The first one we saw wasn’t entirely horrible. She was able to bring me down from thinking a few irrational things concerning our loss. But that really wasn’t her focus. She was a grief counselor, and she specialized in pregnancy issues and loss. I know many women who love her, and I mean no disrespect, but she mostly just told me, “Everything you’re thinking and feeling is just SO normal.” She thought I maybe needed to come back once or twice tops. It made me feel worse, because I just kept thinking, THIS is normal? Feeling THIS HORRIBLE is normal?! Forever?!
I was only a few weeks out, so I was very much still in shock. I couldn't believe she so readily assessed my condition to be such that I didn't need more than a handful of sessions. Hell, over a year and a half out, I still feel I am trying to process everything. All of it. The miscarriage, the twin pregnancy, the scares, the bedrest, and then the stillbirth and live birth right at the finish line. How the hell, three weeks after the "conclusion" of such life-altering events, could anyone tell how I was really doing?! Even today, half the time, I don't know how I'm doing.
I will admit that it was a relief to visit someone who wanted me to talk about things, as so many people either avoided me entirely or just tried to distract me or tell me "you have to move forward somehow" when, again, I still was waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become my life.
What I didn't like about this grief counselor was that she did not try to refute or dispute much of what I said but simply reassured me of my normalcy. I wanted to say, Look, lady, this may all be normal, but I'm damn tired of it! At one point I told her I felt like for the rest of my life, at every social gathering or party I would ever attend, everyone would just look at me with pity. That the party would suddenly become less fun because I was there, that everyone would feel sorry for me, that people would like me less because I'm a constant reminder of how horrible things can happen to good people.
Her response? That very well might be true, and people might think that. But you can't let that bother you.
Not really sure what her angle was there, but really, she should have refuted some of that. She should have reassured me that this was not my entire identity, that I would need to find people who saw me for more than my losses, that this really isn't a life sentence of misery. I'll admit that there are days where it feels that way. But just because it feels that way doesn't make it true. I've got a long life ahead of me. I'm only thirty years old. Any counselor who allows me to believe I will forever be the fun police, forever be a reminder of dead babies to anyone I ever meet, forever be only worth pitying? Really needs to re-evaluate her methods, at best.