The Woman Who Influenced Me the Most – Mrs. Rau

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I’m writing this post as part of a giveaway at She Who Blogs but the feelings are real and have always been there. 

Mrs. Rau was a Guidance Counsellor at my high school when I went there. I don’t know her first name nor do I have a photo but I can picture her clearly in my mind.

I had a really rough 5 years at high school. I had mental health issues which weren’t diagnosed until I was 16 (and halfway through high school) and I had trouble making and keeping friends. I didn’t have trouble with schoolwork, I was an A student, but dealing with the social aspect of school was my downfall.

Right from Grade 9, Mrs. Rau was there. She was there for me right until I pulled out of school in Grade 13. She was there for me when I got teased for not having the newest designer clothes, when I was depressed and didn’t understand why, when I was lonely, when I wanted to hurt myself, after I did hurt myself, after I came back from the hospital, when I need career advice, when I needed friend advice, when I was cutting school, when I need someone to talk to, when I needed someone to try to and when I just needed a hug.

I spent a LOT of time in Mrs. Rau’s office. Especially during Grade 11-13, when I was there most lunches and left a class to go see her anytime I felt anxious, out of control, or suicidal. When she was busy with someone else, I was allowed to sit at the table in the main guidance counsellor office until she was free. (She was one of two counsellors plus there was a receptionist to book appointments with the counsellor) No one else was allowed to just sit there and do school work but I was. The whole counselor office knew I needed time to be in a quiet place and they provided it.

As soon as I read that we were to write about the woman who influenced us the most, Mrs. Rau came to mind. I just needed time to think about how to word what I wanted to say. I even had a dream recently with Mrs. Rau in it, even though I haven’t seen her in 9 years. I had a few other women in the dream and they were all people who have been very helpful and supportive over the years in similar ways.

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