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Need a Second Opinion (Big Trigger+ Long)

Posted by mair on February 7, 2008, at 17:53:28

I haven't been around in awhile and it's especially difficult for me to participate now because I can't seem to open any posts (much less actually post) from my home computer. I'm writing this from work.

A few weeks ago, my pdoc's husband killed himself. I found out several days after the fact, and in a somewhat roundabout way. This is not a case where this family was a blank slate to me. I don't live in a big metro area. Her kids went to the same school mine did; I knew her husband by sight and we'd frequently turn up at the same school functions. Hearing this was extremely upsetting and I got even more upset when I figured out that when I had last seen my T, she knew about his death and hadn't said anything to me. As time passed, and I found out more details, I really started to slip. His suicide seemed to rekindle alot of my own suicidal thoughts, maybe because his suicide (method and all) played out in much the same way that I always thought mine would. It's been pretty rough sliding for the last couple of weeks, and it seems that it's all my T and I have talked about lately. I think, fortunately, that the worse is over for me. At least his death and suicide in general have stopped being the preoccupations they were a week ago.

Today our session morphed into an discussion about what I know about my T's life and what I don't - how much she should reveal to me, for instance. (I've been seeing her for a very long time and I know a lot) I brought up the issue of how angry I was for her not telling me about my pdoc's husband. She insists it wasn't deliberate - that she just didn't think of it during the one session we had between his death and when I heard about his death. But she also went on to say that she brought this issue up in her supervisory group, and the other T's in the group opined that even if she had his suicide in mind when she met with me, it wasn't really her thing to tell or talk about unless I raised it as a topic. That it was between me and my pdoc.

She's come around in the last couple of sessions to say that, had she thought about his death in our session, she should have said something to me, largely because she knows how much I struggle with suicidal thinking. But she says this with no real conviction. I told her that I thought the reasoning of the Ts in her supervisory group was way off-base. How could it be just a matter between me and my pdoc? I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable processing his suicide and my reaction to it with her. AS it is, even though I probably won't see her again for 8 months or more, I'm worried about how I'm going to answer the questions she always asks me about the degree of my suicidal thinking.

I go to see this pdoc because she is the one my T recommended. What I've talked about with my pdoc, has been the focus of a few therapy sessions. I know that on occasion, they've consulted with one another about me. It seems to me, that having someone I know commit suicide would always be a legitimate therapy topic. And his death was pretty public knowledge before I ever heard of it. So I just can't understand why anyone would think it would be perfectly ok not to raise it as a subject with me.

Last week when I was in a depressive free fall, my T told me that she wasn't a bit surprised that I was struggling so much with his death. Yet today, she asked me why I was so angry. I told her that I was bound to hear sooner or later, and that it was a saving grace that I heard about it an hour or so before a session - how awful if I had had to live with my level of distress for days before I saw her again.

As I'm writing this post, I'm getting a little steamed about this issue all over again. I know it's not fair to my T, but I really can't understand a line of reasoning which would have her just silently waiting around for me to hear news that so predictably started a depressive swing.

Am I entitled to be annoyed? Is she entitled to withhold information that she knows will be very upsetting to me even though she knows that I'm sure to find out from someone else if not from her?





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