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I never thought I would end up going to get help from a counsellor. Who are they anyway? Just a bunch of do-gooders who thought they knew best on how I felt.

Well that’s how I felt at the time.

I had spoken to friends about some of my problems, I had also spoken to my family but all of them had their own views, all I ever got from them was, “if it was me I would do this”, none of it constructive. Didn’t any one understand that if it was that blinking easy I would not have been suffering the way I was.

I spoke with my GP, who advised me to get professional help. How dare he, did he think I was mad? Why couldn’t I cope? It was the last straw I had to do something, so I made an appointment with a counsellor.

I was quite frightened to go to my appointment I felt the counsellor would tell me how stupid I was, I really didn’t know what to expect. On my way to my first session, I must have looked mad as I was constantly talking to myself. I had a number of conversations in my head and by the time I got in to see my counsellor I knew exactly what I was going to say. Sitting in the waiting room, I felt like I was getting ready to go into battle.

When I was called through and I met the counsellor, all the words I had in my head ready to say disappeared, there were no words left. I just sat silent, my mouth was very dry and I didn’t know what to do next.

I will never forget the words my counsellor first spoke…

“It’s okay Tracey, you don’t have to say anything, let me tell you a little bit about counselling and what we can offer you.”

Just listening to my counsellor’s voice was reassuring, she was calm and unfazed that I was not talking. In fact it was only ten minutes before I found I was talking to her, just normal everyday things at first, not about my abuse. She gave me time to get to know her she told me I was in control and that I didn’t need to rush.

Week after week I saw my counsellor she was always friendly and reassuring. I have always had problems trusting people so it took sometime to gain confidence in my counsellor, but once I had I told her all about my abuse, it all became easier. My counsellor would challenge me on the way I felt, which at first seemed hard but I began to understand how she was helping me to look at my problems realistically. My abuse gave me many different problems throughout my life, and affected every part of my life, right down to the way I dressed.

I was in counselling for quite a while not because of what I first thought, that I was mad, but because for the first time I was learning who I was and what I was about.

Can I tell you counsellors are not do-gooders they are professional people highly trained to help you understand your emotions, they put you back on the right track and never once judge you. If it wasn’t for my counselling I would still be blaming myself, I would still be eaten up with shame & guilt and I would never have thought I was good enough for anyone or anything.

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