Posted by Solstice on October 23, 2010, at 8:49:52
In reply to Re: please help, posted by Annabelle Smith on October 23, 2010, at 0:29:09
Hi Annabelle -
What do I think? I think your instincts are directing you, and I think the dust is clearing for you, and you are smart and 'see' what is best for you.
I want to clarify that my 'Toxic T' was not a 'bad' person. It was not his intent to cause me harm. I think he was a little on the arrogant side (not introspective enough to want to really listen to what I was trying to tell him). He was misguided. Bottom line, though, is that in his role of being the 'keeper' of my trust, I think he failed his professional obligation to seek out whatever consult he needed to have in order to figure out what was going wrong. He rather quickly decided that it was 'me' that was the problem - and did not see himself as having anything to do with my being re-traumatized by how he handled the 'therapy'. And similarly to you, during my first year with him, I had adequate enough attachment to him. I felt 'safe enough' to let him in, to trust that he had my best interests at heart. He returned phone calls. But during the last two years, I was increasingly anxious when arriving for therapy. I dreaded being in that room with him. It was a painful place - where I walked out in much worse shape than when I walked in. I was misguided in thinking it was just part of the therapeutic process... that it would resolve if I toughed it out and stuck with it like a good soldier. That's not the way it worked, though. The therapeutic alliance was so badly damaged, in so many ways... and my psyche collapsed as a result. I'll tell you this: In my experience, whatever psychological/emotional harm has been done to you throughout your life - a toxic therapeutic relationship can make it much worse.
So Annabelle - you owe it to yourself to make sure you are in a therapeutic relationship that feels safe - where you feel he is attuned to you. He doesn't have to agree with you or support your maladaptive behavior, but the relationship itself must feel safe for any therapy to take place.