Last night my counseling came to an end. Through the William Way Center, I was given eight sessions and last night was my eighth session.
During Pride in June, I took an HIV test and I shared with the guy testing me about my experience. I never had relations with someone after, but because of the circumstances, I wanted to make sure. I was fine; he recommended the Center and I said, “it’s been 5.5 years. Is it too late?” He said, “it’s never too late to talk someone and get the help you need.” I started on 26 July 2019 (almost two months after the test) and when I walked through the red door, I felt overwhelmed and sad. I had a lot going on and I was ready to talk.
Since I started the Happiness Box Project for mental health reasons, I am not ashamed to share my story. I’m proud to say that in the two months since talking to Mitch, I am a brand new Jessica. While there’s still healing to do, I grew and I’m proud of myself. I can finally say to myself, “What happened to me is not my fault. Given the person I was six years ago, I didn’t have the insight to know better, and honestly, given what I know now with hindsight, it couldn’t have been prevented. I forgive myself as much as I forgive his ghost.” I also embraced my feelings because there are still moments where I do cry and get upset, and that is okay. It is better to feel those feelings than hold them in. They may never go away and it is what it is. I accept all aspects of myself and I am not going to deny my feelings or stories.
I’m very proud of myself and I love myself. I was jubilant yesterday and I shared my wonderful stories about saying “no” and placing boundaries. This was my first time in a long while where I felt 100% proud of myself and confident enough that I will be comfortable with this in the future. While I know there might be some struggles, I am confident to know I can say no and place boundaries.
In fact, I had my first test last night, a few hours after my session. Savage is done; my first impression was right and although I gave him a second chance, I was on watch. On Thursday, he asked me for $4 for the train because he spent it on a costume. I gave it to him and I saw him pay the conductor. However, I said to myself, acting on my past experiences, “I need to watch him. I have to make sure that this doesn’t become a habit.” Lo and behold, he asked me for money again last night… to the tune of $160. He was in trouble and you know what my wonderful self texted him. “No, I don’t have that kind of money.” After a lot of guilt trips, I said, “Nope. You need to make better choices. Savage, you need better friends who won’t get you in trouble. No. I am not giving you money. Also, I’m not speaking from meanness, but caring kindness. ” I blocked him too. If I see him on Monday and he asks, I will say, “No. Not my monkeys, not my circus.” And walk away. It’s true; I am not responsible for him and I do not want to get involved. In the past, I always tried to be a saint and help. Honestly, it is not my place to help. The person needs to come to a realization that they need help and need to ask for help themselves. I am very proud of myself and I am actually crying tears of joy that I found it in my spirit to say no. I’m an empath and I think he sensed that; although I am an empath, I didn’t really pay mind to the guilt (surprisingly).
It bears repeating, as it kept coming up in the sessions: I am a strong and resilient person. I have coping skills and once I take a deep breath, look within, and listen to my soul, I know the way. I have bounced back from adversity.
Mitch was happy, he liked working with me, and I can return in a year. I want to and I told him that in the interim, I want to join in events at the William Way Center because after my sessions, I always joined in some of events they were having. I didn’t stay very long, but for the few I stayed for, I met a lot of nice people and liked mingling. I also want to give back and I want to join the community. Mitch smiled and said, “you’re more than welcome to. We have events listed online.”
From the first session, I’m walking to new beginnings:
From last night. Walking triumphantly in:
As this journey continues, I am reminded of the Andrew Solomone TED talk I shared a few weeks ago. I’ve been listening to it nonstop and he mentioned this Bible verse that I keep repeating in my mind: “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” In fact, I want to close this entry with that 2 Corinthians verse:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
3 thoughts on “For When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong”
Hi, Jessica Marie!
You seem to be in a good place, dear friend, and I’m happy to know it. Although your counseling has come to an end, you will surely continue to draw upon it and benefit from it. Reflecting on the past, you were able to forgive yourself and realize that, back then, you did not possess the tools and skills with which you are now equipped.
You handled the test, the situation with Savage, artfully. You trusted your instincts and observed an unresourceful pattern developing. When you give to some people, they do not give in return. They keep on taking. It would not be fair to your folks or to yourself if you abandoned your budget plan and started funneling money into a human money pit. You will find that people who set boundaries and stick to them, people who learn how to say “no,” are liked and respected more than people who constantly cave-in and try to solve everybody else’s personal problems. You are strong and resilient and you have a right to feel proud. I hope you will attend as many events as possible at the William Way Center. You will meet a good class of people and continue to learn.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friend JM!
I feel for Savage and I hope he will be okay, but I have no obligation to him. I’m finally putting together past lessons of these hurts by others, when people used me until I was dry, and I was beginning to sense a pattern. He was probably buttering me up to use me. Harsh? Maybe, but it could be true. I don’t want to find out because at the end of the day, it isn’t fair to me or my wallet. I’m not the First Bank of Jessica and I’m not investing in a human money pit who can’t seem to get his act together. I don’t condone illicit drug use (marijuana is the exception) and I’m not paying for it.
It feels so good to feel good! I am so proud of myself and I’ll continue my dance into the week. 🙂