Not Your Typical V-Day Post (Probably)

Blog posts on Valentine’s Day seem to generally be one of two things: Single people bemoaning being alone on a day when romance is shoved down their throats, or people in committed relationships who choose not the celebrate because it’s such a commercial venture (but secretly, they’d love to!). This post does not fall into either of those categories (though, I do find myself wishing I was celebrating this year!). No, this post is something else all together. It’s about the first (and only) time I have ever had a guy send me flowers on Valentine’s Day…

It was 2006. I was 15, turning 16. And I’d just started going out with a guy who was more than 2 years older than me. These details are important, because they’ve shaped how I react to Valentine’s Day. I got a note to come down to the school office, and low & behold, there was this beautiful professional arrangement of red long stem roses and baby’s breath that had been delivered to the school, for me. I can’t remember exactly what the note said, but I do remember it being signed “Your Secret Admirer”.

My immediate reaction to the roses should have been a clue – I felt more embarrassed at this ostentatious arrangement than delighted. These weren’t the flowers a year 10 girl normally receives  especially from someone she’d only been going out with for four days. In fact, I think he must have planned them in advance, because a week earlier he’d still been in a relationship with my best friend (though we were already emotionally involved on the side…)

My point is, I think he wanted me to feel embarrassed. It was the first of many times I would be confused and uncomfortable with something he did. It was the first of many times that I remember not feeling 100% sure of what was going on. You’d think it would be the loooong MSN chat sessions, but no: this was out in the open, designed as ploy to both humiliate me and draw me in. And it did! I felt special and mysterious and wanted, and the same time as I felt weird and uncomfortable…and for the first time like I had somehow done something wrong (when I obviously hadn’t.

So Valentine’s Day for me is strange. A mix of being left out for most of high school (no SRC flowers for me, sigh) and uncomfortable and wanting to participate so badly…Because the only flowers I’ve ever received from a man on Valentine’s Day were from my rapist.


The Choice

Yesterday, I made a choice.
I quit therapy.

Now, before you all get concerned, I want to put a few things out there.
To start off with, I have been seeing the same therapist regularly since March 2011. That’s almost two whole years. Something else, is the fact that I haven’t seen her for 8 weeks now because she’d been in NZ taking care of her parents (and I’m still alive & kicking). Another thing to add…is the fact that, because of her own strong opinions, I often felt like I couldn’t express my own opinions a lot of the time. She’s also inconvenient to get to, and is disorganised to hell.

That isn’t to say that she wasn’t helpful, because she has been wonderfully helpful over the past 23 months. I have learnt a lot about listening to my body, misplaced guilt and how to be an adult (seriously, we covered this topic a lot!). She was, at the start, very good a getting me to talk about the things that I need to, and desperately didn’t want to talk about. I no longer feel rage and guilt and shame about being abused, but rather feel anger and sadness in proportions that don’t control my life (yeah, take that you dick heads!). I am able to stand up for myself. I challenge myself. I am compassionate to myself (and others) when I am let down.

The point I’m trying to make (as scary as it is) is that in addition to all the annoying things I listed before… I feel ready to leave regular therapy. And I have felt ready for a while. So, I have. I know that I will always be able to access a counsellor when I need to. And I also know that I have to skills to survive  thrive in this crazy world. Bring on this new phase of recovery!

new day

P.S oh yeah. I just realised that I told y’all to not let me quit therapy. Hmm. Well, I’ve made my choice now! If you do have any concerns, please let me know, though, ok?