Recovery is Loss
for Susan, once my therapist
You were so skilled that after ten, patient
years of therapy my inner child graduated
bridled yet unbroken, and so much kinder.
I forgive myself, help myself to second chances,
exile always and never from my lexicon.
Empathy has routed shame.
A raucous dinner party
once ruled my mind:
Dad shouts over my stepmother
who makes snide swipes at my mother
who mutters darkly under the table.
Grammy warns of bitter winds,
and my little brother hears all, silent.
A surer voice guides me now.
My own, but evocative of you
leaning above your crossed legs,
listening, assuring me—you are not your mother,
your children are not extensions of you.
For years you helped me break chains
I forged again before the next session.
The last time we met, you sent me off
strong enough to turn my back
on the furnace and walk free.
Previously published in The Huron River Review.
Amy Higgins teaches composition and creative writing at Washtenaw Community College and facilitates the newly-formed NAMI Washtenaw County Friends and Family support group for WCC students.
Upcoming meeting times for the WCC student Friends and Family Support Group are:
- Thursday, June 24, 4:30-6pm
- Thursday, July 22, 4:30-6pm
- Thursday, August 19, 4:30-6pm