Seeing a shrink… It is such a misnomer of a word, shrink that is. For the last few months I have been not only sharing my grief with this blog but, have enlisted the assistance of medical professionals in the field of mental health.
I see a psychiatrist and a therapist. I’ve done the whole 30 day program for grief and loss, an inpatient madness stay, CBT, DBT, art therapy, psychotropic medication therapy and blah, blah, blah. All in the last 6 weeks.
The question that sits behind my teeth is “is all this helping?”.
It’s an expensive way to use cry therapy when all I used to have to do to get a good cry on was find some gut wrenching drama on the tv. Usually involving some poor woman who got dumped, develops cancer, figures out what life really means and ends up dying in the end, all the while the guy that dumped her realizes his mistake in leaving her, only to find out it’s too late because she’s died.
My life has turned into 2 distinct phases. Before Mali died and life after Mali’s death. I cry about both phases. I’m not talking a sniffle here or there. It’s bonafied oceans of tears. I didn’t know that a person could even produce that many tears for such a long time. By a long time, I mean 4 months and a day. That’s how long it’s been since my Mali left us.
Back to the shrink thing and my original question. “Is all this helping?” (the therapy that is)
The answer is I’m not sure. You see, Mali completing suicide was horrific enough but I have a lot more crap in my closet than just the extreme grief of losing Mali. All of that grief intertwined with the shit I am hiding in said closet has really fucked me up.
I see the psychologist (and since I am a snob, it had to be a Phd psychologist) once a week. I have discussed ad nauseum about how sad I am. What seeing my daughter post suicide has done to me. My brokenness.
What I realized is that losing Mali is just the last horrible thing that has happened to me in my lifetime. The myriad of crap I have experienced and ignored in my lifetime has just made dealing with this grief so much harder than I ever anticipated.
Our experiences as humans make us what we are, it builds who we are from the moment we land on this planet.
I think, until I can admit to myself, the experience of Mali’s suicide, coupled with the all the tragedy I have had before Mali was born and some before she died, has left my outside veneer of the tough, fearless, risk taking projection I lead everyone to think I really am, is shit. I am afraid. I am afraid of myself mostly.
So either I grow a pair and really work on what is underneath all these layers of scar tissue, I don’t think I can ever come to terms with the death of my daughter.
It leaves a metallic salty taste in my mouth. Jump into that chasm or fall into it. I’m afraid to do either.