About The Book
Michele has been looking for answers for a long time. She remained behind the doors fearing the embarrassment that truth would accompany. Therapy presents her life in a new way, to look beyond the obvious. It teaches Michele to accept life the way it comes, to make her choices towards the life she desired for, and to live the fullest. Michele's quest continues as she steps into her desired choices. Do her parents accept her for the person she is ... does she regret 'coming out' to the world ... what happens behind the doors?
This is a true account of a struggling woman, who seeks her identity despite all odds. Her life becomes a source of inspiration for the author. An unswerving heart accepts all challenges before finding the unsurpassed ...
About The Author
Nneelanjana is a post graduate in Mental Health Counselling Psychology from Boston College, USA, where she worked in a college setting counselling unit on adolescent issues, especially gender identity crisis. At present, she resides in India and continues to write in her area of expertise.
Emotions-we all possess them, but often forget to acknowledge. Are emotions truly a reflection of our mind?
When hurt, a child cries, irrespective of the place, situation or environment. Our social norms teach 'him' to overcome such weak emotions by suppressing or consciously forgetting the pain, while for 'her', the crying is well accepted as a natural occurrence. When children play together, they fight, cry or laugh without inhibitions, often unaware of their sex or other social, racial and culrural differences. The same groups of friends, in course of time, become 'them' and 'us,' largely influenced by these differences. Among the many prevalent, gender difference is one of the major segregating factors that decide the way boys and girls 'should' behave. Teenage, which is the most delicate and utterly confusing age, is the time when attraction towards the opposite sex first begins. We take it for granted that boys get attracted towards girls and vice-versa.
The problem arises when one comes across those who are attracted to the same sex or for that matter, to both sexes. This is where difference in emotions, behaviours and attitudes surface. Emotions cluster up to play the devil's advocate both ways. Only those who undergo such a dilemma understand what it is to be neither 'them' nor 'us'.
It is from there that the struggle begins. Denial or any form of resistance first surfaces between the 'superficial or imagined self' and the 'real self'. Once that begins to somewhat resolve, dissonance shoots up between 'self' and 'others', who would be the heterosexuals. From here on, starts all the conflicts and differences of opinion among family and friends, if orientation is disclosed. The society as a whole, so to speak, gets involved in the issue. Thus, a homosexual individual often ends up losing self-confidence resulting in an identity crisis, or other forms of insecurities. All these feelings and the process of becoming, what others perceive of him or her, are essentially interplay of emotions which are such that they can make or break relationships, in this context.
Is this true then, that to mature or be treated with respect one must conceal one's emotions? Why is an adult's vulnerability unacceptable? Why is one ridiculed when one does not fit with the trend, or does not conform to accepted norms? Why do we fear to show our real feelings? The world around us is replete with superficial facades, glamour and fame, such that our childlike unadulterated self often takes a backseat. Despite all external distractions, there is always room for connecting with our true selves. Once we overcome denying our emotions, there is no looking back; rather they allow us to discover, accept, love and learn about who we really are. Once we are able to do this, we become more sensitive and respectful towards others' emotional needs as well.
I consider counselling as a means to connect with one's deepest, even forgotten or suppressed emotions. My experience as a counsellor has done wonders in the way I now understand the process of counselling and healing. It has enabled me to unlock a whole new world of meaningful existence, especially in relationships.
This book is a reminiscence of my experiences as a budding counsellor which are close to my heart and have moulded me to become the person I am today. It is also the story of one of my clients, with whom I shared an unforgettable bond and her struggles and the process to gain respect and self-acceptance as a lesbian. Readers, who have never been exposed to counselling, would get an insight to the process of counselling and its power to heal. All characters in the book are real people but their true identities have been concealed to protect their privacy. This book is based solely on personal experiences and hence no specific community has been targeted.
I hope to reach out to all those who have had similar experiences and also to everyone who would understand the various shades of life with sensitivity.
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