My husband had a theory about therapy. He believed that, no matter what the benefit, the cost would always be greater. By this, he meant that the pure fact that the word “depression” or “anxiety” or anything else along that line was in a medical record (some place for some one to access down the line) would come back to prevent one from moving forward in life. Perhaps it might be a life insurance, or a home loan, or even entry into the military. This was one reason that he never sought out therapy to assist him in grieving the loss of his best friend, his parents, and his baby girl.
In watching him go through life with such pain, I never could buy into this. We argued the point on quite a few occasions. Of course, I’ve never understood grief in the way I do now. And never will I understand his grief — or his fear for that matter.
By the time a diagnosis was reached and the inevitable end of life was facing him, it was my husband who wanted to be sure that the kids and I had a means to deal with the pain after he’d gone. We talked about it at length. When my hospice could not deliver on support at the kids’ level, I paid dearly for support groups and counseling. It was worth it. My kids and my future happiness had no price.
Now, years after his counseling sessions have stopped, we’ve been requested to provide the records form his grief counseling to the military. I’m sure they just want to know if the young man they are recruiting is psychotic or suicidal. Still, I have to wonder if the battery of mental health assessments wouldn’t rule this out. And what will come of these records down the line — perhaps when he is facing a promotion and they are discovered at the pit of his military files?
I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made on obtaining therapy for me and my children. But I do have to wonder at what level Tom was right. It begs the question: What if the records from my sessions come out and how might they stop me from moving forward?