Agoraphobia, isolation and loneliness
Loneliness, isolation and agoraphobia are three very powerful words. I often wonder in this new age how anybody can suffer but sadly it is all too easy. Firstly the people we love are busy, they go to work, school, college or university so, we wave goodbye to them and from that moment on we are left with that most wonderful person ourselves. All those powerful feelings creep in like a freight train. In fact they have been picking up force ever since you went to bed last night.
So how does talking to a counsellor help?
You will probably read it's all in the relationship. What a lovely saying, but what does it actually mean? The first word I would like to introduce would be the word trust. A five letter word with a meaning as large as you can imagine. When I was in the lonely well of isolation I didn't have the courage to trust anyone. After all I had trusted before and look what it had done for me. You, a counsellor, want to swan in here saying things like I am BACP registered and every thing you say is going to be held in confidence. As much as I needed your help I would have walked out, to my fragmented mind that would have been no help.
I have managed to climb out of that well and it's now my turn to throw the rope of help down to others. I now know that building that fragile bridge of trust is the hardest part. Yes, I am BACP registered, do I like the code of ethics? Yes I do. They are a wonderful frame for me to work within. I have to reflect and think about the way I am helping you, making sure that I am working towards our agreed contract.
As the fragile bridge of trust gains strength between client and counsellor, the relationship will grow in quality and richness as we start to explore those deep dark thoughts and feelings that are holding you down.
The first time I was introduced to the word agoraphobia was the Christmas of 1982.To me it was just a word with out meaning or feeling. Was I ready to witness the panic attacks, the veins on the neck standing out like a major motorway, the screaming at me of "you don't understand". How could I be so cruel as to expect someone to go outside in this condition? Didn't I know how bad it feels to let everybody down all the time. The simple answer was no, I did not, but I was about to learn.
Sadly, living alongside this condition slowly ostracised me from family, friends and the strong bond of networks that used to feed me. It felt as though the life and soul was being sucked out of me. I was now watching the world from behind a window. I would turn down invites to important functions and make excuses and slowly the invites stopped coming. My close friends moved on with their lives. Did I wish to join in? Yes, I did. As my grandmother used to say to me, if wishes were horses beggars would ride, how many horses of wishes did I ride?
So if I meet you on that fragile bridge of trust yes, I will understand if you throw me over the edge and bomb the bridge, totally destroying the chain of communication. After all I did it for years. People tried and yes, they did try. I wasn't ready to listen or understand.
Counsellors are happy to put the work in to reach you, are you ready to meet them on the bridge?
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