Loooonng Summary lol.. we covered a substantial number of parts in that session.

• Recap the week – told her that I was busy entertaining people coming to M thus unable to write in my journal. She said, you seem happy having people over and becoming the ‘tour guide’. I told her that yes I am but still afraid and anxious about going back home.

• Told her that I am afraid that when I head back home, I’ll feel suffocated. It’s a scary thought having lived independently for 8 years and all of a sudden, I don’t have that same freedom as before.

• Told her that I am afraid if M lashes out at me again, I might go into my ‘rage mode’ because I have this scenario in my head which scares me. She said, describe what does this ‘rage scenario’ looks like. I told her that I would describe my rage as ‘hulk waiting to tear from underneath my skin and go crazy’. I would probably be verbally and physically aggressive.

o She asked me whether I would attack anyone. I said it’s not in my character to hurt people physically although sometimes I feel like doing it. My verbal rage scenario would be to curse and swear although I don’t like to swear.

o She asked me what would happen if I act out my rage scenario. I told her that she would give me silent treatment. It has happened before where I spoke up against her and she just refused to talk to me for a week. She would tell me dad and he would get angry at me too. I told her that this is my personality to speak up against something I dislike or disagree so M can’t take anyone going against her.

• At one point, I was choking back on tears because I was narrating something that happened in the past and immediately she said, ok use an object which best describe me. I thought for awhile and then said, I am like the sleeping dog. When the dog is asleep, he looks peaceful and calm but the moment someone steps on him, he might bite.

• Throughout the session, we used the dog to discuss how I felt about going back home and the alternatives that I can turn to. I thought it was smart of her to remove me from the whole topic without actually changing it. It felt like I was talking about someone else but it was still about how to deal with difficult situations.

• She asked if I watch the movie, Planet of the Apes. I told her to describe because I didn’t watch it. She described the movie and how the species of monkey try come together to fight against a common problem (if I remember her description correctly). She was basically suggesting that I should find support groups of people who are facing similar problems and talk about it with them. There are forums about people dealing with narcissistic personalities and that I should not underestimate how it will help me if I needed to talk to someone. I would not feel alone then.

• At one point, she asked “I’m trying to understand here. You’re a Muslim and yet you chose dog to describe yourself. What are the qualities that the dog has which you can relate to?” I told her, a dog is loyal so no matter how he is being mistreated he’ll go back to his owner. Yet, when he is provoked, he would unleash his claws and bite to fight back. On the surface, he looks calm and passive, but the dog too has a mind of his own. He will do things he enjoys doing without restriction.

• I think the whole issue with Muslim and dogs is blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, despite the restrictions we have when dealing with dogs, they are still God’s creatures and ultimately, we can’t abuse them etc.

• So we discussed about the ‘escape plan’. What can the dog do to escape? I said that I’d wait till a door opens for me so that I can run out or that I would approach the owner’s partner for help. Even so, I don’t know if I can fully trust the owner’s partner to help me out because he has turned his back on me before. I told her that I can talk to Bestie but even she, I can tell that I might trigger her so sometimes she avoids listening to it. I have a friend here who understands but she takes a long time to reply because she’s working. My sister on the other hand, she would not talk about my M except if it was through messages which is something I find it difficult especially if I need someone to talk to.

• She asked, what can the dog do if he can’t escape? How can I channel the negative energy to something healthier? I said for me, it would be sports. I have been wanting to take up Muay Thai for a long time and I might do it. However, I said that channelling the negative energy is temporary because when I go back home, I’d still feel angry at the person. So, the problem isn’t exactly solved.

• My T suggested taking up creative classes like art, drawing and dancing to channel these negative energy. I was thinking about it during the session and told her that writing stories would help me because I used to do it when I was young. My stories would always be about unhappiness in the house and then running away from home. That is something which I had been thinking about at a young age. She said, maybe you can get it published in the future. I wanted to add that if it ever gets published, I would mention her name in the acknowledgement page haha.

• She said that the root to my anxiety is because I keep thinking that I feel trapped and suffocated in the situation. This negative thought process is something I should change because if not I’d always feel anxious at home.

• My T emphasised again about seeing another therapist back home. I told her that I would love to but it would be difficult. She asked whether I am worried about the privacy and confidentiality since my sister has worked as a doctor in various hospitals. I told her that I trust P&C in home country isn’t an issue but I cannot imagine going for appointment every week at a specific time. That would surely raise questions. She said that I do not need to see the therapist every week and there are ways to get around it. I told her that I was given the impression from the previous therapist that firstly, since I am not depressed and suicidal I do not need to see one. Secondly, the previous therapist told me that for therapy to be effective, I need to do it every week because I was seeing her once in 2 weeks then. Bestie suggested that I say I’m attending a ‘wellness’ class (she lol-ed at that) but even so, it’d difficult.

• The part that I was super touched was when she said that although we are heading towards termination in the next session, I can always come back for therapy. She said that she would like for me to update her about my progress or if I am seeing another therapist back home. She added that she might call to check up on me (and I was like aww omg so sweet) and took down my hp number. And also in case if I was going through a crisis, I can always email her about it. At the end of the day, it is to tailor to the client’s needs and ensure the wellness in their mental health. I have been thinking about what she said the past few days and that I am going to email her to let her know how comforting it feels to know that. At least I don’t feel ‘abandoned’ by her. It’s very comforting honestly.