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|Blindsided - Page 8|
I was self-conscious about getting back into practicing therapy and had many questions and uncertainties. Would I remember how to do this after a three-year layoff? Would clients be put off by the wheelchair? Would they be put off by coming to my home? As it turned out, I didn't have to worry about any
My first client's story resonated with my new view that life is what happens when you're making other plans, and all things turn to good for those who have faith. She was a businesswoman who'd been successful in a high-level corporate job, with no plans to make a career change. She'd returned from a medical leave to find that her job was being eliminated. She knew enough about her rights to know that she was being treated unethically.
We were a good fit. We were both second-class citizens—she African American, me disabled. Her husband was disabled by a back condition. I could relate. Her mother was struggling with cancer. I was a cancer survivor. She had a strong faith in God. I have a strong faith in God. Despite her strengths, my client was highly anxious, depressed, and had post-traumatic symptoms that included nightmares that her boss was cutting off her fingers. She was in desperate need of a stance to provide a positive outlet for her anger at her employer and to move her out of the role of victim. We found the stance: "The best revenge is a good life." She filed a suit against her company, and began developing a business plan for her own consulting company. She was awarded a settlement and her business took off.
Some months later I ran into her at a department store. She recalled the importance of "the best revenge is a good life" stance and recounted a triumphant story of presenting at a conference to a packed house with her former boss sitting uncomfortably in the audience. I was delighted to start my return to work with a client for whom so much of my experience was an asset. And it was good to be on the giving end of things for a change.