Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Adrian Phoon who used to blog as Gay Erasmus has been having counselling and his post is very well written with good links to organisations dealing with depression. http://adrianphoon.wordpress.com/2007/03/20/counselling

But it was one of his commenters that had me going back over my dealings with various counsellors over the years. How do you know when it's finished? What is the cut-off point to go it alone? With me, it was more a case of when do I start trusting these people to help me instead of fighting them. It was only when I saw a female psychiatrist who asked if I had problems with men in authority positions that cathedral bells went ding dong boom. My other two shrinks and hypnotherapist, males, authority figures which meant the drawbridge went up and the moat filled with piranhas.

She was good. I always left the session with a question she put in my mind and by the next week, I usually had an answer and another step on the road. The question was important because it showed that she was not only hearing what I was saying in words but also listening to the gaps in between.

It took a little over a year before I uttered the one sentence that had been locked away in a dungeon in my mind. I thought I'd be struck by lightning for that but instead I burst into such hysterical sobbing that I ended up in hospital for the night. It wasn't the great 'I'm cured' breakthrough but it was the start of me being able to do the hard work for myself.

The New Age gurus say every phase of our life has to be completed in order to move to the next challenge and survive it. I survived everything that has been thrown at me over the last 12 years. My father's cancer and death, my son's month in intensive care and watching him die, my granddaughters being taken far away, my husband's infidelities and our eventual divorce and now my mother's slow decline. I'm down from 40mcg of medication a day to 3. The battle with my other drug, food, is now being fought.

I don't mind growing old. For every year I live my mind expands more not less. Youth is wasted on the young, hand it over kids, I won't waste a minute.


Middle Child said...

You have had a time of it. The worst would have been losing your child...and I think I would lose the plot if one of my daughters died before I do. To get where you are is the miracle and you should be carried on the wings of the angels for that...you probably are being carried on their wings... (there is a song by Sarah McGlachlan called Angel with those words in it.)

I don't mind getting old, seeming neutered and invisible, its a sort of freedom I haven't felt since before puberty, but the aches wierd pains in the chest at 3am are a worry...hmmm

JahTeh said...

There's a lovely poem called 'When I'm an old woman' which I must post because it describes that freedom. Your worry pains would be for Don, I hope he's stronger now.

Anonymous said...

I am in agreeance with middle child,Jt.
To come through trials of such magnitute mentally strong, vibrant and with such a wonderful scence of humour still intact is a feat that my grandmother used to say "only the strong ones can deal with"
My own mum has gone through a similar journey, and I'm afraid, has not faired anywhere near as well as you have.

Drawing strength and wisdom from others in those dark times are the only thing that get me through my relentless probs,too, and the talking about it also helps.

You go girl! And your son is helping you every step! I'm sure you feel that!

Lovely Post, Much love

BwcaBrownie said...

... I will wear purple, and a red hat that doesn't 'go'.
I will spend my pension on satin sandals instead of butter ....

Jenny somebody.
there are Red&Purple Groups everywhere.

I have often thought that there could be Campaign Ribbons for women, so we could recognise each other by them, like old Diggers reading the chestful of Fruit Salad, or GirlGuides proficiency badges -

a red ribbon for every marriage,
a blue ribbon for every child, white ribbon for every divorce,
a black ribbon for every death
a ribbon in the insanity colour of yellow for every house move, yellow with bar for every housemove with an infant, yellow with bar and star for every house move with infant and pets ...

Andrew said...

Rather heart on the sleeve Jah Teh. Tis nice. Now what's your angle?

JahTeh said...

The only angle Andrew, is to tell people to not be afraid to ask for help. As Adrian said in his post, he had counselling before he had to deal with his father's sudden death but it was the comment about how to know when to finish that made me do this and probably it is TMI.

Zoe, the trials pall when you consider what's happened in the world in the last five years. Would I have survived a tsunami or Darfur? I have my doubts.

Brownie knows my poem. I like the idea of the ribbons, brilliant for International Women's Day.