It’s All About the Money

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.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Asperger's Syndrome, Current Affairs, Family Life, Friendship, Humour, Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to It’s All About the Money

  1. mvschulze says:

    You’re welcome. That’ll be 10 pounds, please! 😊


  2. jennypellett says:

    Sooo…that’s taken me just under ten minutes to read: that’ll be £15 please.
    What an unsympathetic counsellor – she should be struck off immediately!
    I’m suspicious of them anyway (and this is likely to upset a lot of people, but hey..) because, in my experience, I think many of them have issues of their own which is why they became counsellors in the first place. I think your self help method sounds far more healthy and that old gentleman was your angel for today.
    I’d be inclined to write her a letter with a link to this blog post and tell her you won’t be needing her services any longer!!


    • Sherri says:

      Ha ha! Jenny, I can always count on you to make me laugh out loud. I took out some parts of this blog as it was far too long, but yes, I did tell her in no uncertain terms that I won’t be needing her anymore. Even now she texted me to say she still doesn’t understand how she is being paid and I told her that’s not my problem, my insurance company have paid and that’s that!!!! I love your idea of sending her a link to this blog with a letter…bring it on.
      You are so right about my angel, he really was. Actually, now I feel quite spooky as come to think of it I didn’t see him before and I didn’t see him afterwards either. Oooh!!
      Now excuse me, I must get back to the X Factor, I’m already thinking of what to sing next year, but I already know my outfit, wink wink 😉


  3. Heyjude says:

    I’m so glad your bad day ended on a good note – nothing like a glass of wine to cheer you up!


  4. Rachel says:

    Blogging is very therapeutic. So is exercise. So is talking to friends, family and strangers. Counseling can be good too but if you decide to try that one again, I’d get a different counselor.


  5. Denise says:

    Your counsellor sounds a bit weird. I mean, wherever she trained, I’m sure that discussing your client’s means of payment wouldn’t form part of the course. I know people who have been helped by counsellors, but I think there are good ones and bad ones…
    It sounds as if you found a much better way out of things yourself. I love the way you always manage to find a wise insight into your situation. May not be much comfort when you want to scream though, so if you want to rant any time – rant away right here.
    I think counsellors are more help if you don’t have a good insight into yourself. The people I know it’s helped are those that I thought didn’t know themselves well before. The difficulty is of course that we always think we have a good insight into ourselves. Also some people I know have got into that difficult situation where counselling helped at the beginning, but they begin to rely on it for *someone* rather than staying with insights that can help you move on. In that situation, friends or community or even blogging can be more helpful.


    • Sherri says:

      That was the problem, every session seemed to be a good 10 minutes talking about her payments and yet it was all sorted out with my insurance company so there never was a problem. She made it so complicated and it made me far more stressed, I can’t be doing with it!
      Thanks for the permission to rant, it’s so great knowing that I can do this here amongst friends. Especially as I write from home so I don’t really see anyone much in the day to talk to or to rant to!
      I think you are so right about counselling being helpful for those who don’t have much insight into their problems and then they can be helped to see things in a more healthy way. Also, yes, then the idea is to be able to be equipped to move on and not rely on the counselling or the counsellor. I actually used to think that I might try and train to be one, but then I thought that I couldn’t handle it and stuck to my vision to write instead!
      Best therapy out there! Thanks Denise as always for your very insightful thoughts 🙂


  6. Sounds like you worked it out in a variety of ways…and I agree that your little old gentleman was certainly an angel sent to you by Someone Very Special. Interesting, isn’t it, that when we hold on tight to something it’s just impossible to receive a gift; yet once we surrender and let go, and open our hands, the gift is right there for us, lifting our spirits, like it was there all along. 😉


    • Sherri says:

      Susan, that is such a great way of putting it. It was the last straw for me at first when I discovered that I had dropped my money but it amazed me how quickly my entire perspective changed when I found it again! Only then did it become a gift 😉
      I do really believe that my gentleman was an angel sent to me today by God above, and actually, the more I think about it the more I think that it was really strange how it all came about. We just never know do we how things will turn out 🙂


  7. Exercise,wine and blogging can definitely be therapeutic. Glad your day ended well 🙂


  8. Exercise,wine and blogging can definitely be therapeutic. Glad your day ended well 🙂


  9. Glad to have been of service. My fees are very reasonable. }:-)>

    Super point on the scripture quote – it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil. Nothing with having a dollar or pound in your pocket. How else can you give to the poor?


    • Sherri says:

      Ha ha! Thanks – very reasonable indeed 🙂 Yes, that scripture is so often misquoted and it changes the entire perpsective of it with just that those two little words missing – ‘love of’. 😉


  10. Nothing “to do” with … Sigh – when will I learn to triple proof read?


  11. parrillaturi says:

    As a former Behavior Therapist, I cringe at the thought of someone in desperate need of help, ending up with, “The Counselor from Hell.” The person obviously, can not provide adequate counseling, as her mind is focused on her fee, rather than on the hurting one. A Therapist must be there for that particular individual, for the purpose of offering guidance, proper advice, and becoming a sounding wall as well. If you need to vent, she should be there, ready to listen with an unbiased heart. There are some of us good ones, still around. That will be $125.00 You may pay on your way out. :-))) Blessings.


    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Johnny, I can well imagine how this must have made your blood boil with your professional background. She also used to look at the clock on the wall a lot too and always seemed to be rushing me so that made me even more stressed to the point that I wondered what on earth I was doing there.
      Now you obviously know what you are talking about and I agree with all you say. You sound as if you were very good at your job and I’m sure helped many people.
      As for your fee, the cheque is in the mail – I wonder how many times you’ve heard that 😉 Blessings to you too.


  12. TBM says:

    What a day! I’m shocked by your therapist. I know she needs to be paid, but aren’t there more tactful ways of dealing with the situation. Spending your sessions discussing your insurance and how she’ll get paid is just wrong. And bless the older gentleman. I love those random meetings that touch me. Long after I still remember the people who showed me kindness. Hope you enjoyed your wine. And did I miss X factor? Dang!


    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks TB! Exactly. The thing is she has been paid but I kept trying to explain to her that the reason her invoice looked the way it did is because of my excess (deductible) which I have also paid. There I was turning up yesterday for an appointment and ended up discussing her payments and I was dealing with her confusion about it all!!!! Unbelievable. That’s what really upset me, understandably.
      Oh well, just another day in paradise as they say… !
      Yes, we never forget these random acts of kindness do we? When there is so much negativity going on around us it is so lovely to come across those. I realised too that he would have walked right over the money but didn’t notice because he was looking straight ahead and smiling 🙂


  13. Lesley Dawson says:

    Sherri, I’m so glad that your day ended well. I don’t have much faith in counsellors. I remember one I went to – he kept checking his watch throughout and, in moments of silence, he’d give me a patronising smile indicating to me to continue. There was no input from him at all. I realise they’re trained to listen but if I’d just wanted to sound off, I could have done that to a brick wall … with the same response as I got from him. I find talking to the dog much better, as I get a range of expressions and reactions and lots of kisses and cuddles. 🙂

    I like the things you chose to do to take your mind off things. Running, walking, gardening, knitting … anything physical is good therapy. It’s lovely that you met the elderly man and had a nice chat with him. Often, it’s the simple things in life that make us feel so much better. It sounds to me like that counsellor you went to has issues of her own. I think there are far better counsellors to be found within the church and/or the Samaritans.

    I also like how you manage to turn something negative into a positive … ie. in the form of this brill post. 😀


    • Sherri says:

      Lesley, your counsellor sounds awful. How rude and demeaning. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. As you may have read in my reply above to TB, mine also kept looking over my shoulder at the clock on the wall and she always seemed so rushed and under pressure to see as many clients as possible. That certainly didn’t help matters either so I know what it’s like. What is wrong with these so called professionals? Others have said this, that she probably has issues of her own and I don’t doubt it.
      There are definitely some good counsellors out there, absolutely, but the problem is, if you get a not-so-good-one it can really put you off for life! Sounds like your lovely dog was the best one for you 🙂
      It was quite a day and when I thought I had lost that tenner I just couldn’t believe it. Then, look what happened. After that, it got a lot better.
      Thanks Lesley, as always, for sharing your story and great insight here 🙂


  14. Glynis Jolly says:

    It seems to me that you were treated shabbily by that counselor. True, the money was owed to the person, but it shouldn’t have been talked about during a session. To me it sound unethical.


    • Sherri says:

      Yes, thanks for your thoughts Glynis, it wasn’t the best way to be treated was it? I was shocked that having been told that I had an appointment for a fully paid-up session only to end up being bombarded with her confusion over my insurance company’s payments to her.
      I won’t be going back!


  15. xbox2121 says:

    I see a therapist twice a month but sometimes a good old fashioned rant gets the same results


  16. Life and Other Turbulence says:

    X Factor IS my therapy! So much untapped talent out there in the world, it never ceases to amaze me. Great post, Sherri. Enjoyed reading it, and could relate completely!


  17. Lorraine Marie Reguly says:

    The Bible actually says that it’s ‘the love of money that is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10)

    I never knew this. Thanks for teaching me something!


    • Sherri says:

      You are welcome Lorraine and I never thought that I would ever teach anyone anything, especially a teacher such as yourself!

      This scripture so often gets misquoted and the misplacement of that one little word ‘love’ changes the entire structure of its wording and very important meaning. Much to ponder in those few words!


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