I could use several analogies to describe having a child in therapy but safe to say the best one is, ‘it is a journey’.
Unlike most journeys we will have embarked on in our lives, it has not followed a known path or gone from A to B in a planned way. From when our daughter’s journey to reach the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow started, there have been many times over the years in between, reaching that pot of gold has felt a long way off. As a parent I have often felt powerless as I watched her struggle with her inner conflict but that has changed recently. At last she is able to reach in and feel, ‘really feel’.
For the first time in her life she has allowed herself to feel the pain she felt in her younger life. It has, at times, felt that she might not get there. Our daughter’s A to B journey through therapy was more like A to Z; a journey that would also take us on a journey of self discovery.
There have been many twists and turns along the way and many emotions experienced as we followed her on her journey. It has been some journey and one I wondered if she would ever finish. We are not quite at the pot of gold but it is almost within reaching distance.
As a parent the hardest thing to watch, is your child / young person hurting, so caught up in inner turmoil that they are stuck or finding ways to escape. We can see what they need to do, but can only watch, encourage and hope that they have the strength and bravery to take the leap and learn to really feel.
It has not been an easy journey but my belief in my daughter and a vision of what the future could hold for her has kept me fighting. I think we were fortunate in the early days that our daughter had the ‘need to please and to make others happy’. She was never happy to go to therapy but she would do some work because that is what was expected of her and then leave the building as fast as she could at the end. In the last year she has stopped seeing therapy as some kind of punishment but more a means to achieving.
Our daughter is now starting a new chapter in her life. One full of colour and very different from the grey space she has lived in for many years.
I wish you well in your unique journey with your amazing child / young person.