To my therapist,
I am writing this letter to you because as you know, sometimes it is hard for me to find the words to say the things I need to say and, as you know, writing helps me to express myself.
I write this to you with tears rolling down my cheeks, knowing what is coming, knowing it has to happen and even understanding why, but that doesn’t make it any easier and I am still terrified of it. Our final session together. At least until the Police Investigation is over anyway.
Two years ago, I walked into your therapy room, a scared, embarrassed girl, too afraid to speak. Cuts covered my arms from elbows to wrists and my hair always covered my face. I only looked at you when absolutely necessary and even then it was only for a split second. Alone and fragile, I was unsure of you. Another person thrown into this process, into my story. Would you care enough to help me? Or would you be like others I had tried to trust and hurt me?
You sensed my fear. You saw my fragility. You didn’t push but slowly you reached out to me. You did not laugh when I finally got the courage up to ask you if I could sit on the floor in the corner. You didn’t call me stupid or judge me. Instead you understood that it was my safety. Instead you sat on the floor with me. And in that moment, I made the decision to try to trust you.
You never went back to your chair. Instead you sat on the floor with me through each session for the next two years. You sat with your back against the door, knowing it made me feel safe. Knowing it made me feel like he couldn’t get in. It can’t have been comfortable for you but you did it anyway. Thank you. That meant more to me than you know. You showed me that you cared and you gained my trust.
Slowly, over time, your room became my one safe space and you became my safe and trusted person. Eventually I even started to give you my cutting tools each session, as slowly you helped me begin to realise that maybe I didn’t need to cut to deal with my pain and trauma. That maybe, finally, someone was willing to listen to me, to help me; you.
You helped me begin to open up to you as I started to tell you my truth, one painful memory at a time. You sat with me in my silence when the memories and pain were too much for me. You helped me through the triggers and flashbacks when I was brave enough to finally relive them and to tell my story.
When our first year was up and our time was originally meant to end, you could see how vulnerable and fragile I still was and instead of making me leave, you fought for me and you extended my time with you. I don’t think you understand that you literally saved my life.
You have helped me begin to face my abuser in my flashbacks and stood by my side in the danger, giving me the strength to begin to stand up to him and fight him off. You never left me, even when I told you to because I was scared he would get you too. Instead you stayed with me. Never judging me. Helping me through some of the worst memories, the worst flashbacks of my childhood.
My whole life I have never been able to cry or feel emotion. For it was far too scary to do either. Cutting was much safer. The only emotion I ever allowed myself to feel was anger. I could handle anger. Anger at myself was easy. Blaming myself was easy. And yet here I sit with clear arms, feeling emotion, not blaming myself and with tears running down my cheeks, all because of you. You have taught me that feeling emotion isn’t bad and that crying is OK. For the first time in my life I cry real tears instead of picking up a blade. Thank you. Thank you.
Yet these feelings that I feel right now hurt so bad. It’s like my heart is actually aching and every time I take a breath my chest hurts. Sadness. Sadness that our relationship is coming to an end. Anger that the police are taking so damn long that I can’t stay and work with you. I’m safe with you. Fear that I am going to be left alone. That I won’t cope with the investigation or a trial. That I might let you down.
I don’t know how to process it; a good, kind relationship ending. It has never happened to me before. Only bad relationships have and they are easy to deal with. This. This hurts too much. For you have literally saved my life. You have made me stronger. Given me self-belief. Taught me how to fight for me. Taught me how to love myself.
I care about you too you know. I just wanted you to know. You mean so very much to me and I am scared because I don’t know how to let you go.
But as I leave our last session together, unsure how I will cope, in this moment feeling like I can’t, I know deep down that I will somehow find a way. I know because I know that I will do it for you, for all that you have done for me.
I will continue my blog and continue to fight for other survivors, that part is easy for me to do. But for you I will be strong and I will continue to fight for me. I will see the investigation through, no matter what the outcome, and, if it goes to trial, I will stand up in court and face him. For you. For me. For Little Lucy.
I promise to come out the other side of this journey and I promise to make you proud of me. I promise to survive to thank you for being here, for caring, for saving me and Little Lucy.
When I first came to you I believed I was broken, unfixable. My PTSD and Depression, my past, making me damaged goods. You have helped me believe in myself. You’ve helped me see that I am not broken or damaged. That I am worthy of love and kindness and support.
Don’t underestimate just how much you have helped me or how much you help others like me. For I know when you read this that the first words to come out of your mouth will be “You are the one who has done all the hard work”. I know you a little now too!! And yes, I have worked hard, but I couldn’t have done it without you by side. You cared. You kept me safe. Most of all, you fought for me.
You are part of my journey now. Part of my truth. Part of my survival and my strength.
Thank you for believing in me.
Thank you for fighting for me.
Because you believed in me, because you cared, I will be here to tell my story and you will forever be a part of it.
I will be forever thankful to you.
Take Care of yourself. I will never forget you.
** Images are my own **
** Thanks for reading **