Just got back from initial counseling

It was great. Dd just started to open up and started talking about a lot of things that bothered her. There was no coherent form. She just went from one topic to another. She did bring up her anger toward her father and that what he did was child abuse. When asked why she said that, she mentioned how nice he was to her in public, but not in private. This really bothers her.

After we had left, dd said “I think I’m going to change.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’ve kept this inside of me for so long, and now I’m letting it out. I’m telling someone who wasn’t there. You were there, but I need to tell someone who wasn’t there.”

She’s so wise.

This is a special place, where their main focus is on death and grief, but she qualifies for that having lost her dear aunt three years ago, and being so close to her cousin, plus other life changing happenings.

Today was an initial meeting to enroll her in their special program which will run in the fall. There, she will have a really good support group, where she will meet others her age who have suffered similar loss. The counselor said most lost their parents, but some have lost other family members, some have lost pets and she will make sure dd is in the same group as someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, as that is how her aunt died.

No doubt in my mind, she will extend herself to them and be very nurturing. That’s her way.

It’s not a weakness. It’s a strength, but the counselors are aware enough to make sure she allows herself to be nurtured, as well.

I’ll have to depend on her father to bring her to some sessions, although I will attend the adult session that runs concurrently in another room. He can just drop her off. I don’t expect him to not object or complain. He will see it as an inconvenience to him and an intrusion to his assertion that “I want to spend time with her”, with very little if any regard as to what’s in her best interest, but I’ll make it work.

Plus, as long as it doesn’t reflect on him – God forbid anyone think he’s not a good parent – then it should be okay. All he needs to think is this is about her aunt. There’s no way he’d ever take her to anyplace so she could express her anger about him!

Her one on one session will be without his knowing. She needs to have this. He’s so contemptuous about therapy and people who use it, that I don’t need him to give her a hard time about it.

The counselor was able to give dd the assurance of confidentiality.

In a way, this is war. I need to tip the balance of validation/invalidation into predominate validation. My word carries more weight than his, but it’s not enough. It’s getting rougher as she gets older. It’s time to call out the “big guns”. Having an objective authority validate her right to her feelings and hearing her is the kind of support she needs now.

And she doesn’t need to be berated for it.

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