I feel very at ease this year. I know we're only a month in, but considering how bad I was feeling, I'm amazed at myself.
At the end of last year I was beyond desperate with how things had evolved with Leila, kinder and my reaction to it. I can look back on it now and see just how on the edge I actually was. Aside from mild PND following Leila's birth, I can't think of any situation I've been in where I've felt more stressed.
I felt useless as a parent and judged every decision I made with negativity. I couldn't see a way forward. It was tied up with Leila's unhappiness at kinder, her separation anxiety and anxiety in general and I just had nothing left.
I felt I had to do something and in the end sought professional help and starting seeing a psychologist specialising in children. I went along to that first session in December thinking that she was going to give me tools, a written list preferably, telling me what to do to make life better for Leila and in turn us.
I don't know how many of you have ever been to see a therapist of some sort, but I was mildly amused to find it's just like the movies. The room has two comfy chairs, a clock on the table between us and the psych says "So, ....." and then waits for you to speak. I think they must spend a lot of time practising their staring down because I tried not to speak on occasion and yet she had much more will power than me, so you blab on to fill the gaps.
There have been no revelations, there has been very little feedback at all on her part and actually no proactive advice and yet somehow, I feel a changed person. It's very very strange. I am guessing that the act alone of simply talking to a stranger and venting in a way somehow is very cathartic. After the first session I wept that evening and Geoff kept asking "What did she say?" wondering what had upset me so. There was in fact nothing, it was just the release of it all.
I've tried to explain to friends how I feel different, because I really really do and think it's noticeable. I think when you get to the very depth of misery you realise that you can't go any lower, that you have to do something about it, you simply have to. Somehow, and I can't explain why because it wasn't conscious, but somehow I decided to simply not be upset anymore, to be happy. I stopped fighting against Leila and started being there for her in a very basic and honest way. It seems so simple now, but she's really responded, is more confident, is happier and I certainly am. Her reactions fed of mine so much, we fed off each other's miseries and it was awful. Now we've turned the corner and we're both feeding off each other's happiness and it's infectious. It was actually never really about her and more about me.
I'm a very self sufficient person and although I've had difficult times in my life, I've always had the attitude that I can work it out for myself. I'm not a therapy convert, I'm not addicted and for now have no need to go back. But I won't suffer through a situation again, not when the simple act of talking to a stranger, albeit for an hourly rate, can turn your life around.