Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You may feel like a priest in a confessional...

My (then) 19 1/2 year old daughter went to the doctor for her annual exam and to get her prescription for birth control refilled. The nurse returned after the exam and said the doctor would be in to talk to her soon. My daughter asked for the prescription. The woman said, "No, dear you're expecting."

My daughter who was young, on the pill, and not dumb, said, "Expecting WHAT? I was expecting my prescription." She had completed her two last cycles and had no idea. Well, you know the rest of that story. My first grandchild is now 23 1/2 and she has been my greatest blessing.

But during that pregnancy, my life was spinning out of control and so was my daughter's. Her fiance` decided to join the Air Force and then got kicked out. Next he decided he didn't want to be a dad, and fathered another child during that period.

Emotions ran high. I'll spare you the screamfests: mine, theirs, ours. I knew we needed help. So while reading about local events in the newspaper one evening (and having been through a brief family counseling stint after divorce) an advertisement caught my eye. It was a free group meeting called Emotions Anonymous, open to the public, located at a nearby hospital.

I talked my daughter into going. I intended to state the facts and nothing more. As we introduced ourselves around the table, my daughter went first. She was very much in control of her emotions.
I on the other hand, (who presented a professional image to my colleagues and school parents every day,) unhinged my mouth and tear ducts. I was totally embarrassed by my emotional meltdown. People were kind. As we continued around the table, I realized that my problems didn't compare to some of the others'... and, I was in a room filled with "whoop-di-doo weirdos."

I was never so glad to leave that room. One woman said, "Hello, my name is ____, and I am a nurse in this hospital. My emotions are so out of control, I steal drugs from the patients and take them."

WHO admits such a thing?! I felt like a priest in a confessional.

I nudged my daughter under the table. One after another twenty strangers confessed their infractions, labeled their emotions, and some of them started arguing amongst themselves. It was a peer led group, and as the saying goes, there's nothing worse than peer pressure.

Our life was off kilter for a while, but soon we were back on track. That sweet, intelligent, fun, funny, first grandbaby of mine just celebrated her wedding anniversary. I look back on those early days and wonder how we survived the turmoil. She is a logical thinker and does not let her emotions rule her decisions. I am so proud of the women my daughter, granddaughter and I have become. I can't believe how fast time flies.


 

12 comments:

Merlesworld said...

Nothing puts back on the right track faster than hearing other peoples problems it frightens you, you think that could be me if I don't get this sorted so you take it in hand and do something about it or thats what I found, it works for me.
Merle............

Sioux said...

Seeing severe whackadoos puts things in perspective, doesn't it.

What a wonderful story. I'm sure this will be a CS AND a NYMB story (same subject, two different stories) soon...

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

No wonder you're the most published author I know . . . each week you show us the reason why, right here.

It took courage to go to that meeting, double the courage to stay, and a great deal of common sense not to go back. :) So on top of being an amazing writer, you're also uber-brave and sensible! With you as a mentor, it is no wonder the young women in your life have done so well.

jabblog said...

That's an inspiring story. Respect to all of you.
My 19-year-old granddaughter has just had her first baby, completely unplanned and while she was taking the pill!! So far, so good - her partner is a nice young man and the three of them are living with my daughter and son-in-law. Fingers crossed - thy are so young.

Bookie said...

No matter what our problems, if they are ours they are the worst--at least at the time. I can just imagine how rough this time was...but the crumbled pages of trouble folded into a wonderful piece of origami, your lives.

Daisy said...

It does change our perspective sometimes when we compare what is going on in our own lives with others whose problems are much bigger than ours. Looking back on times past can put them more into perspective too. Some times things have a way of working out for the best in spite of our fears and worries.

BECKY said...

Beautifully told, as always, Linda! I agree about thinking WE have problems until we hear about others'. As I've "grown up," I've gotten better about that.
AND I MUST comment on Bookie's amazing words: "the crumbled pages of trouble folded into a wonderful piece of origami, your lives."
OMG! Talk about beautiful writing! All I can say is WOW!

K9friend said...

That's the beauty of a group...shut off that tiny little censor/editor and let everything fly. Kind of like first draft writing, huh?

Pat
Critter Alley

Val said...

Thank goodness the whoop-ti-doo weirdos helped you put it in perspective.

I love it when I encounter people weirder than me! It's hard to fly my weirdo flag at half-staff all the time.

Karen Lange said...

Time does fly, doesn't it? And I still feel about 18 on the inside.

Nothing like a good shot of perspective to help us move ahead. We are stronger than we think, even if we don't often feel like it. :)

Debora said...

Well happy anniversary to that wonderful grand-daughter! Blessings come wrapped in some pretty hard-to-open packages some times; but they're worth it. I laughed at the nurse stealing drugs from patients. I went in desperation to a parenting class once...turned out it was for way out of control kids. One huge huge gal (I mean 400 lb or so) said her son stabbed her in the stomach with a butter knife. I'm sorry, but the visual was too much for me. I had to leave, right then and there!

Terri Tiffany said...

You have experienced so much and put it to good use through your writing! And yes, time does go fast doesn't it?