I have been the proxy for my mother’s best friends psychotherapy with my first psychiatrist, a CHILD PSYCHIATRIST who saw adults for strictly medication management.
She saw him for 3 decades before leaving New Jersey for a retirement community in the Boston area, where her children are.
I saw the psychiatrist for about 6 months, during which time I made a suicide attempt. Then, I returned to the Boston area to finish my college degree.
Not long afterward i landed in A STATE HOSPITAL here in Pennsylvania where my parents had moved to from North Jersey at about the same time. Since that tine (35 years ago) I have been steadily failing to land on my feet along a radical trajectory across the continent every which way ending up in Florida for 16 years and then back here in PA.
All along “Ursula” has been quietly in the wings.
“I dont want talk therapy,” she would say, that was the rage back then, to be for or against talk therapy over meds.
She was ecstatic over the Prozac. It was all she could talk about. That was her talk therapy! The serendipity of the meds working–as opposed to talk therapy–WAS half of their working. Meanwhile I was the ox tied to the plough of talk therapy that wasnt permitted to work as that was the whole serendipity of it. Which was the exact opposite of serendipity for me. The Prozac was working! It was a victory of science over “pretentious” arts, where Ursula’s husband was my father’s associate at a technical firm. And by the bye, my parents were eager to cover over a nasty sexual abuse incident so it was QUITE necessary for the reverse of serendipity of TALK therapy to work in my case.
I used to deeply resent all this and feel negatively about Ursula. She is 90 today and she has been out of the day to day for a while. Today I look at it more positively and see how we were all in a holding pattern. Theres really not a whole lot you can do to “fix” sexual abuse. Finally I reached place in time where I am able to let it go, with the the help of my current therapist and Dan Allender’s terrific book, “The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse.”
So we had a symbiotic relationship all these years. Were all getting older and I forgive where I couldnt before. It’s all coming out in the wash now.