Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 314120

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I guess he's not perfect after all.

Posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 13:47:24

Saw my pdoc on Friday night, and I left feeling as though he was frustrated with me. I emailed him when I got home, as I don't see him again for three weeks, but no response yet. Perhaps he's just busy, but now I'm sort of freaking out, and I hate it.

He always makes me feel so cared about and as though he enjoys our sessions - but this time, perhaps I made him uncomfortable or something, or perhaps he was just tired, or...I don't know.

This is very anxiety provoking for me - I don't know what I would do if he got upset with me or if he (gasp) referred me to someone else. Not that I really think he would do that...I hope not, anyway.

There's too much going on right now, and I feel like I'm slipping. :-(

And I apologize for not keeping up with everyone's threads as of late - I haven't felt like I could positively contribute.

P

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all.

Posted by Karen_kay on February 16, 2004, at 15:03:46

In reply to I guess he's not perfect after all., posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 13:47:24

(((Penny))))

I remember from past posts how much you care for your Pdoc and the relationship you have with him...

I know that sometimes I accuse my therapist of being hostile and I realize I'm projecting my own feelings on to him.. Could that be the case? Or maybe he was tired, as you did say the apt. was later in the evening.

Sometimes they have off-days. It happens. It hurt me so much when my therapist told me last week he couldn't read my mind. I realize now tht he is human. He does make mistakes (Bubba makes lots of them :))

From your posts, your Pdoc is usually so kind and warm. I'm sure he was just having an off-day. He'll emai you back and explain. Fear not, beautiful woman. The sky is not falling, it's going to brighten up very soon.

And don't worry about not posting to help others. I am, however, worried thst you're not posting to allow us to help you as much as you've helped us...

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Karen_kay

Posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 15:18:06

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all., posted by Karen_kay on February 16, 2004, at 15:03:46

(((KK)))

You are so good...

In my email to him, I told him that I left feeling as though he might have been frustrated with me, "though it could just be me."

I know he's busy, I know he sometimes takes a little while to respond to email, and occasionally, I think it slips his mind.

And, at the same time, I really really want to email him today and say, "I need to cancel my next appointment." and leave it at that. Not mention rescheduling. And when he responds, which he will, just not reply to him. Just be done with it.

Stupid, eh?

I don't want to play games. And I guess I'll fess up to my T tomorrow night about all of this, at which point she will, in her sensible caring way, tell me that she's confident that, as you said, he was probably just tired and/or distracted, but that she's sure it's not personal, and of course I can't just stop going to him.

But part of me wants to. I just want to quit. I was feeling so good, until the past couple of weeks. And then when I saw him on Friday night, I had just come from visiting my cousin in the hospital, and I told him about that, and we talked about other stuff, and I told him what was going on in therapy, and so on, and we made the next appointment, and, I don't know...I just felt like he ... didn't get it? and he usually does. But this time I felt like he got the impression that I was fine and dandy, and I wasn't.

I don't know. I feel tearful. And stupid. :-(

I need my therapist. :'-(

Thanks, KK. I really do appreciate your taking the time to read and respond.

P

 

Other possibilities... Penny

Posted by Racer on February 16, 2004, at 16:06:11

In reply to I guess he's not perfect after all., posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 13:47:24

Right now, it sounds as if you feel as if his delay in responding to you email is an intentional rejection of you. Obviously, I have no idea why he hasn't responded yet, but I can think of several possible reasons, and even if not one of them even resembles the truth, maybe one of them will at least cheer you up.

1. He's gone skiing for the long weekend, without his laptop.

2. His guinea pig chewed through the cord on his desktop, or maybe the telephone line that runs to his modem.

3. His ISP's server was attacked by a very, very specific Denial of Service Attack by a bored teenage hacker with nothing better to do and no more ambitious ideas.

4. He was kidnapped by space aliens.

5. (This one is personal, so I'm putting it in parentheses in order to keep it out of the "real" possibilities list. When I answer my emails, I answer the quick and easy ones first, and sometimes put off those that matter most to me. The ones that really matter to me, I want to write thoughtfully, and without constraints of time or energy. Maybe he's waiting until he can give your email the full attention and effort he feels it deserves?)

6. In his spare time, he's a secret ops agent for British Intelligence, and -- even as we type -- he's on a Super Secret Mission to the Former Republic Of Togo.

7. He's at the White House, trying to help GWB understand why he feels this need to believe that he won the last election.

8. He's distraught over the death of his goldfish.

9. He tripped over a wrinkle in the space-time continuum and is now hurtling between dimensions, desperately hoping he'll find his way back to this one.

10. He was having an off day; you were having an off day; they just happened to coincide. He may not have seen your email yet -- not everyone checks email every day. Or, maybe you were having such a bad day that your perception of him was slightly off. That's certainly happened to me. (Ask me about it sometime, I'll tell you -- most of it.)

(What's that? Why only most of it? Hey, remember: when I see my pdoc, my tongue grows to 35 times its normal length, and salivary production surpasses all known records. I really and truly will not tell anyone all of it ever. Never ever ever will everyone know the WHOLE story.)

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny

Posted by Karen_kay on February 16, 2004, at 17:00:10

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Karen_kay, posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 15:18:06

I do the "I'm just going to cancel my appointment" thing too... I think we all do it (please please please say I'm not the only one!) But, I never cancel. I think it's the need to hear them say, "No, please come back, ect." At least partly. I also do it out of spite. He makes me mad, so I'll show him. Or just to dsay, "I give up." But, again,, I never cancel. And I go in the next week and find out that everything is fine and dandy. Like with the googling thing. I was terrified to go back. But he was wonderful!

Wait for his email. It's coming, I can feel it in my bones! I think Racer was on the right track! Space aliens, hmmmm....

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny

Posted by Raindancer on February 16, 2004, at 17:08:59

In reply to I guess he's not perfect after all., posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 13:47:24

Hi Penny. I was in a similar place with my T quite recently and was completely devastated. I told him next time I saw him and he did admit that he gets tired and after we'd talked I felt a whole lot better. I know it almost feels that the world has ended but it will be O.K. I'm sure of it. It is because he is so consistently wonderful that you notice so much when things aren't so good - it doesn't mean he doesn't care, just that he's human. All the very best. Take care of yourself.R

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny

Posted by Dinah on February 16, 2004, at 17:17:32

In reply to I guess he's not perfect after all., posted by Penny on February 16, 2004, at 13:47:24

Penny, my therapist and I have the occasional awful session. And it usually just means that he was tired and not at his best. By the next session I'm usually ready to bite his head off, and he's back to normal. Because he is back to normal.

Even perfect pdocs get tired or get headaches or whatever.

Take a deep breath and remember all the times he really did show he cares about you. If you really are having a hard time doing that, I'll look through the archives for you. :) Your therapist has said and done things that mine wouldn't do or say in a million years.

Perhaps that makes it *more* difficult when you aren't in perfect attunement.

Do you know that even my absolutely perfect son has evenings where he's cranky and quite unreasonable?

And if it makes you feel any better, remember that your pdoc has never told you that you've seen too much of each other like my therapist did last Friday. :) And I still love him.

 

Re: Other possibilities...LOL! (nm) Racer

Posted by gardenergirl on February 17, 2004, at 10:26:20

In reply to Other possibilities... Penny, posted by Racer on February 16, 2004, at 16:06:11

 

Re: Other possibilities... Racer

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:19:44

In reply to Other possibilities... Penny, posted by Racer on February 16, 2004, at 16:06:11

Thanks, Racer! Your post made me smile.

My personal favorite is #7... lol.

The reality is, I know that he's extremely busy, and he told me that he always reads his emails, even if he doesn't immediately respond. But he still hasn't responded, and it's Tuesday - I wrote him on Friday night. Perhaps he didn't get it for some reason. Or perhaps he would rather talk to me about it in person. Unfortunately, the way I'm feeling, that may not happen simply because I still don't know that I'm going to keep my next appointment.

But we'll see.

P

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Karen_kay

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:21:54

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny, posted by Karen_kay on February 16, 2004, at 17:00:10

You're definitely not the only one who longs to cancel their appt. to see what the T or pdoc will do - I've had that desire with my T before, but I went to the session and told her how I was feeling, and all was well afterwards. I guess my problem here is that I don't see him for another 2.5 weeks. He always says, "Keep me posted, page as needed." and that sort of thing, but I left feeling like he was just saying it - that he was really frustrated with me. :-(

But, anyway - thanks again, KK.

P

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Raindancer

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:23:28

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny, posted by Raindancer on February 16, 2004, at 17:08:59

Yes, on occasion I am reminded (unfortunately) that he *is* human, not superhuman. Though he strives to be superhuman, I think. And he does a good job of it most of the time.

I'm talking to my therapist about it tonight.

thanks, Raindancer.

P

 

Re: Other possibilities...

Posted by pegasus on February 17, 2004, at 13:47:55

In reply to Re: Other possibilities... Racer, posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:19:44

Yuck. I hate that waiting for an email response thing. One time, I sent a pretty important email to my T, and he never responded. It sucked and I actually did leave a voicemail to cancel my next appointment, because it was a bad time anyway, and I profoundly did not want to have a conversation about email expectations, which I knew we'd have to have. He called me right back, and said that he didn't know what I was talking about and that he hadn't gotten my email because his hard drive had crashed. My first reaction was, "Yeah, right, your hard drive crashed. How *convenient*." But he stuck with that story. And he doesn't seem like the type to fabricate unlikely stories to cover his goof ups. I still wonder just a little bit about that, but I think I pretty much believe him now.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that you just never know.

- p

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Dinah

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:48:28

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny, posted by Dinah on February 16, 2004, at 17:17:32

Yeah - I'm sure he might have been having an especially long day. I guess it's that I felt he didn't handle some of my comments very well - maybe because he didn't really respond to some of them, perhaps b/c they made him feel less than comfortable. Tho' I can't imagine that anything I could ever say would make him feel uncomfortable. Because he's too much of a professional to feel that way.

I just can't stand for my pdoc to be frustrated with me. It's that whole 'daddy' thing - my dad has never been happy with me. I don't need disappointment and/or frustration with my pdoc too, ya' know?

I had a rash when I saw him on Friday. And I figured it was caused by baby oil that I had been using to help with dry skin, and it honestly didn't even occur to me that it *might* have something to do with the Lamictal I take - as I've been taking it a long long time now and I take a very low dose. So, by the time I thought about it, I didn't bother to call him, b/c I figured it was getting better, so what was the point? And when I told him I had a rash, and that I hadn't even thought about a possible Lamictal reaction, he scowled at me and said, "Those rashes are nothing to mess with. You need to let me know if you get a rash again." And he looked at it and agreed that it was likely an allergic reaction to baby oil (of all things) and he was glad I was able to pinpoint a culprit, but to let him know if it happened again. And that was toward the end of our session. And I was talking about the book I'm reading that Medusa recommended to you: "When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies" and he had heard of it, and then I started going on about how I was telling my T that I had always had crushes on TAs and Profs in college and even my chem/physics teach in HS (who was older), but that it was all safe, b/c I knew they would never cross the boundaries. And I said something to the effect of "Even if I somewhat wanted them to, I would never fool myself into thinking they would ever cross any boundaries," and she replied with "This is an awkward way of putting it, b/c we're talking about boundaries that shouldn't be crossed, but when you say you wouldn't fool yourself into thinking...is that because you would trust them to never cross the boundaries, or because you don't think they could ever be attracted to you?" My response to her was "Well, the *correct* answer is...the first one, but the reality is, a bit of both. I don't worry in the least about my crushes on these men in authority positions in my life partly b/c they are professionals and I trust that they would keep ethical/professional boundaries, and partly b/c I can't imagine why any of them would ever be tempted to cross boundaries with me in the first place."

So I was telling this to my pdoc (I know this whole story isn't flowing very well!) and he just didn't respond. And I don't know what I wanted him to say - I guess there was no right answer. I mean, he could have said, "Well, that's something you are going to continue to need to work on in therapy" or something to that effect, but I know, as he's told me, that he discourages transference with his patients typically b/c he's not doing therapy with them.

Oh...I don't know. It's snowing here, so my T has cancelled our standard Tues night appt, but I already emailed her to find out if we could do a phone session if she had to cancel due to the weather. So I'm going to call her at home from my house at our normal meeting time. B/c I really need to talk to her about the stuff with my pdoc and the stuff with my cousin. :-(

There's too much going on right now.

Anyway - thanks, Dinah.

P

 

Re: Other possibilities... pegasus

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:53:43

In reply to Re: Other possibilities..., posted by pegasus on February 17, 2004, at 13:47:55

Yes - that's very true. My pdoc does encourage me to send him email, tho', b/c he can then respond when he gets a chance, even at 2 a.m. when he wouldn't necessarily be able to respond to an earlier phone page - in other words, he sees it as convenient for him.

Maybe he didn't get the message. Maybe. I'm not really upset, per se, about him not responding to the email - more about the session and how strange it felt to feel like he was frustrated, and so on. And, at the same time, I would feel like a doofus paging him - what would be the purpose? So, if he is frustrated with me, I p*ss him off even more? B/c that's what happened with my former T - I knew she was upset with me, I called her and asked her to call me back, she did, I lost it on the phone, she got more upset, and I ended up bottoming out and wanting to kill myself. Not that my pdoc would handle it that way - but you never know. After all, as I said, he's not perfect - he's human.

I guess it just makes me feel as though I shouldn't talk to him about certain things. But I don't want to feel that way. :-(

thanks, pegasus.

P

 

Re: Other possibilities...

Posted by Racer on February 17, 2004, at 14:23:38

In reply to Re: Other possibilities... Racer, posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:19:44

> Thanks, Racer! Your post made me smile.
>
> My personal favorite is #7... lol.
>

I'm glad it helped. Sometimes just smiling is a full day's work, you know.

> The reality is, I know that he's extremely busy, and he told me that he always reads his emails, even if he doesn't immediately respond. But he still hasn't responded, and it's Tuesday - I wrote him on Friday night. Perhaps he didn't get it for some reason. Or perhaps he would rather talk to me about it in person. Unfortunately, the way I'm feeling, that may not happen simply because I still don't know that I'm going to keep my next appointment.
>
> But we'll see.
>
> P

Aurgh! OK, kiddo, here's advice from a madwoman: keep your next appointment, and ask him why he didn't respond. (Obviously, if he responds between now and then, you can ask him why it took him so long to respond.)

All kidding aside, keep one thing firmly in mind: it doesn't matter a tinker's dam what *his* problem is. As well as being his patient, you are his *customer* -- and customer service counts. I know that there's a lot of weird swirling emotions involved in dr/pt relationships -- I'm the one who trips over her own tongue at the sight of my pdoc, remember -- but the bottom line is that it is his *job* to respond to your needs and concerns. If you hold up your end of the bargain, by being a good patient and taking your meds and following instructions, it is perfectly acceptable for you to insist that he hold up his end.

OK, now that that's out of my system, best luck to you, kiddo, and I hope you do go to your next appointment.

 

Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Penny

Posted by Karen_kay on February 17, 2004, at 15:01:55

In reply to Re: I guess he's not perfect after all. Dinah, posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:48:28

Penny, *I have the exact same problem! I get crushes on men who are in a position of authority over me...And I know they wouldn't want me. And I know that even if by a small chance they did, they wouldn't persue it. But, one did. And I freaked! I mean, I used to flirt with him until I had no energy left, and this was my boss. He used to buy me beer during lunch, get me sushi, ect... But, on my last day, he said, "Why not have lunch at my place?" And I thought, "Ugh!! he really is interested." Needless to say, that crush died fast. My shrink says it's because I'm looking for a daddy. I think it's jsut because I like to mess with men's heads, as they've done to me (see, I'm pretty vindictive)... But, you're not in the same boat hun. I guess if I liked to mess with their heads, I'd be aming for everyone. I like the thrill of the chase alot though... I sound like a bi***, don't I? It's OK, you can agree with me :)

 

Re: Other possibilities... Penny

Posted by All Done on February 17, 2004, at 15:33:12

In reply to Re: Other possibilities... pegasus, posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 13:53:43

> Maybe he didn't get the message. Maybe. I'm not really upset, per se, about him not responding to the email - more about the session and how strange it felt to feel like he was frustrated, and so on. And, at the same time, I would feel like a doofus paging him - what would be the purpose? So, if he is frustrated with me, I p*ss him off even more? B/c that's what happened with my former T - I knew she was upset with me, I called her and asked her to call me back, she did, I lost it on the phone, she got more upset, and I ended up bottoming out and wanting to kill myself. Not that my pdoc would handle it that way - but you never know. After all, as I said, he's not perfect - he's human.

It sounds like there's a lot here that you need to talk to your pdoc about, so I wouldn't recommend cancelling your next appointment. If, in a few days or so, you still don't hear back from him, can you just send a quick e-mail with something to the effect of "just wanted to follow-up with you to make sure you received my e-mail on Friday. If you would rather discuss it at my next appointment, let me know"? Hopefully, then, he would at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that he received it.

> I guess it just makes me feel as though I shouldn't talk to him about certain things. But I don't want to feel that way. :-(

You had mentioned that your pdoc discourages transference, but I think his clients' transference issues might be something kind of difficult for *him* to control. So, I would at least bring up your issues with him and ask if he would prefer you discuss them with your T. That way, you know exactly where he stands.

 

Re: Well, I talked to my wonderful therapist.

Posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 16:49:19

In reply to Re: Other possibilities... Penny, posted by All Done on February 17, 2004, at 15:33:12

We had a phone session this evening - ended just a bit ago. It snowed here, and she decided to not go in to the office due to the road conditions.

Anyway - it was a *great* session. She said all the right things, gave me a new way of looking at it, and finished with, "I didn't really expect to have a particularly meaningful session over the phone! Usually they're not that deep over the phone." And she's right - my other phone sessions with her and with my old T were fine, but not overly intense.

Essentially what she pointed out was that my reaction to his possible frustration probably has to do with the abandonment fears I have. And that since we talked about some pretty big things for me in our Thursday session, perhaps neither of us realized how vulnerable I was still feeling - then I went to see him and that vulnerability was there, and I might be feeling like I was too exposed - and she's right. She said that perhaps he was distracted b/c I had told him about my rash, and he was upset with me for not calling him when I got the rash, and so he was thinking about that and only half paying attention to the rest of the session - she said that when I become a therapist I will see that sometimes when something big is said in the early part of the session, the therapist's mind is half working on that issue and half paying attention to the rest of the session.

Anyway, she recommended that I look at this as a situation of maybe he is upset/frustrated with me, and maybe that is why he hasn't responded to my email, and if that is the case, what does that mean for me? She said she certainly wouldn't have chosen for me to go through this, but since I am, perhaps we can use it as practice for me to learn that when people get upset with me, it's not the end of the world.

I'm not entirely convinced of that.

There was a lot more she said, and I wish I had tape recorded the whole thing, b/c I'd like a transcript of that session! But, alas, I didn't - so I guess I need to try to write down as much as I can recall.

And, I'll repeat myself again...I love my therapist. She is so darn good.

And thanks, all, for your help. I really appreciate it.

P

 

Re: Well, I talked to my wonderful therapist. Penny

Posted by Dinah on February 17, 2004, at 22:10:54

In reply to Re: Well, I talked to my wonderful therapist., posted by Penny on February 17, 2004, at 16:49:19

I'm glad you have a great therapist. And I know you have a great pdoc too.

My therapist is always trying to get me to learn the "people can be frustrated/angry/upset/whatever and it doesn't mean the end of the world, or the relationship". I figure it's a useful lesson to learn. But not my favorite one to be honest.

Here's hoping the subject of next session's lesson will be how utterly loveable we are (for all of us).


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