I have really had a hard time with knowing if sharing this much personal info is a good idea. I go back and forth between feeling as if I am betraying my daughter discussing these difficult experiences with the world and telling myself that maybe these stories can help someone else sometime and even help me by being able to share them with other moms. I am very proud of my daughter for who she is. I know these are the tough years and I am doing everything I can to get her support.
I am in therapy myself. I have battled with anxiety and depression and even agoraphobia for years. Sometimes I am fine, and sometimes I am not. I didn't learn healthy life coping skills growing up because I lived in an alcoholic incestuous home. I, like many abused kids, decided my kids would not be abused and would have the most perfect life ever filled with attention and happy moments. I have been talking about my daughter's issues with my therapist and recently mentioned to him that maybe I should put her in therapy as well. I talk to her ALOT about sex and relationships. I am running out of ideas on how to help her learn things properly and not get herself hurt or into a mess or into an addiction. Maybe a therapist could offer a whole other layer of support for her.
I wrestled with the idea. Would she feel like a freak because I was sending her to therapy? Would people make fun of her? They had fun with the 'therapy' word when she was going for physical therapy. No doubt she will tell someone she is in therapy and then word will spread and she will be made fun of. Will she think she is messed up in the head if I send her to therapy? I talked it over with my husband, and he decided it would be a good idea. Then we told her what we had in mind.
I emailed my therapist, and he contacted me within five minutes. In less than 24 hours I had an appointment for her with his female intern. We went yesterday.
She was nervous. She made jokes about being asked, "How do you feel about that"? She talked about lying on a couch and what impersonations she would do to make her therapist laugh. (My girl is a comedian.) She was worried about being left alone. I talked to her about what to expect. She LOVED that she can tell this woman anything. She even asked if she can cuss.
We got there and I knew the therapists who were in the building slightly from a women's group I tried to attend. I did my best to act relaxed, but really I was very nervous. We were filling out paperwork (across from the restroom) when we heard the toilet flush. Out came two men.
She looked at me. "Uhm two MEN just came out of the bathroom together and they were talking."
"Oh yeah," I explained, "I forgot to mention that drug addicts who are in trouble with the law have to come here for urine tests. When you are having a urine test done for drugs, someone has to watch you to make sure you use your own urine."
Jeez.... Talk about opening up a whole can of worms.
"You can use someone else's pee? That is gross. What if a woman has to get a urine test"?
"Honey, she has a woman go in with her to watch her pee. Men get men and women get women."
"What if you are gay"?
"The same rules apply despite your sexual preference."
She starts doing her old man impersonation and acting like she is going to shove her cane up someone's ass. She tries to be funny when she is nervous. I continue with the paperwork.
Finally it was time to go in and get the session started. We talked about why we were there. First I went.
"Welllll, it started back in February....." I went over all of the things she has done behavior wise that have me very concerned. I told her how she says she is a bad kid and a slut and that she can't help herself. (She has never even made out with a boy, but apparently liking more than one boy at a time means you are a slut in her mind.) I talked about how I can't trust her or believe her and how I am very concerned that she feels bad about herself and that she could also get in major trouble or hurt very badly.
"Why do you want to be here"? she asks my girl.
"To talk about my brother and sister that I don't get to see anymore."
Good job baby, I thought to myself.
Just to fill you in, Hubby has two other kids that we haven't seen in 9 years. Very long irrelevant story.
It was time for me to leave, and I convinced her she would be OK while I ran an errand and she talked with her therapist. I assured her I would be back when she got out in 45 minutes and that she would be safe. I ran the errand and returned a few minutes before they came out. My girl was all smiles. We made an appointment for next week and made our way to the car.
Once we got in the car I started asking her how it went.
"Time went by really fast in there. We talked alot about Tina." (Tina is her best friend who is a trouble maker.)
"Oh yeah, honey? It is alot of fun to talk about yourself for almost an hour, huh"?
"Yeah, it was fun."
"Was it better or worse than you expected"?
"Better. I liked it alot. I am glad I am going again. I even feel a little bit better already."