Dec 20, 2015

Letting go of a life line

When does this story start? When my father died? When an old friend found me in a dreadful state of mind? When I was born?

Yesterday I closed the door to her practice behind me for the very last time. It’s almost impossible to grasp.

Let’s call her Eva. She was a 50-year birthday gift from an old high school friend. He and I got together after many many years. At that time my self image was so distorted I didn’t think I had a right to exist. The year before, when my father died at the same time as my ex husband and life companion got on with his life, I promised my sons to find someone to talk to. 

I did, and it was a disaster. I left every session in tears, feeling even more deserted and completely lonely in the world. I expected therapy to be tough so I forced myself to go back every week, until an old colleague one day found me crying in the rain at the parking lot afterwards, telling me this wasn’t right. Tough yes, but not devastating. How would I know? There is a downside to being persistent.

This was when my high school friend and I got together. He was very concerned about me and told me about Eva who he had been seeing for some time. Would I like to meet with her?

I was burned. And it was with great fear I decided to make a new try letting someone into my bleeding wounds. But I did.

For a long time I had been aware of the need to look at myself and the circumstances in my life, such it had been and such it was. I knew, if I started doing so, it would be for ten years, possibly the rest of my life. Eva and I have had 9,5 years together now.

She has been the exact opposite to my first, I would say traumatizing, experience. Eva is a warm and loving woman with no need putting up a cold distance to her client. I have never felt diminished and belittled, never evaluated and judged. Eva has the wisdom of an old soul and no high horses to sit on. She knows that she doesn’t have all the answers. She is a fellow human being who has made her own path in the labyrinth of counseling and therapy, and me, in my turn have given her to many friends around me.

There is this movie, Shall We Dance?. Susan Sarandon is the wife hiring a PD (Richard Jenkins) to spy on her husband (Richard Gere), when he starts acting out of character.  In one philosophical scene the wife asks the PD why he thinks people marry. Out of passion?, he says. No, she responds, we marry because we need a witness to our life.

Depending on what life has brought me these last 9,5 years I have seen Eva once a week or every other. She has been my guide, my support and my friend. Not outside the practice of course, but in her warm and safe room she has been my friend. She has been with me through everything I’ve been through, she has watched it all. She has been the witness to my life.

Whatever happened in my life, and God knows it’s a lot, there has always been Thursday. When I got to curl up in Eva’s warm corner to share. To let it all out, to let go and give in, to learn and get perspective, to look deeper, to strengthen myself, and to be full accepted just as I am. Eva has, many times, been my life line.

But now, she is moving on. And it’s time for me to say good bye and thank you. And start my life without my Thursday routine.


  1. I have similar mememories, and today it seems the Christmases Again are filled with three generations, Little kids running around. We celebrated the 24 at my son's place with dinner, dancing around the tree, etc. The NeXT day, it was the same crowd for lunch at my place. And now a suggestion for you, but it involves inviting. I gather all my old friends,no kids, to bring the leftovers from their Christmas meals and we put together a pot-luck buffet with Cold beer and snaps and talk about all we did and didn't do in the last year. Try it, it beats TV.

  2. This comment was meant for the Christmas message, you can delete it here

  3. Hi Pete! It is first now I am noticing this comment, I'm sorry and thank you! Good idea! I think my old friends are busy with family and friends though, but is sounds great!