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March 28, 2006



Jo, I posted in " that" thread (the one with Iris) but I wanted to expand on my thought a little here.

We all need helpers. Sometimes those helpers need to be trained therapists. Sometimes a good friend is the ticket. For some of us, a trusted pastor is a, well, a godsend (sorry, couldn't resist. Heh.) The point is that when we are in crisis-(and everybody, and I do mean everybody, hits those kinds of rough patches) we are stupid and foolish to try to suck it up and go it alone. I think it's called "pride."

This is not wimping out. It's the opposite. If you ignore a problem-or if you are too busy trying not to drown to be able to rescue everyone else-what good does it do? I hate it when people just assume one can "straighten up and fly right" and then family life will just fall into place and everything will be all bunny rabbits and songbirds. Altho it is true that occasionally we could all use a kick in the seat, most of the time, we don't-or at the very least need a friendly ear and an outside perspective to go along with what should be a gentle kick. IF the kick is necessary. Which in this case it isn't.

Having a family member with bipolar is a FAMILY crisis. Period. The FAMILY can use a hand dealing with it.

Done preaching now. Who wants to take up the offering? ;-)


Jo, don't let the turkeys get you down...


It takes strength to recognize when you need help and to ask for it. And it's kinda dumb not to use it when it's offered.


With all due respect to the stiff-upper-lip perspective, and also to the therapeutically inclined:

I am personally *highly* ambivalent about therapy, its vocabulary and culture. I took part in family therapy as a child, and I don't think it was a particularly positive or helpful experience for me(sorry, mom). I don't have a problem expressing emotion, but I have an almost allergic reaction to anyone asking, in so many words "..and how does that make you FEEL?" I hate the phenomenon of people therapizing friends and relations (i.e. explaining to or about them what they feel and why they feel that way) in the guise of "help" and "understanding;" it feels invasive and creepy to me.

HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that therapy or its accoutrements are bad. Like any tool, it can be misused; it can be co-opted to escape responsibility or for hostile intent. But I've seen too many friends and relations make real, positive changes in their lives with the notable help of therapy--becoming *more* self-sufficient, not less; smarter about themselves and other people; more productive; kinder; etc.--to dismiss it as a crutch or an excuse.

Jo, I don't want this to become a big online fight that will stress you out. But I know you'll ask us to stop if it does; you have before. But my own opinion is that you are not in any way abdicating your responsibilities as a parent by looking for a good and appropriate therapist for Eliz, especially if you pay attention to her responses after she starts. Therapy-averse as I am, I'd do the same--like a shot--under similar circumstances. I think considering what you're all going through, it is a highly responsive and nurturing act.


What elswhere said! (Well, except the part about being therapy adverse.)

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