A Minute to Myself (155)
A Minute to Myself (156)

One Day, Seven Kinds of Therapy

Good Mother Therapy: On Saturday morning I took my daughter to her basketball game; it was the first game in the post-season playoffs. She played her BFF’s team, and they lost by one point after a very close game (they lost to them last week by more than 20 points). Except for grabbing the ball, I love watching the determination and skill of those 12- and 13-year old girls on the court. After the game I took my daughter and her best friend and another good friend from the “opposing” team out for ice cream and then a day of going back and forth between homes and activities.

This lovely “I am a good mother” morning was negated when my older daughter repeatedly banged on my wall screaming at me to lower the volume of the live opera I was listening to on the radio after I had cranked it up all the way (on a clock radio mind you, so it’s not too loud) to drown out exman yelling at me through my locked door that he would file something against me because I stole his things. (See below.)

Clean House Therapy: The realtor suggested cleaning out the basement storage area and the mudroom. So that’s what I did. I moved bags of old clothes, toys and books to donate and rearranged exman’s boxes so that they would be placed on shelves and not on the floor making the whole place a mess, and putting his shirts (that he just threw down there) into plastic bags. There were only two boxes of my things there, which I didn’t realize I had, since I moved everything to storage when we put the house up for sale and agreed that we would move our things out of the basement and into storage to make it look less crowded. He, of course, moved his things right back into the basement storage area instead of out of the house and into storage.

I got a lot done and was feeling good about it, but I still hadn’t found the dead mouse that could be sniffed down there when exman came home and got into a tirade that I was stealing his things. I dropped the box of things I was about to put into the garbage so that he could inspect it and went into my room not wanting to deal with what I knew would be coming. Not only did I not steal his things but his things mainly comprise boxes and boxes of papers that he brought with us when we moved from Israel and he has not opened since putting them into those boxes more than eight years ago. Apparently there are amazing contracts that he wrote in Hebrew in those boxes which, I am sure, are useless in the US and useless because he hasn’t worked as an attorney since we came to the US.

There he was with his recorder friend again at my door screaming about theft but by that time I had turned the radio up and was listening to Il Trovatore.

Read Therapy: At that point I turned to read therapy. Unfortunately in the past few weeks I have not liked any of the books I took from the library. Too many conversations that were too dull, too many characters who were too cliché or perhaps not enough since they didn’t get or hold my interest in them and the vicissitudes of their lives, too many missing insights, too many dull phrasings. How come they get their books published and I don’t get mine, was the overriding thought, which surely was not a therapeutic thought.

Cry Therapy: From there I moved onto cry therapy. But I’m not hurt, I’m frustrated and angry, which doesn’t bring up soothing tears, just more frustrated and angry thoughts.

Sleep Therapy: So I turned to a lovely standard, the midday nap. But I was too riled up to release and relax. It would have been nice to roll around in my love seat and empty into emptiness, but there was too much stuff in my head.

Shop Therapy: This started out as drive therapy but then I realized that I really do need to get some pants that fit my thighs. And since my tax refund check arrived (I am quite proud of myself for filing so early), I figured that I could splurge for a few essentials, but not much since the rest will be my short-term rent-a-basement money. So into Kohl’s I went because they have the Lee pants that understand that some real women have thighs.

This therapy worked well because while there were some pants that still didn’t fit my thighs and I did have to face my stomach which is flabbier than it was last time I looked six months ago, my mind was totally focused on the hunt. Looking for what I needed and trying to find it. It was escapism. I ended up escaping with two pairs of pants (not black, which is all I had that still fit), undies, socks, and a towel. Yes, a new bath towel for me. It is my first new towel, all of the ones I have been using are old “family” towels, but this one, this one is mine (I’ll need to hide it from my daughters to keep it that way).

When I was done shopping there I went to Nordstrom’s Rack, hopeful for a bargain. But there was none to be had. But it continued the time that I could focus on the hunt and search and not the ridiculous situation of my life, or even to think of my life. From there I had something to eat, but I did not overeat so I will not mention food therapy as one of the forms of therapy that I sought, although I did eat too many brownies when I got home, it was not excessive.

Flannel Pajama Therapy: This last therapy was the most soothing therapy. It could be because the pajamas just came out of the dryer and had that wonderfully warm, clingy feeling that soothed me perfectly at the end of my day. And what is therapy for if not to soothe you?

What kind of therapies have you tried lately?


Alison Veres

The best therapy I can think of is also the way I "comfort my soul" as per your recent post. I talk to my best friend. She's a good listener. Gives advice if I ask for it. Just listens if that's what I need. I'm also a sucker for support groups and self-help books. There are many. And they really help. Humans tend to come across similar obstacles in their journeys (relationship problems being just one for instance) ...you can use the wisdom of people who have gone through what you are going through and came out on the other side. I use every resource I can to live well. It takes work to live well sometimes. It's worth the effort. Also -- I have used all the therapies you mention above, and all of them have helped at one point or another. I often combine crying therapy with driving therapy, because I find being alone in the car an excellent place to let tears flow. I think, for some reason, being in motion helps you cry. One last thing -- just a plain old solitary walk in the woods sometimes does wonders for decompressing, for breathing, for relaxing, for realizing that there is beauty all around. If you don't have a forest, I hope you at least have a park nearby.

Liz A.

I just remembered why my best friend and I used to drink so much. One word, waitress. It's not forgetting about yourself but forgetting about all the verbal assaults suffered from dining patrons. Fortunately, my liver can't keep up with that foolishness these days.


Find the dead mouse and place it in the box with the Hebrew contracts. It will be a "surprise!"

You should be proud for filing those taxes. That's fantastic!

Cry therapy or any therapy that allows you to safely let out these frustrations and feelings. Don't keep them bottled up.

My therapy has been lots of reading on acting techniques and theory. It has done wonders.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

rockync, I put the call into the attorney today. Her assistant will get back to me tomorrow (we all seem to have the snow day off). Being accused of stealing his snow boots and then being called a "fucking liar" in front of my daughter and her friend made me not wait another minute. Nasty lawyer lady, here I come!

Alison, all great ideas, thanks for sharing your therapies. I love drive therapy, I think it's genetic, my mother used to go driving in the middle of the night to soothe her angst. Walking in nature therapy is truly a wonder, there is a beautiful park along the Potomac River that is where I always go when I need to get out and think/not think. My walk sites always involve water; when I lived in New York it was a bay or the Atlantic Ocean, then in Israel it was the Sea of Galilee and then the Mediterranean, now in Virginia it's a river. I wonder what it will be next?

Liz, waitressing is one job I never tried. I guess diluting the nasty words that come your way would be useful. Glad you're onto different therapies now.

Ricardo, excellent mouse idea. I am so looking for that mouse now.

Filing the taxes early is surely a sign of post-divorce Laura because we always filed late (that is since moving to the US since in Israel you don't have this whole rigamorale, it just comes out of your paycheck with no chance for the government to say "sorry" we took too much). It was surely part of his sense of superiority, taht he is above everyone and everything.

When I am living with too many emotions and too many words swirling around those emotions, I have a hard time reading. I need to cull them down to let any more in.


Those sort of therapies often only offer short term solutions. Avoidance tactics really. The only solutions I can see at the moment are either that you move, he moves or somehow you learn to find peace in the situation you are in. If you can't find peace where you live, what's more important, peace or where you live? I know there are a lot of decisions to be made around moving, especially concerning the girls, and the environment they would be happy in. If all you can afford is a small flat,perhaps they should be given the choice as to which home they want to sleep at and when. I hope your new lawyer comes up with something that will get the ex out of the family home - the most simple and realistic solution of the three.

Midlife Slices

So does he record himself screaming at you? That's kind of odd, don't you think? I'm sure THAT would be useful to him. LOL He must be a total raving lunatic.


working out. running, the elliptical, weight lifting, goes a long way in making me feel better and then a good book but I agree, there aren't too many that seem to grab my interest lately.

good for you for getting the lawyer. enough already. enough. this guy is a purebred arrogant asshole and you deserve a life.


That's what you need; a good and nasty lawyer lady! I believe that once you put a stop to all this unhealthy interaction, you and your daughters will be able to find more consturtive ways to discuss and work through the anger, grief and sadness that divorce produces.This guy is poison and you have all gotten sick from the years of exposure - nothing cures that kind of sickness except removal of the poison or yourself from the immdiate environment. I'm praying and pulling for you!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Brigit, therapies as band-aids, indeed, but necessary ones. I can't go someplace that won't accomodate my younger daughter as per the custody agreement (since my older one is turning 18 in a few months and plans to go off to college at the beginning of the summer); it won't be peace without that. I hope that one of these lawyers will be able to help me, I mean there is no situation that doesn't have a solution (one that I want that is).

Midlife Slices, he does record himself raving, which is very disconcerting because I don't think he realizes that what he is doing is wrong in any way wrong. He doesn't realize that talking to my door is harassment.

Jessica, I put calls into the two nasty lawyer ladies today. But I guess they're in high demand, a meeting with one is in two weeks and the other's assistant will get back to me to see if she has time. I hate always waiting for other people. The lack of control over my life is too annoying.

rockync, pulling for a buyer, a lawyer, or an apartment. I've put things into motion, and I am following through. And heck, I think it's time that I had some luck come my way.

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