A shoe cupboard*

I’ve been keeping something from you, blog.  I’ve been actively quiet about something – I haven’t facebooked, tweeted or blogged it and I think for some reason I’m a little bit ashamed and embarrassed.

I’ve been in therapy.

Why the shame and embarrassment?  Because I feel that after surviving the death of my daughter, my brother being traumatically shot, moving up to Joburg, seeing my mom’s heart break and being her only form of support for a long time – after all of that and not needing therapy, why now?  I mean, my parental units have gone through a divorce twice in my lifetime, surely I should’ve needed therapy then?  Or when I fell pregnant at 18?  Nope.

Why now, when my career is in a good place, I’m more settled and responsible than ever, do I need a therapist?  For no reason, nothing has gone wrong.  Nothing major has happened.  Nothing explicitly awful is taking place.  Yet, it’s not quite right, either.  And so I’m ashamed and embarrassed because I thought I was stronger than that.  I thought I was put together with better glue.  I thought that maybe, just maybe, after all of the shit that’s happened in the past, I was finally in a place of safety, comfort and ‘okayness’.

Except I’m not.  And the more therapy sessions I go to, the more unraveled I’m becoming.  When I raised this with my psychologist, she giggled.  And (because she knows me so well by now) she used the following analogy:

Sheena, you’re undergoing a shoe cupboard clean up.  You’ve taken out all your shoes with the goal of sorting them out.  But now you’re at the stage where your shoe cupboard is empty and when you look down at the floor, all you see are scattered shoes and the mess you’ve created.  But try remember, the shoes need to be packed back in again, and you’ll end up with not only a neat and sorted shoe cupboard, but the mess you’ve created will have gone away too.  Be patient with yourself.

Which, out of the hundreds of very clever things my therapist has actually told me so far, this is probably the one thing that has made the most sense.

But I’m still at the ‘look at the mess I have created’ stage, and I’m not sure which shoes I need to put away first.


*I almost made this post a password-protected post.  When did I become such a woes?




  1. Gina says:

    You have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed!

    In fact you should be feeling proud of yourself!!

    Sheesh chick, after everything you have been through I would be surprised if you didnt feel the need to see a therapist.

    I love the shoe analogy 🙂 I think Im going to tell my therapist about it 😉

    ((((hugs)))) for you!!!!!

  2. BiancaW says:

    I echo what Gina said. Listen, I aint no therapist, but in my little mind, it seems like while you were going through all those things you were in survival mode, and now that you are in this safe place, you can fall apart a little.

    We all need to allow ourselves a little healing time. No matter when it comes.

    I also love the shoe analogy. Your therapist sounds very clever. 🙂

  3. Mariska van Wyk says:

    I am in exactly the same spot. EXACTLY. I feel the same. Except, I’m seeing a counselor, and have only just had my second session. Some days I feel shattered and don’t see how anyone, especially someone who does not know me, can fix me, if I can’t even ‘fix’ myself. I’m so glad I started. I still feel embarrassed about it, so hopefully at some stage I can be as brave as you and post about it too.

    Well done Sheena. It takes a lot. You are brave.


  4. Po says:

    Geez, you get nothing but total admiration from me. This is something that I think I should do, should have done many years ago, but keep coming up with excuses. So the fact that you have actually done it really impresses me.

  5. MeeA says:

    Communication is the universal solvent. And often, talking to someone who’s not part of all the stuff going on in your life is the most effective way of communicating what’s in your head and heart. No shame in that.

  6. Ashleigh says:

    You, my sister, are amazing…. I know no one ever needs to tell you that to reassure you, but even the strongest of people (you being one of the strongest I know) need too talk, to air their problems or feelings. You’re always that person everyone goes too when they need advice, nothing wrong with you being that person asking for it yourself… finally… You will repack your shoe cupboard when the time is right…. I love you!!! Xxx

  7. Ankia says:

    Absolutely no shame in that! In fact, pat yourself on the back for being grown-up enough to identify a problem and taking steps to sort it out. I also agree with what Bianca said about being able to fall apart a little in a safe place. Good luck with re-packing that cupboard, you’ll be fine! XXX

  8. Tara says:

    People can only be strong for so long. Going to see a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It’s proudly standing up and saying, I need help and I deserve help and I love myself enough to get that help.

    Good luck with cleaning up the shoes!

  9. Jessica Giggles says:

    Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed! You’re doing something to better yourself and you’re strong enough to admit it. Yes you may have needed therapy in the past, but maybe doing it now will allow you to work through everything in your time because you’re now ready.


  10. Angel says:

    Darling Shebeeliciousness, finding a therapist and then actually going to the appointments is a HUGE positive step! I am very proud of you.
    I think I need to find me a new therapist…

  11. Louisa says:

    Good for you Miss Bee!

    Maybe it’s exactly when nothing is going wrong that you can give yourself a chance to properly deal with what has gone wrong in the past. No current drama to try ans stay strong for? That’s how it works for me though. I stick all my monkeys in the “Fine” cupboard and when the crisis is over I peep beind that door and have my moment of wobbly knees and navel gazing.

    I really do like her shoe cupboard analogy. Brilliant and true.

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