Thursday, August 16, 2012
I've never talked about therapy on this blog. When I think about it, that's probably strange for an adoption blog.
Well, I recently started going to therapy. I've been going on behalf of one of our kids. At this point, I haven't even received any therapy, really, we've just been working through the assessment.
I've been going to therapy for my child, but yesterday was the first time I really felt like I need therapy. I've talked before about keeping some details of our children's stories to ourselves because it's their story and shouldn't they be the ones to decide who knows what about their lives? I think this is very important, but it's also quite difficult. Adoption brings with it weighty stories. As adoptive parents some of us carry stories of neglect, abuse, maltreatment, mental illness, drug abuse, abandonment, health concerns, tragedy, trauma, prison sentences, the list goes on and on. Some of us carry horrifying stories. We carry those stories and we know it is not our place to share them with people who don't need to know. The weight can bear down on us.
And it's not just that, but these stories affect us daily. They affect the way we parent, our fears, our hopes, our own insecurities. Maybe we live in fear of being associated in any way with a previous parent figure in our child's mind. Maybe we are just desperate to help our child understand what a Mommy's job really is. Maybe we don't know how to sort through their nighttime fears. We deal with their stories every day, yet we cannot talk to anyone about it.
This is a weight, my friends.
In one of my therapy sessions, I told the therapist a big chunk of my child's story that is weighty and intense and I felt so relieved to have shared it with someone. It was like a weight had been lifted from me just because I had been able to tell someone and let someone else carry that story with me.
So I want to encourage adoptive parents to go to a support group or find a therapist if you need it. Even if it's just to let someone else carry that story with you, it is worth it.