This past week has been good. I had an RC (re-evaluating counselling), also known as Co-counseling session with one of my classmates this past week. She and her husband have been doing RC training for a few months now. I did not know what to expect and it was pretty cool.
Co-counseling is a great descriptor in that it’s a session where the “client” also gets to be the “therapist” or listener. In regular therapy sessions, I always felt bad because I was “taking” so much from the therapist. In RC, there is an even exchange and no one owes anyone money. It’s done with no power imbalance and both parties are on the same playing field. To me, that feels really good.
With my session, I had no idea where it was going to go. We revisited a memory which was deeply implanted in my psyche. It happened when I was almost 2 years old. I was a sick kid, often with allergies and by the time I was 2 years old, I had contracted pneumonia twice. One of the times (probably both) I needed to get a chest x-ray. I remember being scared and fighting off three adults who were trying to get me on the radiology table for my close up. I remember nearly winning and escaping back to my mom (I was a VERY strong little kid). Ultimately, they taped me down to the table with two large strips of tape. One across my chest and one across my legs. I don’t know where they got such tape and I don’t remember it being ripped off either. All I do know is, I had no idea what was going on and I couldn’t move. The staff were weary and my mom was also weary and upset by the whole fiasco. Once the radiology techs had their pictures, they let me up. My mom was holding me and I was looking over her shoulder. One of the nurses made ugly faces (think bratty grade schooler) at me. Me. A sick 2 year old. Having worked in the medical field as long as I have, it still astounds me that an adult would act that way to a child. Especially with one who had a strong right hook as I did! Nevertheless, she did and I never forgot this experience.
My mom was often overwhelmed by my illnesses. I felt she was also upset that she had to deal with a sick kid who had pneumonia again. I felt she wished she could pass this burden off on someone else. This was the general feeling I had about my mom whenever she had something challenging to face in relation to me. I felt she thought whatever she faced was entirely too much to deal with. I felt like a burden, always. As I grew up, I started trying to not be such a bother and I would not ask for things I needed. I knew she was at her wits end and I know she felt like she was failing often. As a kid, we expect the grownups to have their shit together. They’re the ones running the show after all! Funny enough, adults often feel like little kids stuck in grown up bodies. I never understood that until I was expected to be the adult.
When revisiting this memory, I was asked “what did I need?” What did I want to say to my mom? I said I wanted her to stand up for me. I wanted her to explain what was going on because I was scared and didn’t understand. I also said I wanted to go home. Pretty accurate feelings of this event. All I wanted was to go home and not be messed with anymore.
Somewhere in my mind (this week), something finally clicked. I realized that I don’t need anyone to stand up for me. I can stand up for myself. I can speak for myself and later on in the week, I did just that.
There’s been a student in my class who keeps diverting the lectures. Her questions are usually outside our scope of practice. She introduces trivia and tidbits from outside our scope which drag the lectures past time and distracts from the original lesson. When the direction of the lectures are diverted so often with information we cannot use, I have trouble retaining what we are supposed to be learning. Our class on Thursday left me feeling so lost and frustrated. I didn’t even know what questions to ask to get me back on track.
On Friday, at the start of class, the instructor asked if we had any questions or comments we wanted to share. I spoke up and said when the lecture diverts, I can’t keep up with the topic. I also said that the information isn’t difficult but when questions get brought in about information that is off topic, it is too much for my brain to retain anything. The offending student was none too pleased and a comment later on in class made it evident she took my comments as a slight. I was pleased I had the courage to actually say something. I’d been holding this in for months and have struggling with some of the material we’ve been learning as a result.
I’ve decided that my time in school is going to be that of personal growth. I don’t want to shrink or hide to make others comfortable. What I need matters just as much as anyone else’s needs. I matter, I am important and I am strong. I am also capable of using my voice. Doing so felt very good and I am enjoying this stronger feeling inside.