Shrink Thyself

I freely admit: I am a reluctant patient. I shirk all personal non-emergency medical care. This is something of which I am not proud, and even I myself am a bit bemused by my own attitude. My children and my ex-husband all had excellent and regular medical attention. I strive to stay well and while avoidance may be too strong a term for my style, it is not too far off.

I come by this reluctance honestly: my father was more extreme in his medical reticence, understandably so perhaps, because his sibling was misdiagnosed and died, and then he did, too. What are the chances of such deja vu? So, I grew up with this sort of paranoid attitude around me, and of course we know that children do as they see. Or don’t do, as the case may be. I can’t tell you the last time I went for a check up, although I do get regular pap smears and mammograms and dental cleanings. I’m on the mild side of this phobia, remember.

But here’s the thing, here’s the recent dilemma: with all of this world-shattering (my world, that is) change, I probably could use a shrink. Pardon my slang; I should not use the vernacular as it is perhaps disrespectful and I am not disrespectful, only slightly ambivalent.  Let’s try this again: psychologist. I could probably use a psychologist to help me get through these muddles or at least to find a direction in the midst of so many options. Or maybe it is lack of options? Could go either way, there.  However, the cost is exorbitant. That’s one thing.

The other thing is that in my attempts at being rational and non-paranoid, I have gone to shrinks psychologists in the past with rather horrendous results. The first experience was, on its face, fine: the doctor and his colleague talked with me (read: fired questions at me for hours while I matter-of-factly answered) and then told me–I am paraphrasing here–that I was remarkably sane, quite fine, and that it wasn’t necessary for me to return. (OK, pardon my outburst here.) WHAT? I was so young, so hurt, so tragic with layers of tragedy already woven through my little life, and yet these doctors sent me ON MY MERRY WAY??? WTHeck??

(Deep Breath.) But that was long ago.

Years later, feeling anxious and worried about one of my kids but not wanting to take the anxiety out on said progeny, I tried again. The good doctor seemed fixated on the juicy tidbits of my youth and although I had only forty-five minutes to talk with him, he insisted that I discuss those morsels. In detail. I did not care to do so. I sat in a stalemated arm-cross for the final few minutes and never returned. Maybe hypnosis would have been a better method if he had intended on taking me back to a time that I didn’t care to revisit; it may not have bothered me so much if I had been asleep.

So, now. Now what? Good question. I have talked to someone about my current state of dishevelment/confusion/disarray, this new but not so neat beginning. I could have talked to myself for the clarity garnered, and of course as stated above, this is a lot of money to pay to hear myself talk.

Lucy charged Charlie Brown 5 cents. Where is she when I need her?

Does anyone have any pros or cons they’d like to contribute? Success stories? Names of actual effective professionals who would be sympathetic to my familial queasiness?

So that’s my qualm of the day, other than that I found two teeny tiny ants on my white tile floor today. I spent many childhood summers crouched alongside the driveway, playing with ants in the silt dirt. I like ants, so I am rather conflicted when they encroach beyond their usual habitat. But I’ll bug you another day with ant stories.

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7 Comments on “Shrink Thyself”

  1. Like every other sort of professional, some shrinks are great, others not.

    An excellent and helpful book for getting through divorce is Crazy Time by Abigail Trafford. It’s one of the things that helped me.

    • lily2u1 says:

      Thank you for your book recommendation! I will find it. This surely is a Crazy Time, what an appropriate title. I don’t know what I would have done sometimes without books and music for company, and if a book can be helpful, too–what a gift! ~Lily

  2. Please know I support you, Lily. I’ve done divorce, and it took its toll on me…but I was stronger 34 years ago. Please take good care…do what you enjoy…put the past in its own folder. It will escape every so often, at which point you gently and calmly put it back in its place.
    i am here to tell you you have the love of many surrounding you…given freely…please wrap yourself in it, if only for one night?

    • lily2u1 says:

      Thank you so much, you are so kind.
      Tomorrow is another day and I am sure that I will eventually find my way, or it will find me. Alas, it is a bit difficult at present, but you and others have helped more than you could know.

      Thank you for your beautiful photography (of shots I would have taken if I could have!), as well as for your art, music selections, and writing. You have a good eye, a good mind, and a good heart. I wish you could have more peace and more joy in exchange for the kindness you have shown me.
      Many thanks,
      ~ Lily

      • My dear, it is not kindness…because I understand the reality of it all…the stupidity. You do beautiful shots…and you shall, again and again. I experience peaceand joy through those, like you, who might understand my life-long work…then carry on for me when I can do no longer.

        I have pains from osteoartritis and fibromyalgia (and no one seems to want to consider ALS, which my dear mother passed from its ravages), so I merely continue to live, LIVE, as well as I can…as should you.

        Your words exemplify beauty…I hope you know and understand that.

        I, myself, would be a horrible teacher, but as a judge of style…you are there, and then some.


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