Thursday, 23 May 2013

Do I need therapy?

Sometimes I ask myself if maybe I need therapy.

Usually I would answer this question from a stranger with a firm "no!". I have been asked by social workers or new doctors if I have any support outside the family or if there is anyone I can talk to. I always respond that I have friends (some also with SN kids) to share my pains with and gain new perspectives but there is no therapist, no stranger who has a totally objective point of view. And sometimes I wonder if that would help me.

As I already mentioned in a previous post, I am normally fine. I really am. But I also have to admit that there is still pain and hurt, despair and fear under the surface. And some days when I do not feel as good as I normally do all it takes is just a little digging at the brightly green grass on top to show the brown, raw soil underneath it. Sometimes all it takes is just someone asking me why Sunny does not talk or how old he is, or even people telling me that I am a great mother and that I am handling "all of this" so wonderfully because that extra emphasis makes me painfully aware that our life is not "normal". On such days all it takes are simple things or kind words like these and I well up immediately.

I thought about it from time to time, wondering if I should reach out for help, but somehow I do not feel broken enough, if that makes sense. I think there are people who have more on their plate and who need help more than I do. Because after all the good days by far predominate the bad. And I also noticed that therapists always make me suspicious in a way that I think they weigh every word that I say and read things into them that I do not mean. Every time I talk to a therapist (I met some on our journey with Sunny) I feel completely (over-)analysed. Which is probably some kind of persecution mania that I have but I cannot shake that feeling off.

Last year in October Sunny and I visited a therapy facility for several weeks. It was the second time that we were there. It is run by an organisation connected to church and the facility has an own pastor to support the parents. I am not an overly religious person but it always felt really good to talk to her. Back then we also spoke about the school stuff and while she could not take the pain away she could very well scatter some of my worries about that decision. It was a good mixture of talking to someone outside the family without the feeling of some kind of scientific approach by a therapist. On the contrary (and this might sound weird and like an antagonism in itself): talking to her somehow felt very secularly although she is a pastor. Maybe I will get in touch with her again when I need some sort of advice.

I guess sometimes it is good and necessary to admit that we need help. And then we should just reach out for it, no matter if we feel broken enough. Because on those days we probably are that broken.


  1. As usual, I admire your honesty, Joy. I don't think you have to be "broken" to benefit from a therapist. I also agree with you though that it would have to be a great fit so you don't feel like you're somebody's project or science experiment. Maybe your thoughts mean you could just use more adult connection time with friends, not neccesarily in a therapy setting but over coffee and muffins or something. Good luck, and ihope you keep having more good days than bad!

    1. Thank you, Alana! I will have a very good friend come visit me together with her son for a "therapy session" ;-) today and I am really looking forward to seeing them again!

  2. Joy,
    I feel your pain. I came home from the playground in tears last night because a little boy who is only a few months older than Tucker told me that something's wrong with him. He tried to engage him in this complicated game and Tucker just didn't get it. I've thought about going to a therapist, too. But honestly, I don't want to take the time to do it as I already feel so very overwhelmed. I have found a nice friend - a mom of a boy in Tucker's classroom. It's helped a lot to talk with her. I also talk to Tucker's teacher a lot as she's a mom and so accepting of my son. I know we all have good days and bad. I think that there's a lot of good to be had from therapy and being able to say sometimes that "this just isn't fair." It doesn't mean we don't love them - it means it's not fair that they will have more obstacles in their lives than we wish.

    Huge hugs, dear friend. XOXO

    1. Oh Kristi, I am so sorry about the playground incident! We experienced something similar last summer, will blog about it some day. Maybe in my "our land" post. I am writing on it but I am not content yet.

      Hugging you right back! xo


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