Thursday, May 19, 2016

Help. Sometimes It Is Helpful. Sometimes It Is Not

The mimosa is starting to bloom, its powder-puff blossoms looking as if they had been dipped in rouge. I saw this on my walk this morning. Another good one. I am pushing myself on my walks lately and it feels good. At my age, it seems harder and harder to make any sort of progress and I'm sure that's all in my mind, but if I can walk farther, longer, stronger I am proving myself still capable of something.
Increased suffering, probably.
Still, it feels good.

I got a picture from Jessie this morning that I can't stop looking at. I think it is one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen.

Daddy is home. 
I write those words and look at that picture and tears spring to my eyes. 
Daddy. Home. 

I should really go see a counselor sometime soon. I have an issue that's getting in the way of my life and it's not life-threatening or so very dire, but I need to find clarity, I need to find a way to reframe something, to come to a sense of peace about. And "going to see someone" would probably be the right thing to do, the thing I would, in fact, advise someone else to do. It's not always fair for me to try and talk things out with the people I love. Now and then it is best to find a third person with no irons in the fire, so to speak.
I thought about this last night as I was going to sleep and although it seems like such a good idea, I just cringe at the thought. 
In my head I went through the list of different therapists I've been to in my life and it's a sad and sorry list. Long, too.
The first shrink I ever went to was when I was going through a depression in Denver. He looked like a balding lion, if you can imagine that, and asked me if my weight troubled me.
I was not fat then at all. I was lovely. Can you imagine?
When I told him that I was moving from Denver back to Florida he advised me that a geographical move was not going to cure my depression. 
He was wrong about that too.
There was the woman that my first husband and I went to see separately, he first, when we were contemplating divorce. She was fantastic. After hearing my husband's story from his mouth, she simply asked me why I was still living with him. She wasted no time or energy on fantasy.
"But I love him."
"Eh- what does that mean?" she asked. 
So that took one session.
I went to another counselor after the divorce who had just gone through EST training. Remember that? We actually got into the details of my childhood abuse and he told me that I, a nine year old child at the time, had allowed the abuse to happen. That I had to take responsibility for my part of it. 
That was not helpful.
Finally went to another guy. A real shrink because I was desperate and was again in a dark depression. He decided that I was actually manic-depressive, as they called it in those days although there was absolutely no evidence for that. He prescribed Lithium and it made me psychotic, suicidal, and craving pineapple juice to the point where I was opening cans of pineapple slices in the middle of the night and sucking down the juice.
Good-bye to him. 
I finally, years later, knew that I HAD to deal with what had happened to me as a child. Trying to put it away in that closet was not working and I was losing my mind and becoming unable to function as a wife and the mother of three (and then four). I found the one. I loved her then, I love her now. She was firm, she was empathetic, she didn't let me get away with shit and she cried sometimes when I told her things and she held me when I needed it. 
She saved my life. She is now retired. 
The last therapist I saw was when I started experiencing the crippling anxiety. She came highly, highly recommended and it was such a bad match. She mostly talked about her girlfriends and how successful and wonderful they were and everything she suggested that I do to help with my anxiety was already stuff I was doing and HAD been doing for years and years. Plus, she always dressed like the gorgeous fashion model she truly could have been and she made me feel dowdy and old. And yes, fat. 
I broke up with her.

And this is my history with therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists and psychologists. 
Not a great history. 
And thought of jumping back into that search makes me want to die and then add to that all of my backstory and it makes me want to die AND die again. 
Yes, my father was an abusive alcoholic, yes, I only saw him once after we left him when I was five years old and yes, my mother suffered horribly from depression, yes, she wanted me to mother her, yes, the man she married sexually abused me...blah, blah, blah. 
Yes, I've suffered from depression, yes, I've suffered from anxiety, yes, I probably have PTSD, yes...oh hell- what am I forgetting?
Oh yeah, I have a sort of obsession with Keith Richards but I also have the most amazing life anyone could ever imagine and all the love in the world and I do function and when I write all of this down I think that maybe I should just work this shit out on my own. 
Trust in myself, my family, my friends, the process. 

And keep writing. And keep walking. And pondering. And functioning. And gardening and chicken-tending and hanging out with my kids and grandkids and appreciating with full gratefulness of heart all that I have. 

I feel a bit selfish and over-sharing with this post but when did that ever stop me? 

Here's a gladiola.

All love...Ms. Moon


  1. Not being a bio-mom myself, I was thrilled to marry hubby and his two babies 30 years ago. When our daughter was 14 it hit the fan. So I went to a counselor for the first time. I expected her to tell me I was a special kind of martyr. Instead she convinced me that I could speak for myself and be a loving step mom, too. I went to her a number of times, but the last couple were mostly because I just wanted to spend time with her. As for you, you couldn't speak of the atrocities, and when you could, the one who should have didn't believe you. I hope you can disassociate yourself forever from those who don't believe you, and ask around for recommendations for someone who'll listen. Sending you hugs on this sunny day!

  2. Dear heart,
    I so hear what you say - "thinking of diving back in breaks my heart...."

    Life and its abundancy are sometimes just NOT enough - and when you want something else something more give yourself that option. If I could help I would. I cannot even take you out for coffee....

    The gladiola - thank you for that beauty. Whenever I see gladiola flowers or read about them I am reminded of the book Barbara Robinette Moss wrote, titled "Change me Into Zeus's Daughter".

    I can't help. I care about you. I am sorry life hurts and is beautiful.

  3. Well, sometimes a full blown overshare is a good thing, a wake up call either way and a good release. We dance around such topics so much anymore. Good for you for thinking it through and re-looking at options! Your sharing is a gift, as all sharing should be....

  4. I hope you figure out what to do. It's hard to go back into therapy once you've been there but it can help if you find the right one. All as you say. I wish you well on your search. When you "over-share," it helps all of us.

  5. not over sharing, not for some of us at least. it does help to say it, to get the words and with them the feelings out. otherwise you stiff it and that's never good. we went to marriage counseling 3 times, twice it worked but only temporarily. third time not. fourth time was drug counseling. he told me to decide now what I was going to do, make my plans because it was rare for an addict to actually get control and stop using. he counseled us separately and together. he was an excellent counselor. made me see some things differently, opened my eyes to some of my own behavior, gave me the tools to deal with the turmoil in my life. I don't envy you the hunt.

  6. Sweet Mary,
    It's the oversharing that I love the most. You know it's my MO, so when you do it makes me feel not so weird and not so scared, and I thank you for that.
    You do have a beautiful life, it is full of love, but dragging around a burden like that brings a color into it that just doesn't fit.
    You're a gut woman. You listen to it and you honor it and I hope it will help.
    But yes, the questions, the hunt for answers, real answers is just a pain in the ass.
    Love you dearly.

  7. I don't trust doctors. It's not to say there ain't some good ones, but on a general level, no, I wouldn't trust 'em at all. Keith Richards

    That goes for therapists , the like...Maybe that is why people turn to baby jesus , or Buddha, or Santa Clause...Whatever...Therapists have always had the worst advice and have missed the point entirely , I will not give them my money and I will burden friends with my woes - their advice is the best! Along with whiskey or gin and something super fattening to eat. Best medicine.
    and YES, that is the BEST picture!

  8. I have to disagree with the idea of you oversharing. Because you are not *really* sharing all the deep incredible and unimaginable pain that is inside of you. The little girl in you is still scared and only speaking in whispers.
    Having had a violent father all I can say is I have never dealt with my childhood. Unless there is a deep secret out there that I do now know about I don't think I ever will deal with it. Mostly I have just learned to live life as best as I can with that depression, terror, anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness. Some days are really good and so beautiful. Other days just are. And then there are the days when it all comes back to me and I am being beat with an inch of my life and yelled at. It is then that I want to deal with the pain. But my life is a tapestry. To pull those terrible times rips out part of who I am. I wonder if that could be done would all of me unravel? I wish to God it never happened. I had so much potential and it was ripped from me. I feel sad for the little girl me. She thought she was stupid and ugly and that there was something fundamentally wrong with her. I still feel that way most days. I have honestly given up and trying to chase the demons away. I just try to live the best life I can. Some days it takes a lot of Ativan.
    I do think talking to a professional helps. It helps a lot. Each time I have gone to therapy I have some away with something to help me cope better. Last time the therapist just simply said that we need to fine a way to help you live with your fear so it walks beside you and not in front of you, dragging you along.
    You are a good and beautiful soul, Mary. You are. I just love you so much.

  9. You are not oversharing, at all.

    I hear you. I hold you in my heart. You don't have to carry it all alone, I promise you.

  10. No overshare.

    I think it's a good idea to go dump whatever the thing is. Just for you, not having to feel guilty about it.

    I also sympathise enormously about the search, and the fear of investing time and emotion in someone who turns out to be a crock. They sure are out there. I'm glad you've had some good ones as well as bad.

    I'm going to go to someone who does something called Human Givens therapy. I'll share what comes of it, when it happens, probably.

    Good luck with the search. It's shit, but I hope you do it anyway.

  11. Perhaps the therapist you loved, who is now retired, could recommend someone to you? It would be a start...even if you decide not to go through with it. As for oversharing? Overshare away! We're here for you.
    Lisa C.

  12. No such thing as oversharing. Sharing lightens the load not only for you (hopefully) , but burdens shared are so bonding. Lovely photos today......
    Susan M

  13. There is no oversharing in this place, where we write our hearts and we write whatever is true for us in the moment, and the people who come here and read what you write love you and are holding you close, if you can imagine my arms around you right this moment. But yes, find another therapist. If it doesn't feel like a match after TWO sessions, try someone else, don't linger with a bad match. be ruthless about moving on. Keep trying people until you find the one who will help you, because there is nothing like a well matched therapist to help us through, especially those of us born with a live wire nerve of emotion, unprotected from the ravages of the world. Share all you want here. I love it when you share. But keep asking around and see who you find therapeutically. It helps so much when it's right. Lovelovelove

  14. I hope you feel us here. Feel my hand on your shoulder.

  15. I'm thinking about you, hoping that the right person to see just comes along and finds you.

  16. It was not until I became a mother myself that I actually realized what had been happening in my childhood with an addict traumatised mother. And that was after I had studied psychology at uni. Go figure.

    When you spend time with small children close to you, somewhere in your unconscious you are back when you were that small. For me, this was really painful but my child was the best healer. It is in no way a resolved situation and I had my share of "duh" therapists to understand that this will be a constant in my life.

    Who knows, you may find the right person to help you lift the load. I hope so!
    But remember Mary, your children and grandchildren will be there with you every step of the way with all their curiosity and direct honesty. And that is an amazing gift. And a challenge.
    Take care.

  17. It is hard as hell to find a good therapist. My brushes with therapists in the past were not particularly helpful -- but some people swear by them and I have no doubt they can be incredibly beneficial when the chemistry is right.

    I wish I could say something to help you figure out what to do, but I'm afraid the ball probably has to be in your court on that one -- weighing the costs of digging into the past with the benefits of possibly addressing this current issue. Sometimes it IS good to just talk to someone.

    I dunno.

  18. I've been away in the forest so I'm just getting caught up.
    I wish I lived next door to you.
    I can't even imagine the level of trauma you've experienced as a child. The fact that some therapist would tell you you are responsible for it is completely irresponsible! What a fucktard! Anyone can get a degree or certificate, but it truly takes a good listener to be a therapist. And someone who doesn't have their head in their ass. Anyway, that rant is over.
    What's important is that you do what you feel like you can handle. Breakthroughs and healing happen when you are ready, they shouldn't be forced. My god, blogging and oversharing got me through the most traumatic times in my life! There is no over share when it's real life shit, Mary!
    Does it help you or trigger you when you read the stories of other people's triumph in overcoming childhood trauma? Sometimes there are answers in other people's experiences that help us heal. People are healed by sharing though, whether it's talking, writing or singing about it. If Keith Richards makes you feel good, immerse, I say.
    Whatever you do, know that we are all with you in this journey. Holding your precious words in our hearts and wishing the best for that nine year old girl inside of you that had to endure so much. We love her and are proud of her strength and resilience to overcome, and we love the woman she grew to be. Xoxoxoxo
    Roxanne (

  19. Oh my god. Oh my fucking god. I swear to you- I just spent an hour answering every comment on this post with my whole heart and somehow, some way, the whole thing got lost.
    I am so pissed because each and every comment deserved some true love back from me.
    I am slightly devastated.

  20. Hi MM, Been thinking about you a lot lately. Partly I think because I'm thinking about mothers and mothering and you to me are the epitome of a nurturing and mothering. But also, I just miss you and wonder why sometimes I can't come here and read and just let myself enjoy you (I know WHY, but it's dumb). When I do, I feel so happy and connected and lucky (that you are still here writing all your wonderful and funny words and thoughts and feelings and poetry, even if I don't always show up, it's magic!). I wonder if you know how just the idea of you calms me sometimes, knowing you're THERE, here, just a few clicks away? I've been thinking about this post a lot and I hope you will go talk to someone. If you think it could help, it most likely will, and let's just hope that the right person will show up this time like your retired therapist finally did. Sending love and pink purple zinnias.

  21. Bethany- I think of you so often. You have no idea! You can come here or not, read here or doesn't matter. You know I'm here.
    I'm okay, my love. I promise. I have bad days, I have good. There are things which are nagging but they are not so huge.
    Can you believe I have not planted any zinnias this year? Volunteers are coming up and they make me happy but Lord, child- you reminded me that I need to plant more.
    Dare I say I love you?
    I hope so.
    May all be well.


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