| Teen Diary Serial |

Metamorphosis: Chapter 12

Here I am stuck in this dingy basement with some mean therapist lady. Help!


Today, only one dance head is here. It’s Meirav. She’s the coolest girl ever. Like take someone who comes from a wealthy family, has an amazing sense of style, is also brilliant, imagine that she’s also charismatic, friends with the whole school — and also incredibly nice. That’s Meirav. Girls get intimidated by her because she’s just this legend, but she doesn’t seem to know how to say a mean or snobby word to anyone. Her davening is out of this world and she’s so modest.

Now she’s taking attendance, and each girl receives a real, glowing smile.

I totally wish I could be like her. And then my heart falls, because how can I be like Meirav if I have problems and need therapy?

I’m sitting in Dalia’s office. It’s really her basement. The walls are wood-paneled and the atmosphere dark. She has a stiff sheitel and dark eyes. Her demeanor is patronizing. She gazes at me for a half a minute straight before commencing with her “intake” as she calls it.

“Parents names?”

“Mother’s maiden name?”

“Why do you need to know all these things?” I ask, puzzled.

“Because!” she says, giving me a look.

This is an interrogation. I feel vulnerable. Here I am stuck in this dingy basement with some mean therapist lady. Help!

I ignore anything she has to say, especially when she criticizes my parents for something. My parents are not perfect, but they’re amazing and I love them!

It feels like it’s years, but finally it’s time to go.

I tell her that I’ll let her know if I’ll come again, while knowing full well I won’t.

If I thought that things were bad before, well, this is a nightmare to put all my others to shame. I’ll never get help, because it seems therapy is worse than not going for help — if Dalia was any indication. My parents are distressed by this whole situation. First they try convincing me to go back to Dalia. I lock myself in my room all evening. I don’t even come out for supper. Finally, I call Miss Lev. First she listens to me cry. She totally gets how traumatic it was. Then she helps me figure out how to actually explain it to my parents.

“They don’t realize what was wrong except that you said you would never go back. They’ll be able to support you better if you can explain it to them,” she points out. “They just thought you were on your way to getting better, and all of a sudden it backfired. They have to come to terms with starting from square one.”

It has taken two days for me to speak to my parents calmly about why Dalia won’t work, but I finally did it! It was a difficult discussion, but they ended up respecting my decision and being supportive.

I feel resilient now. If I can handle all this anguish, I can handle anything!

I notice my “Thank You, Hashem” notebook, which I started after Mrs. Berkowitz’s optimism discussion. I thought it was the root of my problem. Well, now I know it wasn’t, but I can still preserve this gem of gratitude I’m feeling. So I open my notebook and write: Thank You, Hashem for how strong I have become so far!

I write “so far” because this is a long journey, and I will become stronger yet.

It’s almost as if Miss Lev reads my thoughts, because she gives me a small package in school. The letter is a reflection of my realization from yesterday. Attached is a butterfly pendant. She writes in the letter about the legend of the butterfly.

Once there was a butterfly who was desperately wriggling in its cocoon. A small child saw it, and he wanted to rescue it, so he helped it get out. The next thing he knew, a bloated creature emerged and feebly wobbled around. The butterfly could not fly. It needed the struggle in order to push the fluid from its wings.

…and so, it is with us; it’s specifically the struggle that enables us to fly.

Miss Lev is still single in her mid-thirties so I know she lives this lesson. The necklace fills me with a warm feeling and empowers me. I know I will wear it every single day.

to be continued…


(Originally featured in Junior, Issue 963)

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