Posted in Blog, Mental Health

What Makes A Good Therapist?

I came to a bit of blows with my therapist this week, where during our session I felt that she accused me of being judgemental and bossy, which is not me at all.

We were talking about my mum; My mum and I are talking again. On Sunday she left me a heartfelt voicemail, apologising for having not been there for me when I was younger and for letting me down. So on Monday I called her and we had a heart-to-heart about our relationship. She’s asking me to forgive her, but my heart has been broken so many times by her that I’m reluctant to trust her. Plus she still has a lot of issues of her own to work through, which she will not care to admit to. In building a barrier for myself, I am protecting myself, because I’ve known my mother for almost 32 years now – I know what damage she can do to me. Also, we’ve always had a problem with communicating with each other, which causes me significant mental stress, and also triggers seizures, so I’ve decided to take charge, meaning that the relationship is on my terms. I believe in being honest and open, because it’s healthy.

This is all advice I also received from my tarot reader, Leona Nichole Black, who pretty much confirmed my gut instincts: before I’d seen her, I’d decided that if I was going to have a relationship with my mum, it wouldn’t be the same as it used to be, it would be on my terms and my tarot reading confirmed all of this for me, which you can read about here.

However, my therapist disagrees, and think that instead of judging my mother on her past mistakes, I should just learn to enjoy being in her presence and get to know her again.

But my stance is, why does there have to be an either or? Why can I not do both?

My therapist also accused me of being quite domineering, because of what I said about things being on my terms, so she asked me to role play, where she was my mum and I was me and we had a conversation about planning to meet up. However, during the role play, it became evident to her that when I say that I want things on my terms, what I mean is that I want open communication. Anybody who knows me in real life, knows that I’m not a controlling person!

So at the end of the session, I came away feeling shitty, because nobody likes to be called judgemental or controlling, least of all me. She did end the session by saying that she feels protective over me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt again, which is why I cannot understand why she cannot see that my approach is the best, if we’re both of the same opinion of protecting myself?

From what I’ve been learning in my MSc about therapists, I understood that a good therapist doesn’t give their opinion – particularly personal ones – about the patient, especially because the patient is the vulnerable one out of the two and will take it to heart…. This is regardless of the type of therapy it is that the therapist is practicing too. Even if the patient is causing harm to themselves, there are ways of conveying concern without expressing a personal opinion.  And this is not the first time that she’s done this either. I just sweep it under the carpet because she pays me so many compliments. This is also not the first therapist I’ve seen, who’s gotten a little too personal either (which you can read about here).

All of this are things I’m taking on board for my own personal learning, for when I eventually go into therapy myself.

Not insulting your patient is definitely a good starting point.

XOXO

Posted in Blog, Mental Health

My 1:1 Tarot Reading with Leona Black

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(Image source)

In my rejection of Christianity, I’ve begun seeking other sources for spiritual guidance and comfort. As a child, I’d always been drawn to astrology, so I decided to return back to this which then led me to tarot.

A Little About Me

My star sign is Cancer, however my rising sign is Taurus. Crabs (Cancer), tend to be internal and receptive, with a heavy dose of initiative (cardinal), and strong, emotional awareness.

Leo, which lives next door to Cancer, boasts a very different personality (as is always the case with adjacent signs). Leo, is a sign of positive fixed fire. This means that it natives tend to be outgoing (positive), determined (fixed) and full of flash (fire).

As I am a Taurus rising, I stand firmly on my feet. I therefore look for stability in the people around me, security and the feeling of security. They are social and love to socialise – given by their precious skill to communicate and focus requests. I have also had to learn how to handle changes and experiences – to accept them positively. I can become obstinate and stubborn when pressure and stress dominate my life or my way to act.

How I Came to Meet Leona

Leona Nichole Black was recommended to me by a friend of mine, Kelechi 

Leona is a Tarot Reader, Intuitive Counsellor, Writer & Cultural Theorist. As well as this, she’s also currently studying for a PhD in Black Consciousness, which I was immediately drawn to as an Black academic myself. I initially requested for an MP3 Tarot Reading, back in January; I didn’t give much away, only because I didn’t really know what to ask:

How can I move on from the conflict with my mother and sister?

At the time, my mother and I had not yet reconciled and I was having mad dreams about both her and my sister. I was ready to walk away and I wanted to know how, however Leona had a very different answer for me. She told me that my mother and I were going to move past our conflict. She could see that my mother loved me immensely, but was stuck in the middle. My sister, on the other hand, could not be trusted.

Leona gave me an incredibly in depth reading and it was also incredibly on point! I was shooketh!

So much so, that I decided to go and see her in person, where she gave me another in-depth reading, followed by advice and counselling regarding my situation with my mother and it is thanks to her that my mother and I are now talking, on my terms.

The session began with a simple prayer, to bless the space, as well as the cards, and then the reading began. Unfortunately, I didn’t start taking notes until further into the reading (I didn’t know I could actually take notes!), but I do remember the Source Card coming up and we spoke about breaking the generational cycles within my family, which is something that I am incredibly passionate about – mostly in regards to female mental health, but also abusive familial relationships. My grandmother is currently living in relational poverty and my aunt and uncles have stopped my cousins and I from going into the house. Last month, when one of my cousins and I tried to go and visit, they stalked the house to intimidate us, and then tried to beat me up. One of them is also keeping her finances from her. The house has no proper electricity running through it. My aunt who lives with her has an undiagnosed mental health condition. Social services are aware of this, however have been been more inclined to be helpful to the older generation (not believing me or my cousins even though I’m more educated and my cousins have evidence of abuse against my grandmother). We’ve even reported threats made by my uncles towards me, to Social services, and deterioration in my Grandmother’s mood however, we still haven’t been heard. The Ten of Pentacles came up, which indicates stress, (I did have my first tonic clonic seizure in 9 months last week), however there were other cards pulled to indicate that there will be success. My cousins and I just need keep on persevering.

Advice

Leona pulled the following cards for me for advice:

  • The High Priestess card – to trust my intuition, which is something I am very good at – except with my mother (perhaps because she’s my mother?)
  • The Sun in Reverse – Mum’s thoughts can overshadow mine. My mum and sister were both very negative and judgemental – both intentional and unintentional, which had a severe impact upon my mental health, confidence and creativity growing up and in my early twenties. Therefore, now is the time for honouring my own emotions which is a process I have already begun. Now is the time to be my own warrior. 
  • Three of Ones – I am now looking for a return on my investment and I have been waiting at a distance, with my barriers up, especially during these early stages of the rekindling of our relationship. In hindsight, I guess this also will eventually apply to the situation with my Grandmother and the work my cousins and I are putting in on her behalf for her welfare.
  • However, there was the Two of Swords, indicating that I am not seeing the situation clearly, and this could also apply to my uncles because up until January, I thought that the sun shone out of their arses.
  • The Ten of Pentacles in Reverse came up, reminding me that my blood are not my family. They continue to hurt me, devalue me (I’m talking about my mum, sister, uncles and aunt here), when I have people who aren’t blood, who perceive me as the little girl and woman who deserves all of the love I’ve always craved.
  • The Nine of Pentacles in Reverse – indicates that I haven’t been seeing myself clearly. I’m a 10/10, but I’m only seeing myself as a 9/10. I’m the shit!

  • The Magician – reclaiming my energy, which is something that I am working on for 2018 and not draining myself for the sake of others.
  • The Temple Card – I’ve built my own temple, on my own, without the help of anybody. I look back on where I was this time last year and I just cannot believe how far I’ve come. Nobody can tell me anything now about my journey, because they haven’t been through it and they don’t know and therefore, nobody can ever gaslight me about my intelligence ever again because my foundation is now too strong.
  • The Grief Card – reminding me that I will be let down and therefore, I need to have outlets for pain. This is so important as a Black woman to allow myself to feel pain.
  • The Strength Card – I will need courage and I will need to take back power from the source. The source is me.
  • The Chariot Card – the triumph and overcoming will be in sticking it out. So many times with my family, I’ve just upped and left, however just leaving isn’t the way. I have to show up and remind them that I am the child, and they will be held accountable for certain things and that’s where the healing is for me. Do not compromise. This worked. After this session, I meditated on this advice, before sending my mother a message, pretty much outlining my “terms and conditions” for our relationship going forward (LOL). We are yet to meet in person again, but at present, we now speak on a weekly basis.

Outcome

Queen of Wands – This will be mum, who will finally see the suffering she has caused, however she will find it very difficult to deal with, so she will flee. Whether or not she will return, only time will tell.

And she has. 

 

I cannot recommend Leona’s services enough, not only for spiritual guidance, but also for counselling. I’m looking forward to returning!

The MP3 reading was £28 and the one-to-one session was £60.

http://www.nicholeblack.com/services/

XOXO

Posted in Blog, Mental Health

Oh Mother, Where For Art Thou?

So I had a quick catch up with my mum last week afternoon and caught her up on my failed teacher training due to racial microaggressions, the bullies using my epilepsy as a scapegoat, and my subsequent suicide attempt. Fairly light afternoon mother-daughter chat. When she asked the reasons they had used to sabotage my reputation at work, I replied “well at first it started off as them accusing me of being late for work, then they started to say that I was aggressive towards members of staff. Have you ever known me to be late for work mum?” Without a moment’s pause, she replied no. However, when I asked her if she’d ever known me be aggressive, she paused, before replying:

“well maybe not aggressive but angry”.

We’ve fallen out over this before. She’s always perceived me to be an angry girl, however she’s never paused to think about the reasons behind it. I didn’t want to fight about it, so I just said to her “at work mum. I know how to present myself at work.” Her response was then:

“well I’m not there with you, so I can’t say, but I’m sure you are.”

How come you can say with conviction that I’m a punctual person when I’m not in your presence, but you cannot say that I know how to be a professional Black woman?

That’s what I wanted you to say mum.

It dawned on me that yet again, our parents are a generation that have been insidiously conditioned by white supremacists to think in certain ways about our Black actions.

Just because I may behave in a certain way in your home, does not automatically mean that I am the same person outside. Furthermore, you brought me up woman! You brought me up to have manners, to be polite, to act “white”around white people so as not to draw attention to myself, therefore that’s how I used to act outside (in the workplace).

At home, I was your angry daughter because I had issues with you, therefore if a group of white people in the workplace are then ganging up on your daughter and stereotyping her as an aggressive Black woman, alarm bells should be ringing in your mind mother.

And this is where I am yet again reminded that my own mother doesn’t know me.

My mother doesn’t even know that my favourite animal are owls.

Everybody who knows me knows this about me.

She banned me from having anything owl related in her house, because she thought that they were demon-related – especially so when Harry Potter came out.

Hedwig

So, after crying myself into a nap, I realised that things needed to change.

I messaged her, reminding her that the things that I was angry about, were reasonable things to be angry about, and I did not appreciate being labelled as angry for that.

This was confirmed when I went to see my Tarot Counsellor on later on in the week, Thursday. I’ve recently gotten into Tarot and astrology, because I follow my heart and not only do the cards give surprising readings; they sometimes confirm my gut instincts. For example, I had no idea that I would be speaking to my mother again – the cards read this, which was a surprise for me and after two years I thought that I was ready to move on, but it turned out that it was time for me to return on my terms. The cards also read some incredible insight into the broken relationship between my sister and I. You might be reading this and thinking this is all bollocks, but I’m not easily swayed either. I just follow my gut.

My Tarot Counsellor advised me that it was time to stand up for myself, because I already knew that the relationship between my mother and I was an unhealthy one, bourne down through generations of trauma. My mother was also a shadow who casts darkness over my light – in fact, nobody on earth makes me feel shitter than my mother and sister; nobody on earth makes me feel more like an outsider than my mother and my sister. My mother consistently acts like the child in our relationship, knowing that it puts significant strain upon me – both physically as well as mentally. She claims to care about my health, but it dawned upon me that we’ve been talking for two or three weeks, yet she hasn’t apologised for the fact that we haven’t spoken to each other in over two years, nor has she apologised for the vile things that she said to me. Whereas, I apologised during our first conversation.

So, I messaged her.

I wasn’t rude. I reminded her that I was her child and that if this relationship was to move forward, she needed to embrace her role as a mother. She should also get to know me, because she never had and she still did not. Those are my terms.

I haven’t heard from her since.

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It is what it is.

This time however, the door is still open on my side, instead of slammed shut like before, which is much beneficial to my mental health, as well as my physical.

And I’ve been busy making my family around me who know me and love me. I don’t need blood when I’m a Priestess and I’ve got options and acceptance.

XOXO