A story about a girl
She is quite young….late teens, beginning of the twenties…for me she is just a babygirl …but she thinks herself, that she is a mature grown up.
Well maybe she is right. When I look at her, I see a fine young lady, with a contagious smile, youthful laughter and a hopeful look in the blue eyes.
She steps into my office, gives me her hand, smiles shyly and as soon as she sits down in the chair opposite mine, she turns into an ugly duckling... I can feel the alert rising in my body - how did this just happen?
How did the young beauty that was standing in front of me a few seconds ago turn into a crushed spirit crumbled into a chair?
And isn't my job to turn the duckling into a beauty and not vice versa???
The tears are not the worst...tears can be cleansing, tears can be purifying and relaxing, even therapeutic. Tears are part of the job, I am used to them and I dare say that I do handle them well.
It's the words that are cutting deep.I will never get used to the words.
The words she manages between the sobs: sometimes quieter than a whisper, soaked in desperation, sometimes louder than a thunder, filled with raging anger.
I can feel that the words hurt her as well. Words like "I am ugly, I am stupid, I am fat, nobody likes me, I will fail in everything, I am good for nothing, I wish I were dead, I don’t deserve to be happy”. They come fast, they berry her - merciless as an avalanche. From the opposite chair, I look at my girl and cannot recognize any of her words as being a reality.
I wish she would see herself through my eyes.
But this is her reality, this is how she feels, this is how she thinks.
At some point in her life she learned to be that girl and she believes that this is the only thing she ever can be. I don't believe it. She wishes she didn't…She is here to get help. The hope is back in the blue eyes. “Do you think it is possible?”
I do. I am her therapist and I believe in her.
We start a process together. A long, slow process of breaking down old believes and building up new, strong, self-loving ones.
Working with self-worth issues, eating disorders and angst is not easy. Not at all, but she did take the first step. She started the process.
A process absolutely necessary. I wish she didn’t have to go through it. I wish she knew what a precious, beautiful person she is. She doesn’t know yet, but I am sure she will learn.
We do succeed eventually. It takes time, but take a look at her now:
The feathers of the ugly duckling, even though somewhat ruffled, make her the beautiful, self-loving swan she is today. And now she sees it too.
She can now appreciate the hardship, her tears, the desperation and her strength. She can look in the mirror with the same loving eyes I´ve been looking at her with all along. And she can recognize herself. She is full of pride and joy. So am I. This girl…you probably know her - she might be your friend, your sister, your daughter, your girlfriend, your neighbor, a colleague, or just a stranger on the street.
I am begging you – please, take care of her! Help her take care of herself!
Let us together take care of all our girls! They deserve it. We deserve it.