Spring 2014. 

I had been given an unlisted address with no picture, and being a true millennial, I was struggling to find my way without Google Maps.  I walked down one of the busy streets in town trying to look as nonchalant as one possibly can while having to stare down each and every business looking for the right building number. 

When I finally found it, I found it odd that as many times I had driven down this street, I had never seen this building.  It didn’t fit the surrounding architecture, and I was almost certain it had just now appeared out of thin air.  I walked inside. 

As medieval as the outside had appeared, the inside was very “church center chic” (I add the word chic liberally here) and modern.  The lobby looked like what I assumed a free clinic’s might. 

I checked in at the front desk, and waited to be called from the tucked away waiting room.  It was littered with gently used toys, children’s books, and a collection of VHS tapes I was sure had been stolen from my own childhood collection.   

In the room with me, a little girl played on a wooden play cube with wire curls and sliding blocks reminiscent of what has been found in every child’s daycare since the beginning of time.  Her mother stood in the hallway just out of ear's reach speaking to another woman.  My overly nosey (German) side couldn’t help question what brought them here. 

I decided to mind my own business as I placed my hand on my protruding stomach- my own baby

Even once the pair had left, I was sure not to be caught slouching, and I must have run my fingers through my hair half a million times trying to get it just right.  After having tried on every outfit still capable of stretching over my pregnant belly, I had settled on wearing a dress I would have usually only settled for on Easter to appease my mother.  I wanted to look my best- I wanted to look like I didn’t belong where I currently found myself sitting. 

I was in one of the SARC counseling offices.  Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if there is even more than one...  I was told that for the protection of the people coming in for their services, they kept their locations private. 

As great as I thought their service to the community was, and even though I knew I would forever be thankful for what they had done for me, I didn’t want to be here.  I didn’t think I needed counseling. 

So why did I go?  Bribery.  I was 20, pregnant, working a full-time job making maybe $900 a month, and paying at least $850 in rent and utilities alone.  Basically, I was steadily going broke, and my mother dearest knew the only way to get me where she wanted me (therapy) was to dangle a few dollars in front of me.   

The deal was, if I went to weekly therapy, my parents would pay the portion of my rent that I had taken over when my ex was told he could no longer live there. 

So, here I sat legs crossed, back straight, hands inexplicably sweating.

After an hour of endless questions attempting to assess where I was coming from, I realized I was not ready to talk about it.  Not him, not me, not what I had seen, not what I had experienced, not my new pregnancy and everything that came with it... Not a thing.  Until I was ready to talk, I wasn’t going to.   

So, I never went back. 

What is the point of me even saying any of this? Well, for starters, I am notorious rambler (though, I swear, I usually have a point). 

It is four years later, and I still have the same mentality I did that day.  If you are not ready to talk, no one can (or should try to) make you. That being said, it is four years later, and talking about my life isn’t the same struggle it used to be. 

So, welcome to my Blog-

It is a Jackson Pollock of thoughts, events, activities,

loves, passions, and heartaches that make up my life.

Emily Pickerd