After Therapy

We took Amy to therapy this morning. And when I came back from dropping her at school I had a really unsettled feeling. I couldn’t get anything done. I had this weird feeling that wasn’t sadness, but un-comfortableness in my own skin. I felt unable to concentrate on any of the jobs I needed to get done. And then I felt cross and annoyed with myself. This resulted in a search through the house for chocolate and some indulgent telly watching, which is not ideal, didn’t really help and made me feel worse.

I worry about Amy’s therapy sessions. I worry about how she must be feeling before we get there and then I worry about her going into school in the afternoon. (She prefers to go back to school, to do PE and see her friends, rather than missing a whole day and worrying all night about her peers asking where she had been).  I worry the night before about whether she will get to sleep that night, will she wake up really early in the morning or will she be so anxious in the morning that she will become argumentative and I will lose my rag with her! Ironically this results in a poor night sleep for me and the subsequent irritableness of a tired parent.

When I think about this now, I have to say she is generally not too bad. She is more on edge than normal but this usually presents in more childish behaviour or being a bit clingy. The days where she used to be really controlling and quarrelsome before therapy seem to have disappeared. So I have to wonder, if the problem is me and not her.

I attempted therapy or counselling sessions of my own three times. Each time I gave up after about 3 sessions, largely due to the anxiety this brought up in me. I have my own issues with grief, low self-worth and perfectionism and I desperately don’t want to pass these on to my children. I actually feel quite hypocritical that I make Amy attend sessions but couldn’t manage to go myself.  I make lots of excuses, mainly, that I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by feelings and be unable to cope when I have other responsibilities in life.

But Amy is doing well. She appears to be making progress on her goals and although she would not choose to go to therapy she uses it well (after a bit of avoidant behaviour – can’t fault her there!). No matter how hard it is for me to listen to her feelings of and trauma experiences. I know these are far worse than anything that I’ve ever been through. She is so brave. Maybe I need to take inspiration from her and try again.

And what about getting back to normal on a Monday afternoon? Well maybe I should plan to do something away from the house to stop me getting cross with myself. Maybe I need to let myself off the hook, to acknowledge that it is hard for me too.  That although Amy benefits from getting back into routine as quickly as possible, maybe I don’t. My daughter’s resilience and bravery are so inspiring. I need to find a better way to spend afternoons after therapy too.

Do any of you guys go to therapy sessions?  How do you find it? What do you do afterwards?

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13 thoughts on “After Therapy

  1. Thanks for sharing your story with the world.

    I’m an adult adoptee, and I’m happy to see Amy in therapy at such an early age and her adoptee issues addressed in therapy.

    I’m 41 and when I was her age I had many of the same issues, yet therapists never mentioned adoption. I remember seeing dozens. Still to this day it’s extremely difficult to find a therapist that specializes in adoptee grief, loss, trauma & attachment issues. I’ve tried and no luck.

    I always say if I could have started addressing these issues when I was young (Amys age) I wouldn’t be fully facing them now at 41 and spent a life time of self hate, substance abuse and anger and rage. The deep rooted issues followed me everywhere I went.

    Healing now and living in recovery from abandonment and rejection issues I share my journey at http://www.adopteeinrecovery.Com

    But I wanted to share this in hopes that the next time you take Amy to the therapist as hard as it is, you are making the right choice. No child should have to live for 41 years without a safe place to share the complexity of how it feels to be adopted.

    blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments Pamela, after care for adopted children is so important and something I’m really passionate about. I’m sorry to hear that things have been so difficult for you. I can’t imagine what that would be like. I’m glad you are healing now. Warmest wishes

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  2. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of helping your daughter through her trauma. It’s great that she bounces back quickly and is happy to go back to school. Neither my daughter and I go to therapy, but I’m really interested in the emotional side of parenting, and I blog a lot about tthat. I think the emotional work we do, helping our children with their issues, and dealing with our own when they get triggered, is really undestimated. So I think it’s a great idea to do something to nurture yourself too, you deserve it!
    I just discovered your post through the #fortheloveofBLOG link-up, and it’s funny I noticed you following my blog at the exact same time as I’m writing this! (i’ve moved my blog btw to http://www.kateorson.com) so I don’t update listeningtotears anymore

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    1. Thanks for reading Kate and your comments, I think your right, being able to deal with emotions is paramount in bringing up well adjusted little people who can be happy in the world. I will definitely check out your blog.

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  3. You are such a supportive mum enabling your daughter to have access to therapy. It sounds like she is doing great! I have a lot of belief in therapy being a positive way to manage and process life. Don’t be hard on yourself for not choosing to have therapy yourself at this time though- maybe you’ll revisit it one day, maybe you won’t. Perhaps you could devote some time to yourself after Amy’s sessions instead of getting back into routine? A little ‘me time’ relaxation. Or maybe something more energetic!

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    1. Thank you Lauren, I think me time is a good idea. It’s that mum guilt that gets in the way though, there’s always something you feel you should be doing. This week I’m going to drop her at school and go to the gym!! Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments.

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  4. I have had experience going to therapy but it didn’t really do me any good – sorry that’s probably not very helpful or what you want to hear! This is my first visit to your blog and I’m going to send a link to my sister-in-law, who has just been approved to adopt and is waiting to be ‘matched’ #fortheloveofblog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, actually that is helpful, saying something is just not right for me and that’s ok too is not something I particularly considered. be great to be in touch with your sister in law. Thanks for reading and commenting

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  5. I don’t have any experience of this, but it sounds like Amy is very resilient. Well done her. I expect it will always be worrying to send her off, but if it is helping, then perhaps you need to find something to divert yourself with so she doesn’t pick up on your tensions. Could you begin a blog series to work on maybe (something you enjoy)… Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam x

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts and reading, I was much calmer today, maybe as a result of writing things down, feel in a better frame of mind and I’m sure it helped her as well as me!

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  6. I think it sounds like you are doing the right thing by encouraging her to work through whatever issues she has in therapy from a young age. I don’t have any experience with adoption myself but I think it must throw up a whole load of mixed emotions, particularly if the child has had a tough time before the adoption? Whoever you are, it doesn’t help to hold all those issues inside – they will come out one way or another but you are giving her the tools in therapy to deal with this. I imagine that there must be a lot of mixed emotions being the adoptive parent also? My experience of therapy is that it was difficult and painful for quite a long time and it left me feeling worse to begin with but after several months, that unease begins to fade and it enabled me to realise things about myself that I had never vocalised or thought through before. I think people assume that therapy makes people feel better but I don’t think that is its purpose. It doesn’t feel good to face up to past trauma or feelings that make us feel horrible but it does do you good to acknowledge them and learn to deal with them and a good therapist will help with that. Good luck with the therapy sessions – I hope it will bring you both peace at some point. Thank you for sharing such an emotive piece on #fortheloveofBLOG x

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