Not sure- therapy relationship concerns (again)

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So, possible T lives across the mountains. On the drive there a small boulder rolled off the mountain and hit my car. It was a super dangerous situation and I don't know how I didn't crash. It was narrow roadway and there was an oncoming car and a car close behind me and my tire blew when the boulder hit. There was no cell service so I changed to the spare and got down out of the pass to a place I had cell service. I had given myself almost 3 hours to get there, even though it was a 2 hour drive. By the time I got there it was less than 10 minutes before my session. So I called her and she answered. (I expected voicemail). I told her what happened and said I was willing to do a virtual appointment there on the side of the road. She was ok with that.

We spent a bit of time talking about what had just happened and if I was ok. Then we got into it. I liked her and she does seem to have a good understanding of DID and trauma. She asked me my goals for therapy which is always a hard question for me. She talked about her approach to DID and therapy. Then she asked me a few questions about my trauma. Even though we just gently touched on things it was hard. She said she uses cognitive processing therapy which sounds scary. She likes that we write things out and communicate with each other. She volunteered that she has a sliding scale. We agreed to give it a try and I have an intake on Sunday. She asked me to have my parts write what we think about starting therapy with her. At least i think that's what she said. I sent an email and asked her to clarify. And she asked me to send a text when I got home, which was sweet. I don't think she believed my "I'm fine and will handle it" approach. heh.

that same day we got a text from now T (old t?) saying she had a cancellation for friday and did we want it. And having that come when we were about to meet with possible T was super confusing and we feel guilty. And we sent a terse reply to her and said "no thank you" and didn't say anything about meeting a possible new t or ending with her. And she sent back an email last night, after we went to bed, asking if everything is ok. and we don't know what the f*ck to sya. And we aren't ready to say we are ending things because what if things don't work with new T but maybe that's shitty and bad and yeah, we pretty spinny right now.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Email to t (I guess I should call her old T?). have NOT sent this.

Hi,

sorry my last email was so terse. I'd just gotten into a minor accident. A boulder rolled into my car. I'm not hurt or anything. I know I put myself on the waitlist and I appreciate that you let me know a space opened up. I said "no" because I need some time to decide what to do about us. As I said a while ago, I'm still struggling with our relationship and it's not just because of W. And I've been trying really hard to be ok with things but there's too many things I can't let go of. I already felt guilty for what you're not charging me and then you told me how much you could have made and it just settled the guilt in deeper. And I haven't brought that up because there's just no good way of fixing that. The email you sent where you were freaked out and said you couldn't help us. And we talked that out a lot and I really appreciate that but it still is lodged inside. And we know you have had lots going on and are glad you are doing better. You are super busy though and we feel like maybe it would be better for both of us if I stepped away and used other supports. We aren't ready to say goodbye forever, we can't imagine not having you in our life. You've helped us so much and been so generous and smart and helpful. We don't want to be a problem or feel like a problem. But maybe we need to say goodbye for right now. We are just holding on to too much stuff in our relationship with you. And the idea of telling you all this feels like I'm betraying you which isn't what I want. I don't want to hurt you or disappoint you. Even though you've told me over and over it's ok to disappoint people. I know you will have stuff to say about this and that we will need to talk about it. I'm sorry.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I went to reread the email to decide if it was ok to send and I got all tangled up. What if I'm making a terrible mistake? Is the email to accusing?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
For what it's worth, I don't think it is accusing in the slightest. Not one tiny tiny bit.
You're expressing yourself. Which is entirely reasonable to do.
You always say such beautiful and insightful things to me and others on this forum. And I wonder if someone else wrote that email and then wrote that they wondered if it was accusing , what you would say to them?
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
thank you. I think I needed someone outside my head to say that. And then I'm mad at myself for needing outside validation but that's a human thing, right?

I edited it a bit and sent it. I guess the best case scenario is the door is open in case I want to go back? I'm just scared because no other T is interested in working with me and what if it doesn't work out with new T? Is it fair to want that option? I'm going to be stressed out until I get a response... well... and stressed out until I do my intake with new T.
 

Friday

Moderator
Is the email too accusing?
Let’s break it down?

***

sorry my last email was so terse. I'd just gotten into a minor accident. A boulder rolled into my car. I'm not hurt or anything.
Apology & explanation
Reassurance


I know I put myself on the waitlist and I appreciate that you let me know a space opened up. I said "no" because I need some time to decide what to do about us.
To the business at hand.
Gratitude & explanation


As I said a while ago, I'm still struggling with our relationship and it's not just because of W. And I've been trying really hard to be ok with things but there's too many things I can't let go of.
  • I already felt guilty for what you're not charging me and then you told me how much you could have made and it just settled the guilt in deeper. And I haven't brought that up because there's just no good way of fixing that.
  • The email you sent where you were freaked out and said you couldn't help us. And we talked that out a lot and I really appreciate that but it still is lodged inside.
  • And we know you have had lots going on and are glad you are doing better. You are super busy though and we feel like maybe it would be better for both of us if I stepped away and used other supports
Explanation Expanded


We aren't ready to say goodbye forever, we can't imagine not having you in our life. You've helped us so much and been so generous and smart and helpful.
Self Assessment
Solution + Leaving the door open
Gratitude & Reassurance
Kindness & Compliments


We don't want to be a problem or feel like a problem. But maybe we need to say goodbye for right now. We are just holding on to too much stuff in our relationship with you. And the idea of telling you all this feels like I'm betraying you which isn't what I want. I don't want to hurt you or disappoint you. Even though you've told me over and over it's ok to disappoint people. I know you will have stuff to say about this and that we will need to talk about it. I'm sorry.
Solution Expanded
Fear
Fear
Fear
Respect
Apology

****
Nope! Not only not a single accusatory expression or implication.... but you’ve bent over backwards to do the exact opposite... being honest, responsible, respectful, & kind.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
thank you. I think I needed someone outside my head to say that. And then I'm mad at myself for needing outside validation but that's a human thing, right?

I edited it a bit and sent it. I guess the best case scenario is the door is open in case I want to go back? I'm just scared because no other T is interested in working with me and what if it doesn't work out with new T? Is it fair to want that option? I'm going to be stressed out until I get a response... well... and stressed out until I do my intake with new T.
I get the external validation and I think it is human. Whilst we're all working to be able to validate ourselves, we also are social animals and it's always helpful to mull things over with others.

Hope the stress about waiting for a response and waiting to speak with new T is manageable.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Old T sent a longer reply a couple days ago. By and large she talks about how ruptures are part of long term relationships and long term therapy relationships and that by working though it I'll learn more how to work through ruptures in other situations. It makes me feel a bit like I haven't given her enough chance but at the same time... maybe I just want something different. She also says things don't have to end badly. Is ending, necessarily ending badly? Sigh.

She also said that the reason she brought up the money she would have made if I wasn't on a sliding scale because she wanted me to know how dedicated she is to me. Which doesn't actually help. I will freely grant that plays into old triggers and just makes me feel trapped.

She also says I have a lot going on and may need to focus elsewhere. Which is something that keeps coming up this year from her. And it's her idea. And not what I'm asking for or want. And if I end up continuing with her by some chance (Someone inside says "no!"), I will need to make that clear. The first time she brought it up, last summer, I was actually really wanting to work through some stuff and didn't know where her suggestion was coming from. And now I'm not asking for a break because I have too much on my plate. I was saying I was going to use other supports because of the challenges in our relationship.

and looking at an old email reminded us. part of what has confused us is she has told us several times in the past year (or so) she's told us she has a new plan for her approach with us but then it never happens... not even sure why we bringing that up

And we not saying T's email was bad. In a lot of ways she said all the right things. Which is hard because we started with new T now and have mentally accepted the idea of working with a new T. And now some inside are saying we need to get old T another chance. And some are feeling guilty and like we not being fair to old T. And this just seems like we repeating the same shit over and over in this thread and if that's true, I'm sorry. (oh dear, are we getting spinny?).

I see new T again on Sunday. is it bad I want to see new T for a while longer, before telling old T I've started working with someone else? I liked new T.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
see new T again on Sunday. is it bad I want to see new T for a while longer, before telling old T I've started working with someone else? I liked new T.
Nope not bad at all. You're not cheating on old T. Your just getting a new service from a new person.
It's great you like new T. That says so much, doesn't it? Already you have figured out that you and her click and this might be good for you, or at least you are willing to give it a try.
Doesn't stop old T being really important. And I'm really glad she sent a longer reply with things in it that explain her reasoning about some things (but not others). Old T and you have a lot of history, and a bond. It's not surprising it's storing things up for you and parts. It's all a confusing thing, this whole therapy process.

But it sounds that you (main you? Most of you?) Knows what you want right now, and which T you want that most from?
 
E

Emma 777

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.
You are not “over-reacting”. You are simply just reacting. You have feelings and emotions about your therapist and therapy. As you should.
If you feel distracted by her or think she doesn’t focus as she once did, you could try the following:
1 gently try to refocus her back to the main point or subject at hand any and every time you notice she’s unfocused and do It as soon as possible since sessions go quickly
2 tell her that you would like her to help you keep you or the session focused (it’s more polite but you can be blunt if you like and just say you’d like her to be more focused as she was before
3 explain that you are having trouble focusing so you easily get distracted if someone else distracts you by going off on a tangent or tributary.

its easy for me to be distracted lately so I told my therapist that. I told him I wanted him to check in during the session 3 x (every 15 mins) because that’s what I needed. Always have an honest and open discussion about anything and everything with your therapist. If they are competent they will not only act accordingly (or explain why they can’t) but appreciate it.

i know it’s hard to “complain” when someone is doing you a favor but all therapists do that for a certain number of their clientele. This is actually normal and routine. Appreciate it but speak up when somethings not working for you. And let her know when something is working for you. Therapists appreciate that and it also helps them know what is and isn’t working for you. It helps them understand you better. It opens up free and open communication that is free of judgement. It doesn’t always have to go perfectly smooth but if you’re therapist is good and you connect than you can even talk about how speaking up did or didn’t work for you last time. That you’d like to clarify or like her to clarify something.
Idk that she should have told you she was skipping lunch to see you at no charge as that brings feeling of being a burden upon the client, guilt and not to mention feelings of obligation. Idk why she felt like she needed to justify her dedication.
until I found a great therapist, I wouldn’t have bothered to open up after so many bad experiences. Not all therapists have to be bad sometimes you don’t connect. It’s important to have the conversation so you can decide what’s best for you in the end. The sacrifice-martyr dynamic of giving up lunch and making sure she gets credit for it is somewhat bothersome. But if you know her well then you know what doesn’t and doesn’t work for you. Let her know. They can adjust anything and everything to suit you. It’s their main goal actually, to effectively communicate, build a rapport or connection and help you make progress both in session and independently in your day to day.
When in doubt - speak up. We are always told as children or women (and men too) that we are “overreacting” when usually we are just reacting and it makes the other person uncomfortable so they try to dismiss or diminish or even dominate using pressure tactics. When in doubt - speak up - this way you’ll know for sure.
A little overreaction never hurt anyone. When we honestly do overreact it’s usually because we anticipate being dismissed etc. It’s not your fault, we are programmed this way.
 

that_1_girl

Learning
I realize this is a little late but I just joined, sorry. I think your therapist is/was seriously crossing boundaries or at least blurring them and for someone with severe trauma (I’m assuming here, since you refer to yourself in plural often), that can be very detrimental to you, some of your other parts, or everyone. I do not think you’re overreacting, rather I think that the act of minimizing how much this is detrimental to your healing may be actually a trauma response in itself. I would urge you to find a new therapist if you can and bring up these specific boundary issues with them and just see how they react/respond. Jmo but I believe a therapist should always respond rather than react. That’s what they go to school for.
 
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