Private therapy: is it all about me?

A while ago I threw out the question to you guys, my friends and fellow bloggers, family and stalkers, that i was going to embark on something that was actually “all about me,” which was individual therapy. I’ve done plenty of family therapy, and mum and kid therapy, and a short (read: 1.5 sessions) of couples therapy, but I’ve never gone on my own, for me.

So, how’s it going? I hear you think.

It’s going pretty well. I get there every week, so consistently 15 minutes late that my appointment now runs from :15 to :15, instead of on the hour. One thing we’ve been doing lately is to capture a geneology of behaviour and personality types among my family members, right up to my grandparents on both sides. And these sessions are clearly just about me, because all the info is being recorded as it relates to me, not to the ex or the kids (at this point, of course). So there we are, I’m sipping a coffee and it’s all about me, when my cell rings. I have two kids today with reasons to call, so I ask if I can take it. It’s the kids’ doctor’s number on the display.

The first thing she says is, “Hi. It’s me. This is not so much about Graydon as it is about another child….” Which put me on stand-down, since Graydon had been to a specialist the week before. She was calling to talk about some of his late effects from his cancer treatment from leukemia. We talked for a couple of minutes, I got a referral for an EKG for Graydon (thus crossing one thing off my to-do list without even making a call!), and we said goodbye. My therapist looked at me and said, “Wow, that’s about his cancer, isn’t it?” I nodded my head.

“It never goes away.”

And then I really thought about it—here I am, in a nice office with a coffee and an experienced, empathetic therapist, talking about me, and right there in the middle is Graydon’s cancer, a beast that he kicked to the curb in June, 2004, but still lurking and leaping right into the middle of his life and mine four and a half years later.

It made me realize that any people who say (a few) or think (I don’t know how many) that mothers and parents have to “let go” of their kid’s major illnesses and move on really have no idea. And I also realized it isn’t me keeping his cancer present in our lives. The cancer and its late effects are doing that all by itself.

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6 Responses

  1. Yikes. My niece had cancer, and it pretty much took over their lives for many years, and STILL interrupt them from time to time… 10 years later.

  2. You are amazing. It is incredible of you to let us into your private life the way you do ~ keeping it real. And it makes it so much more real when we give pause to think about what makes us ‘whine’ in our own lives that we could be dealing with what you & others deal with on a daily basis. There simply is no comparision.
    Thank you for keeping it real & sharing even the difficult instead of only the light hearted issues with us, your readers. You inspire me to be more mindful of the many blessings that comprise my life, and to pray for those who need that extra bit of strength, courage or whatever it may be that they need to get by until their silver lining shows up. Thank you.

  3. What a beautiful image -I presume the very talented and artistic Tessa created that.

    Here’s a tip. Next session leave the cell phone in the car. You deserve some time to yourself.

  4. That should have read :
    you deserve some WELL DESERVED time to yourself.

  5. Thank you, guys!

  6. Yes, I agree about the phone. It’s only an hour. They will call back. You are one of the bravest women I know and I am sending you all the support I can via this comment.

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