The therapists in my life, both mine and my kids, I consider to be an extension of our family. I’ve been with my therapist for 6 years, and all of our other therapists for my kids (PT, OT, speech, etc) have been in our lives for about 4 years now, since my oldest son started receiving services.
We are that family that lives in therapy. Between my personal 3 hours a week and the boys schedule…ugh. We’re truly a mess. They each have around 2 hours of therapy a day, so when I say we pretty much live at the clinic, I mean it.
Combined, my 2 kids rack up more weekly therapy hours than any other family that goes there. It was an ongoing joke that when they were rebuilding the clinic to add more rooms, they were going to build me a room so my commute was faster. 😂
Really, I love our therapists and I couldn’t imagine our lives without them. And they love my kids…which is something you can’t fake. (They are pretty special kids though.)
There is a lot of trust that has to go in any therapeutic relationship. Whether it’s mental health related as in my case with my therapist, or trusting my children to be cared for in the best way possible with their therapists, there is a relationship that develops.
My kids therapists are some of my closest “friends”, and they’ve told me that they consider me a friend, not “just a parent”. (I can’t even tell you just how much that meant to me.)
They are more than people who “work” with us. They are people.
So when one of our therapists canceled last minute a few weeks ago, then sent a follow up text the next day telling me what happened…
I feel like I let her down
She lost her husband unexpectedly on that day. It has bothered me a lot. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do, what I could do, but I thought about her. I thought about her a lot. About the pain she must be going through, about how she’s doing, all of it. I’m (unfortunately) an empath, so I understand other peoples pain a little too well.
I saw her today for the first time in a few weeks. I’ve been (over)thinking what I would do or say when we finally did see her again. She looked upset when I first saw her, so I didn’t want to say anything just then. I didn’t want to upset her or “remind” her (because it would be so easy to forget), so I was going to wait until the end. But then the end of the session came and I froze.
I felt so bad about it and sad for her, that I felt like anything I said or did would…I don’t know.
Honestly, I felt like people had probably been bombarding her with questions and hugs and sympathy all day long (her first day back), and I felt like she could use a break from it. Like, a drop of normalcy in such a fucked up world.
I’m upset with myself for saying nothing, when really it’s all I’ve been thinking about. But it just felt more right to allow her a moment of distraction. I feel bad about it and I really hope she doesn’t think I don’t care, or didn’t remember.
I don’t think there is a right answer when it comes to something like this, but I did the best I could with the information I was receiving in the moment.
At the end of the day, I didn’t say anything because that’s what the moment seemed to call for. I hope I didn’t make her feel worse, but I think she knows how much I do care.
At least… I hope so.