My dear readers, you know me well enough by now to know that reading this blog is a bit like opening that proverbial box of chocolates in the movie ‘Forrest Gump‘ – you never know what you’re gonna get. Well, I’ve got one up on you because guess what? I don’t know either!
This wasn’t planned, but today you are going to get a rant.
You may remember me sharing at the end of June that my daughter suffered a very bad crisis and in the craziness of that hour and in helping her (she is so much better now) I was left a bit of a wreck. My GP recommended some counselling to help ‘tide me over’ and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
It did help at first, only because she knew about Asperger’s and was able to understand my situation but we often ended up talking about how my insurance company was going to pay for the sessions and I was starting to feel just a bit uncomfortable about it.
Waiting for confirmation of another appointment, I hadn’t heard anything in two weeks so I texted the counsellor yesterday and she confirmed that yes, I had an appointment this morning. So I drove across town. Waited. Sat down to start the session.
Except there was no session. She proceeded to tell me that she hadn’t been paid for all the sessions, that my insurance would only pay half, she couldn’t do a session today and that I needed to sort it out. However, if I got it all sorted out I could always come back at 2pm for another appointment.
So that’s alright then. I’ve got all day.
Aren’t counsellors supposed to help with stress? I hauled across town for that? She has been paid, I don’t understand what the problem is. How can I go back to a counsellor who is more worried about her payment than my welfare?
I returned home feeling more depressed and close to tears and wondered how wrong it is to pay someone to help you only for them to make you feel worse.
All over money.
Money. I hate it. Yet we need it. Funny how it’s only the people who have money who say money doesn’t matter. We need money, of course, but these days it seems we can’t turn around without spending it. It’s wrong to say that money is the root of evil. The Bible actually says that it’s ‘the love of money that is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10)
So, having already spent the entire morning wasting my precious time on all this I also had to call a plumber about a leaky tap in the kitchen. Hubbie doesn’t touch plumbing jobs (phew).
“It just needs a new washer,” I said confidently.
“They don’t have washers these days,” he said, “they have cartridges which you will have to get from the manufacturer.”
Well that’s just great. Do you think I can find the paperwork for this tap? No chance, despite hunting for it high and low. We got if off the internet, of course, I can’t find the manufacturer’s details or the receipt or anything.
So the tap still leaks and I want to swear but I won’t. Yet.
Instead, I shall tell you what I did. I grabbed my iPod (which, thanks to the new iPod dock my lovely boys gave me for my birthday is now constantly charged and ready to go), cranked up The Foo Fighters and pounded the pavement up to the park where I walked and walked and walked.
Now this, my friend, is therapy.
My plan (that old chestnut, again) was to stop off on the way home at our local handy-dandy mini-mart (is that an American saying, I forget?) and buy a paper and a few things. Like chocolate. With that in mind I took a ten pound note with me, pressed into my hot little hand against my iPod. I like to travel light.
Then horrors of horrors! Later on I noticed that I was no longer holding my ten pound note. I had adjusted my headphones at one point and I realised that I must have dropped it then. Certain that it was a goner, assuming that the nice lady pushing the baby stroller who had walked past me in the opposite direction would have seen it, grabbed it and hightailed it (I’m so cynical, sorry!), I retraced my steps anyway, just on the off-chance.
About to give up and thinking
God bless whoever finds it, they probably need it more than me fat chance, I saw a lovely elderly gentleman walking towards me. I asked him if he had happened to notice a ten pound note lying about on the ground and he did give me a rather strange look.
Then we had a lovely chat about all the different places where we had lost money over the years and do you know, by the time we parted company, he made me feel happy again. He had that lovely twinkle in his eyes and he really lifted my spirits.
Forget about the money. What money. What money? I walked on and not 20 yards from where I had been chatting to my lovely gentleman, there, lying on the path was my neatly folded ten pound note. Who would have thought it?
What does this tell you? It tells me that when I left the house I was not in a good place but I had hold of my money. Then I lost my money and I was cross but ready to let it go. ‘Oh well, what’s a tenner when it’s at home?’ Then I found my money and I was elated because it felt like I had been given a present. Something that hadn’t belonged to me in the first place, if you see what I mean.
It got me thinking about this counsellor, and her constant flapping about being paid. How our sessions became all about the money.
It also got me thinking about counselling in general. I was at my own personal tipping point, yes, I did need some help and she did help me I believe in those first few visits, and while I know that many people have been helped tremendously by counselling, for me, it became tainted. Maybe it’s just me.
My husband doesn’t call me ‘Grand Complications’ for nothing (by the way, isn’t that the name of a fancy French watch?)
Sometimes all we need is a friend’s shoulder to cry on, somebody to rant to, somebody who will stop and listen. Sometimes all we need is to be able to write a blog post where we can share our troubles and know that we can feel safe doing so.
For me, my therapy ended up being a long walk around the park and a chat with a lovely, elderly gentleman. Then finding my ten pound note. Then
screeching singing along to The Foo Fighters and never minding who could hear me. Then telling you all about it.
Still, after the day I’ve had, I’m ready to wind down now. I’m going to copy Forrest Gump once more and take a run – straight to the fridge to pour myself a very large glass of wine and then settle down to watch the X Factor. Nothing like watching something shallow and vacuous to empty a troubled mind, don’t you think?
Thanks so much for listening. This session has now ended.