Why in the world do I write blogs? WHY DO I MAKE VIDEOS that are freaking totally unprofessional (bad lighting, bad angles, bloopers included, etc.) yet totally informational ;-)...(SCROLL down to see the video)? Why do I put myself SO out there?
Because not long after my parents' divorce I remember my Mom asking me if I thought I might want to see a Counselor.
I had a BIG..FAT...NO...for all that. WHAT?!?!?!!! Therapy??? Everything about it sounded awful. A stranger evaluating and critiquing my feelings and how I am??? No thank you. I did enough of that myself.
Then I made friends with a girl whose mother was a therapist. As a by-product of our friendship I had everyday interactions with her Mom. But to me, they weren't so everyday.
I remember being out to lunch with the both of them and getting asked the question I ALWAYS got asked, "Why did you move here?"
I braced myself to deal with her reaction. The pitiful look, the uncomfortableness, the awkwardness, and then finally me trying to make her feel better by letting her know that I was fine, "I'm totally fine with my parents' divorce. It needed to happen." And then she would probably change the subject as quickly as possible.
The silence felt like a whole lot of judgment.
But at this lunch at Casa Gallardo (geez, I miss Casa Gallardo!!!) the conversation was totally different. My friend's therapist-Mom (Linda) started asking me questions, "How long were your parents married?", "Does your mom have family here?", "What was their marriage like?" She didn't act like she didn't want to touch the circumstances of my life with a 10-foot pole. She just took her glove off and poked it....like it was no big deal.
My friend, a teenager at the time, said, "MAAAAAAAMMMMMMM!!!!" which is teenager for, "Stop it."
I understood what she thought was happening; she thought her Mom might be making me uncomfortable.
But what was true for me was that people avoiding talking about it was what was uncomfortable. The looks of pity were uncomfortable. Working to make the asker feel better after getting an answer he/she didn't want to hear was uncomfortable.
Talking to Linda about the ins and outs of my life with her non-judgmental tone and demeanor felt good. It's like the difference between talking to someone about your highly treatable cancer who's never seen it before (*Gasp* CANCER!! OMG, that's TERRIBLE), and someone who's seen and treated this exact type of cancer 200 times and is REALLY confident you'll survive and knows your next best steps.
But at this point in my relationship with Linda...she was just Linda. I'd spent the night at her house and played board games with her family. She wasn't MY THERAPIST (although I had plenty of therapeutic conversations with her) she was Linda. Counseling didn't seem scary or weird at all anymore.
And that's what I try to do here, too.
I want to be really clear about who and how I am. I want to be just Mika. I don't want to be a scary counselor that's a stranger.
So, why do I do all of this?
I want to change people's minds about therapy. And I think everyone deserves to have what it takes to be happy. If me putting myself out there for all to see, judge and critique helps one person get the support they need...then it was all worth it.
Tell me in the comments below how you're going to be easier on YOU.
I would love if you click the 'Like' or 'Tweet' buttons below to share on your social media pages to help me in my goal of changing people's minds about therapy. Many thanks!