Monday, July 31, 2006

Christmas in July

I have decided to get my parents a group therapy session for Christmas this year. Goodness knows they need it. To make sure they actually go to the session, I will be attending it with them when I go home for Holiday Break. One, my presence will actually make it a group, instead of just Mummy and Grammy. Two, I might have to drive them there under duress, as I doubt they would go willingly. Neither of them would ever go voluntarily (Mummy) or quietly (Grammy). They aren't actively opposed to the concept of therapy, like it's heresy or blasphemy or some other assault on their Christian beliefs. They just don't see the purpose of sitting in a room telling a stranger their family problems. And let me tell you, they have a whole heap of problems. But they never talk about them out loud. God forbid they have an actual conversation about the issues that come with sharing a house with your elderly mother, or your retiring daughter. No, keep it bottled up inside, then have crazy outbursts at inopportune times (i.e. my Kente graduation ceremony).

The logistics of this will be sticky. Mainly because I don't know of any therapists either here in LA or in St. Thomas. Good ones aren't easy to find, like servants. It's hard enough getting a referral for a doctor or dentist that you end up liking. But how are you supposed to ask your friends and colleagues, "Do you know a good shrink?" It would be more embarassing for them than for me. Besides the fact that going to therapy in LA is like getting your nails done or your bikini line waxed: it's simply good grooming...for the mind. Although, I don't do either of the above things for various reasons, including that I heard an urban legend about a woman going to a nail salon and getting herpes on her hands from the infected equipment. Ew. She couldn't touch her children again, or anyone else, without gloves. So sad.

Anyway. Mummy, Grammy, shrink. I will need to research psychologists/psychiatrists in St. Thomas, then see if I can get an appointment one of them in December, along with a festive gift certificate to celebrate the holiday season. I will also have to do this without any of Mummy or Grammy's associates alerting them to my Ambush-My-Parents-into-Group-Therapy plan. It sounds bad when you write it out like that. They need it, we need it, and I know they aren't going to be thrilled about the idea. However, as I'm sure both Mummy and Grammy have both said in reference to me during my upbringing, they will thank me for it later.

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