Ashamed of Angry Texting

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joeylittle

Administrator
This:
I know that today when she started talking about all that stuff yet again I just felt hopeless and worthless and couldn't interrupt or say anything. I don't remember how I've reacted the other times. Maybe I did the same thing.
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My point about voicing grievances is that she doesn't want me to voice them except in session - so that would include sending a letter. That is why I said it feels coercive. I am not aware of any other profession that demands that all communications be face to face, let alone a one way communication to express displeasure. I am a pretty direct person. I am definitely not scared of telling her I am angry at her to her face. I have done so many times. The issue here is that I did not become angry until I left.
I know the emotions are different - but part of what needs addressing is that she now knows you two are misunderstanding each other. The only way to work through that is, to work at talking it out face to face. It sounds like you have trouble expressing when you feel vulnerable and exposed - and that is bound to come up, as part of this discussion around how she's missed the mark on your experience. I think doing it in-session is going to be much more useful, for both you and her.
 

susannahsays

Confident
@Sideways She doesn't have a boss. And I wouldn't complain to one if she did. She hasn't done anything to warrant me complaining to someone in a supervisory role. She is not a bad therapist.

It is indeed coercive to require someone to meet with you in order for them to be allowed to deliver criticism. The fact that I can choose not to attend a session does not alter this. That is like saying that nobody should be allowed to post a negative review of a restaurant on Yelp without holding a conference with the chef first. It is an abridgement of free speech. The fact that I am dysregulated and angry texts aren't helpful is, in fact, not germane to my argument. Your argument is fallacious because it works backwards in order to support its conclusion - affirming the consequent and circular reasoning.
 

susannahsays

Confident
This:
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I know the emotions are different - but part of what needs addressing is that she now knows you two are misunderstanding each other. The only way to work through that is, to work at talking it out face to face. It sounds like you have trouble expressing when you feel vulnerable and exposed - and that is bound to come up, as part of this discussion around how she's missed the mark on your experience. I think doing it in-session is going to be much more useful, for both you and her.

I have no expectations about working through things remotely. I agree that doesn't make sense. My issue is when I am reproached for not waiting until my session to say something. I don't think that's very fair.
 
I could be wrong, but maybe there is some simplicity here. Of course, take what I say with a grain of salt, and feel free to disregard if you don’t find anything helpful. In your last reply, you explicitly stated that the issue is not having a way to express your feelings about the therapy process, relationship, or anything else between sessions. I agree that the underlying reasons for such anger and other feelings are best explored face-to-face in therapy; however, I also completely understand your need for an outlet between sessions. So often, our past traumas teach us to hold feelings in, when in reality, you are entitled to express them in a healthy way whenever you need to. That being said, maybe the simple question, and subsequent conversation, is something like, “I’m experiencing intense feelings between sessions, which are evident by the angry text exchange we recently had. How would you suggest I handle/express my feelings toward you, or anything else, between sessions since face-to-face and/or email contact is not an option? I don’t feel comfortable waiting to work through such intense feelings until our next appointment. My ability to do so and/or comfort level may change as the therapeutic process unfolds with time, but right now, this is where I am. Is this something you can understand and work with effectively?” Take the last sentence and change/add your own words, but maybe it’s a starting point at the very least. Her response may dictate where you go from here. Good luck!
 
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susannahsays

Confident
I can wait to work through it. I just don't like being told I am not supposed to express myself except in one specific circumstance. I see expressing that I am angry and discussing the problem as things that can be separate. Maybe I am weird for that. I respect her right to set her own boundaries around if she chooses to respond to any expression of anger that I make. I think demanding that I not express anger between sessions has as much or more to do with her needs as it has to do with mine. I think it causes discomfort for her because she feels compelled to respond. I feel some empathy for that but it is not my job to manage her response to me or maintain her boundaries for her. The majority of the angry texts I have sent have not been implicitly or explicitly seeking a response to their content - and it would have been acceptable to me had she acknowledged receipt and nothing else.
 

Cypress

Confident
Maybe you just aren't ready for trauma therapy yet. Maybe you need to focus on managing your emotions day-to-day first. DBT can help with this. There are also simpler CBT therapies that can help with the cognitive distortions you are having. I wish you the best.
 

susannahsays

Confident
Maybe you just aren't ready for trauma therapy yet. Maybe you need to focus on managing your emotions day-to-day first. DBT can help with this.

Maybe. I'm not really sure I would have much to work with if I didn't encounter triggers in therapy, though. My anger in my regular life is under control these days. I'm definitely not saying I don't have a problem - just that I'm not sure I would have sufficient opportunities to learn how to use DBT stuff effectively in a way that would be of use once I started trauma therapy again - because there wouldn't be anywhere near the same level of dysregulation. I don't know if that makes sense.

There are also simpler CBT therapies that can help with the cognitive distortions you are having. I wish you the best.

I am capable of recognizing irrational thinking without CBT, which I find to be stating the obvious. I don't really find it helpful to be informed that I am being irrational when I am already aware and, due to my personal values and personality, am distressed and ashamed of having thoughts and/or feelings that are illogical and that I cannot justify.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
But the thing is, if you didn't have issues with emotional regulation, then one area of life, like therapy, wouldn't be causing so many problems it does.

So it looks to me more you're conflating causation again.

You don't have issues with therapy because therapy doesn't work.
Therapy is just the area of life your issues SHOW at the most, easiest.

And with trauma therapy, you're expecting less issues... Which is unlikely.
Far more likely to have more of them... Where you need skills to handle the base emotions, to even start handling what trauma stirs.

You seem to have a lot of resistance to what people are saying here, without them actually saying that, as well as fundamentally misunderstanding CBT.

CBT isn't to say you are crazy.
It's a method to help you manage the way your thoughts form emotions, and to what scope.

Which is back to everyone saying, either DBT or CBT might be useful for handling your issues before trauma therapy.

Different ways you can arrive at the same conclusion, emotional regulation, being more stable before you hit off any therapy process, since that gives you difficulty.

You can tackle the thoughts, first, changing behaviors from there, CBT.
You can tackle the emotional swings and behaviors first, work to the thoughts changing, DBT.

It's giving you options and paths to start off.
Not dictacting your life.
 

Sideways

Moderator
It is indeed coercive to require someone to meet with you in order for them to be allowed to deliver criticism
You seem to have an underlying assumption that you are entitled to your T’s time, and attention, between appointments.

This has nothing to do with ‘free speech’ or coercion.
You give an excellent example:
That is like saying that nobody should be allowed to post a negative review of a restaurant on Yelp without holding a conference with the chef first
Nothing stopping you from posting criticism on Yelp or other forums.

The only thing you’re being stopped from doing? Is delivering your criticism to her personally, via the medium of your choice.

The only time and attention she has any obligation to give you is the appointment time that you pay for.

If text is an easier communication method for you, then you could ask to sit and exchange text messages with her...during your next appointment.

Outside the appointment time that you’re paying for? She has no obligation to listen to the issues cropping up for you about the therapy you’re doing.
 

susannahsays

Confident
You seem to have an underlying assumption that you are entitled to your T’s time, and attention, between appointments.

This has nothing to do with ‘free speech’ or coercion.
You give an excellent example:

Nothing stopping you from posting criticism on Yelp or other forums.

The only thing you’re being stopped from doing? Is delivering your criticism to her personally, via the medium of your choice.

The only time and attention she has any obligation to give you is the appointment time that you pay for.

If text is an easier communication method for you, then you could ask to sit and exchange text messages with her...during your next appointment.

Outside the appointment time that you’re paying for? She has no obligation to listen to the issues cropping up for you about the therapy you’re doing.

No, you are fundamentally in error here. She does not have a problem with text specifically, she has a problem with communication that is not positive. She would also have a problem if I expressed myself in any other way, including writing a Yelp review, sending a letter, etc. etc. Anything EXCEPT keeping my feelings and thoughts to myself until the next session.

I make no demands on her time by sending a text since she is under no obligation to read or respond. She is allowed to do as she likes. She could even block my number if she so desired, and I have even mentioned this to her. Sending a text or making any other communication does not force another person to do anything.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Anything EXCEPT keeping my feelings and thoughts to myself until the next session.

You do realize that is not someone out for limiting you, but fairly standard practice for any sort of provider-client interaction, right...?

They provide the service within a limited time frame. Other than that time, take your issue elsewhere.

I make no demands on her time by sending a text

But you get angry at her. As if she owed you something, and did something wrong by being uncomfortable. That itself is demanding.

Sending a text or making any other communication does not force another person to do anything.

Its harassing, even more given she told you to stop it already.
So it does obligate her to deal with an issue you are responsible for... if only to get rid of that behavior of yours.

So it, in fact, DOES make demands on her. She needs to take an action she shouldnt be forced to take, because that responsibility is on you to check yourself, not her to be doing it for you, after you fail to check yourself.
 

susannahsays

Confident
But the thing is, if you didn't have issues with emotional regulation, then one area of life, like therapy, wouldn't be causing so many problems it does.

So it looks to me more you're conflating causation again.

No, I'm not. I don't think trauma therapy is causing my issues. I don't know where you're getting that from. But the fact remains that I don't have issues acting out in my real life relationships at this point in my life. Does that mean that my underlying trauma is resolved or that everything is fine and dandy under all the layers? Of course not. But it does mean that it's much harder to identify and work on anything because interpersonal symptoms of issues stay under the radar.

You don't have issues with therapy because therapy doesn't work.
Therapy is just the area of life your issues SHOW at the most, easiest.

And with trauma therapy, you're expecting less issues... Which is unlikely.

Where are you getting this from? It's not from anything I've said. If I thought therapy didn't work, why on earth would I be doing it? And when did I say I have issues with therapy because it doesn't work? I am so confused by what you are talking about here.

I also don't even know what to say in response to you saying I expect trauma therapy to be easier. That is ludicrous and I have no expectation of that and certainly never said anything to that effect.

You seem to have a lot of resistance to what people are saying here, without them actually saying that, as well as fundamentally misunderstanding CBT.

CBT isn't to say you are crazy.
It's a method to help you manage the way your thoughts form emotions, and to what scope.
I don't misunderstand CBT, and I never said anything about CBT saying I am crazy, so I'm not sure why you brought that up.

Also, I can disagree without it being a pathological symptom of something, or resistance.


You're doing an awful lot of mindreading and putting words into my mouth. I'm open to being challenged on things I actually think and/or say, but it's not very helpful or interesting to read a response that is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with how I actually see anything.
 
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