My door at work is almost always open. I like to be accessible, I like people to feel they can pop in and say ‘hi’ or come in for a chat when I’m able to. I also like the feel of this place. We offer therapy here to people with disabilities who have experienced violence, abuse, trauma or the inestimable pain of having been institutionalized. The people who come are so incredibly brave. They come to heal, they come to reestablish a relationship with joy, they come to make their lives better. They also come knowing that the work will be hard, that they will need to dig deep to find the emotional resources they need, they know that to make the next part of their journey easier they may have to walk again through pain.
I’m in awe of them.
Just a few feet from my office door we have a small waiting room. Sometimes people with disabilities gather there and simply talk with one another. They support one another, laugh with one another, and, in an odd way, manifest their healing in their interactions.
I’m in awe of them.
“Yes, I’ve been very sick,” I said.
“You look, you look, you look, good now,” she said and then turned and left. I was grateful that she’d seen health in me, when you’ve been sick this is good to hear.
But she returned.
“I didn’t say it right,” she said, “My mom said to me after I was in therapy for awhile that it looked, for the first time in a long time, like I’d had a good sleep. And I had, for the first time in a long time.”
She paused, blinked away tears.
“That’s what it looks like for you, it look like you’ve had a good sleep. You were sick, but it looks like you rested. That looks good.”
I looked in the mirror later and she was right, it looked like I’d had a good sleep. It took illness to knock me into bed, but once there, I rested.
I want, for the rest of my life, to always look like I’ve had a good sleep.
I wish for everyone that comes through the door to therapy that they will always be able to have a good sleep, a rest.