Marcia struggled not to turn toward her mother’s house. I want so much to see her, but I know she’s always drunk by this time of day. Maybe this time will be different. l know that when she’s drunk, all she does is tell me what’s wrong with me. I believe her; I know she’s right. No, I can’t go there! Why can’t I stop wanting to do something that Iknow is bad for me and will cause me pain?

Marcia resisted the temptation and shakily went on to her own apartment, where she called her AlAnon sponsor. She calmed down as her sponsor reminded her of the principles of detachment she had been studying; once more she looked at the list of three therapists’ names several friends had given her months before.

Once again she argued with herself. Should I call? If I call, will they tell me I am crazy? I can manage OK with my support group. It’s not as bad as it used to be; at least I hardly ever go see Mom when she’s drunk — but I still want to, and I can’t seem to stop wanting to.

I’ve read so many books about people like me; the books make sense, and) understand what to do. I just can’t seem to do it myself. What will people think of me if I can’t do it myself?

I know that Dad will say it’s a waste of time and money to talk to some shrink, but my sister said it helped her. I’m so tired of working so hard at controlling myself and still feeling so bad.

Marcia finally called the three therapists for information, and was slightly relieved when she couldn’t reach any of them directly. She got an answering machine, an answering service, and a receptionist. She left messages, got some basic questions answered, and waited ambivalently for her calls to be returned.

Two of the therapists called back that evening, and one the next day. All three were pleasant and matter-of-fact, giving her the information she requested about availability, fees, type of therapy, qualifications, experience, and special interests. One offered to send her written information, and one suggested that a book he had written would give her a good idea of what she could expect with him.

Two of the therapists sounded good to her; one had time available in three days, and the other could see her next week. Marcia decided to take the first available appointment, before she lost her nerve again; she also thought she would hold the second one in reserve, in case she didn’t feel comfortable with her first choice.

When she arrived at the therapist’s office, she was offered a hot drink and asked to fill out some papers. The therapist ushered her into an inner office furnished with comfortable chairs. “Would you rather start by asking me questions, or by telling me about why you decided to come in?”

Marcia started to tell her story. As she talked, she tried to blink back the tears and apologized for getting emotional. The therapist said, “Lots of people cry in here; they’re so relieved to have someone listen. Take your time; the tissues are right here.”

Almost an hour later, Marcia emerged with an enormous sense of relief, several suggestions for “homework,” and an appointment to return in a week.
[tags]CoDependency, Emotional Problems,Parents, Personal Growth, Psychotherapy, Relationships[/tags]