I'm a mental health therapist.
Here's my story.
Stay tuned for how you can win an ecopy of RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN.
I’ve been a therapist for almost seventeen years. Wow. That makes me sound old. I spent the first five years of my career working at a community mental health agency. That job more than any other influenced my writing because there were many, many, many times I was actually frightened while working there. I was twenty-five and fresh out of grad school when started that job. It taught me a lot about the ugly side of humanity. It shoved the ugliness in my face and made me deal with it one-on-one in my office.
I saw everyone in that job. Kids. Adults. And nearly every mental disorder that exists.
We were an agency that contracted with our local children’s services, with the courts, and parole boards. I saw men who’d been repeatedly convicted for domestic violence, who hated women and were outwardly demeaning to me because I was a young, semi-attractive woman. I saw numerous women ordered by children’s services for therapy because they caught their daughters being raped by their husbands and were angry with their daughters for enticing him. Sick, right? I saw men newly released from prison for murder. I saw sexually deviant men who fantasized about murdering and raping women and weren’t shy about telling me.
You get the idea why I was scared.
And that’s not even mentioning all the times I had to go over the emergency room to see clients who were in the middle of a psychotic break or who’d tried to kill themselves or someone else.
My bosses at that agency didn’t care if I was frightened. They simply said, “Every employee here is expendable.” Such a lovely attitude for a mental health facility. But I did get a ton of experience in those five years. And I unconsciously stored away lots of idea kernels for the books I would eventually write.
That job was not uplifting to my spirit.
If I hadn’t gotten my current job—in private practice—when I did, I can pretty much guarantee that I wouldn’t be a therapist today. For years after I left that old job I had a mild case of post-traumatic stress disorder. And even now when I talk about my old job too much, I’ll have nightmares. Usually the nightmare goes something like this: I’m roaming the hallways of that old job, my arms full of charts, and I’m crying and muttering, “How did I get here? I swore I’d never come back here. I don’t want to be here.”
But on to my current job.
This job has fed my soul. The people who come in to see me, come because they want to get better—not because someone is making them! They are hungry for tips, tricks, and techniques to help them. They follow through. They put effort in. They inspire me.
Don’t think all my clients at this job are just the worried-well. They aren’t. They suffer from deep depression, debilitating anxiety, post-traumatic stress, general life stress, and horrific childhoods.
These clients have taught me about the resilience of the human spirit. They’ve made me appreciate my life all the more and see how downright lucky I’ve been to have been born into the family I was born into. How lucky I was to have married the guy I married. How lucky I was to find a day job (and night job—writing) that feeds my soul instead of sucking it dry.
One person will win either Nook or Kindle copies of RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN. But you have to follow all the instructions. All you have to do is:
1. Subscribe to my NEWSLETTER. If you've already subscribed then like my FACEBOOK PAGE.
2. Leave a comment telling me which one you used.
3. Pinky swear in your comment that you'll leave a review on Barnes and Noble or Amazon if you win.
4. And be sure to include the email address you use with your Nook or Kindle in your comment. It's the only way I'll be able send your books if you win!
*Winner will be randomly selected on January 19th*
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine the same happy ending she wishes for all her clients.
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