Friday, 4 April 2014

What happens now - my #1 source of support is leaving?

As readers will know by now I am currently a final year university student. The university has been wonderful in the way they have supported me through a number of crises. Right from the start I was identified as a vulnerable student because I was an orphan – I hate that word so much, but it was the category that they used. Mum and Dad had died about 18 months before I went up to university and I was still very “raw” emotionally. In those crucial first few months, before firm friendship groups had formed, having a trained counsellor to talk to about all the jumbled emotions that used to come visiting me was wonderful.

I reckon I have had four different counsellors. One was highly skilled and highly experienced but we never clicked. I didn’t like her, so I didn’t trust her as much as I should have, so I didn’t always tell her the whole story. This pretty much invalidated the entire process. There was a male counsellor I saw a couple of times in my first year. He was nice but some of the abuse I suffered from my Granddad after Mum and Dad were killed was rather “gender specific” and I didn’t want to talk to another man about it. He passed me to a female colleague who was equally good – until she left after only three sessions. So I ended up with J**** who has been a total star.

I have moved on such a long way since those early days at university. I have been so lucky with the people who have come into my life. J****, my boyfriend, my house-mates, my Dad’s brother and my Mum’s sister have all been lifesavers at different times and in different ways.

But now J**** is moving on. She has been promoted to a senior position in the National Health Service and she is leaving her current job at the end of April. I am overwhelming pleased for her but sad for myself. I don’t want to start with another counsellor for my final term as an undergraduate or for my year doing the PGSE. But I guess I don’t have a choice!

I would love to be able to buy her a present as some tiny thank-you for all she has done for me. Have you any helpful thoughts as to what might be a suitable gift?

In all the meetings J**** and I had the only time I can remember a disagreement between us was on the value of bereavement groups. I attended a local group she used to run a few times but never found it to be even slightly useful to me. We laugh about it now but back then I thought I was going to “get into trouble” for not attending!    


  1. Make her a website on blogger as a tribute to her.

  2. I love your blogs and I love that you're so brave and positive. It's unfortunate that J has to leave. As for a present... it really depends on what she's in to really? :/ I'm sure she will love what ever you choose, as it's the thought that counts :)