I’m not sure how much I’ll remember. I was in a bit of a state. It was at the Recovery Centre this time, not the hospital, so there was much anxious checking and double-checking of the bus route and worrying about how much time to allow, even though I’ve been there several times before. But it was all successfully navigated, and I soon found myself in the horribly busy waiting room, nervously watching the clock and thinking “Any minute now I’m going to hear her voice”. Then the moment came, and with my heart thudding, we went into the room.

She thanked me for the letters. She asked how it felt knowing she had read them. I said I was feeling shame, and she said there was nothing in them I needed to be ashamed of. Later she said that the letters made sense, and that they helped her understand the battle that was going on inside me.

So we talked about abuse, and how long it has been an issue in my life (since I was 21, when I started having dreams about it) and how no matter how hard I’ve tried to forget about it it keeps coming back up. We talked about how *I* don’t think anything happened but some of the voices allege it did. She said several times that she didn’t have answers, but maybe we could find ways I could cope with the battle.

It got a bit tricky at times, especially when she asked if I could tell her who the voices say abused us.  I couldn’t say it out loud but there was a lot of noise inside. She asked if I could write it down. I said no. She said if I ever did want to do that with anything to just tell her and she’d find some paper.

She asked how it felt to have had the conversation, was there any sense of relief? I told her that I had a voice in my head shouting that I was an evil little bitch but I thought that later it might feel better. So she asked about that voice, and where that accusation came from. Here it got a little confusing. I told her that there was another voice that knew the answer to her question. She asked if it was a voice or a presence, which was an interesting question, because really I’ve come to understand that they’re all more presences than voices, I just call them voices because that seems more acceptable. That’s probably another conversation we need to have. Anyway, I could feel this voice/presence that knew the answer wanting to talk to her – to talk to her about *me*. But I was able to block it. She asked how it felt to have these voices that knew stuff about me that they kept from me, she said it would make her feel anxious.

See, I remember quite a lot, when I start. This is the value of writing.

I have homework – to see if I can discover something that comforts each of the voices and makes them feel better, whether that be a place or a smell or a piece of music or whatever. And depending on what those things are I can bring them into the session to help while we’re having these difficult conversations.

At the end she asked if we should book another time to meet. This is usual but then she asked if I would tell her if I didn’t, if what we were doing didn’t feel ok, she said that she needed reassurance. It would have been the perfect opportunity to explain that I’m looking for a private therapist, and why, but I couldn’t do it. Although I thought I’d made a decision being in the room with her made me realise that I really don’t want to stop seeing her. So I’m not sure what to do now.

Next appointment in a fortnight, also at the Recovery Centre, but she said she’d come and get me from outside so I don’t have to sit in the waiting room.

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