Therapy Group Looking for New Members

(I wrote this post about a month ago and then didn’t post it on that day because Mistress Mary had just put up a post about someone she knew who had committed suicide and this was frivolous and inappropriate on that day. As some of you know, this has turned out to be quite the month for me as well. T.D. is leaving in a week to move a 1000 miles away and we have an attachment disorder. I’m too attached to her. I’ve also been confronting the worries of sick and aging parents and all this talk of summer’s end reminds me that winter is the harshest season for them. Then last week I lost a dear dear friend and former partner when he died an early and stark death. Now, for the next two months, FG is in full travel mode related to business, gone much more than here. So this morning, I thought, "Shit, Vicki. You’re a mess. This is the time and place to go track down a trusty therapist." Except, as I’ve said before- very tongue in cheek- I don’t believe in therapy. Even though I’ve been doing this for a living for over thirty years.

Writing is a sort of therapy for me, so tomorrow-unless I’m busy talking to a therapist- you get chapter one in my soon-to-be-famous book: Why Waste Your Money?  Chapter One is called, "Are We Problem Solving or Are We Whining?" And now on to a draft from the past (at least I’m not dragging up previously published material here)…

My best grandmother went back to college at the University of Michigan to get a Master’s in Social Work in 1970 when she was 64 years old. That was something and so was she. She died of colon cancer before she could finish but there was a brief time before that when I was there in school and she advised me not to "bother with Group work because it isn’t worth the powder to blow it to Hell."

In general, I still agree with this thought. I’ve only found two kinds of group therapy that do anything for anyone- one is court ordered for offenders of various types (drugs, alcohol, domestic violence) and that works in the sense that people generally prefer coming to group therapy than going to jail. (Just kidding, Jim. Smooth your hackles.). The other kind of group therapy that works is the Misery Loves Company kind. This is the kind where you get a therapist who looks and acts like Bob Newhart and a collection of patients who can be oddly dissimilar but like to get together and whine about something they have in common.

I’ve also mentioned before that, after thirty years as a therapist and a couple (days) as a patient, I’m not completely convinced that any kind of psychotherapy is all that it’s chalked up to be. I’m still working on my four part treatise on that and  I promise to show it to you first before I run it by a publisher. But that’s for another day.

Today I’m starting a new therapy group. Right here. Right now. Would you like to join? This is a therapy group for mothers who have daughters who are about to abandon them so they can go live lives of their own. The typical group member will be an intelligent and insightful mother. She will have set aside many of her own needs to insure her daughter’s happiness and well being and is now in the throes of despair as the thankless daughter is packing her bags and boxes to leave.

You think I jest but no. I know you’re out there. Panthergirl . Mistress MarySRP . Many many more of you are lurking there silently as, day after day and Labor Day approaches, your emotional state becomes increasingly fragile.Thumbing_her_nose

Sliding fee scale (actually there’s no fee, you’ve already paid your dues and then some), meeting times flexible. Unlimited space available; always looking for new members. Merely add your name and URL in the comment section below and plan to post at your place at least a piece or two about your own situation. You can write about a fond memory, how much you will miss her when she’s gone, about how parting is such sweet sorrow or even about how the wretch has turned on you after all you’ve done and is sneaking your best kitchenware and blankets into her boxes in preparation to go. Don’t hold back- remember, we are accepting, non-judgmental and responsive. Horror stories welcome (they’ll make the rest of us feel better).
Then post a trackback link here and at your place. You have from now until Labor Day to belabor this issue.

Would you rather be the group therapist? We have openings for the well-trained, experienced leaders, too. Been here, done this? Don’t lurk- we’re crying out for your help here!

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25 responses to “Therapy Group Looking for New Members

  1. When I left home to go to college I didn’t pay any attention to how my parents felt. But I am sure they were glad to get rid of me. (Actually, my Mom was quite proud; I was the first in an extended family to go to college. That was where I learned to blog, in 1948.)

    I might have a candidate for your pity party. I will check with her.

  2. Your generosity knows no bounds, Vicki!

    I would be the blubbering idiot of this group, I’m afraid. The count here is three daughters and one son out-of-home with seven more leavings to face and one forelorn mama realizing that her little heart grows heavier with the finality of each departure. Which is why my baby said to me over breakfast, “Why do you stare and smile at me so much, Mama?” “I’m just trying to slow time down a bit, Miss Maddie.”

    Your sense of humor is a gift, indeed. You have proudly and carefully passed this attribute to TD. May it keep you both in good stead!

    P.S. Is there such a disease as post-vacation disorder? I have this friend who has some weird symptoms…

  3. I would like to join but don’t know how to track back. I have been having a pity party(according to Gene) about older daughter leaving for college next month–it hasn’t been a specific post, just woven into what I’m writing. Does that qualify?

  4. I have had a lot of experience sending three off to college, so I know whereof you speak. I am well past it now, and I am not the type to be the group leader (at least not this type of group). You will get over it, Vicki. Especially since winter is coming and you have your parents to worry about. TD might pale by comparison to their needs.

    Thanks for the advice, which was all good, but will never be applied by you-know-who. He has not been to any doc except an eye doc for about 25 years and will not go unless he is comatose and carried out in an ambulance. He has “white-coat hypertension” and it is too high even before he sees a doc. I like the idea of his teaching a class, but his short-term memory is shot, so that seems improbable. I also like the idea of therapy, but he is of the macho school which says “I don’t have a problem – YOU have a problem”!

  5. Having too young daughters, I will lurk on this session. You were all in my place not too long ago and your posts remind me of how fast it all goes!!!!

    One thing that also strikes me when I read about your older daughters is that your kids have grown up so beautifully that maybe this growing up business will be okay.

    I thank you all for that.

  6. Empty Nest Time

    My recent entry for the “Empty Nest Syndrome”.

  7. OK. My first attempt at trackbacking and pinging and such. Still don’t really get it but it seems to have worked.

    This year is soooooo much better for me than last, but then you can read about it.

    I am trying to find a picture I took of Nyssa in a similar pose as TD. And I thought Nys was the only one who stuck things up her nose in front of a camera. Boy I feel better already!

  8. Having no daughters and having had a mother with the same kind of attachment disorder you have, I think I will have to serve as the therapist here.

  9. I’d volunteer as a therapist but I’m not known for a soft n’ cuddly, touchy-feely approach (as you’ve probably surmised).

    If prickly is what you need, you know where to call.

  10. I don’t fit in the giving or receiving end of therapy here but I do know that you better hope and pray T.D. doesn’t see the pic you posted. LOL

  11. I’m in. And our departure date is in 4 short days.

  12. Mine isn’t leaving yet, but you can bet I’m going to be following along carefully with this woman-child being a senior in high school…

  13. heh can I join in about 18 years???

  14. As the last of six to leave the nest I still find that fourteen years have not eased the parental longing. I was headed home to Wisconsin this month and got swamped, so I can’t go. The sadness expressed at my cancelled visit is a twisting knife in my emotional gut so I will labor to make it for Labor Day with new girlfriend in tow. My father actually asked if I knew the Harry Chapin song Cats in the Cradle. He told me he thinks of me when he hears it and regrets not being around more when we were kids. Why not just hit me with a frying pan?

  15. Karl, I’m laughing at the turn of phrase– that’s all. 🙂

  16. I wish I could join your group but I can’t. My daughter chose not to go far away to school and chose a college very close to home. As northern Virginia has some great schools within driving distance I think she made a great choice. I never fretted openly about her leaving she decided on her own to stay at home. She wants to remain here with the new baby and her little sisters. She fears not really knowing the new baby and not being a real part of it’s new life. In my eyes she is far more mature than I ever thought of being at her age.

  17. Been there. Done that. Can’t afford the T-shirt.

    But I’ll still play.

  18. Ok, my post is up, but because I am STUPID I can’t figure out the trackback thing. *looks ashamed* I swear, I have followed all the directions, but, heh, nothing. When Josh gets home he will help me.

    Angie, you can still join. Your job is to hold our hands and make soothing noises.

  19. First, last, and everything

    Probably not the heartbreak that’s going on over at Vicki’s site but still, a cold slap in the face as I saw my little man take another step out of infancy.

  20. Well, I’m in an in-between position. My daughter left 2 years ago, after high school, to live with her dad. Now she’s in an apartment with two friends, bouncing checks and generally fucking up financially.

    I’ve got a LOT of insights…and I’m currently in “tough love” mode regarding money, so if you think I can help I’m here for ya, babe!

  21. after 20 years, you’d THINK i’d get used to it, but no. “the beginning without end” is just the tip of the iceberg . . .

  22. I’ll lurk if you all don’t mind. I think I could learn a lot from the group you have assembled here. My daughters are 12 and 16. I have separation anxiety just watching them leave the house! (sometimes.. not always).
    (trust me, NOT always) 😉

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