I’ve been familiar with therapy since I can remember, although I didn’t know it was therapy until I was older. I was about six or seven years old when I had to see this older man with big glasses, and he would ask me questions while I played with the toys in the room. He would ask me questions about my parents together, then separate questions about my mom and separate questions about my dad and questions about me. I had no idea really what was going on, but I remember meeting my mom’s lawyer and having to go to court, but I didn’t go inside; I stayed outside the courtroom with my maternal grandmother. I remember the therapy was in the same building where my father’s attorney’s office was, and I recall one day asking my dad why he was writing a check, he told me for a visit, and I asked him how much, he said,,, $100. I asked him, surprised, every time we come, it’s $100? He replied, yes. Of course, I was in complete shock. I had already been there multiple times, and for a 6-year-old, $100 is an enormous amount of money. A few years ago, I recently tried to retrieve those therapy notes, but since it has been over seven years and the practice went to electronic medical records, they no longer had them.
The next time I had to go to therapy, back to the same older man, was when I was thirteen years old after an incident occurred that ended me getting into a physical altercation with my mother. This incident also introduced me to depression; it introduced me to not eating for days, not sleeping, chronic fatigue, and paranoia. I remember just wanting to be home to Michigan, where I felt safe, with my father. I was on the next flight home to Michigan after the police report was filed in Florida, and I remember at the airport, as soon as my step-mother saw me, she cried. I had to go to my primary care doctor to get checked up, and they also made notes of the incident I had just been in because I had to explain the bruises I had on my arms. Then I went back to the same older man from before. These therapy sessions I don’t really remember; I believe it’s from me trying to block these memories out altogether. I just remember getting tired of repeating this horrible story over and over again.
Since the first time I fell into a depression, I remember it coming and going, like whenever something happened, I would get extremely sad, but it wasn’t just feeling sad; it was also feeling like I had no purpose, like I was worthless, and also not having any energy to do anything. I constantly compared myself to my friends and never felt good enough for anything. My self-esteem dropped drastically, and I felt like I needed reassurance from others to feel good about myself, and this went on for years.
At the young age of twenty-three, already living in Florida by this time, my mother passed away, and this is something I didn’t think I would have to deal with so soon. Your parents will pass, but at a later time in life, unfortunately for me, I had to deal with this now. Grieving and mourning my mother’s death during the beginning of the year and towards the end of the same year, I found some devastating information about being betrayed for years prior. This shook my core. I turned to try online therapy with BetterHelp.com; I don’t remember where exactly I had found out about this service, but my first therapist responded to my messages reasonably quickly, so we were messaging multiple times throughout the day. She had suggested couples therapy at one point, but it would be face-to-face because online wouldn’t work, and I went for two sessions. After the second session, this therapist wanted only to see me work on the loss of my mother and everything else. I only went to one session because my insurance changed the following year, and they didn’t accept it.
Last year in July, Lia’s father was arrested, another situation that took a toll on me. On top of his arrest, I started a new position at work and was an Office Manager, and this position was not a walk in the park. While this was going on, I also had school, and Lia started school also, and in the first week of school, Lia ended up catching lice from one of her classmates. I was slowly shutting down again. I decided to go back to the same therapist, but I only did two sessions out of the three that I was approved.
I started therapy in November, and I told myself I would continue this time around until I felt better. BetterHelp.com was the one I did again, and this therapist didn’t respond as quickly as my first therapist because she had her practice during the day that she had to go to. We started with messaging for the first two weeks, and then we did phone calls weekly for an hour. I told her my entire life – from the beginning until now. It took several weeks of course, because it was only an hour a day, weekly, but it felt amazing to let it all out finally, everything. She gave me exercises to work on when I would feel down and always reminded me to be kind to myself. She also told me she was surprised I wasn’t worse than I was with everything I had been through at such a young age. And now she understood why I said I felt sooooo much older than what I really am.
Since I had finished therapy about two weeks ago, I have felt so much better! I don’t have any mood swings anymore as I used to, and if I do feel down, I am now able to recognize what triggered it, unlike before where I just thought that I was a moody person, I always thought my drastic mood swings were a part of who I was. I’ve never in my life have felt like I do now. I genuinely believe that anyone who has been through some trauma or just needs anyone to talk to should try therapy. Honestly, you’re not crazy, and it helps! Therapy opened up my mind to many different things and connected the dots to many things I had questions about myself before. It was completely unbiased, I could open up to her completely, and I never felt judged. The first therapist you go to may not be the one for you but try another one, don’t give up on it because it really does help.
The great thing about BetterHelp is that you take a survey when you sign up for it, and they ask you what type of problems you’re going through and what you need help on. It also asks you what kind of therapist you would like to be assigned to and what specialty you would like for them to have. I had picked a Christian therapist, and I feel like they really connected me with the perfect therapist to help me with my issues. Its been a challenging journey for me, but with God, by my side, I was able to overcome all of them.
Thank you for taking the time to read my therapy journey, and I encourage everyone to seek help if they really need it or even if they don’t think they need it, just being able to let out your feelings to a professional and all you need is for them to listen, they will. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. 🙂