Mental Health Care – Who Needs It? – Part 2 of 3
The Fourth House
By – Sheri de Grom

Tom had thrown me a curve ball by telling me I needed therapy before he came home from the hospital. You may read that blog here.

What the hell, I thought, I’m not the broken one. More importantly, my schedule didn’t allow for one more commitment. And then there was my work.

How could Tom have forgotten that I could lose my top-level security clearance if the wrong information was relayed to authorities and they misinterpreted what they read or heard? I had to keep my job. We needed my salary to live on, plus our heath insurance was through the federal government.

Nor was I open to the idea of talking to a stranger about personal issues. I’d heard friends talk about going to therapy but had never considered it to be something for me. Was Tom suggesting I had a major ‘character flaw?’

Sure I had my quirks. Like my reluctance to strap a seat belt across my body. And there was my inability to enter small narrow places (many such shops in Carmel, California), where I couldn’t see a second way out. But did Tom really see these as problems? I didn’t.

I’d given Tom the right to believe I should be able to swim but for me, water was good for two things: drinking and showering.

The stigma of seeking mental health treatment on a military installation covered a broad path. One thing was constant; you were a marked person and something was wrong with you. How could you be trusted under stressful conditions? Would you still respond in crisis as quickly? Would you know when to shoot and when not to shoot?

Item twenty-one on the security clearance questionnaire caused me many nights of lost sleep. I knew I’d have to update my records but what would I say? Did I actually have to tell the truth?

In the 80’s, security clearances were not rubber stamped as they are today. It was a rigorous process. Today’s government has contractors obtaining security clearances processed by an outside source. Today’s evening news reports the ramifications. We’ve all been exposed to the daily reporting surrounding Edward Snowden and Army PFC Bradley Manning.

The beginning questions for top-level security clearance within question twenty-one were unchanged since the last time I’d updated my record. These were: [1] Do you have grief, marital or family concerns, [2] Adjustments from service in a combat zone, and [3] Have been a victim of a sexual assault.

I could ‘almost’ say no to all three questions. However, if I had to answer yes when updating my security clearance record—for any other counseling or psychological health concern taking place in the past seven years—along with additional information related to care or treatment received, I had to give a detailed descriptive.

The rules have changed a great deal since I encountered the hard and fast rules of the 1980’s. Within today’s security clearance world, it’s considered a weakness if an individual doesn’t seek help and resolve whatever their situation might be. This is the theory handed from the top down through the command. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth and the ultimate price paid is an increase in the number of suicides in the active duty ranks.

The standard joke in 1980 went something like this: “How do you make a soldier run away screaming?”

The answer: “Suggest therapy.”

I wasn’t a soldier but I was a Department of Defense civilian and we were held to the same standards as service members we equaled in rank.

I’d never thought therapy might actually improve the quality of my life or that it was a problem-solving exercise.

Because I’ve always carried private health-care insurance, I was not dependent upon the counseling services provided by the military. Neither would I seek help through Tricare—another benefit I was entitled to utilize. I knew I would be looking for someone outside of the military environment if I sought therapy per Tom’s request.

I knew of other agents that were also paying for therapists out-of-pocket to avoid reports being passed around on the military base and farther. Counseling or therapy appointments were privileged information, but that didn’t keep the information safe from prying eyes.

My journey into therapy would be on a cash and carry basis. I demanded a signed affidavit that nothing would be recorded and no notes taken. I made it clear that I wouldn’t hesitate to sue for breach of contract if information of any type left my sessions.

Please join me next week as I take you along my initial journey into therapy and why I now believe that at sometime in everyone’s life, they too need to see a therapist.


Sheri's Garden

Sheri’s Garden

ECT – Traumatic Brain Injury

The Aftermath of 55 Years of Memory Loss

The Wrongs of Psychiatric Care – Part 1 of 2

The Wrongs of Psychiatric Care – Part 2 of 2

When It Is Not Mental Illness – Part 1 of 2

Our Lives Disappeared With Bipolar Disorder

Mental Health Care – Who Needs It? – Part 1 of 3

Mental Health Care – Who Needs It? – Part 2 of 3

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
Aside | This entry was posted in Medicare, Mental Health, Retired Military, TRICARE, Veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to MENTAL HEALTH CARE – WHO NEEDS IT? – PART 2 of 3

  1. sue marquis bishop says:

    I want to live to see the day when the stigma of mental health care fades away. Thankfully more coverage will be available for folks.

  2. findingmyinnercourage says:

    You by no means are revealing too much. Please continue to share your adventures with Tom as I find them fascinating. I applaud you for your vulnerability! Your Blog shares with all of us messages of hope and happiness in your adventures with Tom. After reading your series I have only one thing to say your series needs to be published! Your work is incredibly fascinating especially on a personal level!

    On a personal note my pain management doctor wants me to see a pain management psychologist. Please be warned you can scorn me! I made an appointment and then cancelled it because there are things I don’t want to talk about ie a father who walked away when I was young and is now dead, an ex-husband who was/is an alcoholic and raising a stepdaughter who was brutal. Me and I know I am wrong think I can handle this on my own and would go to a pain psychologist if it was just about pain not all the other stuff! You can scorn me because I know I am being utterly “stupid.”

    This series has made me self evaluate my decision not to go to a therapist – I’m making the call! I need to address the issues I have described above without reluctance before I can ever get to the pain issue! Bottom line is I can’t do this on my own!

    • Dawn – Remember if the mental health person is not the right fit for you, you have the right to walk away. I am in complete agrement with your pain management doctor in that for your total body to live with the least amount of pain, the past must be dealt with. It was when I dealt with my own issues that I could see a more positive world for the future.

  3. likeitiz says:

    One day, when you can look back to this period, you should promise to publish all this. I’d like to say this would make great fiction but it’s not fiction. It’s your life and when you weave in and out of all the landmines you need to navigate through, we are all a few steps behind you, anxious for the next turn of events, fearful you might step on a mine……

    I have not been up to speed lately because of work and travel (for work!) but I got caught up looking through the links. Phew!

    • Thank you for your lavish compliments. There have been times I’ve felt I must be someone else for this couldn’t possibly happen in my world. I’ve stepped on my share of mines and often I haven’t responded in a positive manner but we are still moving forward with each new day we greet together.
      I understand about the work and travel. That was my gig for longer than I care to remember.
      Thank you for reading with me. Sheri

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Absolutely fantastic post. Yes, you ARE marked person, you ARE. And you don’t even have to be soldier for people/workplaces to think how will you handle a crisis etc. I was recently “retrenched” (this is a video post on it – and I saw, since I went cold turkey off 700mg/day Effexor – I saw their creeping change in regard to me, not realising that by NOW November 2013, I’d be totally well/”normal”. This was Feb’13, & I was fine within a month, but they had very short-sighted vision.

    You are marked, and it is still that way. I once sought Life Insurance and answered the question honestly (can’t remember the question), that led me to admit I was bulimic in teens (though this was 30 years later) and had thought of suicide way back then, yes. Life Insurance was declined. Sorry, my son – I tried. That leaves me out of that one.

    Just a terrific post, Sheri.

    • I’ve visted your blog and watched the video. Great work! People all around us can be so cruel. It’s a tough world for anyone that doesn’t fit into the ‘standard mold.’ Contract employees have so few rights and that makes me so angry. I see a continuing trend here in the U.S. of hiring more temporary or contracted employees to avoid the cost of hiring permanent full-time staff.
      If everyone told the truth when applying for life insurance, I’m convinced no one would have any. Of course there comes a point in your life where it’s too late because medical records are so easy to gain information from.

  5. cindy knoke says:

    oops forgot to check email box……..

  6. Julaina says:

    Finding the right therapist is the key, I would think. I totally agree with you that “water was good for two things: drinking and showering”.

    • Julaina – The right therapist is critical to the process if one hopes to move forward with whatever is happening/or already happened in their life. For me, at the time Tom asked me to see a therapist, I had no idea how insightful he was about his disease so early in the diagnosis. Although I read everything I could get my hands on (books, medical research, abstracts) I still needed someone that understood Tom’s disease and I couldn’t take that conversation to my work or to my friends. Thank you for stopping by to read with me.

  7. Ajaytao2010 says:

    Oh dear Sheri what a post and what a spirit you have dear
    i simply love that dear

    • Ajay – Thank you so much for stopping by and reading with me. I’m truly honored. I hope you are doing well. Sheri

      • Ajaytao2010 says:

        yes dear I was not well and I did not go out of my home for 10 months dear

        I have just started to go to my office since 8 days and I am fine

        thank you very much dear

        I think you are too brave to face all that is going on with your husband since such a long time

        I feel honored to be friends with such a honest and truly loving human like you

        thank you so much dear

        • And you know I feel the same way about you. I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers from around the world simply because you found me and started following me way back when. Every blogger I know needs you in their corner. I am so happy to know you are able to return to the office. After being away for such a long time I do hope you don’t rush the process. You are far too dear of a man to allow a set-back crop up. Sheri

          • Ajaytao2010 says:

            Oh dear Sgeri sich beautiful reply i feel simply and honored by it dear wonderful feelings dear thank you so much

            I will try not to rush to much dear

            thanks a lot dear 🙂

  8. jbw0123 says:

    Brave to seek therapy and bracero write about it. Thank you Sheri.

    • Julie – I feel I must be honest if I expect my message to others with a bipolar disordered mate to know it is possible to continue a loving relationship. Just because bipolar disorder appears as a third party in their marriage doesn’t mean a divorce is the answer. The statistics are high. Ninety percent of all marriages wherein one individual is bipolar ends in divorce. I decided that wasn’t going to happen to us and I also finally realized I had to have help of my own (therapy) to understand what was going on and find real life answers to my questions.

  9. Uzoma says:

    Hello Sheri,

    I hate that I’ve not been able to follow this health sequel properly. But I’d like to do so from now on and I’ll dive into the links provided to keep myself abreast of what has been going on. Before I go on, I strongly want to commend you for your openness to share your health-related issues here — it’s a guide/advice for someone else. Going for therapy is a giant step and a positive one, I believe, though I admit that it takes a lot of courage and boldness to do so. Also, there is this issue of job security when it has to do with therapy. My friend in Salt Lake, who has PTSD, tells me about the after effect of some of her sessions. I can’t help but feel for her.

    I wish you the best and look forward to the next installment.

  10. gpcox says:

    Sheri, I sincerely hope all goes well with your therapy. You have a bunch of us out here pulling for you. Give my best to Tom, hope he’s well today.

    • Hello GP – The therapy I’m writing about in this 3 part series came from my first entry into the possibility of entering therapy when Tom asked me to go to therapy way back in 1987. I’ll still be talking about that therapy out-come in Part 3. I did discover that in order for me to truly understand how to be the best I could be for Tom and still take care of myself, therapy would be my lifetime friend. I’ve had the good, the bad and the ugly.
      You’ll love the news that Tom was able to come to the gardens with me yesterday and I was sure he would over-do everything but other than being sore last night, he worked a good four hours non-stop digging up iris that have to be broken apart, planting a rescue rose from the back of the house to the front, and several other odds and ends. It was a wonderful day. It was like days gone by, “Sheri, could you get me a bottle of water. Sheri, where is the good spade. Sheri, do you know where my leather gloves are?” and on and on but I loved every minute of it. Yesterday was the first day he’d been in the gardens in at least 3 years. I’ve always been responsible for them.:)

  11. Sheri, it’s terribly difficult to be vulnerable &, in a sense, exposed to yourself ! A true season of pain, a soul-scouring! I’m sorry you 2 have been enduring these consequences because of work, and simply Life — it is stifling to the mind, isn’t it? I’m also so grateful & proud that you both have kept your hearts open wide to the beautiful & the blessings of serving others –like me! You’re both wonderful souls! I’m always praying for your welfare & peace dear. I love your hibiscus ~gorgeous red!

    • Debbie – I wanted to get the hibiscus in just for you. I was afraid it would lose the last of its blooms before we had a photograph. This red one has really out done itself this year. The overall plant reached a litle over 6 feet.
      As I mentioned in my reply to David Walker, I often wonder if I reveal to much of myself but then I remember the purpose of this blog is to allow others to see how a marriage can work and the beautiful times can far out-weigh the bad if we remember to hang on to the truly great times (and indeed we’ve had some marvelous ones). It truly breaks my heart wken others walk away from a loved one and leave them totally vulnerable to the system and family members that abuse. (Of course that doesn’t always happen but it’s more often than our mental health care resources can manage).
      You would have loved yesterday. Tom was able to do some of the things in the yard that I’m no longer able to do and a dear friend of mine planted around 100 iris just a few days before that I’d dug up. I hope to get them far enough apart to actually not have to be seperated for at least 3 more years.

      • Sheri, it’s so wonderful that Tom had a period of time to enjoy doing, feeling independent and happy! Your garden is a treasure I’m certain &, I can understand your deep affection for this activity ! I love mine, too. I bet your 6ft hibiscus is like an islanders dream!
        I pray for you both everyday and trust the Lord, in his wisdom keeps encircling & enriching your days — miniscule as it it may seem. I was just given a set of healing oils and, the orange/cinnamon is delicious but, because I can’t inhale, I can’t really smell that well ~I thought to myself: “Lord, forgive me for the countless blessings I DO take for granted.” May we both be shielded from the sin of ingratitude.
        I love you dear friend ~ Debbie

        • Debbie – The healing oils sound wonderful and what a lovely gift. Like you, I try not to take any of life’s offerings for granted, but we are human aren’t we? Tom was able to work in the garden two days in a row and what fun we had. We divided plants and made starts for friends plus started two new gardens at the front of the house. I tell myself if I garden in the front, I won’t spread everything out so far and get so involved but the strategy never really works. Take care my friend, sending love and prayers. Sheri

  12. Patty B says:

    Great article….Tom was diagnosed with depression but he dismissed it, because of the stigma that goes with it. He would always say I get up and go to work and am active, but I saw him in his down times. But he was a soldier – once a soldier always a soldier and always thought you just had to pull up the boot straps and move on. I pray that your articles raises an awareness and if anyone out there needs to seek help they will.

    • Patty – You nailed it. Thousands + service members still understand to stay in the military and to meet the tough requirements for promotions, they cannot risk going to therapy. The same as your precious love, so many of us were brought up with the old saying, “Be a man, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Career soldiers will not risk their next promotion by going to therapy that can be tracked by their superiors and I was in the same position with my work. The additional stress it adds to your daily life brings with it many other diseases. Of course you are familiar with those. Patty, I’m blessed to have you follow my blog as you are active with military families (I work more with veterans now) but pitch in whenever the opportunity presents itself to work with families. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

      • Patty B says:

        This is a subject that needs to be talked about. As I am getting back into my routine, slowly, but I am getting there I would like to share some of your articles with my folks. Thank you again for your honesty and for educating us on this issues. It is a blessing to know you.

        • Thank you, Patty. You know I feel the same about you. The only request I have is that you credit the source.

          • Patty B says:

            I will – I usually click the share button so everything is included when I share information. Thank you!

            • Patty – You are indeed a dear. If I’m correct, you reach a large active duty population. I would love for my mental health blogs to go on to them if at all possible. I connect with many veteran’s groups but am always looking for more. One item you might want to share is that if Tom had looked for treatment even in the last year of his steller career and his retirement papers had already gone in for processing, we would have a 100% disability military retirement for him and not 54%. None of his disability is based on his being bipolar. We missed the VA window by 21 days for adding to his claim. Tom had attempted suicide two years before he met me (in his own office on base) and had that been successful (and thank you Lord for keeping Tom safe during that terrible time). If he had reported his anguish and severe depression at that time, his career would still have been intact and he would have received the 100% compensation. Neither did he report any mental health problems when he processed out. It’s that old stigma thing – very much at play on every military base in the ‘free world’

  13. No one bares her soul quite like you do, Sheri.

    • David – I often wonder if I offer up too much. I weigh the odds and remember that my goal is to let others know that they too can stand by their mate and still have a loving relationship. If I could have my way, parents would know they don’t have to send their children into the streets with this toughest of all mental diseases to treat and law enforcement understands these individuals don’t belong in todays brutal system of let’s lock everyone up. However, my most important goal of all is by learning everything possible and then learning more – a marriage of unconditional love that ends with a kiss each night may be had with the right mix of love and prayer. Equally important, most mornings may start with a snuggle, a smile with a gentle kiss and an equally important, “I love you more than yesterday and not as much as tomorrow.” From there, I’m able to get up and face each new day and thank God he put me in Tom’s life. Thank you for your support David. I always appreciate your visits and insight.

  14. Sheri, I’m so relieved to get to the ending and find out you DID decide to go for therapy — that’ll make it less fearsome waiting for the next episode!

    • Laurie – How wonderful to see you here. When I started this series, I actually thought I could write two blogs a week just as I had been doing all along. I’m finding that writing so close to my heart and bones, one a week is what I can manage at this moment in time. I read my journals from the time period and attempt to be as accurate as possible. I believe the cornerstone of Tom’s and my surviving having the third party of bipolar disorder in our marriage is the fact that we both embrace individual therapy as a necessary part of daily living. I was giving all of myself away and didn’t know. I’d always given all of me away and didn’t know better. I do now! P.S. I hit a dry spell reading and had nothing to write a review on but have stumbled on a few books I plan to write reviews on before the close of 2013.

  15. ksbeth says:

    very tough. not only were you going all you were going through, but you had to consider the extreme secrecy and trust required with your agreeing to enter therapy. that’s a ton of pressure on top of a ton of pressure.

    • Hi Beth – I always love your comments. It must be the elementary school teacher part of you – gentle and kind and so aware. You are so right, my world was in shambles in those early days and I had no idea who I could trust. Monterey, California is a wonderful place to live but all of the therapist, and everyone in the mental health community knew each other and socialized alot. I feared becoming the next cocktail hour topic of conversation. I had so many factors to consider. I know others face daily delimias the same as I do and did. I was going to do whatever I had to do to not only care for the man I’d married but keep my career on track. Terrified, yes. I had no idea how I was going to carry off that mission. Back in the day – failure was never a consideration.

  16. Sheri, I believe that everyone at some point in their life needs help … someone you cant trust … someone to lean on. For Big Brother to make those in the military complex (soldiers or not) think that by virtue of their jobs, they don’t need help is ludicrous. I am so happy you are talking about this and opening up the dialogue for those who might still be reluctant. Thanks. I look forward to the next installment 🙂

    • Hi Florence – I have therapist friends that tell me almost 50% of their client base is made up of military officers and some non-commissioned officers. Needless to say, thay all pay cash for their sessions. Additionally, the military members want to be at least 50 miles away from the base. Nothing has changed in the military regarding mental health care since 1980.

  17. cindy knoke says:

    WOW, you were quite creative in devising reasons not to go! I’m impressed. Can’t wait to read the next installment. Love it when someone wonders, “why was it important for you to go to therapy?”
    Possibly because your husband in crisis asked you too? This stubborn stigma about admitting the need for help is such a bugaboo and it is why the people I have the greatest respect for are all my clients who voluntarily chose to go to therapy, even though they didn’t have to. How brave is this?
    And how introspective to recognize they had things to work on? Quite frankly, who doesn’t? Very interesting and provocative series Sheri. Gosh I hope you found a good therapist. I always told people, it’s like buying a pair of shoes, you have to make sure its a good fit for you, and sometimes try a few on, before you buy. A good therapist is like a good pair of shoes. A bad one gives you blisters.

    • Cindy – You are so right about the therapy sessions have to ‘fit’ for both the client and therapist. I’ve also learned I can’t throw a dart at the yellow pages and allow fate to determine my course. Neither, if a therapist is a good fit for a friend, it doesn’t matter if they aren’t right for you. I originally thought this would be a two-part blog but as I typed last night, I knew that simply wasn’t going to happen. Thank you for following along.

    • Cindy – Your comment kept me awake part of the night thinking back all those years ago when I was first beginning this journey. I had to get out of bed and dig out the journal that addressed this particular fear and page after page speaks to the ‘what ifs.’ I was so afraid of loseing my top-level security clearance I’d become frozen in place. I knew of other agents that had lost theirs and before I’d met Tom I was 150%+ career woman. I also wrote emotional pages around the issue that I had become the wage earner in our family that now consisted of 4 where before it was me + a cat and a dog. How would I care for Tom and his two daughters if I lost my career. Tom had always given 100% support to my career and now the tables had turned. Thanks for your comment – you’ve opened my eyes to something I need to address as I continue my Fourth House series.

      • cindy knoke says:

        This series should be published. You are doing wonderful work here both in terms of self evaluation and encouraging all of us to consider our issues and our reluctance to address them. You know I was a civilian therapist working for the military and DOD for almost 20 years, before moving into the civilian realm. I know your fears were VERY real back in the day.
        Besides these fears it takes a huge leap of faith to chose a stranger and go place your emotional life in their hands. It amazes me that people have the courage to do this and I want them protected by knowing not all therapists are wonderful. It is so hard to therapist shop when you are in an emotionally vulnerable space, but this is really what one must do. If if you have a limited pool, as with and EAP, you must not confide in a therapist that you do not feel good about. It is that simple.
        And once you select a therapist, please remember they are only human, with all the flaws of every human, take only the things they say that strike you as true to heart. It should be a mutual exploration, where the therapist may point in a direction and the client decides if this direction is valid or not. The client must always be in charge. At least in therapy according to me, and the people I have trained!
        I admire you my friend and I am pleased to learn your husband is a talented artist. Those who bear the burden of serious emotional pain often have the gifts of the artist too. It is a cruel bargain. He sounds worth making the leap of faith for!
        Sweet Dreams! If my comments keep you awake, block them or tell me where I am
        misguided. I actually like the feedback.
        Hugz to you and I’m signing up to get your next post by email.
        With admiration,

        • Cindy – How very kind of you to respond and even after all these years, it’s still nice to be validated where my fears were concerned. I tried for years to have a non-fiction manuscript published but was shot down each time because my post-doctoral was not in psychology. I’m not interested in self-publishing so decided I’d blog about our experience and maybe word would get out somehow and people would find me. I’m learning I can’t emerse myself into the depth of a mental health blog each and every week but there will be many more. I’ve written in journals every day and I refer to them often to check my accuracy.
          I knew you were a retired therapist but I wasn’t aware that you had worked for DoD. Do you mind telling me where?
          Your comment didn’t keep me awake in a bad way. It simply made me dig a little deeper and I consider that a good thing.

  18. It’s so sad that someone in your position had to go to such lengths to hide the fact that you needed to talk with a counselor/therapist. Are government employees any different than “normal” people who don’t work for the government? Are you supposed to be so perfect that nothing ever goes wrong in your life to warrant speaking with a therapist? That’s sad in and of itself.

    • Patti – Don’t you know we are tough as nails and suck on iron nails with square heads t0 make up for poor nutrition:) In and around military basis and areas where you have high levels of eyes-only documents – no one in the chain is to break down. My ‘big guy’ used to always say, “You are just as good as the weakest member of your team.”

      • Ah, Sheri, but there lies the rub, i.e. is going to see a therapist a sign of weakness?

        • Patti – Not in my opinion. I know many individuals who wouldn’t be caught dead going into a therapist office and talking about their past, where they are in the present and what’s the game plan to move on. The real issue then becomes one of not being able to live life to the fullest. I compare it to going to look at a new house and thinking about buying it. You really want to buy the house but the realtor tells you two rooms are off limits. Would you want to buy the home if you couldn’t see the inside of the entire house?

          • I am so with you on this, Sheri. I’ve been to numerous therapists over the years for anxiety problems, problems with my son, etc. I minored in Psychology for my Master’s degree so I believe in therapy. It helps so many people.
            And, no, I wouldn’t buy a house if I couldn’t see every single room inside!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great way to start this morning! I have my first session this afternoon. I was a victim of a violent crime 3 weeks ago and I know I need to tackle this right now – head on so I can continue on with being happy and trusting others again. You’re right – at some point we all should seek a little help. We contact experts on taxes, law or other things. This is just more personal. Thanks again.

  20. This caught my eye Sheri because someone made that statement to me recently you need therapy. No I’m serious! OH! I love this post!

    • Hi Michelle – Telling someone they need therapy can be a double edged sword. I always evaluate where the comment is coming from. For years, I used therapist as a way to have a sounding board regarding Tom’s treatment. I never did much therapy on my own issues. The entire time we lived in California I never really touched on anything except what was going on with Tom. I will say it was a good place for me to take how I was feeling about everything I had to cope with and still hold on to my sanity.

      • I agree with you to evaluate the one suggesting one. The odd part is that I too have had group therapy. Holding on to your sanity is paramount to live in the aftermath, whatever that is or holds for each of us. From one caregiver to another you are amazing and I love what you shared. It touched me very deeply and always does! Hugs and love to you Miss Sheri. You have the most precious smile.

  21. I look forward to your next segment, but I don’t understand why it was important for you to go into therapy. What was the reasoning behind it?

    • Hello, Tess. It’s positively beautiful today. I went ‘kicking and screaming’ all the way where the therapy was to be conducted. Tom and I had often talked about ‘this moment in time’ and I always reassure him that yes, finding the right therapist requires mountains of time. And, of course, time was the item I had the least control over. Once I wrote out what my concers were, I reaized they didn’t have the power to contoll me, but it was years before f. By the 3 year mark with my first therapit, I knew it was absolute imperative.

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