Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 904581

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I think I'm done with T

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

Here's what she said to me tonight:

"I've given a lot of thought to what you said last session (two weeks ago) about what I would say to my daughter and you know, the thing is, I would say to her exactly the same things I've been saying to you."

This is never, ever going to work. She can't be the person I need her to be through this transition. Which means I can't get what I need. I left her a message after my session canceling next week's session, with the idea that if, as I think, that is actually less excruciating for me, then I won't be back. I told her that she was not the same person since her husband died last fall and that I've kept waiting for her to come back, but that it's pretty clear to me now that it's not going to happen before she retires. And that the last thing I need is another one-sided relationship where I'm not getting what I need. I tried my best to not be manipulative or accusatory, but I've really just had it.

And oh yeah, her house sold in 4 days and she has to move in 3 weeks, so she might be "discombobulated" for a while. Just what she needs is to be MORE discombobulated than she is.

There's more that happened during the session, but the end result is the same so I won't bore you with the details.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T

Posted by Dinah on July 2, 2009, at 20:36:38

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

((( Therapygirl )))

I totally understand. I told my therapist that the only time I would leave him for something he did was if that something was that he had already left me.

It sounds rather as if you feel like she's already left you?

I hope she pulls herself together before the end of the year, but until she has I can see trying to avoid the loneliness of being in a room with someone who isn't in the room with you.

How are things with Bayleigh? Are there still rough patches now the honeymoon is over?

 

Re: I think I'm done with T Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 20:41:17

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T, posted by Dinah on July 2, 2009, at 20:36:38

Thanks, Dinah. Once again, you get it exactly. She's not really in the room with me (even though she would argue that she is and it's my filter -- she's wrong).

Things with Bayleigh are actually fabulous. We are still working on a very few issues, but she is so sweet. She's sleeping in her bed right now -- I took her to work with me today and she's worn completely out. Plus, she was there for the session from hell.

But you're so right -- T has left the building.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on July 2, 2009, at 21:11:08

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T Dinah, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 20:41:17

I've always wanted to be able to bring my dog to work! Unfortunately not one of my bosses is really a dog person. I have to make do with working from home as often as I can.

I think if I had to choose between my therapist and my dogs, I'd choose my dogs. (Gasp!) They are there all the time, constantly willing to listen to our troubles, ever eager to give therapeutic touch, and they can be darned amusing too. I have my lapdog, who more accurately could be called my bed dog. And I can see the potential for developing the sort of relationship with my youngest that I haven't had since I lost my Harry.

I'm really so sorry about your therapist. But so glad you found a companion at the time you needed one. Are you giving any thought to finding another therapist? Admittedly they aren't washing machines.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by twilight on July 2, 2009, at 22:15:19

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

Hi Therapygirl I'm jumping in again on one of these threads. I am not really familiar with your situation so sorry to intrude here but I just read your post & noticed your line "I told her that she was not the same person since her husband died last fall and that I've kept waiting for her to come back". It must be really really hard for you Therapygirl to see that your T is not the same person. You must understand it's nothing you are doing or not doing or has anything to do with you. No, she is likely not coming back emotionally. The death of a spouse is huge, really huge. You are never the same again. Believe me. Your whole world changes. She probably cannot be there for you because her life has changed so dramatically that she can never be the same again for anyone. I'm sorry you had to have that happen in your therapy, she probably is trying but just can't make it happen anymore for you or any of her clients. Best thing is, yes tell her how you feel but with a small understanding for her in her loss. It takes years to get through. Not get over, because you never get over, but get through. I hope you find another T to help you through this. It would be devasting for a client.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on July 2, 2009, at 22:37:12

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

The benefit to establishing a final session - just one more - would be to say good-bye with as much love as possible. If you leave this way,without ever going back, it will take a while to let the last year go and remember all the good years you had with her. I'm sad that your therapy relationship has unraveled and I guess I'm hoping that there is enough connection left for that important last session.

And I think you are wise to end now. It is hurting not helping. So leaving her, before she can leave you, might be helpful. It speaks to your self-knowledge and your ability to care for yourself and protect yourself, things you probably worked on with her.

I just hear you getting more and more angry. I would too - but it still makes me sad. It makes me think of my divorce, in more ways than one.

I wish I know what else to say. You've done an amazing job of hanging in there. At least you know that.

 

Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 3:36:30

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

The last thing I said to T during the session last night (about 20 minutes BEFORE it ended) was that I guess I would hope the drugs would work.

I can't even get that. I'm so frustrated I could scream.

Thanks to all of you for the responses -- I can't respond to them right this minute, but I will tomorrow. I've taken some of my regular Xanax in the hope that I can get back to sleep.

Sigh.

 

Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on July 3, 2009, at 5:56:25

In reply to Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated, posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 3:36:30

Are you ok?

It belatedly occurred to me that my accepting your assessment that she is no longer helpful might have been unsettling to you since I normally am in favor of working to repair a long term relationship.

I'm not necessarily right you know. The way you wrote about her reminded me a lot of how I felt when my therapist was discombobulated. In fact, he uses that very phrase too. And in him it usually means that he's all upset about stuff in his personal life and is unable to be the sort of therapist I need him to be.

The last time that happened with him, he managed to pull himself together with me even before the crisis had passed. At least enough to be fully present with me. I think it's possible with her too, but she doesn't seem to be accepting the responsibility or being self reflective enough to acknowledge and repair her lack of presence.

But that could be purely projection on my part based on my experiences with my therapist. If it would be more painful to go than to stay, then maybe it isn't yet time.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by antigua3 on July 3, 2009, at 9:58:12

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

I'm really sorry about all this. You know my T's husband died earlier in our therapy and it did take a long time for her to really come back, so I know how you feel. They think they're there, but they aren't, and all the arguing in the world can't make them be what we want them to be.
You don't have the time for her to heal, and she can't seem to discover the strenght inside of her to help you heal. I'm sorry it is such a mess. I do think you should go back one last time, though. For your own sake, I don't think you should leave things hanging.
Wishing you the best of luck,
antigua

 

Re: I think I'm done with T Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:24:45

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by Dinah on July 2, 2009, at 21:11:08

Yes, at least I have Bayleigh. I honestly don't know how I ever got along without her.

I'm still pretty convinced that it would be a mistake to find a new therapist. I may change my mind later, but I really am burnt out on the drama.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T twilight

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:26:39

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by twilight on July 2, 2009, at 22:15:19

Thanks, Twilight. I do understand, even though I'm p*ssed. The problem is not just that she's not herself, it's that she's retiring the end of December. So it was really important for her to be able to deal with this enough to be effective and that just hasn't happened. She probably should have just retired after he died instead of coming back and pretending to be a therapist. Because she really couldn't be more different than she's been.

I do appreciate your support.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T Daisym

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:32:40

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by Daisym on July 2, 2009, at 22:37:12

I am angry. You may be right about a final session, but my best guess is that she wouldn't deal with even that well enough for it to be of any benefit to me. So I think I have to figure this out on my own. She really is very out of touch with herself and with me.

It's very sad and I was very hopeful that T, of all people, would be able to help me navigate a goodbye in a healthier way. She could have if she was herself. But it's just not going to happen.

One of the things she told me last night is that she's moving Jan. 1 or close to it. In my opinion, especially given her emotional state, she should have delayed the moving until AFTER she retires so that she could devote her energy to helping us all through this process. Instead, it continues to be all about her. I can't tell you how very different that is from her core personality. And she won't admit it. She keeps saying it's my filter. That may have been true when I was so depressed, but I've been much better these last couple of months. And I'm experiencing her ineffectiveness exactly the same way.

She also brought up last night that she knew my birthday would be difficult (it's 3 weeks after she leaves and the anniversary of my life falling apart this past January) and she thought it would be important for us to have contact. But it will be too soon for her to be back in the area, so we'll plan a phone call. I can't tell you how cared for I feel in response to that.

Thank you for being here in this awful place with me, Daisy. I really appreciate it and your wisdom.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T antigua3

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:35:22

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by antigua3 on July 3, 2009, at 9:58:12

Exactly. She won't even be honest about it. She thinks she's doing all of this right. And what she's doing is setting me up over and over. She asked me last night how much contact I thought I needed after she retires and what kind of form it should take. I looked at her and said, "Why are you asking me that when you know I don't get to pick?" It just feels like she's toying with me. And, of course, I was right. She had already decided that we could have contact (a phone call or whatever) once/month. So WHY is she asking me things she's already decided??????

I get what you and Daisy are saying about a final session, but I just don't see it helping because of the space she's in. She's not my T anymore and she certainly isn't my mother.

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me, though. I know you know how difficult this is.

 

Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:38:18

In reply to Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated TherapyGirl, posted by Dinah on July 3, 2009, at 5:56:25

I'm not really okay, but you were completely right in your assessment and I was already thinking the same thing.

I'm so sad that I can't say goodbye to the therapist/mother who I've loved and felt connected to all these years. But she's not there anymore, so saying goodbye to this person is really nothing but frustrating.

I also suspect that it has not been a good thing for me for her to consult someone, especially someone who's never met me. I briefly thought about forbidding that consultation last night (can I even do that?) before I just decided I still wasn't going to get what I need from her.

She's just toying with me now.

 

Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated TherapyGirl

Posted by antigua3 on July 3, 2009, at 19:20:56

In reply to Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated Dinah, posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:38:18

I don't think she's toying with you. I don't think any of this is intentional. Perhaps she thought she could this, but she seems like she's just lost.
antigua

 

Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on July 3, 2009, at 19:38:48

In reply to Re: Xanax CR is completely overrated Dinah, posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:38:18

((( Therapygirl )))

It's possible I'm not at all right. It rings too many bells for me. I might be projecting my own experience of feeling alone in a room with my therapist onto you.

I wouldn't want my therapist to get a consultation. My therapist used to feel completely differently about long term therapy than he does now, and I'd hate for him to get his notions of proper termination from someone who really doesn't get it (the way he used to not get it.)

For what it's worth, your situation came up in therapy today. Because I can see myself being exactly where you are in a few years. My therapist spoke with more honesty than usual. Or perhaps not more honesty, maybe he just delved into places he usually doesn't go. From what he said, I don't think this is anywhere near intentional on her part. I mean, the leaving is, but her responses are probably not. He says when he is discombobulated (I told him your therapist used that word too) he was just so wrapped up in holding his own life together that he couldn't think clearly about anything. He admits that he doesn't cope particularly well in his own crises, while he does very well with other people's crises.

I can see being angry. I'll be angry with my therapist when he leaves me in body or in spirit, no matter what the reason. I'll be mad at him if he dies. But I'm guessing you can acquit her of deliberately toying with you. She's maybe just not as put together as we tend to think our therapist/mothers are.

I think the important thing at this point is that you do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe and get through this as best you can. If that means seeing her until you no longer can, then do that. Or if it means making the break before she hurts you more, then that is what you should do. If seeing another therapist to process this will be helpful to you then please do consider it. But if facing into the wind with just family, friends, and dog at your side, and without a therapist, is what is best for you, then this friend will totally support you in that.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on July 3, 2009, at 22:33:33

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on July 3, 2009, at 18:32:40

My mother's husband died 2 1/2 years ago. She isn't the same person at all now. The first year was especially hard because she bounced between being angry at us (her family) for "not understanding that she might not be able to be there for us" to weeping with strangers in public. My mother is the most put-together, contained individual I know, so this part was particularly shocking. The hardest part for me was that she couldn't see herself as less functional. I kept encouraging her to carve out space to grieve and she would make herself as busy as possible and then crash down.

I'm not excusing your therapist, but guessing instead that she just can't see herself. She keeps putting it on you because she has to.

What a sad place that leaves you. I know you love her and you have every right to be angry. It feels like she gets it half right sometimes and then wrecks it with whatever she does next.

I agree with Dinah. Do what you need to do for yourself. And that may change from month to month. Your therapist reminds me a little of my kids trying to leave home. Moving is hard, they push me away - then they blame me and say I'm happy they are out of the house. Separation is just really darn hard for humans.

(((Therapygirl)))

 

Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl

Posted by rskontos on July 5, 2009, at 15:13:42

In reply to I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 2, 2009, at 18:39:59

Therapy Girl

After reading all the posts and responses, the old saying "Can't see the forest for the trees" comes to mind. She really can't see the harm she is doing on her clients, especially you, when she is not there and thinks she is. Denial is hard enough on other family/friends but when you are a professional dealing with others people lives and family like a therapist does it is so hard when they are psuedo-present.

I am so sorry for you that you must go through this, but hopefully, therapy has helped enough in the past and you have made enough progress that you can know when something is good or harmful.

I know that this is not the ending you hoped for and maybe one day she will emerge from her grief to realize the damaging effects this all caused.

But please do what you must to protect yourself. Her statements that she is saying to you is exactly what she would say to her daughter I think indicates that she is indeed trying to believe she is doing the right thing but she is not.

She really should realize as a therapist that if she says something and it hurts you then it was wrong. period. It would be one thing if this all occurred during an ongoing therapy relationship and it would eventually get all worked out but she is suppose to be helping you with the event of her retirement. Which means the relationship is coming to a close, things said then are so important being the last of a relationship and its ending for those in therapy is crucial. Crucial to your longterm benefit.

I don't think she can see all this and that saddens me for you. You have strengths that you must call on to help during this time and vent here as often as you need it.

If in your heart you feel going back for one more final meeting is wrong then do what your instincts tell you. I am not sure if you should or should not.

More hurt would be so hard and losing someone that has been there for you for so long is the hardest. I am sorry.

I wish you peace and some understanding in all this.

rsk

 

Re: I think I'm done with T

Posted by emilyp on July 5, 2009, at 16:35:13

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by Daisym on July 3, 2009, at 22:33:33

I do feel bad for you regarding the situation with your therapist. It is hard to lose someone you feel so close to. And yes, she does have a professional responsibility to end things properly. But consider for a moment the sadness and grief she must feel losing her husband. As someone else said, it is such a huge loss. My father was never the same after my mother, his wife of 40 years died. In fact, just three years later, he died. Although there was a true cause of death, when people ask how my father died, I frequently reply, he died of a broken heart.

Perhaps in the same way that you are having trouble adjusting to her situation, remember she must be having similar issues with her own loss. Is there a way that you can use that to create a bond (albeit somewhat temporary in light of her impending retirement) between the two of you? When my mother died, it was somewhat hard for my therapist to understand as he both his parents are still living. Yet, about a year later, his uncle, who he saw as a father, died. It gave us an experience to share.

If this does not work, you need to remember therapists are human. They cannot, despite our desires, always be there for us and they have their own issues. Perhaps rise above your sadness and anger and remember how she helped you. And give her the benefit of the doubt considering the huge loss she faces.

 

Re: I think I'm done with T

Posted by muffled on July 5, 2009, at 23:42:17

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T TherapyGirl, posted by Daisym on July 3, 2009, at 22:33:33

((((((((TG))))))))))
Just all round its hard I reckon.
But glad you got a dog :)
Glad you getting along OK.
Up and down I guess for you.
But I admiring you plugging away.
I think losing your T gonna hurt like hell, but that it'll ease up some over time.
I really do beleive this.
Hope your doing OK.
Goto go.
M

 

Re: I think I'm done with T

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 6, 2009, at 21:24:49

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T, posted by muffled on July 5, 2009, at 23:42:17

Thanks, Everybody. I've had to start shutting it down -- am getting ready to spend two days with all of my relatives in pretty close quarters.

I haven't heard a word from T (big surprise) and at this point I don't know whether I will.

I'll write individual responses and any update once I get back home.

Thanks again for the support.

 

Re: The message she left

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 8, 2009, at 16:46:09

In reply to Re: I think I'm done with T, posted by TherapyGirl on July 6, 2009, at 21:24:49

"Hi, TG, it's T. I just wanted to let you know that I got your message about not meeting Thursday and I want to respect what you need. I'm sad that we aren't able to get to a better place with this. Let me know what your plans are for next Thursday."

WTF am I supposed to do with that? I waited 5 days for that??????????????????????????

 

Re: The message she left TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on July 8, 2009, at 16:47:18

In reply to Re: The message she left, posted by TherapyGirl on July 8, 2009, at 16:46:09

:(

I wish I could call her and tell her that she's an idiot. Or perhaps not that. But something.

 

Re: The message she left TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on July 8, 2009, at 18:44:17

In reply to Re: The message she left, posted by TherapyGirl on July 8, 2009, at 16:46:09

She really does sound like she is trying to leave the ball completely in your court and is refusing to see how deflated that damn ball is!

How about this - take a month off and see how that feels. If you can begin to let go of her, of the past and of the current angst, then maybe go see her to say good-bye. That way you are protecting yourself without making any final decisions one way or another about seeing her.

I know it must hurt so much. Every interaction steals a bit more from the stock-pile of the good relationship. I'd want to stop seeing her and live in my memories too.

Be gentle with yourself.

 

Re: The message she left Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 8, 2009, at 20:57:55

In reply to Re: The message she left TherapyGirl, posted by Dinah on July 8, 2009, at 16:47:18

Yep.


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