It’s My Life – Chapter 24

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

Theodore Roosevelt

My therapy sessions started as I assumed they would; talking about my past.  I jokingly have referred to my memory as resembling a slice of Swiss cheese.  So many holes.  Friends and family would bring up events that I would have no recollection of.  Some events that I can remember, I do my best to forget.  While Bob thought it helpful to go back so we could go forward, I was riding the “Don’t Look Back” train and wanted to stay there.  However, I wanted the full therapy experience, so I humored him.  For a few weeks. 

I explained my building anxiety towards our sessions and heightened nightmares (the craziness I dream about on a normal day is enough to scare most anyone) due to opening those doors.  I was surprised that Bob didn’t argue.  He didn’t tell me I had to keep on this path.  He didn’t tell me what to do.  He let me make my own decision.  What a feeling.

The sessions immediately changed focus and we began gearing them more towards my current struggles and future goals.  This was what I needed.  I began to look forward to my weekly chats with Bob, hashing out frustrations, struggling with my emotions, and discovering who I was.  He listened with concern as I fumed about how Ted was refusing to sign the divorce papers, the divorce he asked for, only to see him out to dinner with another girl.  Bob’s usual response would resemble, “How did that make you feel?” How do you think Bob? 

Those redundant questions he continued to ask eventually led me to start thinking more on my own in between sessions.  Bob was not being absolutely ridiculous.  He was helping me!

When I decided that I was going to continue staying in the addition that belonged to my ex in-laws for a longer period, Bob intervened.  He normally did not tell clients what to do unless they were going to cause harm, but this was not wise.  I needed to make a permanent break from Ted’s family.  He cautioned me to rethink think what I was doing and look for an apartment.  However, I saw it as a smart decision.  I could pay off my debt.  Pap enjoyed the companionship of my dogs and looked forward to our meals together.  He was teaching me to cook!  This was the decision I was making.  I felt confident about it.  Sorry Bob, you’re going to have to have a little faith in me and my ability to create boundaries like we’ve discussed.

My 18% interest rate car loan was refinanced to 13%.  The bank was willing to reduce the rate but that’s as far as they would go.  My credit was awful and they wouldn’t take my word for it that I was more responsible when I could be in control of my money.  I researched financing options and discovered that I could take a loan from my 401k at less than 4%.  What?!?!  The penalty was under $100.  I could shave months off the life of that car loan.  Sign me up!  One of the best decisions I ever made!!

All of my extra money was applied to the credit card debt.  The feeling of financial freedom was getting closer every month that passed by.  The balances were going down and some of them were even getting paid off!  My credit score was going up!! 

The first evening my yellow lab mix, Bailey, did not follow me back to bed but instead stayed with Pap, I chalked it up to a fluke.  But night after night, it was only the big brown dog that curled up next to me.  Bailey had become more of Pap’s dog since my more “permanent” stay.  Pap would turn on the Sunday morning “funnies” as he called them and he and Bailey would watch them. And yes, Bailey would actually watch those cartoons; he loved TV.  I couldn’t figure out what had happened, but both dog and man were pleased so I just let it continue.

Eventually, Pap met a friend and was beginning to show signs of laughter and fulfillment I hadn’t seen.  I’ll never forget the dinner conversation the night he told me he got a girl’s number.  Oh. My. Lord.  I about fell off my chair.  Go Pap!

Not shortly after Pap’s newly found “relationship”, Bailey followed me back to my room for bed.  Bailey fell back into his old routine of jumping into bed with me every night going forward.  I can remember Pap asking me what he had done wrong to make Bailey stop sleeping with him.  I had no logical explanation other than Bailey had felt the change in Pap’s demeanor.  He had found happiness.

Dogs are amazing creatures.  Their abilities to see, hear, and feel what we tend to overlook are not appreciated enough.  I truly believe that this was Bailey’s purpose in life.  That darn dog was always in trouble and was not the brightest crayon.  He was the toughest puppy I ever had.  He wasn’t housebroken until he was 2 years old.  He was aggressive if you touched him in certain ways.  He destroyed corners in my house, shoes, and numerous other items.  There were many days I regretted getting him.  But now I knew, this is why Bailey was in my life.  It wasn’t for me.  It was for Pap.  He was there for him every night to fill a void.  No one told him this was his duty.  He fell into it seamlessly and when his job was done, he fell back in line as second to Bryant without missing a beat.

Me and Bailey in Middleburg for the Christmas Parade in 2014

Catch up on past blogs!

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