I go to therapy as an outlet. I don’t have any deep, dark, scary secrets that I need to share (I keep those in a vault surrounded by a moat filled with crocodiles ) or any issues that prevent me from leading a normal-esque life but I do fare better when I “talk it out”. The whole experience tends to keep who I strive to be in the forefront of my brain instead of on the cozy back burner or better yet, completely under the rug.
So without much turmoil to report in my life, I was resigned to a fairly bland hour.
“I’m glad to hear that, Kimberly. Tell me, what is going well right now?”
As I clicked off the list from marriage to personal struggles, somehow that crafty, little minx trapped me.
Doc: “Do you find that the day to day schedule of being a mom, like packing backpacks and driving to soccer practice, is sometimes a weary exercise?”
Me: “Not usually…because they grow up so fast that you want to do those things for them, you know? I want to pack the lunch and help with the homework. I want them to know I am there for them. I want them to grow up and remember the little things.”
Before I proceed, I need to tell you a few things things. First, I have yet to shed a tear in her office and second, she does not have children. The first part I am very proud of and the second makes me think there is no way in hell this therapist will ever understand me wholly. And finally, I’m not sure about you but, if you get me talking about my kids growing up, I’m going to melt. My face gets red, my eyes water and things begin to twitch involuntarily. Of course, as “the professional”, she noticed this reaction (or the trap she set).
Doc: “Something about talking about your daughters is making you sad right now, Kimberly. Can you tell me why?”
At this point, I could almost hear her saying the line from Rocky IV in her head. “I must break you.”
And, of course, if you mention the fact that I look like I am about to cry when I actually AM about to cry….bingo! I will cry.
So I cried.
And I had to take a damn tissue from the damn box and I know this somehow satisfied her.
I went on like a blubbering idiot trying to explain to this woman how my reaction was not a “sad” one but one that most mothers would have when reflecting upon their children growing up so. bloody. fast.
Shouldn’t she already know that even if she isn’t a mom? I’m sure it has been referenced in some movie or book along the way from Eve to now?
I don’t know why it pissed me off that I cried in front of her. I’m also not certain as to why she doesn’t understand me better if she is so “certified” and all. Maybe another therapist could tell me that. At any rate, I left in a huff with my big sunglasses on over my puffy eyes questioning if this entire exercise was worth the money and the grief.
That’s when I saw it. God’s reward for my breakthrough (or whatever). A designer sidewalk sale was going on in the lot right next door. And not just any sidewalk sale – a 70% off sidewalk sale! With cute dresses. And shoes.
I couldn’t help but take it as a sign.
And buy a dress.
And make a mental note to cancel my next appointment.
THAT was years and years ago…
Nowadays, I wouldn’t buy the dress because I can’t afford it. Nowadays, I cry at everything. These days, after all of those lunches I packed, leading both girl’s GS Troops, running around to endless soccer, softball, girl scout, chorus and a menagerie of other extras, along with tutoring and helping with their homework (all things I LOVED doing), at least one of my girls doesn’t even remember life ever being that way. (I have pictures.) And that means that I have failed.
Today, I’m a divorced mom of two who only hears from one. I went from a house full of kids, animals and activities to a quiet townhouse with my roommate Lucy (the dog). These days, all I can do is wonder where I went wrong. And can I tell you something? Sometimes, too many times, the resulting loneliness steals the breath from my lungs and manifests itself as a two ton weight on my chest.
Which is definitely NOT anything a sidewalk sale could begin to remedy.