A story about comfort, part two.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my plea;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
“If you ever get married, your husband will have to act as therapist to you throughout your whole life; he’ll especially have to be your therapist in bed.”
I stared at the counselor’s face as he spoke the words, and heard:
You’ll never get well.
You’ll never have a good marriage.
You’ll always be a burden.
You’ll never enjoy intimacy.
You’ll always be broken.
Your body is unworthy of love.
YOU are unworthy of love.
Your husband (if you ever have one) will never receive what he deserves (unaffected sex, apparently).
He will always bear grief for marrying you.
There’s no healing for a heart like yours.
You’re simply not worth it.
Writing this list I feel exactly as I did that afternoon in his office, the cramp in my thighs from legs crossed too tightly together, the panic drumming in my heart, the crazy scuttle creeping up my brainstem into my mind. On that day large bookcases swam behind him, and to the right of him, dry branches scraped outer panes of glass. “You’ll never, you’ll always,” he said.
I snapped alive.
This therapist, this middle aged, gray haired Christian man, sat there laying down burdens on my already encumbered heart, and all the pent up Pentecostal in me flared awake.
“That’s not true.” I said.
His face marked surprise.
Very, very quietly. “That’s not true.”
The drumming grew louder and I had to flee. I had to leave his presence, I had to run from the room, and I did. I stood, walked out the door, and never went back. (It would be 13 years before I would attempt counseling again.)
That strong, courageous rebuttal was all the fight I had. Though I knew I was right with every fiber in my being, speaking the words aloud had taken all my strength; I now had nothing left.
It was only a few hundred feet to my dorm room, and I walked those feet through tangled vines, stone steps, across the century-old porch. I passed the front desk, took the stairs with deliberate concentration (I will not let them see my tears), slipped into the room which was mine alone. I shut the door and turned the lock.
My weeping bent me double before I ever made it to the bed.
I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.
Psalm 35: 14
But unlike King David, I wasn’t mourning my friend or brother or mother.
I was mourning…ME.
This post is part of Survivor Songs, a 31-Day series. A full list of posts is found here.