I sit in the waiting room. The water fountain on the counter has some sort of fault. It clicks with an uneven beat, like a faulty clock. Tick Tick Tock… Tock. Tick Tick Tock… Tock.
The headache is back. Has it left? I do not know
My hands are trembling as I tap across my iPhone. I keep looking at the clock on the wall. Perhaps I am late. Perhaps she forgot. Perhaps I’ve got the wrong day. The self doubt is loud in my head, echoing in my ears. I stare at my thumbs as they quiver. Don’t be silly. The voice inside chastises my inner thoughts.
Her head pokes around the corner of her door. She apologises profusely for being late. Leaky roof. Maintenance. I feel O.K. Still jittery. My hands are still shaking. The water feature is still clicking.
I sit down on the brown leather couch, take a tissue, cross my legs. It is all ritual. The same same. Fold the corner of the tissue, make a diamond shape, fold it again to a kite, fold it again to a row. Then twist. Over, over, over. Repetitive. Calming. Soothing.
We start talking. How have I been going? Up and down. All around. But the last two weeks I have been on edge. Heart rate, anxiety, unable to calm my mind. I try to explain, clumsily, about where my head is at. It is not working.
I feel like I am drowning. I look her in the eyes and tell her I am afraid to confront my thoughts about Avery. I explain how I can think about him, but I cannot let myself FEEL those thoughts. I can’t. I gasp and sob. The room shrinks. She leans forward on her chair, re-adjusting her cushion, showing empathy.
Drowning under my own tears. Gasping for breath. Twist the tissue. What’s left. Nothing left. Get a new one, fold it, twist it. Start again.
We talk more about before conference, after conference, plans. Avery’s first birthday. More plans.
I feel myself spilling thoughts at a million miles per hour. I need to get everything out. Need to say it all. Need to round the sharp edges. Am I proving I am more crazy, or less? I don’t know. Keep talking.
She goes on maternity leave next week, and this is our exit review. She looks at me and says that I will confront my feelings about Avery when I feel it is safe. At the moment, nothing feels safe. The car accident has triggered anxiety. And the soreness in my body is probably not letting me relax.
But when I do, I will feel stronger, braver, and will sit with my emotions. She tells me this with conviction.
Assures me I will open my heart to my son, in a way I cannot right now.
Our 50 minute hour is up. Finished.
I don’t know if I feel better or worse. I fill out the exit survey. My answers, I think, are worse than when I started. But she says it is all taken in context. My report will be sent to my GP in the next two weeks. I know basically what she will write. Will be like a school report card:
“Kristie is a conciencious student but lacks stability in her thoughts. She has extraoirdinary vision and drive, however can be unpredictable and unstable. We think she will benefit from further visits. Please refer to detailed report below” Says a whole lot of nothing, Perhaps that is correct.
And just like that, I walk out of her office. It is over. It is finished. 6 sessions.
I think of this as I close the door and walk away… Last visit. I realise just how thankful I am, to have my other counsellors on hand, who I do not have to start from scratch with.