I’ve not been a counselor for long. I’ve only had my limited license a little over a year. Add to that my internship experience and I’ve got a whopping two years of part-time, volunteer counseling under my belt. But in that time, I’ve heard things. Awful things. Things I could never have imagined are going on in my community’s back yard before I started counseling. And, truth be told, things I may not have believed.
In the half year I was out of work, I had interviews with four different potential employers. I know for a fact that three of those interviews came about specifically because of my volunteer work.
Six months ago, almost to the day, I was ushered into a cramped office and told that my career had just come to a screeching halt. Three of us sat in that small and cluttered space, and two sets of eyes fixed on me, waiting for me to say something. Yesterday, I was brought into another office. Its ceiling, 20 feet above me, was decorated with a mural, underscored by a line of intricate wood moldings that encircled the office. And again, two sets of eyes were on me, wondering what I would say.
I’m tired of waiting around for something to happen. So tired of it, in fact, that I won’t do it anymore.
Today was a hard day. By hard, I mean it brought me to my knees. It was a one-two slap in the face and a kick of dust to my face once I hit the ground. It hurt. But still, I will get by.
I’m reminded of “keeping it real” often when I’m volunteering at the crisis line. Sometimes I do keep it real. Often, I don’t. When I do and when I don’t depends on a host of variables.
I posted frequently. Each time I did, it was me standing on the edge of a canyon cliff, throwing out my voice to hear what came back. And so often, too often, most of the time, there was only my own voice to hear. Where did you go?
This business of denial reminds me of something a dentist once told me. Decay, he said, is an insulator. It prevents pain from being felt, but left unchecked, it makes the situation worse. Denial, I think, works in much the same way.
“I like to think that all the things we go through have some purpose,” she said. “I like to think that I can use what I go through for something good.”