, when one of those moments hit and a friend who we shall call Cleopatra said, “Kendra, maybe you should talk to someone. I can give you a name,” I was ready.
She’s probably the only one who could have said that to me. The combination of the strength and grace she shows on a daily basis, mixed with being kind of a badass, and having gone through something that led her to a similar point as me; I knew her recommendation didn’t come from a place of judgment. It came from a place of understanding.
I also knew that anyone Cleopatra was seeing had to be okay. So, I called, set up an appointment, had one of those really awkward “here’s what’s wrong with me” conversations, and went in for my appointment. We did all of the usual paperwork and then she asked me for my story. We had already started to discuss it when I called to make the appointment so we picked up where I left off.
Sitting there talking about the rape, childhood incidents and issues, losing my faith, and other things, I struggled to not hold anything back and not be sarcastic. Honesty is necessary. It was hard to not worry about how she would respond to what I told her, but I did tell and I didn’t soften anything. She can’t really help unless she knows the real situation.
As I left, she told me to go easy on myself. We scheduled another session and she warned me that after the process she was going to take me through, I would be really tired. She also told me that it would probably remove a lot of the sting of it.
I’m glad that I made this decision. It wasn’t a matter of admitting defeat, it was a matter of doing things a better way. I still believe that I could have gotten through this on my own because I am honest and introspective and I will face even the hard things, but I don’t have to get through this on my own.
At this point it’s no longer about trying to pick up the shattered pieces and put them back together, it’s about trying to fill in the little cracks left from having done so.