Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 567926

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I don't feel the same way

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

I'm not sure if I said this before or not. I'm a bit hazy on who I've said what to.

But my therapist told me I could email him while he was away, and gave me an email address specifically for this time period.

I had emailed him about some updates on some things we had talked about re. finding another therapist, etc. and he happened to reply just after I found out my father in law was dying, and while I was sitting at the computer. So I emailed him about it. His reply was pretty quick, and basically consisted of something along the lines of "I'm sorry, but I've got problems too you know." And proceeded to tell me those problems, which appeared to be monetary in nature. Which didn't seem to be the right response to information about a dying relative. Not even from a casual aquaintance, and certainly not to a client who's paid you at least 10k a year for years.

He ended by asking me if that was too much information. I responded politely, including the observation that the boat of strict boundaries had probably sailed a while back now. And expressed genuine and proper concern about his problems. His response to that, and to my subsequent email to him that my aunt had died in a fire, were brief and polite and very circumspect and superficial.

I don't know. I just don't feel the same way about him now.

I don't know how fair that is.

It's been almost a week now. I haven't contacted him again, and have no intention of doing so. We have an appointment for the sixth of November, and I intend to keep it. I don't want to lose the connection or feel differently about him.

But I do.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by Annierose on October 16, 2005, at 22:14:27

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

I can understand that feeling Dinah. It makes sense, not sure I can put words to explain why I agree with you. I'll try. He shared too much. That shifts the relationship, the balance is off a tad and you'll need to get it back to feel comfty again. Since Katrina, he seems overwhelmed with his own personal crises, and now he is leaning on you, a confidant of sorts, but first and foremost, you're his client, a beloved client, but a client.

I'm glad you plan on keeping your appointment. They are infrequent, so it's good to see him and talk when you can. Maybe you'll sort things out once you see him. When he asks, "is this too much information?", by asking, he has answered his own question. YES!

And I agree his initial response about your father-in-law seemed less than genuine. It almost has the flavor, "you think you have problems, well, I'm losing money, my aunt died in a fire, blah blah blah." He is looking to you as a friend, for comfort. That's why your feelings have shifted, I think.

I know he is motivated (and you are as well) to continue to be your main therapist. He will sort out his life. A lot has happened. It will take time. Maybe you should be charging him a fee for the next few months ....

Are you doing okay? Are the evenings still the hardest time for you?

Annie

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by alexandra_k on October 16, 2005, at 22:21:19

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

> I don't know. I just don't feel the same way about him now.

i think that is pretty understandable under the circumstances.

> I don't know how fair that is.

i'm not sure that it is a matter of fairness...
and i do think...
that it is okay.
really.
it isn't dishonouring him or disrespecting him
it doesn't have to negate what you had
(which will always be a memory and can still be a source of strength)

> I don't want to lose the connection or feel differently about him.

> But I do.

I just want you to know...
That I really do think that it is okay that you are.
It is okay
It is understandable

And you don't have to lose the sense of connection.

i remember one of my past therapists really well.
sometimes i just need to remember her and all those connected and loving feelings come back.

she is still with me.

and she is with me just the way she used to be
just the way i liked / needed

:-)

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by daisym on October 16, 2005, at 22:35:27

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

I'm not sure things can ever go back to the way they were. But that doesn't mean that the changes can't lead to a different kind of satisfying relationship.

Have you thought that part of what is going on is about how strong you've been? I know that things are hard, and there are minutes, hours and days you want to give up. But you haven't. You've been coping, taking care of yourself and those around you. Perhaps (in my most gentle voice) you don't need him to hold you together like you use to. This isn't a bad thing. It shows how well you know yourself and what you need...and therapy has helped you discover that.

Life never goes backwards. Your future with your therapist may need to be a fresh start, because I don't think he is the same person he was before Katrina. And you aren't either.

It is lonely though, isn't it? That is what I hear most in your post...so much loss. I wish i could help more.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Annierose

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:37:30

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by Annierose on October 16, 2005, at 22:14:27

It was my aunt who died. (We weren't really close, but it sure adds to my feeling of being cursed or doomed or bad luck.) His problems were financial. Well that's not totally fair, there was an emotional component to them too.

And since he said he hadn't had access to the internet, to be fair he probably received the info at the same time he received my email and was still very much affected by it.

But yes, you're right about the shift. But he doesn't even feel like a very good friend at the moment, never mind a therapist.

I hope we can work things out. Perhaps he's as bad in the written word as he is on the phone, and is only competent in person. Perhaps he promised more than he could properly deliver, in giving me his email address.

Perhaps he's just a selfish incompetent idiot.

Ok, maybe I shouldn't have said the last. But I thought it best to give expression to the full range of my thoughts. From "I'm being a dreadful nuisance and that's why he's responding this way." to "He's a selfish incompetent idiot."

Sigh.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way

Posted by gardenergirl on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:54

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

(((dinah)))

I don't have anything helpful to say. I'm too stuck on my reaction to his reply.

But, I agree that he's changed, and it's only natural for your feelings about him to change. Your lives have had a huge upheaval, and I don't know how it could ever go back to the way it was. That's not to say that it can't still be helpful and good. But it will be different. It sounds like it already is.

Now, pretend you don't see this, but I'm giving him a virtual forehead flick for his reply to you.

Take care,

gg

 

Re: I don't feel the same way

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:57

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by alexandra_k on October 16, 2005, at 22:21:19


> she is still with me.
>
> and she is with me just the way she used to be
> just the way i liked / needed
>
> :-)
>
>

I'm envious. I don't seem to have that talent. I can do it when people die, but not when my feelings change. There's this shift, and I can never see them the same way again.

I'm hoping this can be sorted out in person and I won't feel that way.

 

Above for Alexandra (nm)

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:40:19

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:57

 

Re: I don't feel the same way

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:42:34

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way, posted by gardenergirl on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:54

No, he deserves it. I ran the actual email by two people to see if I was reading it wrong.

I felt suckerpunched by the sheer insensitivity of it.

I have one or two really wild theories about why he responded the way he did. Maybe I'll email them to you.

 

Dang. Above for gardenergirl. (nm)

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:43:01

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:42:34

 

Re: I don't feel the same way daisym

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:46:07

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by daisym on October 16, 2005, at 22:35:27

From his life circumstances, having moved and all, and mine which may possibly involve moving, since I've lost him anyway, I'm not sure that a new relationship would have time to develop.

But I'm sort of sorry the old one appears to be ending this way. Especially since in the weeks since the storm, a caring relationship did seem to be developing, if not based on as firm boundaries as one might like to see.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way daisym

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:58:14

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by daisym on October 16, 2005, at 22:35:27

You're right about the loneliness.

It's not just from the therapeutic relationship, it really is pervasive. Maybe it's partly the medication that makes me feel so isolated.

But it is in large part the therapeutic relationship. There was a degree of intimacy, however one sided, in that relationship that I really really miss.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way gardenergirl

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 23:21:46

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way, posted by gardenergirl on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:54

No fewer than two emails on their way. :)

Sorry about that.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Annierose

Posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 23:27:51

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by Annierose on October 16, 2005, at 22:14:27

I think that I'm not ok, actually. I seem ok on the surface.

But in the early hours, after the evening Risperdal wears off, and before I get up to take the morning Risperdal, I am sooooo depressed.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by alexandra_k on October 16, 2005, at 23:41:34

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 22:38:57

> > she is still with me.
> > and she is with me just the way she used to be
> > just the way i liked / needed
> > :-)

> I'm envious. I don't seem to have that talent. I can do it when people die, but not when my feelings change. There's this shift, and I can never see them the same way again.

Hmm.
My feelings for her didn't change before she left so I suppose her leaving was more like a death.

You have to have some good memories of feeling comforted...

He doesn't have to be there even...

How about after a good session...
One where you felt happy and comforted.

Can you access that?

(It might bring a tear or two...
But does it also bring comfort?)

If this doesn't help - I'm sorry...
I haven't really thought along these lines before...

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by JenStar on October 17, 2005, at 0:16:19

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

hi Dinah,
it sounds like he's struggling and lost too.

Maybe he has that feeling we were talking about in another post - that HE needs someone else to be the "grownup" and he doesn't want to be one anymore, either!

It sounds like he's reaching out to you as another person, and not anymore like a therapist. Or at least he's struggling with the boundaries. Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know...although it seems scary and weird to deal with that on top of everything else in your life.

I'm certain that the last thing he wants to do is mess you up right now (as certain as I can be without knowing him at all!) by crossing and recrossing boundaries, but maybe he's just not able to be be a rock-solid therapist right now -- too many worries of his own intruding? He's flip-flopping between being the therapist/grownup and a kid/person who needs help himself?

I think it's good to keep the appt with him. Maybe you can talk about all this and figure out what's happening.

It's all so much, isn't it? I'm sorry!

Have you had luck finding another therapist locally for you to try short or long-term?

take care,
JenStar

 

Re: I don't feel the same way JenStar

Posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 6:18:21

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by JenStar on October 17, 2005, at 0:16:19

Yeah. But I don't know how much is really him, and how much I'm reading into it. If everyone around me is falling apart as much as they appear to be, it is indeed a sad and sorry world.

I guess I won't have any way of figuring out what is going on until I see him Nov 6. Apparently he's as bad in writing as he is on the phone, and it's probably better for me not to try to communicate that way.

I know he's not trying to hurt me. I got the impression that he had just recieved this news, and it was very much on his mind when he hastily responded to me. Maybe it was the question about whether it was TMI that was the kicker. Yet, I suppose he saw it as checking with me. I don't know.

But whether or not he meant to hurt me, he did.

T2 says she didn't receive my call terminating her, and called to ask where I was at appt time. She wanted to know why, and I gave her the office reason, which was part of it, but not all of it. I could just tell that she wasn't going to be able to help me in the way I want to be helped. Maybe that's not the healthiest goal, but it's my therapy and I get to choose. :)

I did call a third therapist who sounded quite promising. But it came up in our first session that there is a technical reason she probably can't see me, so she's going to come up with a referral list. It's not official yet, but it sounded likely enough that I'm not even going to consider her as a long term prospect.

I may keep looking, or maybe not. At least not short term.

 

Thanks, Alexandra. :) (nm)

Posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 6:18:47

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by alexandra_k on October 16, 2005, at 23:41:34

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on October 17, 2005, at 6:39:02

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way JenStar, posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 6:18:21

(((Dinah)))

I think you are doing all the right things.

Small comfort, I know.

Can you let us help with your loneliness for a bit? You've seemed a bit quiet. I miss you.

It does sound like the Risperdal is helping a lot. I'm sorry it wears off before you can take it again. But you are using it as medication should be used - to get you through until a time when you can sort things out in your life.

We love you.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by cricket on October 17, 2005, at 8:29:22

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

(((Dinah))))

I am so sorry you're still not getting the support you need from your therapist.

It may very well be that he's terrible with e-mail. I know some people who are like that.

I guess what I would do is keep the appointment on the 6th and try to go with few expectations and maybe he will suprise you by providing some of the warmth and comfort that you've come to expect from him.

Also, Dinah, I would continue to look for a new therapist. I know that you said before that it would be very difficult for you to connect with someone else as you have with this therapist. But that seems so untrue to me because you've connected with so many of us here on Babble in such a deep way and we are all so different. The only constant is you Dinah, your ability to sort through all our various styles and issues and say things that are helpful and meaningful.

Maybe it's not T2 but if you continue the search I am sure someone right is going to turn up soon.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 8:52:54

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by fallsfall on October 17, 2005, at 6:39:02

Thanks Falls.

I have been isolating a lot lately. The loss of my therapist particularly has hit me awfully hard. And the uncertainty about it even harder.

It's what is most on my mind, but I feel too protective of him to say too much about it.

I also guess I think it's stupid that that's what is most on my mind.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way cricket

Posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 9:00:17

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah, posted by cricket on October 17, 2005, at 8:29:22

Thanks Cricket. He actually emailed me today to ask how I'm doing, and I mentioned the hurt.

I don't know how it will all work out and that's really scary.

I am surprisingly difficult to please in the therapy department. I've seen quite a few adjunct therapists over the years, and have strongly disliked most of them. The only one I actually liked is my son's play therapist, who has disappeared as far as we're concerned since the storm.

T2, well it isn't so much that I strongly disliked her as that I sensed she strongly disapproved of me. You guys don't care that I'm eccentric, maybe in part because you can't see me. :) I think she saw it as an affectation, when it really isn't. I'm just eccentric. I think I responded to that. Usually it's not a sense that someone dislikes me that has me feeling it isn't right. Often they just don't get what I'm saying because I have an idiosyncratic way of expressing myself. But usually the reason I don't like a therapist has to do with their aura, for want of a better word. They're too intrusive and high energy, or too solicitous and fluffy.

Sigh. I guess the truth is that I want my therapist mommy, however impaired he might be.

 

I think I'm sorry I know so much about therapy

Posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 9:04:36

In reply to I don't feel the same way, posted by Dinah on October 16, 2005, at 21:43:38

It colors the way I view our exchanges, I think. Because I know what the rules are, what the boundaries are, what other therapists would likely think of what he was saying or doing.

I think that keeps me from responding spontaneously.

I keep thinking in terms of technique.

 

Re: I don't feel the same way Dinah

Posted by cricket on October 17, 2005, at 10:04:47

In reply to Re: I don't feel the same way cricket, posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 9:00:17

>
> I am surprisingly difficult to please in the therapy department. I've seen quite a few adjunct therapists over the years, and have strongly disliked most of them. The only one I actually liked is my son's play therapist, who has disappeared as far as we're concerned since the storm.
>
> T2, well it isn't so much that I strongly disliked her as that I sensed she strongly disapproved of me. You guys don't care that I'm eccentric, maybe in part because you can't see me. :) I think she saw it as an affectation, when it really isn't. I'm just eccentric. I think I responded to that.

Yes, I understand that. I would hate that someone disapproved, or worse yet saw as a ploy for attention, something that feels like so much a part of who I am. Sometimes my therapist says things like "I don't think that's who you are. I think you are _____ (fill in the blank)." Normally that would bother the cr*p out of me but because he seems to have the best of intentions it doesn't bother me. Maybe it is all about someone who has our best interests at heart.

Usually it's not a sense that someone dislikes me that has me feeling it isn't right. Often they just don't get what I'm saying because I have an idiosyncratic way of expressing myself. But usually the reason I don't like a therapist has to do with their aura, for want of a better word. They're too intrusive and high energy, or too solicitous and fluffy.
>
Yes, and your T isn't like that. He is grounded and calming, right? I can understand the dislike of intrusive and high energy or solicitous and fluffy. They sound like more female qualities (is that sexist of me?) so maybe you should try males.

I do know what you mean about auras although normally I hate any kind of new age terminilogy. Recently I had to fill a couple of positions at my job. They all looked good on paper but I went through interview after interview and no seemed to be a fit. It was taking a tremendous amount of time and I usually knew 5 minutes into an interview that the person wasn't going to work. Half jokingly I told human resources that I wanted them just to line everyone up against a wall and then I could at least pick the ones I wanted to interview. So I guess that was aura.

Too bad they don't have display booths for therapists. I'll try #9, definitely not #5. :-)

> Sigh. I guess the truth is that I want my
therapist mommy, however impaired he might be.
>
I think that is a perfectably understandable. I want him for you too :-(

 

Re: I think I'm sorry I know so much about therapy Dinah

Posted by JenStar on October 17, 2005, at 10:40:56

In reply to I think I'm sorry I know so much about therapy, posted by Dinah on October 17, 2005, at 9:04:36

hi Dinah,
I think it just sucks that your therapist is not able to be a therapist right now, and that he hurt you with his hasty curt emails responses. It sounds like he's NOT that great over email, which is too bad, b/c from your posts here is seems that YOU are very good at writing and expressing yourself thru writing.

I'm sorry T2 didn't work out...but I guess it's better to make the break right away before you get entrenched. The thought of that waiting rooms gives me the mental willies, too; I wish it didn't, but it just does. I totally get why you'd be uncomfortable there.

I wish you success in the search for a new T, if you decide to continue. You DO know a lot about therapy! I guess there's a downside, but on the upside, you will always be able to get a good assessment of the T's actions, and will be aware if he/she does something wrong, or something right, or something "weird." You'll be more in control of your own therapy and can be insistent on what you need. I also think it's cool that you're not afraid to say what you need or want.

It's OK to have high standards. :) It makes you YOU. You're a smart, intellectual person with lots of insights into therapy. It stands to reason that some therapists just won't be good enough for you and your needs. Maybe a LOT won't be good enough! And that's OK. If you keep up the search, it's OK to be picky, I believe, b/c in the end you'll get a best match and won't need to do a huge compromise.

good luck. take care!
JenStar


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