Not sure- therapy relationship concerns (again)

Friday

Moderator
I see her the friday after this and I keep thinking how I just want that day off to be a full day off (well, except the pet sitting job). But I don't know if that's avoidance. If I'm just not wanting to deal with the issues.

At the same time, taking a longer break sounds really appealing too. But at the same time I worry she will assume that means there really is horrible stuff happening with my dom and I'm acting out and I don't know.
Sounds pretty durn rational to me...

Taking a self care day, whilst recovering from surgery & being exhausted from work/school/physical healing? Is totally legitimate.

Being concerned your T will jump to the wrong conclusion because of other info they’re privy to? Also legitimate.

Easy fix. >>> Write them a short message explaining that you want to take the day off on Friday the AA/BB/2021 for some rest & self-care as surgery, work, & school have left you more exhausted than you planned on... and that you’ll look forward to seeing them for your next scheduled appointment on Friday the CC/DD/2021.

Take the day off.
Quick note to prevent misunderstandings.
Voila! Have cake & eaten it, too!

AFTER you’ve had some time off to rest & recover & consider what you want... As @Sophy (in lockdown) sats... Next session you go to? Discuss having a few lighter sessions for awhile, or taking a break for awhile, or a monthly just checking in / keeping lines of communication open, &/or other possible solutions.
 
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Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So... I had another setback on my recovery. And I'm back to work full duty and full time (and this week will go into overtime). And I just can't. So I sent T an email. I've managed work but my house is a disaster. Haven't done laundry and am running out of clothes. Let T know I was going to take a break. I am going back in April. I may start feeling better for real sooner but that also gives me a chance to catch up on chores and school and have one thing off my plate.

I also gave her an update on a couple things I've been thinking about (laziness and consent) because I want her to have some sense of where I'm at. Hopefully in April I can focus a bit more on therapy and take your advice and figure out what I want from therapy and go from there.

ETA- I know I could have had sessions dealing with lighter stuff, and if I felt good about therapy I would totally do this. Have in the past. But things just feel so uncomfortable right now that the idea of seeing her and trusting her to stay light super stressed me out and I just can't deal.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So, I can't help but wonder what's up with your T. I LIKE being able to give nice people that I believe deserve a break a break. That's what's in it for me. Obviously I can't give everyone a break or I'd be out on the street myself. But the point of doing this kind of thing ISN'T to guilt somebody. Is it?

To be fair, to T. She has said something similar in the past. And she didn't bring up how much she's not been charging me at all, until I talked about things not working. She said she was telling me because .... I guess I didn't completely understand. Basically something like if it wasn't working for me, we needed to do something different.

Since then she hasn't brought that up. She does keep bringing up how overworked she is but that's a bit different?
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I have another thread about my relationship with my therapist. Some basic facts. I've been seeing her for years. After years of paying, I had some huge financial constraints and she gave me free sessions for a time. Now she gives them to me at a hugely reduced rate. I wish that didn't matter, but it does to me. T went through a lot of stuff. Illness of husband, several surgeries, etc. So she had life going on. I went through a lot of life stuff too. And then there's covid. Since then things haven't been as good. I've always found T about flaky. Once therapy started she would be focused and super insightful. But some of the admin, and getting into therapy mode could be all over the place. Once covid hit and we went to telehealth sessions that got worse.

She has always asked for emails between sessions. She either wasn't getting or wasn't reading emails. She was taking for ever to settle down and focus when we had our sessions. She also just didn't seem as mentally present. One day it was especially bad and she joked that she was only that way with us. I guess that triggered us or something. One of our parts finally said something to her about it in an email. We made the mistake of using the word flaky and she took offense and took it to mean things we didn't mean. A lot of talking and we worked things out?

Back to the money and sliding scale. One of the things she talked about was how much money she has not charged us and how she squeezes us in and often it's when she'd take a lunch break. Which... a snarky, defensive whatever part of us wants to protest because we schedule online. So unless she sees us on the schedule and then opens up other appointments it doesn't seem right. Anyway, we are just being difficult. She said she was telling us about the money, not to make us feel bad, But to explain why she took time transitioning into schedules. And to show how committed she was and that if it wasn't working for us, we really needed to do something different.

So, after talking things were better but not great. Then I *briefly* got involved in some unhealthy, for me, bdsm stuff. I pulled out and got into a healthy bdsm relationship. T has freaked out though and sent a very hurtful email. I get why she freaked out. In the past I was in a very harmful bdsm relationship which was re-traumatizing me.I get the need for caution and expected questions and concern. I wanted that becuase I knew it's good to have reality checks. She now admits the email she wrote was hastily written. There were prior emails from me with info she didn't receive because of some server issues. There were emails from me she didn't read. She says that she was reactive and didn't have all the info. That email and some subsequent conversation, before we sorted things has broken a lot of trust.

So, I'm still in the bdsm relationship. I am still willing to have conversations about it. T keeps saying she doesn't know what's going on and if it's healthy but I keep talking about it and telling her. That's hard. I feel unheard. It is different than past, unhealthy relationships. In our last session I pointed out to T that none of our insiders are saying there's a problem. No one is panicking or feeling hurt. T says every single session that she's traumatized by the unhealthy bdsm relationship I had and feels protective and is acting out of that feeling. I feel like she's stuck. I mean, I'm still willing to allow the possibility that I'm in the biggest case of denial I've ever been in. I don't think so though. And even if I am, what's happening isn't shifting me from that.

It's not just that though. I sent her an email before session like she has asked for. And it was kind of a big deal. I had surgery and it was an update on that as well as talking about other things. When our session started T said I hadn't sent an email in a long time. I reminded her about the email I'd sent (a few days ago). At first she seemed skeptical. I knew she'd gotten it because she'd replied and said she'd reply more later. (she almost never does, when she says that). She then said she'd gotten it but hadn't read it. So I started to talk about surgery and how there had to be a second surgery and she interjected and said she had read the email. And ok, great. But it just is kind of discombobulating. Things like that happen moderately often. And I don't want to send her emails anymore. Even though she has asked for them. There's been too many issues. The server is fixed so she's getting all my emails but I'm kind of done?

Also, she talked some about her dog dying. And I feel like a shit but I am tired of hearing about her shit. I mean, she's had a ton going on. I know that. And I feel really bad her dog died. But it seems like there's always something. The session before that she mentioned how she was working from breakfast to bed time without a break and was exhausted. It's not like she goes on and on about that stuff. It tends to be a brief interlude but it's always making me conscious of the fact she's struggling in life. And I start thinking since I barely pay her anything I should just stop seeing her. At least it would be one last burden on her (ok, that I know is old tapes). Bah, I'm probably just being horribly insensitive and unappreciative.

Maybe I take a break. Maybe I wait until telehealth disappears and see if that makes a difference. It was better when we were in person. Also, I'd be able to pay her more because insurance isn't paying anything for telehealth as she's out of network. I don't know. Maybe I'm just using these issues as an excuse to avoid therapy?

ETA- Much of the time things are good. We do focus on therapy. We talk about issues. I'm making things sound worse than they are.
So here's the dog thing. My T's dog had some condition that required neurosurgery a couple of years ago. Dog had it's surgery Wed. and she had to pick the dog up at 5pm Friday. She same day cancelled on me. Dog had to be picked up.....she said, "I don't trust my husband to do that.".....and so she cancelled on me to pick up her dog, when she could have called the day before. If I had come, she would have had 3 hrs. to get to dog at 5pm. This T too, was flaky. When the conversation that you pay for turns too often to your therapists issues or concerns, it's time to find another therapist. You are not there to listen to her issues.....she's supposed to be present.....not flaky, giving you feedback on your issues. And payment policies should be standard, even sliding scale so that she treats all clients in a similar situation equally. Lastly, if your T says you are traumatizing her, she has shit for boundaries....or no where to offload her feelings. It is unethical for her to make you feel bad about your issues.
Dump her.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So my email to T talked a lot about fatigue and overwhelm. And then specifically about recovery from surgery and a paragraph about W and this wonderful thing he said about consent.I said I was canceling March sessions.

She responded and said she thinks it's best to put therapy on hold indefinitely. She says I'm spread to thin and adding therapy is counterproductive. That I'm doing good and not in danger. That she's not firing me and if something comes up and I need to talk I can tell her.

I should probably be happy but I'm spinning out a bit.

I'm sorry I've been so needy here, lately
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I'm being stupid. I shouldn't be upset by this. This whole thread has been stupid. I think I'm just creating problems. Or being overly dramatic or something. I mean, people misstep sometimes. So T and I have been a bit out of step. Big deal. It happens. I should be fine with it. And I wanted a break and now I get one. So I should be happy. I just want to be upset. I just want to create problems where there are none. stupid waste of space. sorry.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I honestly don't think anything you have said or how you have described your feelings is stupid.
From an outsider's viewpoint: it all seems understandable?

I mean, it's one thing you wanted a break for a month, it's another thing her saying (via email, so not a conversation where you come to this together) that lets stop for now. I would be spinning too.

But, maybe it will all feel ok once these feelings settle? In the meantime, this is your thread to say what you need to and we're here to listen.
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm being stupid. I shouldn't be upset by this. This whole thread has been stupid. I think I'm just creating problems. Or being overly dramatic or something. I mean, people misstep sometimes. So T and I have been a bit out of step. Big deal. It happens. I should be fine with it. And I wanted a break and now I get one. So I should be happy. I just want to be upset. I just want to create problems where there are none. stupid waste of space. sorry.
Maybe stop beating yourself up for having mixed feelings? Or for having feelings at all?


She says I'm spread to thin and adding therapy is counterproductive.
She agrees with your own assessment. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not a bad thing to be disappointed, rather than relieved, that she agrees with you.
That she's not firing me and if something comes up and I need to talk I can tell her.
Taking a break for as long as you need, rather than an arbitrarily assigned date, AND still free to reach out ...may be everything you wanted and a bag of chips... but again, it’s okay to have mixed feelings about doing so.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I'm probably white/black thinking but this feels like the end of therapy with her. I feel like if we don't fix our relationship before taking a break it won't get fixed. And I'm not sure she knows it needs to be fixed which is on me. I mean, we've talked about all the issues I have with therapy currently and she's given her responses, it just hasn't felt better to me. I don't even know if I'm making sense at this point.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Oops, wasn't done.

I mean, it's one thing you wanted a break for a month, it's another thing her saying (via email, so not a conversation where you come to this together) that lets stop for now. I would be spinning too.

Thank you. I think if she'd framed it as a question I would have felt better. If she'd suggested we talk about it at our April session I would have felt better. But it felt like just her deciding, which I guess felt.... I dunno. Can't really think.

Taking a break for as long as you need, rather than an arbitrarily assigned date, AND still free to reach out ...may be everything you wanted and a bag of chips... but again, it’s okay to have mixed feelings about doing so.

Intellectually this makes sense. And certainly right now I probably just need to focus on getting well and the basics of my life.

Maybe stop beating yourself up for having mixed feelings? Or for having feelings at all?

Not into having feelings right now. Not just about this but about everything. And yeah, again intellectually I know that's not helpful but I'm maybe a bit stuck at the moment.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I should probably be happy but I'm spinning out a bit.
Not so far back, there would have been a time when you had a bit too much going on (like when you were dealing with the wannabe tenant living on your property? Just off the top of my head) where your T would have been stepping in, and making sure you had more therapy support than your average.

Where you are now, particularly with this positive support you have from W, you've got a bit much happening at once again. But this time, your T has decided that you have the coping skills and support necessary to get through this. Without needing extra therapy support.

It may not feel like it, but to me, that's your T giving a vote of confidence in you and your coping skills.

So, things are totally overwhelming. The surgery and consequences of that have been diabolical, add to that work, study, engaging in a relationship...those are all really big things. They're stressors. Even good stuff? Can be a stressor.

Your T has made a call, though, that you've got this. If she just steps back for a while, and takes therapy out of the stressor list for you, she thinks that would be helpful given where you're now at with your coping skills and supports (even supports, like work and W, which are simultaneously stressors).

For me? No matter how much I'd rationalise it to the contrary, that would feel like abandonment in my hour of need. It would feel like I'm not being heard by my T when I try and communicate my internal turmoil and distress.

But feelings aren't facts. And I think that, at least on an intellectual level (because our feelings are going to do their own thing), you can take your T at her word. Get your surgery outcome stabilised, get through this period of overwhelming stressors, then go back to therapy and continue moving forwards with your recovery. Your T thinks that even though your overwhelmed right now (she's recognised it and in fact acted on it), you're gonna get through this with your coping skills and support systems you've established for yourself.

It would be really frightening for me for my T to tell me "You don't need me right now". But even though it's frightening, it's a testament to how far you've come.
 
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