You will have seen from transabled.org that I’ve been thinking about finding a therapist. This story came from thinking about that, and the process of going through therapy sessions. I wonder how much of this would actually be the case?
Sheila nervously knocked on the door. This appointment had been a long time coming and she still wasn’t certain as to whether she should be there. Her parents had been asking her every day to go see a therapist…Sheila always thought it was because they assumed that it would be a sign that she was “over this”. Sheila never thought they understood mental illnesses very well…As far as she could tell they thought it was something she could choose to not have any more. This was as much a choice for Sheila as having celiac disease.
Her hands shook like crazy as she sat down in front of the therapist. She knew she didn’t have to discuss her transability but it was starting to drive her round the bend. She had to put on a show for her parents that she was fine. That nothing was wrong with her. That she didn’t want her wheelchair anymore. This tore Sheila up inside. It felt like she was being a fake, a pretender…all those things people normally associate with her transability. She hated it. She hadn’t sat in a wheelchair for several months now and she didn’t know what to do with herself.
What made it all the more harder she could still remember that overwhelming feeling she felt every time she sat in her wheelchair. Every time she saw her reflection. Every time she interacted with people from her wheelchair. Sheila craved that feeling again. She craved that feeling of being closer to being whole, being …well…right. How could she ever get someone to understand that? Could she trust THIS therapist to understand this? Would her therapist tell her parents, for fear that Sheila would hurt herself? This was all a big risk that Sheila was taking and she knew she had to take it.
Sheila walked out of the office wordlessly. She hadn’t been surprised with the shocked look on the therapist’s face. It had taken weeks of talking to the therapist to get to the point where Sheila could talk to the therapist about her real problem. What did surprise Sheila was that after the initial shock, the therapist genuinely wanted to try to get grasp of Sheila’s feelings. Sheila was even able to direct the therapist to some very helpful websites where she could do some reading up. She even told the therapist where she blogged personally about this issue. Sheila could only wait in dreaded (possibly?) anticipation for her next meeting with the therapist.
Sheila drove home wondering if her mother was going to notice any change in her. Sheila hadn’t had the chance to audibly, physically talk to anyone about her transability for several months at least. She could only hope that her parents would stick by their word that they wouldn’t ask what went on in Sheila’s sessions. She could only hope.
Just like all the other people Sheila had spoken to, the therapist managed to pull out a whole bunch of other emotional issues from Sheila’s blog, things that Sheila never gave much thought to. Her transability seemed to over cloud everything. The therapist never denied that Sheila was transabled, but at the same time she never affirmed it. Sheila decided that this was better than being told by the therapist everything that her parents kept telling her. That she was sick, crazy, in need of help, stupid, ungrateful, a disgrace. Sheila wouldn’t deny the fact that she was sick in the head…but she hated the context it was always put in when her parents talked with her. Thanks to her seemly great charade, her never ending “pretending trip”, she hadn’t had that talk with her parents in a while. Talking with the therapist was helping to prevent it all from breaking out. At the very least Sheila was grateful that the therapy was keeping her mind from spiralling out of control. She still had that yearning, that strong yearning for her wheelchair, but she also had courage to live the life that was before her. Sheila figured that she could spend this time with the therapist mulling over the other issues and hopefully that would make her transability easier to bear. She knew she couldn’t get rid of it. The thought of living without her transabled feelings honestly scared her. A small part of her didn’t want to be rid of it, but she knew that was another issue for another session.