My therapist said she would text me but didn’t

S

SeekingAnswers44

I had a really hard session this week and was really triggered by something my therapist walked me out to my car and stayed with me for a few minutes as I was so dissociated. She said that she would text me (she has done this a couple of times before) that evening and I haven’t heard from her.

I’ve been seeing her for a year and it’s only in the last few sessions that I’ve actually started sharing stuff. Now I feel like I’ve made a huge mistake and shouldn’t have trusted her because she clearly doesn’t mean what she said.

I don’t know what to do, I’m not sure I want to see her next week as I don’t think I can trust her.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t know what to do, I’m not sure I want to see her next week as I don’t think I can trust her.
I'm sorry...I know what it feels like to not know whether you can trust a therapist or not.

Best thing to do in my opinion? Talk to her about the whole thing. Tell her you are not sure you can trust her. Have a conversation and see how she responds.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Ah,the pain of the promised outside session communication that then doesn't happen. I've been there.....
It's so painful.
We slowly slowly open up. Develop that trust. Share things that we have never shared before. Go to some hard and dark places. They offer more support. Only to fall flat. And we feel betrayed, abandoned, forgotten, confused, and have no idea how to work through it.

How long has it been?
Was she explicit about when she would contact you?
(I realised one time that I assumed she would email when all she said was "she would let me know", and I assumed that meant she would email between sessions when in fact it could have been that she would let me know in the next session.)

Otherwise, do you feel able to text her? And say something along the lines "I think you were going to text me, but I haven't received a text. That has upset me, but I am feeling ok generally/ or I am still trsuggling from the session ...or whatever you feel"?

Do express yourself.
She won't have forgotten or abandoned you.
Maybe she had to deal with something in her own life,or maybe so many things happened that don't mean she isn't trustworthy or that she has forgotten you.
Her not texting isn't a sign she doesn't care. It's a sign that she is human and has flaws, like we all do. Problem with a T showing this flaw, at this particular moment in time, is big for you, given the session. But it doesn't mean she doesn't care.

It might feel scary to express your hurt to her about this (I know I felt incapable and that I would risk her terminating me or something if I said anything), but it can really really help.

I still find communicating outside the session, whether she has volunteered it or has offered me to,atoyal mindfield. Provokes so much anxiety.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
Sometimes in the moment they really meant to do so then they have to disengage from us, in a healthy way and move to the next session then the next and so on and that moment of intention gets lost. Mine has consistently said to poke him, when that happens. It shows their humanity and also showed me that I forget the bigger picture is that when we are together it is just us, but once I leave my therapist has much on his plate that he manages and I too have much on my plate to manage. I need to keep working my tools, my outside resources, places like this and not focus too much on whether this is about trust or whether it is about how much they do for me is the same as what they do for those they see after me and after awhile they drop the ball. When I know it is just that and nothing else I’m a bit freer to build help elsewhere. Sometimes it means I need to journal or paint through the feelings. Make a note of how it felt and share in next session. Sometimes by next session it no longer matters so much because other things come up that need work and we do that.
 
I think small(er) things assume greater proportions when they are difficult to risk agreeing to in the first place. But similarly hopefully you have a back up plan if you are not ok.

It probably is very hard to do but I would try to stop yourself from telling yourself it has a particular meaning, just try to be neutral about it. Agree with the others that it won't probably feel comfortable again unless you express it or talk about it and then decide.
 
S

SeekingAnswers44

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.

She did explicitly say that she would text me that evening and she said it would be late as she wasn’t finishing until late. She always asks my permission to do so.

I’m not necessarily upset that she didn’t text me as I don’t expect contact outside of session, every week she tells me I can email her anytime if I want/need to but I don’t as I feel like it’s bad enough she has to put up with me in session let alone hearing from me outside of this. I’m upset that she didn’t keep her word, I know she’s human and 101 things could have happened that she couldn’t text me that day (Thursday), it’s hard not to spiral into that place of how can I believe that she means anything she says when she clearly didn’t mean what she said in that instance.

Also, this is the first time she has said she would text since my recent disclosures and, although she said it wasn’t going to change anything, for me, this suggests things have changed since both times before she said she would text and she did.

You’re right though, the only way through is to talk to her about it, I’m seeing her on Tuesday.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
it’s bad enough she has to put up with me in session let alone hearing from me outside of this
This is trauma brain thinking. You are worthy of her care and attention in the session. You're not a burden. She isn't putting up with you. You're her client that she cares about and she wants to be a good therapist for you. So is there a way you can believe that she isn't putting up with you, and that you can start to change how you see yourself and how you see yourself in relation to others?
every week she tells me I can email her anytime if I want/need
She's giving you an outlet and an avenue to heal here. What's the worst thing that can happen if you email and take her up on this? When I had a rupture, after a lot of encouragement from people on here, I emailed and it helped to resolve the rupture. I was able to explain my hurt, and she responded in a way that really helped. Can you imagine emailing her about this issue? What about just writing an email and not sending it? just feeling what it might feel like to write something?
I’m upset that she didn’t keep her word
Totally understandable and valid.
it’s hard not to spiral into that place of how can I believe that she means anything she says when she clearly didn’t mean what she said in that instance.
and this is the bit of the upset that is in PTSD land, because it's linking valid upset to spiralling into something else. I do this all the time. The way out of this is to recognise it. She did mean it when she said it. Why would she lie to you? There is no reason to. She remains trustworthy, even though right now that feels so incompatible with what you're experiencing. But examining what you're experiencing and where it comes from will really help you and give you a bit of relief.
for me, this suggests things have changed since both times before she said she would text and she did.
and this is another bit of PSTD land, because nothing has changed. You're experiencing this as a total change in the relationship, but it's a blip. All relationships have blips. It's awful and upsetting and destabilising when ruptures like this happen. I'm sure she is very sorry for not texting you and if she apologises, you can work towards building up your trust in her again?

I'm sorry you're going through this. Having been there myself, and also after a new discussion of trauma, it's so horrible. But....it really really does get better. She has made a mistake. I'm sure she will be remorseful about it. And it's then how you hold it and discuss it with her.

If you don't want to email her before Tuesday, maybe there are things to further explore here that might help a little and lessen the impact on you?
 
S

SeekingAnswers44

Thank you so much for your response @Movingforward10.

I have thought about emailing her but if she didn’t respond it would make the situation even worse so I think I need to just wait it out until Tuesday. Maybe I’ll write an email but not send it and then if it doesn’t come up in session on Tuesday I could send it after? She’s on holiday for two weeks after my session on Tuesday so I need to discuss it with her one way or another by then.

I don’t know how to believe that I’m worthy of her care and attention and this is something we’re working on. Rationally, I don’t think she would have lied to me but it’s so hard not to get caught up in the thoughts that she didn’t mean it and therefore how can I believe that she means anything she says.

Im trying to remind myself of all the times, and there have been many, when I have expected her to reject me, cancel sessions, be judgemental or whatever and she hasn’t done any of those things. I know she’s human and I don’t expect her to be perfect I just already felt like I made a huge mistake sharing things with her and this has just added fuel to the fire.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I understand.
I get on hyperalert after a heavy session or where I have been vulnerable and go looking for signs that I made a mistake to disclose/be vulnerable. When I find that clue to confirm my belief, it's horrendous. But examining that pattern is good.
Because if someone else didn't text, we might not hold as much weight to it. But because it's T, and because it happened when it did, we put so so much weight on it.

I hope you're able to bring it up in the session. I note that you said "if it comes up". It might only come up if you bring it up...so I hope you feel able to. Particularly if there is a break after as holding on to this might feel worse than bringing it out in the open and having a different experience from talking about it from the one you might be expecting.

If she said sorry, and acknowledged how it hurt you, and asked you how you want to build trust back up again, would that help? That's what my T does. She puts me in the driver's seat,and says that her actions weren't good enough and she doesn't want me to experience hurt by her etc etc. It helps.
 
S

SeekingAnswers44

Thank you @Movingforward10 you're right, it probably won’t get brought up unless I do because she has probably forgotten all about it. She has a family and other clients to think about and to her this is nowhere near as big of a deal as it is to me, nor should it be.

I have taken your advice and written her an email, I haven’t sent it but it helped me to formulate what I wanted to say and I can always show her the draft in session if it gets difficult to bring up.

I know she will apologise as there was a situation a few weeks ago where she started a session by saying ‘shall we do some admin first’ (I’m completely convinced she’s going to leave, my last T told me after 6 months that I was wasting her time as if not been able to open up) and she made a joke about the look of trepidation on my face. Later in the session when we were quiet she said ‘I wonder what you must’ve thought when I said about doing admin, if you thought I was going to boot you out, did you think I can was going to say we’re done?’ When I confirmed that’s exactly what I thought she apologised and said she hadn’t seen that coming. In that instance I didn’t believe that she did that on purpose but it was helpful for her to know that I still don’t fully believe she isn’t going anywhere and she now makes a point of reminding me of that.

There is a part of me that doesn’t want her to ever say that she’s going to text me again because the anxiety is too much, but that’s how we learn, right?! That just because she didn’t keep her word once, doesn’t mean she’s never going to again.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
but it helped me to formulate what I wanted to say and I can always show her the draft in session if it gets difficult to bring up.
Great! Glad that helped formulate in your mind.
Option is there to send it still if you wanted to? Or examine why you don't want to. (first time I sent an email to my T, because she forgot to email me, I cried and couldn't press send and my partner had to press send...😬)

I know she will apologise
That's great you know she will take responsibility and you trust that.

Later in the session when we were quiet she said ‘I wonder what you must’ve thought when I said about doing admin, if you thought I was going to boot you out, did you think I can was going to say we’re done?’ When I confirmed that’s exactly what I thought she apologised and said she hadn’t seen that coming. In that instance I didn’t believe that she did that on purpose but it was helpful for her to know that I still don’t fully believe she isn’t going anywhere and she now makes a point of reminding me of that.
It's also great you were able to express yourself here and she was able to hear and she realised. So this shows you have a really helpful attuned therapist (except for her forgetting to text....)

There is a part of me that doesn’t want her to ever say that she’s going to text me again because the anxiety is too much, but that’s how we learn, right?! That just because she didn’t keep her word once, doesn’t mean she’s never going to again.
I hear you!! I was/am the same. The anxiety about whether she will or won't email. I get obsessive and check my emails all the time incase she has. I still have that mistrust that she will forget me. I know she cares. But I suppose undoing a lifetime of conditioning is not easy....

But I really hope you get an outcome with your T tomorrow that helps.
 
Top