At the end of my session with S today, I admitted to him that the last time I had a session with him, I had stood outside of the Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) building and contemplated my death by traffic. You see, the CAPS building is placed at the edge of campus to provide privacy to the clients but at the same time being so far away from the main campus meant that one would have to cross multiple main roads to reach it.
Last week, as some of you might recall, if you had caught my post, we’d had a session that left me feeling shattered. And when I walked out of S’ office, I felt confused, lost and alone. I wanted everything to end. So I stood outside the building and watched the cars zip by. I still don’t actually want to die. I am just so overwhelmed by everything that is happening to me right now that I can’t handle any more.
So today, I admitted that I did that. He seemed alarmed. He then asked me if I had any plans. I explained to him that though I didn’t, it is also a very tempting thing when you’re in the midst of a distress to do something drastic.
“Do you think you’re safe?” he asked.
“Yeah. I think so. I’m just tempted…” I said, after a long pause.
“Are you going to walk out in front of traffic?”
I had a long pause as I contemplated that question. I decided to be honest, “I don’t know… I don’t know, S.” And I had another long pause. “Probably not…”
Since he knows that I’m an adult who is capable of making my own decisions, he usually allows me to leave but never without making me promise that I would be safe and take care of myself. He added today, “Will you promise me that you will come to CAPS again if you need to talk to someone?”
“But I always feel guilty when I do so. I’m such a burden…”
“You’re not a burden. We’re here for you. You can’t believe that. You’re a burden because you really are not. I know you always feel guilty when people show that they care for you, but you need to believe that we do care for you. If you thank someone when they show their care for you, I know it sounds superficial, but cultivating gratitude can help you overcome your guilt… So please come in to CAPS if you need to, ok?”
“Yeah. Yeah. I need to do that…” I said, my voice almost a whisper.
“Will you promise me to call Campus Police, explain the situation to them so they can provide you an escort so that you’ll be safe if it comes to that?”
Campus Police, I thought. Hmm, never considered them as a resource before. “Yes,” I said.
Today, for the first time ever, I actually do feel concerned for myself. I’m concerned that in my distress, I’ll do something dangerous. I’m concerned with the things I’m saying in session because most of the time, it’s my unconscious speaking through me. And even I am surprised by some of the things I say.
I usually am up late and usually in those times of the night, I’m more susceptible to these negative and harmful thoughts. And usually, my husband goes to bed earlier than I do which leaves me to ruminate and I’m just afraid that I’ll end up doing something terrible. I have a feeling that I won’t ultimately do anything because I care too much about my husband to subject him to such an ordeal but at the same time, I have I reservations. The pain is sometimes so unbearable that I just need it to end.
Anyway, I stood outside of CAPS today for a few minutes and contemplated life and death. Then I convinced myself that it was time to go to class. When I got to class, I emailed S because I didn’t want him to worry.
He responded quite quickly – well, quicker than usual. He doesn’t usually respond because of confidentiality issues.
Later in the day, I actually got an email from him again. It was one that I kept rereading because of how much it meant to me to get the email (especially since we don’t usually email each other). I felt touched that he wrote me.
“We’re all here for you” just resonates with me. It makes me feel raw, especially when I struggle to feel like I deserve to be cared for.
I think I’ll be ok for the rest of the night. I can’t make promises for tomorrow. I’ll take one day at a time for now.