Archive for June 22nd, 2009

June 22, 2009

“Support” Group – how to be sure you never grow up

by Rod Smith

Take up your life

Take up your life

Marsha is divorced. When she walks through the door her divorce follows her like a bridal train. Trampled, it catches on every door keeping her from new beginnings.

“Hello, I’m Marsha,” she says looking at the group, “I don’t think you could like me very much. I cannot get over my husband of six years. If I work at it you will also abandon me.” She turned to the person next to her indicating politely that she was done introducing herself.

“I’m Kyle, thirty going on twelve. I don’t do relationships very well. It’s my dad. He drank a lot. Don’t expect me to be responsible, reasonable or respectful. If I get over him what will I do about my identity? It’s not so nice to meet all of you. You remind me of my dad.”

“Martin here,” he says, stepping into the middle of the room, “I had teachers who expected a lot from me. They gave me homework, expected me to read for myself. Cruel teachers. They are the reason I’m an underachiever today. They’re the reason I cannot hold down a job. I think I’ll sue.”

“Annabel is my name. I hate spring. It means summer’s coming. I’ll have to go outdoors and see people. Grandma had favorites. I wasn’t one of them. She’s why I don’t go out and I don’t like the sun. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be fun.”

“When I know you a little better you can know my name,” she says skirting the room, “Ok, I’ll chance it. My name is May. My neighbors made fun of me when I was growing up. It’s their fault that I cannot stay with one man. I need constant approval. Not like June over there.”

“Thanks May, I can handle this myself. I’m June. I have got to smoke to calm my nerves (dad smoked), drink to ease my boredom (mom drank) and cuss to get my way (my husband taught me to cuss). It’s the government. They do not treat me very well. Expecting me to work is the most unfair thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Move over June. I am Bob. I have got something to say. I’d be thin if it wasn’t for all those commercials for food all around America. I think I’ve got a case here. My health’s in trouble yet they keep advertising those tasty hamburgers. Anyone got a lawyer friend who wants to do pro bono?”

“I’m Anthony. What are you all doing away from your TVs? Get back in there. How will you ever know who survived, who died, who loved, who married their brother’s ex-wife the third time around. How do you expect to know anything if you keep getting away from the TV?”

“Dakota’s my name. I’ve got a very rare disease that cannot be named. But I am really tired of all this expectation placed on me. My dad just says I’m lazy, but what would he know, he’s worked all his life.”

Glen, who doesn’t talk, steps forward. Once he said something funny, people laughed so he’s never talked again in public. He’s waiting for an apology from somewhere before he moves on.

Norman doesn’t stand still. He’s high. He’s so high you do not want to get in his way. It’s the dealers who got to him. Drugs were just way too available and now he is not.

“I’m Doug, the group leader. With introductions complete, let’s begin with our group meditation:

‘Keep me mindful of my woes
And all who stepped upon my toes
Let my life be full of blame,
So I can always stay the same.’”

June 22, 2009

Moms Matter

by Rod Smith

Take up your life

Take up your life

Readers regularly ask me for lists of local professionals and resources. While scouring the Web for helpful family resources in Kwa-Zulu Natal I came upon an inspiring, innovative enterprise for Mothers at Go there. Moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, and mental health practitioners, sign up. It’s free! Get the newsletter. Join the community. I believe you will be inspired by the warm welcome and the array of attractive things available for mothers AND fathers AND families right on your doorstep.

The website, initiated and facilitated by Deborah Andrews, is doing its job of connecting mothers with opportunities, mothers with each other, and tries to make life a little easier for all in the midst of rearing children of all ages.

Writes Deborah: “It may be a kid’s world ‘out there’ but Moms Matter too! We strive to provide access to resources that can help make your lives a little easier with heaps of stuff you need to know all in one place.” The site includes a comprehensive holiday activity guide for the mid-year break with tons of suggestions of things for families and children to do. It’s a website created by a Mom for Moms who sees that “we’re all in this mommy-thing together!”