This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
20th May, 2021
Therapy session with Beth
I’ve been crying for the last 10 minutes. It’s an ugly kind of cry – the kind where snot is dripping from your nose and you really don’t care cos you just want to cry. Also cos your house has no more tissue paper.
Finally, I take a piece of kitchen towel and I sit back down again. I drink a sip of water before trying to compose myself again.
Beth: Now that you know your hurt and pain is valid. Can you tell me when else you have felt hurt or bullied before?
” When I was in secondary school. I had a really good friend who was my classmate from Secondary 1 to 4. We were inseparable, even now we are still good friends. But when we were 16, she started distancing herself from me for a while. We had this classmate called Betty. She and I had started becoming much closer. Betty would lend me her clothing and always send me nice things. She listened to me talk about boys and always gave me great advice.
On my birthday that year, my good friend confessed to me that Betty had tried to turn her against me. She told me that Betty had been feeding her lies – saying that I was talking bad about her. Because the lies included so many details, she believed Betty and became angry towards me.
Later on, I also found out that Betty had asked me not to go out with a boy because he was trouble. 2 weeks later, she herself started going out with this boy and told me that she had misunderstood him.
Luckily, my good friend saw through Betty and eventually came to tell me she was sorry.
I never took it to heart because at least she figured out the truth and came to tell me.
But the betrayal that Betty did to me…..the fact that my own good friend almost believed someone else instead of coming to me…….the fact that I still remember all of these till now…….
I think that’s one of the bullying events I can recall. ”
Beth: That’s good. Let it all out. Anything else?
” I was molested 3 years ago. I was in a grabhitch, sitting in the front seat beside the driver. We were driving at 90km/hr along the KPE when he suddenly reached across and grabbed my breasts.
I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I just tried to shift away but he kept reaching back for me.
I realized that I could be in serious trouble if he decided to drive me somewhere secluded. So I just let him. I let him grope me. I let him slide his fingers down my thighs.
Thankfully, he drove me home and nothing else happened. I went home and showered at least 3 times that night. ”
Beth: I’m so sorry to hear. Are you okay to continue?
Beth: You’re doing really well. Keep going.
For the next 3 or 4 sessions, I tell her everything. I tell her of all the grievances that ever happened to me.
Beth created a safe space for me to speak my truth. She allowed me to process my repressed anger and sadness. She let me cry. She helped me to see where the source of my triggers lay.
Therapy was a huge breakthrough for me.