There is a stigma that goes along with the idea of therapy. You know, hide your crazy and start acting like a lady. People give all sorts of excuses as to why they don’t need therapy or can’t go to therapy. I say judge me when you’re perfect.
Going to therapy is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Letting someone in on my innermost thoughts? I used to think it was weak. Now I realize it is probably one of the strongest things I’ve ever done.
Everyone has their own breaking points that may send them to therapy. Mine? I hit a metaphorical brick wall going 100 miles per hour and couldn’t see my way out of the rubble.
Most people assume I started going to therapy when my ex-husband and I began our divorce proceedings but I had started seeing Miriam almost two months prior to moving out of my house when I had enough. Enough of my ex-husband’s ex-wife and all the crazy she brought down on my household.
When we began dating, I was sure that my ex-husband was exaggerating about his ex-wife and the special torture she put him through. I was positive we would end up like one of those uber chic blended Hollywood families where everyone is friends and we all get along for the sake of any children involved. I had grown up watching this kind of scenario play out with my own grandparents. They always rose above the fray to put their children and grandchildren first.
Wowza. I was living in the clouds.
We were nice enough on the surface, but it was never friendly in any way. And I learned that was fine. As long as we all could see past the haze. Then the haze started rolling in thicker and became a fog. A fog that caused my brick wall to get closer and closer.
I don’t know that I’ll ever forget that particular day. I was enjoying a little Tuesday evening yoga class. I had bent myself into a pretzel and come out fairly unscathed. I felt pretty good getting into my car. Then I picked up my phone and saw a litany of text messages berating me. I don’t remember how I responded but I know whatever I said was never meant to antagonize – I think I even apologized. But you would have never known that based on the response I got. My ex-husband’s ex-wife laid into me, attacking every inch of me up one side and down another. My Namaste flew out the window.
When I got home, I showed the texts to my ex-husband. His response? To lay into me some more asking why I even engaged her. Excuse me? What?
I stood glued to that spot in our kitchen for a long time that night. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed with that wall’s rubble all around my feet.
I made an appointment for later that week to see Miriam.
And see her I did faithfully for 9 months. Ironic that the time it takes to grow a new life inside a woman is the same time frame I needed to grow into the person I am today. I found my voice, my light, and all those other therapy terms people throw around.
In the end, I forgave my ex’s ex-wife. Not literally – I will never have contact with that woman again if I can help it – but in therapy. I forgave her, not because she deserved my forgiveness but because I deserved the peace that came with it.
See that’s what therapy taught me; we all deserve peace, no matter how we achieve it.
A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.