Her gnarled fingers held the fork. I recognized those hands. They smoked cigarettes in front of me for years. They also held doughnuts with me every week. And, most importantly they drove a lime green Porsche, which was coveted by my 10-year old self. Those were the hands of my beloved childhood therapist, Dr. Dixie Covey. She single-handedly has had the most impact on who I am today. The other women, Terrell, Saundra, Patty, were super contributors, but Dr. Covey was different.
I swear because of her. I allow my kids to as well. I know it’s good to be bad in this way. Come on, really! Think how good it feels to swear. It’s being bad in the safest way possible.
When I (re)see her hands, I am 34, standing at a party, and I recognize her fingers before I recognize who they belong to. I look up and see her beautiful hair, white and gray all over. Always was that color / those colors. I approached her and reintroduced myself. I was home to celebrate my graduation from therapy graduate school. Incredible, I see her of all people. (I love magic). I invite her to my celebration. She gracefully accepts, and I am thrilled. When she arrives, she informs me she has cataracts. She has on the most beautiful silk dress, it reminds me of the ocean. It rests on her old graceful body so easily. I am concerned about it getting soiled so I sit with her and feed her. I now get to feed the woman who fed me for so long: love, compassion, acceptance and truth telling.
I started seeing her when I was 10 because my parents were getting divorced, I felt mad and sad and I needed a safe place to swear. I got that and so much more. We ate doughnuts and talked about life on life’s terms. I got it. She acknowledged me and guided me in safely processing through myriad feelings, which I felt so alone in.
My kids swear. And every Sunday we eat doughnuts. Last Sunday, out of nowhere, I ordered a maple bar. And these memories flooded me. She and I ate maple bars, to be specific. And while she smoked, I talked about my anger, my fear and how much I hated my mom for leaving my dad. Even though I understood why, I had big feelings. I am a therapist today. And knowing that I may touch someone’s life like she touched mine is the most glorious feeling. I hope I am the doughnut-eating-swearing-is-okay kind of woman Dr. Covey was for me.
If you want a doughnut eating-swearing-is-okay kind of safe therapist or life coach, please feel free to call me for a consultation.