How to forgive my therapist?

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
I have never talked about my “traumatic” memories in therapy and I have been in therapy for six years!! I finally found the courage to read my therapist something about one of memories.
After I was done I felt numb and was just trying to talk a bit but I felt detached a bit. Then my therapist changed subject abruptly and wanted to talk about some random activity I was gonna do that afternoon.
I was confused and upset. I wasn’t overwhelmed so not sure why my therapist just randomly changed the subject. It’s like she was careless and was randomly looking out of the window and figuring out whether the rain was gonna stop me from doing it.
But I was in the midst of talking about one of my “traumatic” memories for the first time and felt very let down.
I have been let down before in therapy, but this time I just feel hurt and disappointedly my therapist apologized and said she missed the mark, made a mistake, she’s fallible etc but I just cannot forgive.
It’s like just because the person apologized doesn’t mean we can just move on and forgive no? I just feel hurt. How to forgive?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Ruptures with T's are so painful.

And this one sounds very deep given the enormity of what you shared and how brave you were doing that.

It's good she has apologised. That is her accepting responsibility. In her apology, was she asking you how it felt for you and processing it with you?
It sounds as though you need to hear more of why she chose that response as her intervention technique. (Was she trying to keep you in the here and now? Idk)
And she needs to hear more from you maybe about what you wanted and needed from her in that moment?

You have 6 years of a relationship with her. So you know how she cares about you and how she usually is. Are there things from the past and previous ruptures that night help process this one?

It can be worked through. Right now, it's so painful. But it can be better.

(And amazing you shared that memory. I'm sorry you didn't get the response you needed in that moment. But it is still a big thing that you shared).
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I have never talked about my “traumatic” memories in therapy and I have been in therapy for six years!! I finally found the courage to read my therapist something about one of memories.
After I was done I felt numb and was just trying to talk a bit but I felt detached a bit. Then my therapist changed subject abruptly and wanted to talk about some random activity I was gonna do that afternoon.
I was confused and upset. I wasn’t overwhelmed so not sure why my therapist just randomly changed the subject. It’s like she was careless and was randomly looking out of the window and figuring out whether the rain was gonna stop me from doing it.
But I was in the midst of talking about one of my “traumatic” memories for the first time and felt very let down.
I have been let down before in therapy, but this time I just feel hurt and disappointedly my therapist apologized and said she missed the mark, made a mistake, she’s fallible etc but I just cannot forgive.
It’s like just because the person apologized doesn’t mean we can just move on and forgive no? I just feel hurt. How to forgive?
I know this feeling well. I got over it with practice. She was patient with me because I would yell at her, not loud but like a trigger, because of feeling betrayed. I trust her now mostly. We have hit each other with everything I think, and we both survived which creates a kind of mutual respect. We are both all in but mistakes still will happen. I know she has my best interest at heart and wouldn’t hurt me intentionally, but it’s very intimate and vulnerable so I might hear sometimes things that aren’t there or she does the same thing. But I have my voice with her I don’t hold anything back. If I have something to say she hears it and she does that with me also I think. Pull no punches. Wanna take a swim you’ll get wet. That’s what it’s for . : )
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I have had therapists do this and they were trying to ground me in the present. So it's worth talking more and trying to work through it.

Having said that, I've had a therapist miss the mark so much I couldn't trust her after. I tried though and we processed it a lot and I do forgive her. We parted in a good place. What do you need from her to be able to forgive? Have you thought about the possibility that *some* of this is transference? What do you need from yourself to be able to forgive her?
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you all for your responses! Usually I am maybe mad or upset after a “rupture” but this time it feels slightly different. I feel defeated. Usually an apology goes a long way and I can forgive. But this time I think this was so important to me that it hurt me a lot and an apology was not enough.
Maybe it was the way she apologized too saying she was human and fallible or something like that. I told her it seemed like we were switching conversation from my hurt to how she felt, and I was the one that was hurt and didn’t want to start thinking about her. I guess I have come a long way in verbalizing these things in session. Usually I would just freeze and go mute till the session was over if something like this happened. Maybe it was good I was able to express how I felt.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you all for your responses! Usually I am maybe mad or upset after a “rupture” but this time it feels slightly different. I feel defeated. Usually an apology goes a long way and I can forgive. But this time I think this was so important to me that it hurt me a lot and an apology was not enough.
Maybe it was the way she apologized too saying she was human and fallible or something like that. I told her it seemed like we were switching conversation from my hurt to how she felt, and I was the one that was hurt and didn’t want to start thinking about her. I guess I have come a long way in verbalizing these things in session. Usually I would just freeze and go mute till the session was over if something like this happened. Maybe it was good I was able to express how I felt.
It's really positive you were able to notice your reaction in the session and then be able to communicate that.

I can totally see how her response seems flippant. And I can understand feeling defeated. You're not defeated though. Even though it feels so real. You still have an intuned therapist who believes you and you can trust. Yes she messed up at a crucial moment. But it can be overcome.

It's Def worth another conversation with her?

In the meantime, does it help to explore why you feel defeated?
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
We had our session this morning (I am lucky that we meet 4x a week) so that we were able to talk things through a bit.

It’s not all done, but basically working with parts is hard. It felt to me when my T had changed the subject to something that had to do with an activity that a functional and not traumatic part of me can do, that she wanted to escape the pain of what I was telling her. We talked about it a lot. But basically my T said she was just trying to maybe connect to me and that’s why she thought about this happier activity and was holding my whole self in mind those moments. I don’t think she meant bad. She just had probably an unconscious moment of “countertransference” Ie she felt maybe the way I felt during my trauma or traumatic memories - wanting to leave and go to this happier / safer space. It’s not that she was fully careless but sometimes I guess these things are so intricate that they affect the other person in ways they cannot fully control. However, while adult me knows this, young parts just took over today for the last part of the session and I just couldn’t control anymore my body or what I was saying and they were explaining how hurt they were and how what they had shared about the traumatic memory was about having felt that they were alone in the “trauma” and no one had been there for them and she had done the exact same thing and left them and escaped and they were left alone. I was very ashamed and embarrassed as I didn’t want to dissociate/ switch or whatever this is, but I just couldn’t help it.
In the beginning, before all the above, she tried again some thing about how I had erased all the good things she had done - but that didn’t go well lol. I said it’s not like I want to quit but I am just hurt and some things are perhaps unforgivable Ie if spouse cheats on you ya maybe they were nice for years but maybe you cannot forgive them. I said I might need some time. T said to take all the time I needed.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds an honest and challenging discussion.

I think it's good parts came out and expressed their hurt. That's brave of them. And not something to be embarrassed about, although I do understand that embarrassment.

Sounds like she was able to hear it and tolerate it (mostly - perhaps the comment about her saying you have erased all the good bits about her could be seen as a bit defensive?). But she said take the time you need. So she is showing you she is there.

This sounds like it has triggered a very core and painful experience for you. Like you say, you felt abandoned in the moment and that reflected the abandonment in the past. That's really challenging.
What's different here is that she has explained her countertransference, and has accepted responsibility, and is working with you to unde and to make amends. That is vastly different to the past. And they say this is where the healing is?

It's perfect ok to take your time and it's perfectly ok to talk about it again with her.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you so much @Movingforward10

Letting the parts take over was a surreal experience that I am still not sure I comprehend. But maybe it’s good they got to talk directly to her.

The abandonment was very painful. The little girl that was left with all the abuse in the past was left alone again as the pain felt too much even for the therapist. It felt very jarring.

I guess only difference now is that we get more chances to hopefully get it right with my therapist? More times to meet and figure out how she can be there for them.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Letting the parts take over was a surreal experience that I am still not sure I comprehend.
Yeah. I think I had a bit of that in my last session. Don't know if it is the same as your experience, but for me it's like the words are out before I knew. And parts actually are more direct than 'me' with their words. So it is odd.

But maybe it’s good they got to talk directly to her.
I think it's great. If we think about the past: they were silenced. They never had that opportunity. Now they are taking control. Expressing what they need. Massive step. It's safe for them to do that. That is huge. And: they are being heard now. Whilst they are still hurt as T abandoned them and you in the telling, T is hearing now and working with parts and you.
So big healing can come out of this.

The abandonment was very painful. The little girl that was left with all the abuse in the past was left alone again as the pain felt too much even for the therapist. It felt very jarring.
Yeah, that is very very painful. You're experiencing that horrendous abandonment again.

I guess only difference now is that we get more chances to hopefully get it right with my therapist? More times to meet and figure out how she can be there for them
And this is what makes it so different from the past. This is where the care, support, healing, thought, consideration, humanity is.
 

hithere

MyPTSD Pro
I have never talked about my “traumatic” memories in therapy and I have been in therapy for six years!! I finally found the courage to read my therapist something about one of memories.
After I was done I felt numb and was just trying to talk a bit but I felt detached a bit. Then my therapist changed subject abruptly and wanted to talk about some random activity I was gonna do that afternoon.
I was confused and upset. I wasn’t overwhelmed so not sure why my therapist just randomly changed the subject. It’s like she was careless and was randomly looking out of the window and figuring out whether the rain was gonna stop me from doing it.
But I was in the midst of talking about one of my “traumatic” memories for the first time and felt very let down.
I have been let down before in therapy, but this time I just feel hurt and disappointedly my therapist apologized and said she missed the mark, made a mistake, she’s fallible etc but I just cannot forgive.
It’s like just because the person apologized doesn’t mean we can just move on and forgive no? I just feel hurt. How to forgive?
So sorry and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I've had this happen. Its such a disappointment. It wasnt until I landed by accident in therapy with a different kind of therapist that I felt some relief and healing from such a disappointment. My new therapist explained in my case, since the memory was a childhood memory, I had acted out together with the therapist my developmental years experience. The therapist unwittingly acted the role of my parents--they werent emotionally available to assist me when the traumatic events happened. So all those feelings of not being heard, not being cared about, and all the dismay was being experienced again. I had a huge cry over that realization. My new therapist explained most and almost all counselors arent trained or understand dynamic psychology, and if what you've experienced in the session with the therapist isn't interpreted with you by the therapist, it just leaves you in these unresolved frustrated loops. That was my experience anyway. I hope you can move forward and feel better. Focusing on the here and now always made me feel better in the interim.
 
Top