An appointment was booked with the ward psychologist, and within hours there was a knock at my door and a fresh faced, young, blonde woman stood there waiting to be greeted. The woman with scattered piercings and tattoos creeping into vision from corners of her clothing, had a trusting smile and knowledgable eyes, and I instantly knew she was the person I had been waiting to see... The psychologist.
After brief introductions, and friendly handshakes, the psychologist said she would like to conduct this introductory session in her room, away from the bustling ward. For some reason a shockwave of panic rippled through my chest at the thought of going with her, alone... Was I ready to talk about this? Was I ready to face the facts?
I couldn't do it alone, I just couldn't. I needed my Mum, and i clung to her gaze, trying to tell her with my eyes not to leave me alone with this stranger, who was ready to delve deep in to my soul.
'Right Rebecca, shall we go?'
'I want my mum to come with us!'
The psychologist looked from me to my Mum, and back to me again. Wary of my sudden outburst and channeling in on my distress, I could see her already beginning to analyse me. Eventually she smiled warmly, relief spreading through my veins, and she agreed to allow my mum to be a spectator in my session.
The three of us ever so slowly made our way to a room I wasn't yet familiar with on the ward. It was a a long, thin room, with dull, beige walls, the odd poster scattered here and there, and a white board where I, straight away sieved through the scrawl, and spotted my name and the time of my appointment.
I was seated on a chair facing where the psychologist sat, with a desk next to her, where she casually rested her elbow, pen in hand. Mum was seated in the corner, not too far away from me, and I was comfortable in the knowledge that my peripheral vision always had her in its grasp.
The session began with the psychologist explaining to me what her job was and what the session plan was. I was fully aware of this, and had heard it all before from previous counsellors I had seen, but I politely let her continue, nodding at the right points, and convincing her that I understood with my well queued smiles.
Soon enough, too soon for my liking, the psychologist had ended her little speech, and the questions were about to begin. I felt so vulnerable and so out of my depth, because I didn't know how I felt. I hadn't even begun to accept what had happened to me, and in my own mind at that time, I wasn't ready to start accepting it.
The questioning started, and I answered truthfully, telling her all about the day of the stroke and what my time on the ward had been like. I went on to expose to her that I had already had counselling in the past, and explained why I had. I also told her that I was already on anti depressants, all the while the pen that had once lay limply in her hand, had now developed what seemed like a life of its own, and was dancing rapidly along a piece of paper, her fingers guiding its way.
I felt that up to this point the session was going smoothly, and I had definitely relaxed in her company, but I wasn't to get too complacent, as very quickly the conversation turned to questioning the present emotional state i was in.
I sat there for what seemed like and age, feeling her eyes burning deep in to my brain as she sat there silent, patient. I gazed down at my limp, left hand, and then my eyes glided down the left side of my body as it assessed its wellbeing. My jumbled thoughts seemed to be settling slightly, but i didn't like where they were finding their resting place. That oh so familiar burning feeling began the creep up my cheeks, and along the rims of my eyes, and my vision began to blur as pools of water, created by my tear-ducts quickly flooded my eye sockets and began to spill down my cheeks. I kept my head down, but the obvious water drop stains, creating a pattern on my pyjama bottoms, gave the game away. The psychologist allowed me to cry, and silently offered me a box of tissues, and as I took one I saw the box being offered over to the corner of the room, when I looked and saw tears stream down the face of my poor, devoted Mum.
I felt so let down, so angered and so betrayed by my own body. There was no one else to blame, no one to shout at, or be disappointed in, no one to take away the limelight and accept responsibility. It was my fault.
I was hurt.
My heart hurt.
My brain hurt.
I was exhausted.
The psychologist continued to talk at me, telling me what I was feeling was completely normal after what had happened to me. But my brain had transported itself in to its own little world of despair. I wasn't ready to accept this, not yet.
The session ended, though i don't quite remember how. I was in a complete daze.
I clung on to Mum as we made our way back to my room, not wanting to ever let go of her...Wanting her to make this all go away.
Then I slept...