Things I’m Learning in Counseling

Welcome back. You belong here.

It’s not cheap but it’s helpful. Every wednesday night I go to counseling (it’s been 6 weeks), to walk through my ‘issues’…oh yes, my issues, there are many.

At times the sessions have been a waste of time (in my opinion), other times, they’ve been insighful. To me, a good session is when I cry. I’ve cried twice.

Some people ask me, “why do you go to counseling? Can’t you talk to your friends or God or your wife about things?” Sure and I do. And counselors frustrate me because they are trained to LISTEN. I’d rather get input and advice, reflections and even a little kick in the pants. But I’m learning some things.

Things I’m learning in counseling:
1. FEAR – I’m afraid of many things. Fear is the big underlying emotion I deal with. I agree.
2. WAR – The effects of war, childhood, seperation from my parents during my teenage years have had an impact in my life
3. IMMIGRANT LIFESTYLE – The life of fear was mostly seen in my immigrant lifestyle. I lived in fear of deportation, limitations, execution, shame for almost 20 years before I got my ‘paper work’ worked out when I married my wife. Even after we were married, I didn’t file for a change of status for almost 5 years. Why? Fear. Whether unfounded or not, I dealt with this kind of fear.
4. I KNOW THE ‘DON’T FEAR’ VERSES. I know them, read them, recite them, memorize them, sing them, hummm them.
5. EMOTIONAL OVERLOAD – She (I have a female counselor), tells me I’m on emotional overload. My grandmother’s death, the head injury, work stress, childhood stuff, my symptoms, I’m carrying a lot
6. I’M AFRAID TO FALL APART. I’m afraid of letting go. Not falling apart as in I can’t function, but falling apart as in, actually I’m not sure what that looks like. That’s part of the problem, I need to fall apart, but I don’t know where to start. She will have me talk about ‘my fears’ next week. We started to last wed talking about my fear and joy of becoming a U.S. Citizen, what that means to me, the culmination of 20 years of worries and hopes. I broke down as I told her the story, the tears wouldn’t stop.
7. THE SAFETY NET IS GONE. When abuelita died a year ago (feels like 2 months), my safety net died. It started with my father’s death 6 years ago and now this. I feel like I’m free-falling and as she said, I’m like a cat trying not to fall off the pole, hanging on with my nails as hard as I can. Yes, that’s how it feels. But God is building a new net, a new set of support and guidance and it deals with Jesus being my shepherd, my leader.
8. SAFE v. UNSAFE, WORKING HARD AT BEING A GOOD PATIENT v. BEING A BROKEN PATIENT.

I’ve been reading Psalm 23 a lot, “The Lord is my shepherd….He leads me….”

Next week, we’ll keep ‘feeling the fear’ and trying to ‘fall apart’. Sounds hard. I believe God has lead me here and wants to open up these wounds so I can be healed for a greater purpose in His Kingdom.

I am trading my sorrows for the joy of the Lord, I am in His hands trusting, seeking Him with all my heart.

Have a great day.

Into the future,

davidT

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jan says:

    You know, Dave, I was thinking recently that this seems to be something that Nicas as a people group deal with. I don’t know if it is post-traumatic stress disorder from the war or what, but it does seem to be that FEAR is a resounding theme in most of what Nicas do and how they handle things. I will be praying for you as you learn to deal with this, and could you please be praying with us as we try to minister here through that?!

  2. Glen says:

    Your openness is dissarming and worth the work that you are doing.

    I remember this whole issue of appearing broken when I was seeing a counselor some years back. Sometimes it is messy, but it is worth the honest. I would never go back. It is far less lonely to acknowledge the brokenness. We are all in it together.

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