October 2011, and a somewhat spoilt, selfish, but nervous person, is about to leave her home, and leap completely into the unknown. What is she going to expect? How will she behave? What challenges are about to be thrown at her? The first, was a long, and tiring journey from her home in the Isle of Man, to a college in Hereford. It was time to say the final goodbye to her relatives. Tears in her eyes, she walked away from them, their voices fading away, as they turned, to leave the building. Accompanied by a friend, or so she thought, she headed to their room, where her friend made her a cup of tea. Still in tears, she drank it, and walked downstairs. Entered, slowly, and quietly, into her large and spacious room. So, this was being away from home. Maybe it was all a dream? Maybe I’d wake up in the morning, and I’d still be home. Maybe, just maybe…. Lectures, and it was the end of the day. the menu was read out. “I don’t like the sound of any of that!” she exclaims. Bursting into tears once more. A Liverpool accent, and the person next to her makes her even more emotional. “Why do you have to remind me of home!” Liverpool, is so close. That was the start, of a close friendship with one of my favourite tutors at that college, who supported me through a great deal. But why is this all so important you may wonder? How did i behave? How is my behaviour different to now? The answer, is about to be revealed. Over the next few days, my emotions were tested to their limits, people drinking alcohol under age. I did not tolerate this. People swearing. Again, I did not tolerate this. Immature behaviour, and talk of premature relationships, instead of studying. This, I most definitely was not a fan of. Boys especially, and then the girls, starting it as well. At first they had all been kind to me, but they were changing. Why were they changing? I refused, to accept, and was unaware, that it was me, yes me all along, that was causing this. Was I perhaps to them, an Oxford University type of snob, the stereotypical type of person from an “Upper Class” background? I was the “odd one out” I was Sam. Sam Ash, the one everyone “really” disliked! The grass, the one that would get you in trouble if she caught you doing something against the rules. At least, I made myself so. I chose to be so. But why did I choose to be so? The answer, my “0 tolerance policy” I had one friend at least, but I wanted more friends. They were all disappearing from me. Why! If I caught them doing something they should not be doing, I would report them for it, or if they said to me they were meeting me at a certain time, and did not turn up, I would, I suppose, “stalk” them, until they gave me a valid reason. This was the start of the CBT Journey. This was going to show my insecurities, and my slight fear of offending people. Me? Counselling? I don’t need that rubbish! I thought. I don’t need someone telling me how to think, how to speak, how to react, changing my personality. After all, that’s what they did, wasn’t it? How wrong I was. I thought they were only for people that had problems. Psychiatric problems. I didn’t have a psychiatric problem. I didn’t! I really didn’t! This showed how little I knew of counselling, and what a valuable experience it would turn out to be. CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is basically a “talking” therapy, where for me at least, the counsellor would talk over the week’s events, what I disagreed with, why, and turn the opinion into an agreement. The following scenario is as follows:
Person 1, has reported me to Person 2 for listening outside their door. Person 2, then asks to see me. I then go to see Person 2, and get all annoyed and upset that I have been reported behind my back to them, by person 1. Even worse, I know who person 1 is, or was. Person 2, then goes and tells person 3, that being the counsellor. So, there’s the scenario.
Now let’s take the agreement, and reverse the scenario.
Person 3, then asks me how I feel about this. I then tell them, that I feel quite angry, and that I’m constantly being reported. Person 3, then tells me, to think of it this way: Person 1, has told you they are busy, but you are not happy with them in the first place, as they did not tell you straight away. How does person 1 feel, when they have to always be on edge, waiting to be stalked? Waiting for a constant barrage of calls, asking where you are. If you were Person 1, how would you feel? what would you do? This went on, all year, until I finally started to gain the understanding. I became slowly aware. But sadly, my chance was lost. with them at least. Saying goodbye to my counsellor at the end of the 2 years, really never did happen. I wanted too, but was in lectures. She’d already left by the time my lecture had ended. That hurt. I’ve lost a friend, I’ve lost a dear person! I’ve lost someone who I could turn too! In a daze, I rushed from the point4, in tears. Not speaking, I ran down the ramp with my cane, totally out of step, silently sobbing. I’d lost a very very close friend, and a second grandmother to me, or so it felt. Eyes filled with tears, I carried on, into the hall of residence. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I didn’t even get to thank her. Why did I find her this valuable? After all, she was just someone I knew for two years. Why, was I so upset! I had then discovered, a few months later, I had the gift for psychology? Psychology? I would want to do psychology? Not something I considered myself to want to do, until a storyline on Coronation Street came on. There was a man called Nick, who was arguing with his brother in the car. His younger brother took hold of the wheel, and while they struggled, an oncoming lorry hit from behind, striking the driver side of the vehicle. Nick’s side, leaving him with a catastrophic and life-changing brain injury. This would have me gripped for the next few months to my TV. Eventually, Nick regained consciousness, but his recovery was slow, and painful. There would be anger, violence, uncontrollable outbursts of anger, frustration, and panic attacks, as well as the relearning to walk, and to talk properly. This, made me set my sights on NeuroPsychology. If I have no sight, why can I not help those who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition, or who are recovering from catastrophic brain injuries like Nick’s. I sat there every night, pondering, what would I do, if I was with him? What would I say? how could I help him? I watched everyone on screen going wrong, patronising him, and fussing over him, when he clearly did not want it. His saviour, was Kahl, his personal trainer, who helped him overcome his anger issues, and most of his emotional trauma. I would like to see myself in a few years, doing the same thing. Helping those similar to him, and their families, to learn about their conditions, to understand why their personalities will never be as they were, but how they can make the most of life. How they can enjoy life. How they can, and will live life to the full. I’m in my first year of a degree with the oPen University in Psychology with Counselling, so I hope that will at least, start me on the road to success. I’m hoping I’ll be able to use my own experience, of being blind from birth, and then being diagnosed with Epilepsy, to help those sufferers of Epilepsy, and other neurological conditions as well.
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