I can honestly tell you, I dislike a part of the code of ethics between a counselor and client relationship. I totally understand that the counselor’s personal life is private while the client shares their life and deepest, darkest secrets. That’s fine because that is why you are there in counseling.
While I do understand the boundaries during the process of counseling, I also understand it after counseling has ended between both but I just don’t like it. The connection is no more, as if it never existed.
As I started counseling over four years ago, it recently ended due to health issues of my counselor. Jokingly, although some seriousness in me, I have wondered maybe I caused her to have burnout. Possibly!?
With our time together, I found her to be one I could confide in and be honest with and that is exactly what you want in a counselor, a connection. While she maintained boundaries in her profession, I still considered her closer than my own sisters. I could talk to her in complete confidence, truly feeling she cared for me not only as a client but as a person. To be listened to, heard and understood, brings healing. I have to say, she was one of the best. I feel blessed to have had her in my life, when I needed her the most.
The word, had. I had her in my life. Now I don’t. It’s that code of ethics that comes into play. Again, I really do understand but I really don’t like it. Okay, I am having a temper tantrum, and I’ve had a few.
At one time, a brief comment was made between us that no friendship relationship while counselor/client. Okay, fine. It was when she made her decision to close her office, it all became real and quite upsetting. Hoping now, at least we can become friends on Facebook to stay connected, was my hope. Nope!
Okay, now with that, a real temper tantrum because not only can we not be friends on Facebook, but no contact for three years. Three years! As of today, that will be 870 days, but who is counting? Ha
Again, I do understand and I respect her in this matter. I just don’t like it. It’s like the song, ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.’ Well, this is my blog and I’ll complain if I want to, while working through it all and having fun, too. Getting through the grief. It would not surprise her to know I have a countdown timer on my iPhone. I also have one of my retirement date, which is definitely more days than I want to be reminded. It works for me.
In three years, I guess the reasoning is that the facts spoken within her four office walls will be forgotten, she will forget me and I will forget her and life goes on as if we never knew one another. Can that really be true?
For me, not possible. On my end, she will always be a part of my testimony. While I am adjusting to the abandonment part of this situation, I still have my moments of grief and missing our talks.
So, perhaps this will help somebody know of what to expect when considering counseling.
Even though we both go our separate ways, I feel the Lord led me to her at the right time. He prepared her in this area for me, others clients also, but He knew I would need her many years before I even entered her door. That’s God!
The Lord knows and will put the right people in your path.
I really miss her. Sometimes I hope she reads my writings, perhaps to know I care and appreciatative but be encouraged, too, because she helped me be who I am today.
Until about four years ago, I did not have a clue about Aspergers. Since, it has been eye opening and firsthand experience, I have found.
Years upon years of struggling within my marriage, not understanding why we were not on the same wavelength, plus our conversations were and are always black and white, saying the same thing but different ways.
While other issues came into play, too, just dealing with many times the confusion I felt, shaking my head and just seeing a cycle in routines, brought craziness to my mind, I finally decided to see a counselor.
Walking through her door, convinced I was going crazy in this marriage, she was able to put two and two together quickly, mentioning Aspergers of my husband. I did not know about Aspergers and what I thought it was, I figured it was a child issue, not a full-grown adult.
Still week after week in our sessions while I poured out years of frustration to her, the same response. Fine. I will go research and see just what this Aspergers deal is that she mentions to me.
Oh my gosh! Besides all the research, I found a book that clearly identifies what I have dealt with for years. My counselor had him pegged from the beginning. This was like a lightbulb moment in my life. Plus, I am not crazy. Now some may question that comment. lol I am a neurotypical (NT) wife with an Asperger (AS or ASD) husband.
Being in such a relationship, the neurotypical spouse may start to feel as also having Aspergers because you are in their world so much in order to relate. That’s crazy enough, but true. Still, it is the shaking your head moments to figure out which one you are, at times. Today was one of them.
I thought it was interesting that soon after we solved the mystery, my counselor had attended a workshop on Aspergers. Two couples. One couple newly married and knowing of Aspergers, which the husband had, they could accept and deal with differences. Going into the marriage fully aware. The other couple, married for years and learning of Aspergers, the wife was so done with this marriage and the Aspergers, which her husband had. This skit she watched and told me about, made her think of me and guess which couple? It is hard and it is a lonely life together. Just a side note, women can have Aspergers, too.
While my husband has been a good provider for our family, some are not. He is a nice man but has his quirks. Don’t we all? Aspergers or not. There is good and bad.
While I have a clue now what is happening, I think my understanding has helped but it is still hard and still lonely. Just knowing for me now, I feel that ‘I get it’ when something odd is done or said and am more understanding of him.
Perhaps you know someone that might seem somewhat odd, is very intelligent and notice a lack of social skills, etc. Perhaps, this could be what is going on. My husband knew he was different than others and would often say, he is one french fry short of a Happy Meal but never knew why. While that phrase is funny, it is really sad because it has affected our relationship. Now knowing himself of having Aspergers, that is not of interest to him, which is typical, too. I just shake my head and shrug my shoulders, as I would want to know more.I have recently worked with a guy for years and my co-workers would state that he is odd. Yes, he is but I understood him and the reason why. Aspergers.
This book is very interesting and mine is underlined, highlighted and all marked up, just like my Bible.
While my former counselor and I were able to move on to other areas in my life, after determining Aspergers was what I was dealing with, it was a Godsend to have her. I was blessed to have her in my life, and I know without a doubt that the Lord knew I needed her.
Please know that there are many private Facebook groups available if you or somebody may need support in this area. There are many books available along with Google and YouTube to gain further information. Research! I fully support and encourage counseling. Aspergers is on the spectrum of Autism.
Hope this may help someone. 😊
Once upon a time…
All the good stories begin like this and what little girls (and boys) dream of but life happens and we just live, but not so happily ever after.
How many are just living but not really happy? That could be anyone, young, old, single, married, divorced.
Just today, I was reminded by the dumbfounded look I received when trying to mention a simple suggestion, not nagging, but found myself wanting to throw up my hands. I have had this look too many times through the years that makes me feel stupid. Either I am not verbalizing correctly or he is not understanding me. I give up, usually walking away with frustration and complaining under my breath. My voice remains quiet as we exist under one roof, yet again. Not worth losing my energy for such a draining moment that repeats each time. All I can guess is that this is just his Aspergers way of comprehending. Lord, give me strength.
I know there are many marriages and relationships that struggle in one way or another. I have heard too much from many to believe otherwise. I am not alone. Even some people/couples that appear happy, write sweet posts on Facebook, sit on a church pew together and seem to have it all together. Sad but happens. Life happens.
I do know and have had to dig my heels in to keep going forward when at times I’d rather dig a hole and crawl in it to disappear, but I must keep my focus on the Lord. He knows my name and He knows where I am.
So if you are reading this and just existing, know that the Lord loves you, He knows your name and He knows where you are. Trust Him in the process.
Taking care of you also is very important. You matter!
True happiness will only come with knowing the Lord and trusting Him. What happens day in and day out, and around you, happens. With all that, we must go to Him. Sometimes, asking Him what to do and for His Favor or if things went south, for His Forgiveness. I have been on both sides of that many times. His Grace and Mercy is forever.
Just yesterday sitting across from my new counselor, feeling at ease and comfortable talking. The same ordeal exists that I have dealt with for years and I still do not know exactly what to do or go about it. So, I take day by day that turns into years. Perhaps the codependency in me, fear and just pure exhaustion from it all. One of the reasons I attend counseling sessions, to get clarity and strength within me but I am not there yet. My patience is wearing thin, not with the counselor but with myself. Sometimes though with the Lord.
I tend to feel as though my wheels are in the mud spinning trying to get out of a hole. I’m stuck!
As we discussed and tossed out ideas and dreams of my own, still the burden is on me to make decisions, to plan, organize, etc. It is not as easy as some may think or offer their two cents. It brings a hopeless feeling.
Many times, my cries to the Lord is that I do not know what to do or to how to go about it, I need help. Then doubt arises, just as it did yesterday, maybe I am not hearing Him. Of course, more negative thoughts come, such as it’s me, it’s my fault, I am a mess and so on to the point of my thoughts of I am the crazy one in this relationship. The muddy hole just got bigger. While I don’t stay in this despair long nowadays, it exists and makes itself known. I dig myself out once again, knowing my circumstances.
I realize that counseling is talking through problems, issues in life from childhood to present to help one understand themselves. If it had not been for the past four years with my former counselor, I do not know where I would be emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. While I still deal with issues, I am not the same person walking through her door the first time. Thank God.
Even yesterday with my new counselor, discussing some of the same issues as we become more familiar with one another and areas of life, I believe a new level of faith will arise within me. The Lord is not going to leave me where I am. I have to believe that. If you are going through things, you also must trust Him.
Yesterday, she said that strength is within me. While I know that, it is easy to forget. Knowing what I have gone through, dealt with and changes I have made so far, I do believe her. With that, I wonder why I need her if that is the case. It is because I get stuck in the mud at times. I totally support and encourage counseling. As I ponder this today, I just wish somebody would give me a step-by-step method and tell me how and what to do.
Just writing that, the thought was, you do have a manual, the Bible. With that, I know it is written of the timing of God, He will not leave me nor forsake me, He has a plan and a purpose for me and so many more verses. What hope He brings and peace going through issues in life. He’s got my back! He’s got your back!
While I have trusted my former and present counselors, I have a Counselor that knows all about me, knows my name, where I am and where I am going. I have had to trust Him through this and now, still trust Him.
I believe when I am strong enough, in all areas and not stuck in that mud as I relate to, He will allow everything fall into place.
We must trust Him as we all get stuck in the mud at times.
How many walking around us are hurting? Choking back the tears hoping that they do not leak out of the corner of our eyes. How many are hurting? Are you?
We all go through struggles, some worse than others and when it hits, it feels as though we won’t survive. We feel numb while only able to function by putting one foot in front of the other. It takes much effort and energy that seems depleted.
It happens. It’s hard as hell but you keep going. You must. Thankfully, your heart beats and lungs inhale and exhale and do their job all on their own.
When things are going well and manageable, it’s all great and feels like life is somewhat normal. The feeling of, I’ve got this. It is when something within gets triggered, out of nowhere and unexpected and it is when you know you are losing control but trying your best to keep it together. This one day, just that, for me.
I was at my doctor’s appointment, and I knew I would be asked questions related to a specific matter, not medical. I knew the questions were coming and was trying to maintain my composure but I felt the depression of it all hitting me from all sides. When I try to fight off this emotional battle within, I tend to get stern and controlled. I’m not. When I am like this, I wish somebody knew me well enough and would just grab me and hold me so I can go ahead and get through it.
Earlier, before this appointment I was doing so well, I had a great morning and now my emotions were wreaking havoc. Ever have that happen? Emotions are real.
Trying to get a grip after I left my appointment, I did go grab a few groceries before my next appointment. I tried adjusting my mask to appear happy and to hide the desire to bust out crying like a baby. Please tell me I am not the only one that wears a happy mask at times. Really, I think we all do in certain circumstances. My former counselor and I discussed this mask wearing with me but odds are even she wears one. What’s your thoughts?
As I stood still waiting in line to check out, I saw a lady in her electric wheelchair sitting by the window looking back at me. I wondered if she could see the hurt in my eyes, the emotions about to burst like Niagara Falls. I had to wonder if she was quietly praying for me as I try to do when I see others unhappy, as such. Lord knows, I needed her prayers right then. I gave her a slight smile as I left because it was her that kept my mind occupied while fighting back having an emotional breakdown right there in front of the cashier.
A good cry, sometimes or even a scream within, asking the Lord to get through a period as such, definitely helps. The tears fell when I got in my car and shut the door hiding behind my dark tinted windows. No longer could to contain the heartache. Feeling numb as the pain was so great. I was fine and then I am a basket case.
Fighting thoughts that come when in this state and rejecting every negative one with the Word of God and positive comebacks, it is like a battle. Because it is! God is for us and Satan would like nothing more to keep us sad, depressed, sick, isolated and you name it. Kill, Steal and Destroy. That’s the game plan.
Knowing myself and the hour or so of this heartache, pain and battle, I would overcome but many do not. If it lasts longer, depression sets in. Been there. Thankfully, I did not stay in this long but enough to scare me. Once this battle was over, within the next hour, I remember thinking and smiling that my former counselor would be so proud of me, as I did not get stuck in this turmoil. I did learn from her counseling.
Whether people want to admit, depression exists and so do suicidal thoughts. Don’t be in denial. We do not know what the person next to us in line at the grocery store, passing on the street or even sitting next to in church of what they are going through. Offer a kind word, a smile if nothing else. It may be the only thing they have to hold onto and give hope. Many are holding back the tears and drowning inside. Many wear a mask, even those you think have it all together.
I know I was lost in my own garbage for that period that day and when it comes to our own, we become stuck feeling we are the only ones to ever go through these periods but not true. While feeling selfish of those thoughts and actions afterward, it’s normal. We all go through stuff. We all have emotions. Life happens.
So if you are going through some rough patches, know you are going through. You will not stay there although it may feel like it. Learn to take care of you during these times. Get some extra rest. Go outside and walk or just sit and enjoy nature.
Years ago, I would have blown you off, not believing any of these comments or wanting to do any of that but today, I do. I am taking care of me. Now, take care of you.
There is an old song we sing at church and it goes like this, ‘If you take one step, He will take two.’ He will. Faith believing everything will be and will work out. Tomorrow is another day. Hang in there.
Hello Spring! Let us remember to let go of what does not serve us or lead us to draw close to the Lord. You matter!
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3