I knew she was a single mother. They are my weakness, reflecting my own years of having not enough and choosing to be alone rather than grab another wrong relationship. I agreed to see her for twenty dollars. A reading, I reasoned, could give her perspective, a new foundation to stand on and send her forward with tangible hope.
I quickly realized a reading would not be enough when I pulled back the veil of her life to find blood and large open wounds oozing with infection.
Okay, the healer in me reasoned. I must continue seeing her. My practical mind protested, going into matters of paying office rent, utilities and taxes. That part scolded me. These situations are not good for you. My healer bargained. Okay, I’ll give her six more sessions, then cut her loose.
By the eighth session she had claimed her strength and was moving with a warriors courage. This is the time, I told myself, to end our sessions. I practiced the speech in the morning mirror. I wrote notes to myself over lunch. Setting boundaries was never my strength. I kept reminding myself, it is not your place to take care of the world. You are a business woman, so behave like one. Before our session began I delivered my rehearsed speech.
“I’m sorry, I’d love to keep seeing you but I simply can not continue our twenty dollar fee.” There I had said it!
She immediately burst into tears; floods, torrents, oceans of tears. “I’m so sorry, I’m so embarrassed. I know you deserve much more, but this small fee is actually more than I can afford.”
She told me spring break was coming and she didn’t have enough food for her children. She was going to ask her x-husband’s mother for a loan but hated the way the woman made her feel and her reluctance in giving it. I went to my desk, pulled out my checkbook and wrote her a check for two hundred dollars. Boundaries have never been easy.