When I was maybe eleven or twelve, before I was in any form of counselling, I signed up to a correspondence course in religion. I can’t remember how it all started. I suppose we got a leaflet in the mail and I thought it would be fun to get lots of letters sent to me. It was free and didn’t require much effort. Every month or so I would get a little magazine sent to me along with some questions. There was also a more open part of the course where I was free to ask any questions I wanted and I abused this.
I crafted my questions to fit in with the curriculum but I didn’t really want to know how my misery, anger and confusion related to the bible. I really just needed someone to listen and I found it much easier to write about my problems than to call helplines.
To their credit, whoever wrote back to me took the time to give me really supportive, general life advice and when I finished the course I was sad to lose that little branch of support. I didn’t retain much of the religious information but I did get a nice lesson about humanity and kindness.