You are feeling a lot of pressure right now. A lot of it is coming from your job and the unrealistic expectations there. But honestly, you’ve dealt with those for years. It’s maybe a little worse now than usual. But you feel it much more intensely because you are trying for the first time in your life to move beyond the pain of your past abuse to a place of healing. It’s a hard road and takes a lot out of you.

It’s okay to step away from work for a few months. It’s not forever. You are very good at your job, and you will probably slide back into it again later on, with no permanent ill effects. But even imagine the worst happens, and you get pushed out of your job. You have a range of skills and a wide network. You can do consulting work for a while and then start your own small business. A change like that might even be good for you in the long run.

The point is, whatever happens, you’ll be able to cope. You are fortunate to have a supportive husband, to live in a house that is not too expensive, to have marketable skills. You have options.

If your supervisor and colleagues aren’t entirely happy with your leave, so be it. They have also been off for a while, for various reasons. True, not for as long as you’ll be off. But they haven’t worked there as long as you have either.

Anyway, you don’t have a choice. Either you take the leave and get better, or you have to quit. It’s not possible to go on like this. You can say “I should be able to do it…” a hundred times over, but that won’t change the fact that you cannot keep going like this. It’s just a fact.

It’s a challenging situation, figuring out the relationship with your father and how much you are willing to help him, just at the same time as you are trying to wholeheartedly believe the wounded little girl. It’s hard, it just is. But take the leave from work will give you some time and space and allow you to rebuild your physical and mental health so you’ll be better able to cope. The fact is, you can’t be useful to anyone when you are so run down.

You’ve never allowed yourself a real rest before. It feels strange. It feels like you are indulging yourself. But underneath it all, you know it is necessary. Keep coming back to that whenever you feel guilty. It is necessary to take care of yourself. You deserve the care. Your life is worth something beyond what you contribute at work, and you are protecting it. That’s a positive, healing step.

What’s with the “Day 53” and believing the girl? It starts here.