Having a 24/7 therapist is great...until it’s not.
My mom became a therapist in the peak of my teenhood. She was able to help me work through my anxiety, pain, and other issues. We often found ourselves in the kitchen at 4:30 am having a nice therapy session before she left for work. People always tell me how amazing it must be to live with a mental health professional, and it is. But it's not always rainbows and butterflies.
We struggled to find balance
Ever heard of work-life balance? Well, in this case, it was therapist-mom balance.
When I was dealing with stress related to friends, school, or boys, sometimes I didn’t want a therapist to tell me the logistics of a situation. I wanted her to hug me and say, “Everything is going to be okay Soph,” not “What steps can you take to change this situation?”
This caused a few problems in our relationship.
Sometimes it isn’t about being rational, sometimes I just want to know she has my back, even if I’m wrong. I wanted my mom to BE MY MOM.
I decided we needed to come up with a solution to this problem, especially since it was causing frustration on both sides. Yes, this was taking a toll on me, but my mom was annoyed when I could not understand the point she was trying to get across.
I didn’t want her to stop giving me her professional opinion, but I also wanted her to support me as her child.
To fix this, I began starting conversations with, “Okay I need you to be my mom right now not my therapist,” or vice versa.
This allowed us to be able to clearly communicate with each other about how we needed to go about a problem.
Life is all about balance, and yes that included therapy!
Assessing my friends
My friends often go to my mom for advice because they know and trust her, as well as her confidentiality!! Even though my friends are not her clients, anything spoken about does not leave their conversation.
We follow HIPPA in this house!!!!
I love that my mom is so dedicated to helping my friends but sometimes it goes a little too far.
My friends are used to coming to her for advice, but when this isn’t the case, she’d still prod. Her questions would come off as invasive instead of helpful. This is irritating because most of the time they don’t even know she’s assessing them. She’s subtle af!! But even when they don’t know, I know!!!
What’s even more irritating, is she always seems to have a diagnosis for them too! You wouldn’t believe how many people she’s suspected to have Borderline Personality Disorder and the fact that she’s been right in the past is NOT the point.
I just want to bring my friends into the house without an unsolicited therapy session coming out of it. Even though they might not realize it, that bitch puts her nose into EVERYTHING.
Truthfully, I started telling her to mind her business.
Diagnosis at the dinner table
This one has to be the most annoying of all...sorry mom…
As a mental health professional, my mom is trained to look for signs in people’s behavior. Which, don’t get me wrong, is super cool! But I don’t always want to know what mental disorders she thinks people have, nor do I want to talk about it while I’m eating.
We don’t need to discuss schizophrenia over chicken soup!
Everyone in my family felt this frustration. We were so proud of my mom and we wanted to support her passion for her job. However, we didn’t want to memorize the entire DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a.k.a. the bible of mental health.
Finally, we talked to her and said that we didn’t want to hear about her possible diagnoses of someone she bumped into at the store.
Surprisingly, she was super understanding. My mom explained how fascinated she is with mental health and just wanted to share it with us. She loves her job, and we love her.
Communicating with my darling therapist mother has been key. She doesn’t know something is bothering me if I don’t speak up. She’s trained to help people with their mental health, which leads her to bring it into all aspects of her life.
Living with a therapist has its perks, but nothing beats spending time with my mom.
~Trust the good vibes and spread all the love