Good for you for taking care of yourself. I agree that acknowledging having been a victim is a far cry from living your life under the rock of victimization. For me, moving into accepting situations in which I was powerless really helped me regain personal power.


Go you!
A friend of mine just entered therapy after more than 10 years of toughing it out through depression. I'm constantly amazed by how much they've changed in such a short time (note they're also on a low dosage of drugs but I believe that it's the combined effects that are really helping).


Good luck, Happy. There was a time in this country when, for a large segment of people, the typical upbringing was recognized as being toxic so often that 'going into therapy' was practically an honorable rite of passage. It would be hard to imagine someone having been raised by your father without some pretty significant scars, and getting some help in trying to recover from that damage seems like a wise choice.

BTW, I was never a regular watcher of SNL, but I do remember seeing skits with Al Franken's Stuart Smalley character a few times. I thought they pandered to just about every toxic stereotype of therapy and the Unmasculine Male, and represented something of an offkey note in the career of an otherwise brilliant progressive comic.



I hope it works out for you. My personal track record with therapy is awful, but I've seen it work wonders for others. The most important part of any mental health treatment is taking the active roll in GETTING treatment, so good on you for that!


Hey Happy, I've also decided to see someone about my problems. I've been depressed for a long time and spent most of it denying the possibility that I have "actual depression". The service I'm using has a 2 week waiting list and I'm hoping to see someone on a regular basis, but that first move to actually seek help was a huge one, and absolutely a turning point for me. As small a step as it may seem for others, I feel like I've accomplished something huge and am already on my way to realising my full potential. Good luck Happy!


The stigma will go away when intelligent, thoughtful, and very sane people like you do what you just did in this post, that is, say you're giving it a whirl, and without shame. It's easy enough to say we all have our own crosses to bear, but harder to answer what we're going to do about them. I say good for you that you've taken some action.

David Duff

I know you will doubt me but this advice is offered in a spirit of 'e-friendship', as it were, so when considering whether or not to undergo 'therapy'- *don't do it*! You will be 'feeding the dragon'. By which I mean that your posts indicate, to me at least, a woman with ultra-high levels of self-absorption. You need less of that, not more.

I know you will dismiss that with the contempt you feel it deserves but even so, I do genuinely wish you well - whilst fearing the worst!


And when I talk about therapy, I know what people think
That it only makes you selfish and in love with your shrink
But Oh how I loved everybody else
When I finally got to talk so much about myself............

-Dar Williams, "What Do You Hear In These Sounds" (from the CD End of the Summer)

The Happy Feminist

Thank you for your "advice," Duff. By the way, you're banned from this site. I don't need to put up with your constant hostile speculations about my emotional state or my character (spanning several threads now). Dissent is fine. Repeated insults not so much.

The Happy Feminist

Thank you to the rest of you for your lovely and encouraging comments!

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