Shrinking?

Tomorrow I will take my oldest daughter to the psychologists’ office for her very first counseling appointment. I have very mixed feelings about the whole experience. And it hasn’t even happened yet.

With all new experiences there comes a certain level of apprehension and curiosity. I really haven’t the slightest idea what to expect. Will they greet each other and do a puzzle together? Is tomorrow really just a meet and greet? I mean… she’s nine. She’s not depressed, not violent. Not anxious or manic. I shouldn’t have the butterflies that are fluttering around and tickling my insides right now.

I suppose that I carry a certain stigma with me that may be quite old fashioned. The “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” stigma. The one that tells me that seeing a head doctor means that something is broken inside. That you’re mentally unstable. That you’re not strong enough to pull your crap together and hide the garbage that no one else needs to see. I may not have grown up in the 50’s but I remember hearing women whispering juicy exclamations of  “I heard that So-and-so is seeing a shrink!” in the same tones that they shared tidbits like, “Did you hear that they are getting a divorce?” and “I always knew that her son was GAY!” Excited whispers. Whispers that sounded forbidden and dirty and tantalizing all at the same time. The kind that you wanted to share with the first person you could lure into a private conversation.

Those conversations are long gone but the impression that they left me with is still the same. Just as much as the idea that pink is for little girls and blue is for little boys. Society has come a long way as medicine has adapted but I don’t know if my entire being has progressed. My brain says that this therapy will help her overcome some of the challenges that have come with her gift of being an exceptional child with Aspergers. But my heart tells me that she is such a vibrant child and she isn’t “broken”. I suppose that I haven’t fully connected the idea that seeing a therapist doesn’t have to be a healing process. That sometimes seeing a therapist is as simple learning new things.

Aspergers isn’t just something that affects my child. It has affected her for nine years. Learning about her diagnosis has not only taught me about her and helped me to understand her better but it has also taught me things about myself. This is a journey that I am happy to share with my daughter. A journey of exploration and discovery, understanding and healing. I wouldn’t trade our experience for anything else on earth.

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. justmyrinda
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 20:32:19

    oh, I was wondering why you had to go to the head shrinker…she’s 2e? It will be fine, I’m sure. She just needs extra support because she is extra special 🙂 I’ll be following your journey

    Reply

  2. M. Pecora
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 22:21:20

    I can identify with your feelings and fears. The therapist, in this situation, is going to help your daughter learn behaviors and coping strategies that we take for granted every day. I, myself, have gone to a psychologist to learn coping strategies so that I may be a better, more educated parent to a child with Asperger’s. These children make our journey on this earth a constant paradox but with never ending awe and inspiration. If there is anything we can help with, please let me know!

    Reply

  3. Ali Davis
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 01:02:33

    Aww, it’s not a bad thing. There’s definitely a stigma with seeing a shrink, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. I saw a shrink for a dozen years and the stigma lessened. And I saw a shrink for “bad” reasons. This could simply be to give her a leg up; to build and what’s NOT broken. Your daughter is amazing. And this could help show her just how amazing she truly is. Love ya, Heather!

    Reply

  4. Boy Mom Blogger
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 13:03:51

    Hello!! I’m so glad that you wrote this – can’t wait to hear how it goes. The good news is – I guess – we have preconceived notions about ‘shrinks’ but perhaps your daughter doesn’t (she’s too young). This is something you and your daughter get to learn and share together – like a bonding experience 🙂 and what mother/ daughter couldn’t benefit from that? Hang in there!

    Reply

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