Journey to self
The therapist my doctor had recommended was not quite what I expected. I was expecting him to be a serious looking professional, with a thick folder and matching glasses. Kola (the therapist) however, looked quite young (maybe early forties) and was pretty stylish. For our first session, he had on a blue blazer, crisp white shirt and cream trousers.
I was worried about having to explain who he was to my parents since I had now been discharged from the hospital and was back at home. I also didn’t trust the domestic staff in the house to remain discreet about his visits.
My leg was still in a cast and so I wasn’t exactly eager to make the commute to his office in Ikeja for the sessions. We finally reached a compromise, we were to meet at the VIP section of a members only lounge in Victoria Island during the day when we could have the entire place to ourselves.
The first session was uneasy. He had offered to sign a non-disclosure agreement which would guarantee that he would not divulge any of the information I gave him during our sessions to a third party. That should have made me feel better instead it scared me. I knew my sessions with him would come back to haunt me but I didn’t really care. I needed to talk to someone who could help me figure out what I wanted and I didn’t mind paying for it.
The conversation went something like this:
Kola: So Adesewa, can you tell me why we are here?
Me: I dunno. I thought it was your job to help me figure that out.
Kola: You requested for this according to your doctor. These sessions were not recommended, you requested for them so there must be a reason.
Me: I hope we are not on the clock here. I am not paying for this banter that is clearly leading nowhere.
He muttered something under his breath as he scribbled furiously into his notepad. I had refused to allow him record the sessions. So I knew he needed his notes and waited patiently. When he finished writing I spoke.
Me: So what’s the verdict?
Me: The verdict on my issues. What is wrong with me? Let me guess; I am suffering from a chronic case of too much money which has made me entitled, spoiled and spineless.
Kola: Why do you think I would refer to you as entitled, spoiled and spineless?
Me: You tell me. Is that not what you think? That my parents have used their wealth to shelter me and now I am a grown woman who can’t stand on her own two feet. I cannot “hustle”, I am not “street smart”. Isn’t that what you are going to tell me?
He smiled at me. Closed his notebook and tossed it on the table. He folded his arms across his chest and just stared at me. After what seemed like eternity I spoke.
Me: I am paying for these sessions and you think you can just stare and smile at me and then get paid? I am not a charity organization and I don’t have money to throw away.
I grabbed my handbag and struggled to get up but my leg still hurt and the cast was making it harder to move swiftly.
Kola: Sit down Adesewa.
I did as I was told. Not because I was interested in whatever he had to say, but because I needed his help getting up and I was too proud to ask.
Kola: This is officially no longer a session. Don’t pay me. We are off the clock.
Me: Are you firing me? It’s unprofessional to fire your client.
He laughed out loud.
Kola: I am not firing you Adesewa. You are officially no longer my client. You could use a friend right now, I can tell all you really need is someone to talk to. So just talk, I am listening.
He was right. All I needed was someone to talk to. Someone who wouldn’t tell me how “perfect” my life was and how “thankful” I should be for all the opportunities that had come my way.
Me: Where do I start from?
Kola: Anywhere. At the end, at the beginning, or right in the middle. Just start.
And so I started….
Me: I am afraid of living an uneventful life.
Kola: Describe your ideal life to me Adesewa.
Me: I’d be happy and fulfilled.
Kola: What does happiness mean to you?
Me: I don’t know.
Kola started clapping and I looked at him like he had just sprouted a second head.
Kola: And now we know why we are here.