[10 July, 2014]

sky full of stars

Today for the first time ever, I think, I teared up as the therapist in the therapy room. It's not that I've never been affected by people's stories; I sympathize and empathize with lots of different life experiences on a daily basis. I get sad when told something heartbreaking and I get angry when told something infuriating. But I've never been one of those therapists who openly cries with their clients. There is always a layer of professionalism through which I process and communicate my feelings with clients, when need be.

But today he was telling me about how much it hurt to be forbidden by one parent to have a relationship with the other parent. How much he escaped from the pain into drugs. How much he hated the forbidding parent. How much he longed for the love from the other parent, and how lost he had been all his life without that love. He told me a secret that even after the forbidding parent's death, he wished that parent would come alive just so he could kill them. But instead he was killing himself with destructive substances and behavior.

So I teared up. Without formulated thoughts, I just floated in the moment of our shared emotions. Our lives are not the same, of course; our reactions and consequences are very different indeed. But the level of haunting childhood pain was palpable and personal.

He thanked me at the end, said he found the session especially helpful. And I thanked him later, in my head, for letting me make use of my own seemingly meaningless pain. I hope it will help us both.

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