Excerpts from conversations between a counsellor (C) and me (M):
Appointment #1: 2 months before separation
C: You know, I have to tell you -- I think I have a lot more in common with your husband than with you.
This comment startled me. I mean, really, who SAYS that to their counselling client?!
M: Um, ok. Well, clearly I'm not communicating well with him, so maybe you can offer me some insight into what he might be thinking.
Appointment #2: 1 month before separation
C: It sounds like you've already tried everything I am suggesting. Have you considered that maybe he is just brain-damaged?
M: Um, no, actually. That thought hadn't occurred to me.
Appointment #3: 1 week post separation
C: How long did you say you and your husband were together?
M: Six or seven years, I think. It’s a long time considering I’m only 29.
C: You know, I ended a relationship of 10 years.
M: That’s a very long time.
C: It really is.
M: I’m sure that must have been very difficult for you.
C: It was. It’s your whole life that changes.
M: So I’m learning.
C: And you know what the most difficult part was?
C: The memories. We had shared so many memories together. This was someone who had walked with me a long time, and knew all the stories of my life over those ten years.
In my head: Oh my God, I hadn’t even thought of it that way! I’m losing a quarter of my life worth of memories in this divorce! How distressing!!! Out loud:
M: I can appreciate how that would be pretty tough.
Appointment #5: 1 month post separation
C: So, you seem to have a number of stressors other than just the divorce on your plate right now.
C: You know, I'm dealing with a similar situation myself.
M: I'm sorry to hear that.
C: Thanks. It's hard. No one expect these things.
M: True enough.
C: Came out of nowhere.
M: I understand. I hope everything works out ok for you.
C: Thanks. Well, we’re at the end of our time today. I think you should come back in next week.
M: We’ll see. I need to look at my schedule.
C: I think you really need it.
In my head: Uh lady, I think YOU really need the session more than I do. Out loud:
M: Um, ok. I’m not sure.
That was the end of counselling for me.