Professional Help

I haven’t been to therapy in about three months. Between my crazy schedule and her decreasing availability it just hasn’t been possible. Mi.Vida and I were supposed to go at least a few more times and I was slotted to go a handful of times myself, but neither of us have made it there since before summer.

I have to admit I’ve missed it, A LOT. Almost a month ago I made an appointment for this weekend. It was supposed to be our last couple’s session but then Mi.Vida couldn’t go. I was actually kind of glad to have the session to myself. I’ve spent the past week making a list of all I hoped to tackle in the fifty minutes I had at my disposal. I was even starting to prioritize my list, it was getting so long.

Then my therapist called and canceled. Her OB put her on early maternity leave and she won’t be able to meet with me this weekend. I will say, I was significantly upset.

I don’t know what it is about professional help but sometimes there really is no substitute. It’s not like I really thought my therapist would be able to resolve anything for me in those short 50 minutes, but the idea of having someone listen to me for no other reason than to help me through my issues, well, it was really nice. Oh, and her professional opinion would have been highly regarded as well. Sometimes I just want someone to validate my feelings, and help guide me toward what I believe is the right direction. Why do we sometimes need someone else’s confirmation to assure ourselves we’re not wandering astray?

I’ve been thinking a lot about returning to acupuncture to help my TTC efforts. I was getting acupuncture the whole time I was TTC #1, in fact I started three months BEFORE I started trying; I was so scared that stopping BCP would mean the end of my period, as it always had before, I was willing to do anything to ensure I’d keep menstruating and I never blinked an eye at the thousands of dollars I was shelling out on weekly appointments and Chinese medicinal herbs.

I really believe in the power of acupuncture to heal and balance our bodies. I also believe in the knowledge of its practitioners. I must admit that when I consider going back to acupuncture, I’m more drawn to the idea of having someone with whom to confer, to having an ally with whom I can work, someone who is similarly invested in my attempts at getting pregnant and who can help me interpret the sometimes undecipherable clues my body leaves for me. I want someone to TALK to about this journey and its many failed attempts, someone I can speak with honestly, someone who can give me some perspective, along with a good does of wisdom and understanding.

Again, I’m longing for some professional help. I just want some support, and I I’ve noticed that the kind you pay for can be especially helpful because you don’t owe them anything for their efforts (except, of course, the service charge you already paid them). You don’t have to worry about broaching a troublesome subject too much, or sounding like a broken record. You can mention how hard it is watching all your friends get pregnant without being judged as impatient or jealous or selfish or cruel. Sometimes a little professional help goes a long way.

Today Isa had yet another melt down. This one was so severe the Mi.Vida worried she was having a seizure. The inconsolable crying and thrashing remained so intense for so long that I called the advice nurse line, I was that unsure of how to proceed. Finally we got her to calm down with promises of Elmo on the TV, and after eating almost an entire box of Mac n’ Cheese and a basket of strawberries, she was much better.

I’m really worried about my daughter. This transition to preschool has been brutally difficult and it only seems to be getting worse. On the one hand these evening tantrums are understandable; I know she’s been holding a lot in all day, while exerting a ton of energy on socializing and learning. Mix in a lack of sleep (during nap time) and a probable failure to eat much and you’ve got a recipe for just the kind of meltdowns we’re witnessing at home. Still, seeing her that way, night after night, and remaining completely unable to comfort her, it’s really hard. I realized as I called the advice nurse that I felt in way over my head, and would be so grateful to speak to a professional about all this, for someone to assure me that what my daughter is experiencing is normal, but that if it reaches a certain degree, then we should ask for help.

Oh, how I wish I could fall back on some professional help right now, but unfortunately that variety of assistance requires money, and usually a lot of it. I say unfortunately because presently, money is something we simply don’t have, so professional help is just not an option, and it won’t be for a while. I wish it were, because I could certainly use it. I guess in the meantime I’ll just keep writing here, hoping you guys can help. 😉

When do you like to call in a professional? Do you feel that kind of help can be found anywhere else?

3 responses

  1. I call a professional when something in broken and in my attempt to fix it, it’s gotten even worse. 😉 I hate going to the doctor, but am probably going to have to go because the foot that hurt before hurts more now that I’ve been running on it. We called a plumber because after snaking the drain, we pushed the bottle cap from the shampoo completely into place, blocking all water from draining. But I confess … I tend to let a lot of things go, hoping that they’ll work themselves out.

    Tantrums is one of them. My son was having some pretty severe tantrums at one point, and I finally figured out that it was because he was hungrier than usual or more tired than usual and I had to readjust what I was sending for him to eat and when he’d sleep. That may actually be partly true for Isa, too, since she is now stimulated all day long in a much more active environment … though I’m obviously not qualified to make that judgement.

    I’m torn … on the one hand I think that we are a nation that seeks “professional” help a lot more than we used to. People used to be jacks of all trades. Or maybe they just coped better, I don’t know. On the other hand, society has gotten a lot more complicated, so the trend towards specialization of professionals makes sense.

    I know this: I hope that you are able to find a partner–the unbiased sort–to walk with you on your journey. Because sometimes that really does make all the difference.

  2. What we learned with out of control tantrums with Lucky?

    Blood sugar. Not even kidding – it’s not the socializing, or the stress, or even the low on sleep, though all of that contributes. For us, it was simple blood sugar. Try a snack when you go for pickup: something with quick digesting sugars; graham crackers, animal crackers, Annie’s all natural fruit snacks.

    To this day – 4 years of daycare and counting – he needs it; if he doesn’t have his snack, it’s either a mad dash to the kitchen when we get home or a night of absolute meltdowns over nothing.

    I have come to rely on my therapist a whole lot more than I expected to, I will admit. Not being able to see her for the next three months gives me the feeling of flying without a net. So I totally understand.


  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about professional help for parenting things. I did call the pediatrician a few months back, and they told me J’s behavior was normal. But I still need someone to help me come up with strategies for handling it. Honestly, I’ve been meaning to call and ask for a referral all week, and I just haven’t had the time.

    Scarily, it seems to me that the type of tantrums you’ve been dealing with probably *are* normal, or at least within the range of normal behavior. But just like with me, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t use some help managing it. We just don’t grow up surrounded by little kids the way people used to. Back when families were larger, a girl could be 15 and get a new baby sibling, so when she had her own kids, she probably already had lots of experience. It’s a shame that we can’t rely on organic support networks as much anymore, but sometimes we just can’t.

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