Why Did It Take So Long for Me to Go to Therapy?

I have been suffering through pretty bad mental health cycles since I was in eighth grade, but why did I wait until my junior year of college to go to therapy? I don’t know, but here’s why I finally went:

 

Ever since I was a little kid, I was bullied inside and outside of my home. I’m not going to go into detail about the outside stuff because the reason I went to therapy was about what is happening inside my home. Even inside my home, I would not like to go into extreme detail. To repeat, I was having a lot of trouble in my home with my family, and I still do. From self-esteem, to work ethic; my parents impacted every single part of life. Of course, it’s a privilege to have both of my parents in my life in one house, but the trouble I got at home affected me.

From since as long as I can remember, my parents (and aunts and uncles) criticized everything about my body. When I had developed an eating disorder because of them, I became a success story in their eyes, not someone who was sick. I worked really hard in school because of them – they would not treat me kindly if I got A-minuses. Because of them, I still get stressed out when I do not get the grades they wanted me to get when I was younger. They are more lenient now because they know I am stressed out and work hard, but it is difficult to brush that off. There were many things that they would overreact to and not treat me very nicely: if I bit my nails, if I talked back, when I was fat, etc. Even now, I still think of myself as worthless and it makes me angry because I think it is my fault, even though it isn’t. And also, my mother is the only adult in my family who knows I am in a relationship and she has criticized every single part of it, saying that I do not deserve the love that he gives me.

Finally, during the winter quarter of junior year (this year for me), I decided to go to Drexel’s counseling services. I had told my therapist about the catalyst which had led me to finally come there even though I should have been going a long time ago. I still have an incredibly hard time with my parents because of everything they did to me, but there is always this feeling that I can never let go because they are my family and I love them. I know I am lucky to even feel like this because, now, since I live so far away and will never return home except for breaks, I feel safe when I am with them because they do not want me to be sad when I am home.

Even though it took me a long time to go to therapy (seven years?), the fact that I went, is still better than nothing. I went on my own terms, my own accord. I knew that if I forced myself to go, progress wouldn’t be made. My mother and my doctor had asked if I wanted to see a therapist when I was in high school and I had said no. I knew that if I said yes, I wouldn’t be happy, and I wouldn’t want to talk. That’s why I’m still happy that I started therapy when I did. I want others to know that therapy isn’t for everyone – the timing isn’t always right, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re only going because you think you should. I had always thought that I should go to therapy, but I never wanted to. Only when I decided I wanted it, I was open and happy to start.