Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 479180

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Would this bother you? Long but Please Read

Posted by tryingtobewise on April 2, 2005, at 22:32:55

This could be a bit long, because some history is needed. Thank you to anyone who will read this and respond. I have posted the basic (pre)story before and a few of you responded then, so if the first part of this post sounds familiar, you aren't imagining things...

Years ago I began counseling with a T who was very charming and likeable. Seemed to be an all around good guy. My husband started seeing him, and my best friend as well. Then we started comparing notes & found blaring inconsistencies between the things he told us. Also during that time, it was in our local newspaper that he was being disciplined by the Dept. of Health for sexual misconduct with a client (turned out he married her & she divorced/sued him), and that there were 5 other complaints lodged against him with the Dept. of Health (don't know what the nature of them were). He did address the newspaper article in our sessions...claimed he didn't know the particular misconduct rules, was a victim of attorney greed, etc. So pretty much after all of that the bloom was off the rose so to speak.

By and large my dh and I unofficially terminated. (Just stopped going...no termination process.)

My friend continued a while longer and during one of her sessions with him, he asked if I was working. She said no, and he called & asked me if I would begin working for him part time as an office manager/A.A. I said yes. (I know this is illogical but it seemed exciting and like I was some sort of "chosen" one. Blech.) Note that this was only about 6 weeks since my last session with him...he didn't even know I'd quit.

Also during this time he went from being a regular counselor to a "Ph.D." Turns out he bought his PHD from an online/mail away spot. I'm not kidding.

I adjusted to working for him, and like my job (its been 4 1/2 years now), but always in the back of my mind feel a little bit "yucky" for participating in his boundary violation in hiring me (like it is my fault... but I tend to take these things on), many other very questionable things he does, his use of PHD, etc., etc., etc. (If anyone has read this far, I'm sure my ambivalence about my own situation, even though it is not romantic at all, contributed to my harsh response to Jadah's post above.)

Early on in my job with the Former T., I began therapy sessions with my psychiatrist (here after New T) who up until that point had just been doing med management. She has just been great. Not nearly as charismatic/slick as Former T now boss, but that is what I like about her. She is wise and sincere, and there is no showmanship involved. My Former T/Now Boss has a suite of offices that are basically opulant. Over-decorated & quite formal (we rent out the offices he doesn't use to other Ts). When I go to see the New T (new not being totally accurate as it has been about 4 years) I love that her office suite is plain, basic, functional, there is no pretense...or house built on sand as I think of my Former T/ Now Boss and his suite of offices.

So...what this is all getting to is that last week when I met with my New T. she mentioned she is moving her office this summer. Guess where she is moving??? To the office park I work in for Former T. It is a small size office park with about 4 one story buildings and 1 two story building. Our building is small, it is unlikely she will be in it, but wherever she is, she will be close by. She did not know this was the location where I worked and looked quite surprised and disturbed when I told her this.

Now I feel like: a) my safe ethical therapy venue is going to be lost b) all my therapy worlds...not to mention my work are going to be way too close together c)like it is my fault the potential for awkwardness exists if we do end up crossing paths there d)like neither my therapy place or my work place are going to be "mine" anymore.

I know this is irrational. I really do. I only go to therapy once every 3 weeks, and I only work 3 mornings a week. I'm sure I will get over this change but right now I'm sulking.

As I mentioned above she looked shocked & distressed when I told her I worked there...so what did I do? I tried to smooth things over to make her think I was fine with it...told her the office park management is great, the place is well maintained, etc. I think maybe she should have been trying to make sure I was ok with it instead of me comforting her. Already I feel bad and guilty, like I'm sort of stalker, and I'm not even the one making the move!!!

Why was I trying to make her feel better?

Ok, if you've read this far I am amazed & thankful. If you have any ideas/insights/etc., about whether or not I'm being irrational, or how I can make myself ok with this, I will be so greatful!

Thank you,
Kim

 

Re: Would this bother you? Long but Please Read

Posted by Dinah on April 2, 2005, at 22:51:51

In reply to Would this bother you? Long but Please Read, posted by tryingtobewise on April 2, 2005, at 22:32:55

It would bother me.

It bothered me when I found out how close my therapist lived to me (it was printed on his receipts). It bothers me that we eat at the same restaurants and shop at the same stores and I never know if I'll run into him. It's only happened three times, that I know of. In all three cases, he didn't know that I saw him. It makes me mildly nervous whenever I go where I might see him. Although I occasionally snap at him that I wish his office were in his garage instead of fortyfive minutes away for both of us.

I can see where it would bother you, but I can't see that you can avoid it. What you can do is be honest that it bothers you. You don't have to protect her from that. I'm sure she can handle it.

Once you both agree that it's not ideal, but it's inevitable, perhaps you can work out the best possible arrangements given the circumstances. What to do if you run into each other, stuff like that.

Does your new therapist know what you think of your old therapist/boss?

 

Re: Would this bother you? Long but Please Read

Posted by annierose on April 2, 2005, at 22:55:39

In reply to Would this bother you? Long but Please Read, posted by tryingtobewise on April 2, 2005, at 22:32:55

Need to go to bed, but I did read your post and can respond more in the a.m.

But you didn't do anything wrong. In fact, it was right of you to tell New T that you worked in that office park. You are NOT a stalker ... that's your place of employment.

Yes, your former T does sound "icky", but now he is your boss. Do you still feel he is unethical? How does he treat you as an employee?

-Annierose

 

Re: Would this bother you? Long but Please Read tryingtobewise

Posted by Tamar on April 3, 2005, at 13:44:41

In reply to Would this bother you? Long but Please Read, posted by tryingtobewise on April 2, 2005, at 22:32:55

What a situation! I can see that it would bother you very much!

Did you have the impression that your new T was shocked and distressed because she thought you might be stalker-like? Or do you think she seemed distressed because she was concerned about the effect her move would have on you?

I'm sure she doesn't think you're any kind of stalker. And I'm sure she doesn't want you to take responsiblity for her feelings. I think it would be a good idea to be honest with her about how you feel. You could tell her that, even though you might have given the impression you were fine with it, on reflection you're really not feeling fine about it at all. She should be able to understand that and respond sensitively.

I also wondered whether you've told her about your experiences your former T/boss. If not, I would suggest that the current situation is the perfect opportunity to bring it up. I had the impression from what you wrote that there's some unfinished business there.

I hope things work out OK eventually.

Tamar

 

Update for all...

Posted by tryingtobewise on April 3, 2005, at 16:35:40

In reply to Would this bother you? Long but Please Read, posted by tryingtobewise on April 2, 2005, at 22:32:55

Dear Dinah, annierose, and Tamar ~

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my long post. I am greatful for your validation of my discomfort. I also agree, that yes, I will need to discuss with her how we will deal with the very real possibility of crossing paths. Yuck.

It actually gets worse...today I went into work because I didn't work on Friday. I had believed there were no suites open in our small building. I went the other way down the hall though to check, and sure enough there is one very vacant suite with a waiting area and 3 offices. Just watch...this is where she will be. I have a bad feeling about that.

So for those of you who asked...yes, New T is aware that I work for the Former T. It has been a complicated thing to sort out. I think I am well over the "shock" of going to work for my Former T, but on an ongoing basis I do still deal with my own issues around his ethically risky behavior. That part is an ongoing disappointment in him for me, plus I feel like such a whimp for sticking around this less than morally ideal situation.

New T and I talk about this often.

I stick around because...a) in spite of everything he is very likeable b) I have a totally over-developed sense of commitment c) I have kids at home and it is flexible and pays quite well and d) I guess I kind of like to be part of the therapy scene from the other side of the couch. (I am sooo nice to clients...I literally know how they feel when they call to schedule and show up:) )

Basically the whole thing is a mess. Maybe I just need to quit my job, quit therapy, quit meds and not deal with any of them anymore. But I really like New T.

Any more thoughts are welcome.

Thanks again,
Kim

 

Re: Update for all...

Posted by shrinking violet on April 3, 2005, at 17:05:49

In reply to Update for all..., posted by tryingtobewise on April 3, 2005, at 16:35:40

Wow, what a difficult situation.....

As a start, could you maybe schedule your appts with the New T on a day that you aren't working at the office for your former T? That way, at least the two "worlds," if you will, won't collide too much, and you'll be able to be the worker on worker days, and the client on client days.

Since your New T is aware of the situation, perhaps you can talk to her about your concerns? Maybe work out where her office might be in relation to where you are, whether you will be using the same elevator or staircases, etc. And what either of you should do if you do see each other (nod, smile, say hi, ignore, etc). Since you seem to like your job, for the most part (at least enough to stay there for now) and you seem to like your new T, I wouldn't make any sudden changes to either of those things just because of this situation. Try it out for a while, see how it goes. It might not be as bad as you think; often the anticipation of something is worse than the actual event.

Good luck.
SV

 

Re: Update for all...

Posted by annierose on April 3, 2005, at 17:23:17

In reply to Re: Update for all..., posted by shrinking violet on April 3, 2005, at 17:05:49

I agree with SV. I wouldn't make any sudden decisions right now. Although uncomfortable, I think there is a workable solution, and new T sounds like she is sensitivie to your feelings.

If there are multiple entrances and exits, it is possible you can decide which one each of you will use. And it is also possible, there is more than one vacancy in the office park ... so she won't even be in the same building.

I'm glad you already have discussed your feelings with new T. I think you are going to figure something out.

-annierose

 

Re: Update for all... tryingtobewise

Posted by Tamar on April 3, 2005, at 17:33:37

In reply to Update for all..., posted by tryingtobewise on April 3, 2005, at 16:35:40

> It actually gets worse...today I went into work because I didn't work on Friday. I had believed there were no suites open in our small building. I went the other way down the hall though to check, and sure enough there is one very vacant suite with a waiting area and 3 offices. Just watch...this is where she will be. I have a bad feeling about that.

Oh no! I can imagine! Would your new T get any choice in the matter? Would she be offered the opportunity to choose any of the available offices on the site? If it's possible for her to choose an office that isn't in your building, she might be prepared to do that. Mind you, I suppose she'll want to be wherever is most suitable for her. That's a really difficult situation for you. I feel for you.

I'm glad she knows about the situation with your former T. I hope it's some comfort that she's aware of all the intricacies of the situation.

For what it's worth, I really don't think you're a wimp. People work in far less morally ideal situations for far less reason (I'm thinking of one or two journalists I know...). You have children to feed; you need to work. End of story. If the employment conditions (flexibility, pay etc) are useful for you, then why should you give it up? And working for a likeable boss is hugely important. I've worked for some real monsters and it makes such a difference to work for someone you can get along with.

I love the idea that you're nice to clients. That's another reason not to give up your job. It's great that you have so much sympathy for them. I hope they appreciate you!

> Basically the whole thing is a mess. Maybe I just need to quit my job, quit therapy, quit meds and not deal with any of them anymore. But I really like New T.

Oh dear! I can imagine that you just want to run away and hide. But, as you say, you really like your new T, and it sounds as if she's sensitive enough to understand the situation. Perhaps when you talk it through with her you'll be able to feel more comfortable about it all.

I'm sure you can work this out. It seems to me that the main concern would be what to do if you run into her by accident. If you're able to think about that, and discuss it with her, then you should be on the way to finding a solution.

I'll be thinking of you.

Tamar

 

Re: Update for all... (nm)

Posted by fallsfall on April 3, 2005, at 21:53:38

In reply to Update for all..., posted by tryingtobewise on April 3, 2005, at 16:35:40

 

Re: Update for all...

Posted by fallsfall on April 4, 2005, at 7:32:24

In reply to Re: Update for all... (nm), posted by fallsfall on April 3, 2005, at 21:53:38

Hmmm... The above was a rambling post about how if you can find different routes to the different offices that they can feel like they are in very different places.

Best of luck!

 

Re: Update for all...

Posted by Shortelise on April 4, 2005, at 12:50:11

In reply to Update for all..., posted by tryingtobewise on April 3, 2005, at 16:35:40

Wise,

Of all the gin joints in all the world!!! What are the chances?

I'd feel strange about this too.

It sounds like you are pretty stable and comfortable with yourself (and also that you are a wonderful person to be a T's receptionist, btw). I don't doubt for a minute that you'll find a way to work this out nicely.

Do keep us posted.

How does a person buy a Phd? I think I'd like to have one. There a spot on my wall that's just crying out for something with lots of curly letters and official looking stamps.

I guess after making that joke I should say I don't think you are responsible for your boss's purchases and use of those purchases, and that the best thing you could do for his clients is just to continue to be as kind as you are!

ShortE


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