I’ve touched on this before, my thoughts on support groups. And yes, this too, is tied in with the last post and a future one. I’ll get there …
Pearlsky and I used to go to an early intervention program before she was in school. It was twice a week, and to this day, I am not sure what the use really was. She would play, for what it’s worth, and I would hang out with the “other” mothers. Or sit and do work. Or try to ignore everyone. At least once a week, the parents had the option of joining in a support group during this time. I did. Once.
I never really understood support groups like this. I get my support other ways.
We sat in a circle, me, eight or nine moms, and a social worker. Mind you, this was before I realized that social workers are generally one rung below school nurses.
We are sitting there, and I am listening to others complain. They complain about life, about kids, about husbands, you name it. Knowing my place, I know I should not tell them how to fix their lives, although at times it was obvious. That was not my role. What my role was, I have no idea. A big topic was lack of sex. Really. And I am sitting there, dying to scream “Get a mirror lady” but I did not. I said nothing, and the truth is, I had nothing to bitch about.
I have a fucked up kid, don’t know why. I own a company, I have sex. And, no, I don’t want to share.
I never attended again. It was depressing to sit around and hear other’s problems. I don’t get it. Do these people want others to tell them how to fix their lives? Or do they just want to complain? Is there a reason there was coffee and not beer? Brownies and not Prozac?
I understand support systems like AA or Al-anon or Alateen. They have done great stuff for many people. They are specific support groups, for a specific issue, and that works.
I must say that this support group was led by the same puke social worker who once asked me …
How do you feel having a severely disabled daughter?
which is an outrageous question for a public forum (not in the support group, just out of the blue one day).
So there you are. You see others with problems, like yours, different, bigger, smaller. Do you just tell them how to fix it? Do you just listen? Schadenfreude? Isn’t it depressing to just sit and listen to a dozen miserable people who hate the world?