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“Let’s talk about your relationship with Aeron, the guy you dated before Fiifi. I want you to take some minutes to examine that relationship, compare it to that of your parents. Tell me if you identify any similarities”

Lisa sat straighter, cocked her head lightly for a while before speaking, “Aeron had a temper” she revealed in a low voice, “He always resorted to the silent treatment when we had a misunderstanding or I disagreed to something. It almost seemed like I stopped existing until I agreed to what he wanted; and then he would tell me to be more supportive because everything he did, he did for us…” abruptly Lisa stopped talking and made eye contact with Dr Ansah who had been looking at her all along, “My father says that to my mother all the time. She apologizes for things she doesn’t need to apologize for…, like I do” tears welled her eyes, “just like I do” she repeated softly and the tears rolled down her cheeks.

“It’s normal for all of us to subconsciously gravitate towards people and situations we are familiar with— because those are the things we are used to. That evening you met Aeron, something about him you’re familiar with pulled the two of you together. You’re conditioned to connect with people like him, by virtue of your upbringing” Dr Ansah paused to help Lisa absorb everything she was saying. Lisa needed to understand this information. It would help her make better choices, “now that we are discussing these things, you’ll begin to see your pattern with men and how you’re prone to form relationships,” Dr Ansah said, “you don’t need to be hard on yourself. We’re going to work on that”

“But why haven’t I been able to make any of these connections all these years”

“Because in your head it’s normal. That is how it’s supposed to be. But we’re going to change that” Dr Ansah smiled lightly, “Let’s end here today. I know it’s a lot to take in. Keep journaling and share everything in our next session” they stood up. Lisa wiped her face and Dr Ansah walked her to the door, “Enjoy the rest of the week” she said as Lisa walked away.

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