I saw my counsellor today. It was in a free period and her office is near the main office so it’s not so obvious why I would be there. The main office keeps a record of those booked for counselling and, my luck, the nasty office lady was there. At least she didn’t ask me why I was seeing the counsellor, as if it’s any of her business.

I didn’t have to wait long and I didn’t see who she had been seeing as there’s a back door to her office – very secretive. I love it. Anyway, I go in and, after being directed to a comfy chair, we face each other. Oh, her name is Mrs Hart, like the lady who used to live at the end of our street. She’s smartly dressed in a black pants suit with blond-tipped hair and no nail polish. Her shoes are really black leather boots like Windsor Smith which I would give anything for. I might save up for a pair after Christmas, a present for myself, unless Mum, pretending to be Santa for the baby, gives me a pair. I can see all this as she is sitting opposite me and not behind her desk.

Mrs Hart has a clipboard on her lap and goes through the rigmarole of name, DOB, family members.

“Now, what can I do for you, Kate?”

OMG, now that it’s time to talk about being a lesbian, I can’t do it. The enormity of it overwhelms me. How do I tell this, supposedly, straight, Catholic woman what I am?

“Um, can I write it down, please?”

“Sure. Use my clipboard and in the empty box write your word or what’s bothering you.”

So I write my word and hand it back.

“That wasn’t so bad. I have counselled other girls who thought they were lesbians. What we need to do is build up your self-esteem so that you’re proud of your sexuality.”

WOW. She was so understanding I wondered whether I was dreaming. None of the fire and brimstone I was expecting. I have to learn how to love myself. My homework is to ask my friends what’s great about me. That’s pretty scary but I hope they say some wonderful things. Mrs Hart agreed with me about not telling them just yet, even to the counselling. She wants me to be strong in myself so that inevitable rejections won’t put me in a downward spin. Yeh, I know I can do it.



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