I have a friend. We share alot of things in common. We are both strong willed. We both believe we are mostly right most of the time. We both have children with challenges. We both have the need to “complain”. I take umbrage at this word. I like to call it constructive catharsis. Women overall need to vent. We need to share. We need to GET IT OUT. When you find someone to whom you can GET IT OUT and that person doesn’t think you are completely damn mental – you hang on to that person for dear life. And you share moments of constructive catharsis together.

Sometimes I feel like I should join a club like AA – Hi My name is Elizabeth and my son has challenges. I wonder how that would feel. To have a group dedicated to constructive catharsis but maybe with drinking games or something to shake things up. I don’t share easily. When my dad died, I went to Bereaved Families of Ontario. My therapist at the time said I had “anger issues” I needed to deal with. Well duh. I refused to share at this group. I refused to cry at this group. The one time I did cry, I left and went to the bathroom to do it. These people did not believe in constructive catharsis – they believed in wallowing in pity and despair. Forget it – not my bag. Myself and another participant kept looking at each other like what the hell are we doing here ?? Hence my fear of support groups. If I want to feel worse than when I started my day – I’ll stay home.

I like discussions where constructive catharsis takes place and I get to hear how someone is handling their issue. I get to learn. I get to feel empathy and empowered. I get to share my woes and issues and how I have dealt with them. I like leaving a conversation knowing I am not alone and that other mother’s will go the mat for their children even if it does include dribbling spit down their shirt. That I respect. That I get. That is the kind of person I like to share with.

The last couple of weeks have been like no other. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to crawl in to my bed and never come out. The stress has been killer – the kick ? My son is doing better and better. At a time when my stress from outside sources is at an all time high, my son is making progress. I see hints of maturity. I see him trying to take charge of his stuff. I see him remembering things that I have forgotten. I see him taking his medication without being reminded. I see him keeping his room tidy – although I fear to look in his closet. I see him doing better in school even though he still doesn’t like it. I see him growing and changing. He still drives me mental but even when my life is upsie, downsie, all aroundsie thanks to the gift of constructive catharsis, I can take a step back and appreciate my boy. Because I have been able to vent out all that crap that is going around in my head, I am able to read quietly with my kids. I am able to remember to count to 10 before asking Thomas to do something again. I am able to lower my voice and not immediately go for the shout when I’m asking for the third time. Because of constructive catharsis I know I am not alone. I know that others share my fears and aggravations. I am not so hard on myself because of constructive catharsis. I am not so hard on others as I see their life is all upsie, downsie, all aroundsie too.

So thank you my friend for sharing your constructive catharsis. Thank you for listening when I need to share mine. Know that I will never tire of listening to you. Know that I will always lend an ear, a shoulder, a hug if you need it. Know that I value you and all your stuff you need to let go of. Know that I can empathize and sympathize although I will never truly understand. Know that I care from the bottom of my heart. If you need to call me for some old fashioned bitching – that works too.

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