I was having some very bad dreams at night so I didn’t want to fall asleep. I was fairly exhausted during the day and unable to function. I was very disturbed by the images in my dreams which left me confused by their content. I was an emotional wreck due to the lack of sleep and anxiety. I could barely cope. At my next therapy appointment, I told the counselor I wasn’t sleeping at night, because I was forcing myself to stay awake, and I was having very bad anxiety attacks. She asked me about the dreams. I would just look down at my legs with my fingers interlocked as if I was trying to hold a deep dark secret. I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell her the content of the dreams. However, she didn’t pressure me. I started to cry the more I thought about it. Tears just streamed down my face. She asked me about them but I couldn’t tell her. The words just wouldn’t come out. I wanted to. I wanted to let them go, and let her know in the dreams I was reliving a terrible thing that happened long ago. There was a tight knot in my throat. Trying to speak I’d gasp for air as if my breathing was cut off for trying to share a long buried secret! I went through nearly an entire box of kleenix! She asked me to trust her, through tears I just looked at her. Then she held out her hand. I didn’t understand the gesture. She told me I was not alone, she would help me through it. I slowly put my hand out towards hers. Then she asked permission to come sit next to me. I nodded, “Yes.” I still couldn’t really speak. As she held my hand, I didn’t speak for a long time. It was strange to feel this warmth and compassion. I just cried and let my tears freely flow. She didn’t say anything. She just sat there holding my hand. She seemed strong and capable. I was afraid I would break if I didn’t pull myself together. At times, I thought I would die of a broken heart or of not be able to stop the flow of tears. Eventually, I did share a little bit of the dream. It would take a long time to get through the entire dream though. I could only mutter a few words. However, I felt empowered for the next time. I didn’t always need her to hold my hand, but that one experience told me she was strong and she could take whatever I needed to say. I knew I could trust her and she would be there for me with her silent presence to get me through my grief. Those were some precious tender moments when she held my hand.