Not too long after I got locked up did I start hearing that familiar voice inside my head. The one I used to fight with and pretend wasn’t there.

I had started trauma counseling and seeing the campus shrink in spite of my constant protesting on the situation. I had a really hard time talking to people for a lot of reasons and hadn’t had a shrink or counselor I had trusted in years.

After a few sessions of me just sitting there and not talking my counselor had stopped trying. She would play thunderstorm sounds and do paperwork while I just sat there staring at the wall unwilling to cooperate. She never called me difficult or made a big deal about me not opening up. She would just tell whatever staff picked me up that it was a work in progress and she would see me next week.

My caseworker would get the same report each week. The shrink, on the other hand, hated that I wouldn’t talk to her and she would call me difficult and uncooperative, so I would talk to her about the medication I was on and how it did or didn’t make me feel and that was enough to keep her happy for a while.

I remember the first time I got dropped off at counseling and actually talked. I walked into her office just like any other week sat down in the corner of the couch and planted my eyes on the wall in front of me. She turned on the thunderstorms and picked up her paperwork. I shifted awkwardly and finally made the words come out of my mouth.

“Ms. Jessica, I need to talk.” She looked at me with a bit of surprise in her eyes and moved to the seat next to me on the couch and just like that I had all of her attention. I hesitated because I knew what I was about to tell this woman would sound crazy but I needed to tell someone.

My story of the girl that lives inside me spilled out as if a dam had broken and by the end of the hour, I was a crying mess. When the staff returned to get me she had told them we hadn’t finished yet but would bring me back as soon as we had finished.

I sat there on that couch for 2 hours telling her all I could about Samantha. She listened without interruption and kept her line of questions short. In a 2-hour time span, I had told someone else more about Samantha than ever before and I instantly regretted it.

“Forgive me,” I wrote at the bottom. “I did not think I would break.”
—Claire North