Good Things

I’m seeing a counsellor again.

I’m seeing a counsellor when things in my life are the best they’ve ever been.

They say things, good and bad, come in threes. At the end of 2018, I received three pieces of good news almost back-to-back. I was accepted for the Young Women Lead programme, which means a visit to the Scottish Parliament once a month until June and helping to set up a temporary government committee to research a topic of our choice and make positive changes for Scottish women. So far, so good.

I was offered my dream job, a fifteen minute drive from my house for more money (I’d driven 18,000 miles in nine months to and from Garmouth every weekend for work). I’m now a Caseworker for my MSP Richard Lochhead.

After about six months of writing and a trip to Liverpool, I was chosen for Penguin Random House’s Write Now programme and will spend the rest of the year finishing my book. I have an editor (Mikaela) who’ll be giving me all the right nudges along the way. There’s a good chance it will be published.

Photo credit:  Sian, the genius

Photo credit: Sian, the genius

Yet how strange to feel so unsure of myself when I have praise and assurance coming from every direction. I was coming home from work extremely glum every evening, sure I was a huge let-down for my new team. And since I’m going to spend the next 9 - 12 months writing about the parts of my abuse that have been buried for the last four years, going back to counselling seemed like the best kind of self care.

Because I basically feel fine. The residue from my abusive relationship are just small affectations only noticed by me. How silly I think, when I see some of my safety nets still in action. I know the brain is a malleable thing but it doesn’t seem possible that I have no lasting, serious damage going on up there somewhere. So it’s time to dig some of it up and deal with it. It’s time.

Lauren Aitchison