Therapy problems- T misunderstanding or I'm lying to myself (long)

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I guess I haven't been completely honest with my T or myself. A part of my instability of late has been the uncertainty I've felt over my relationship with my T. It's certainly not all of it or even most. But it's added to stress and confusion. I don't want to end my relationship with her, but I've felt some relief the last few days at the idea of canceling the appointment on the 24th and of letting go. Not necessarily of the relationship. You all are probably right, but I guess I'm not ready to race into it. But at least letting go of the expectation that T is the same as she always was.

What I want from therapy? Hmmm... I want someone who can help me manage the ptsd symptoms and help me decrease them. Is that too vague? I want someone who the insiders can talk to. I want someone who can help me recognize when I'm still acting in old patterns so that I can shift out.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
I don't want to end my relationship with her, but I've felt some relief the last few days at the idea of canceling the appointment on the 24th and of letting go.
It doesn't have to be a for sure see her again, or never see her again. There can be a less black and white path forward worth exploring.
What I want from therapy? Hmmm... I want someone who can help me manage the ptsd symptoms and help me decrease them. Is that too vague? I want someone who the insiders can talk to. I want someone who can help me recognize when I'm still acting in old patterns so that I can shift out.
Is this something your therapist has been helpful with over the past few months? If not, are there changes that can be made to achieve these goals? That to me seems like the key issue.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
@Muttly Have you talked to each insider to understand their opinions? I have found that when I feel in conflict with my T, it doesn’t really apply to all of my parts. Then, the inner conflict causes disregulation and my internal world turns into a giant mess. It’s really hard because, logically, I can understand and agree with what my therapist is doing/saying, but emotionally I am unable to. We do this exercise where we hold out two hands and apply the emotions to one and the logic to the other. They should be balanced, I suppose. Mine typically aren’t. ;-). Sounds like yours may be on a see-saw. I thinking meeting with her is important. Tell her what is going on.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe I haven't given a fair representation of her side though? And I know I'm all over the place right now on this. I just... she helped so much in the past. And she really is very kind. I don't get how things could have changed.

I guess I have another question. she'd sent us an email with a link to an article and asked us to email us our thoughts. we sent her an email back saying we'd wanted to respond but were holding back because our next appointment wasn't for another 3 weeks and it was hard to go there. She'd replied if a spot opened up sooner she'd get us in. the next day we sent her a stupid email where we were melty and said " k, maybe you shouldn't worry about us. maybe we should just stop being stupid and be fine. you give us basically free therapy. should just be happy with what we get. we just being stupid and whiny anyway. maybe we aren't a nice person anymore. maybe we just gonna screw everything up anyway." we followed that up the next day with an email apologizing and saying we'd been in a bad head space and gave her reasons why. It was in response to that, that she sent her email. I guess the question is, if she was going to say things like she couldn't really help us and we haven't shown the resolve to change and all that, shouldn't she have waited until the appointment we had scheduled?

Anyway, I'm sending her this email

"Hi,

I am stuck on the fact you said, several times, in your last email that you can't help me. If that's the case, there really is no point in seeing you. I don't need to see you to help me feel less alone. I'm also confused and unsettled by how completely out of step with each other we seem to be right now. Clearly we (you and I) have stuff to figure out. Our next appointment was scheduled to be on the 24th, but I don't really feel like thrashing this out on Christmas eve so I am canceling that appointment, which means we will see you on January 8th."
What I read in your message is that your therapist is triggering to you because she can't meet your needs. Sounds like the voice (s) of a younger part (s) responds.....

"the guilty feeling you shouldn't worry about us....
"we should stop being stupid.....get over it"
"be happy with what we get"

maybe you are set off because whomever took care of you wasn't consistent, and it didn't change back then and you didn't get your needs met back then, and don't seem to be now.

Uunder the circumstances, your system is getting this red flag from past experience.......and honestly, if your system isn't trusting her anymore, you won't get your needs met by this person. Then with what appears to be your cognitive distortions about yourself .....maybe from being triggered, "we aren't a nice person anymore......we will screw everything up anyway" ..........you might end up self sabotaging????

So, decide whether your needs are getting met, whether you really trust her a lot, and whether she is consistent or can be consistent enough to meet your entire system's needs. There are many ways to leave therapy.....slowly.....which you are doing now, and shop around for someone who is trained but may work with you on a sliding scale, or take a therapy break. Sounds like your T has her own issues and you clearly aren't happy with her.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Is this something your therapist has been helpful with over the past few months? If not, are there changes that can be made to achieve these goals? That to me seems like the key issue.

I guess a bit, but not a lot helpful with that of late. Part of that is because I haven't seen her much. Part of that is because of the last set of misunderstandings.

//

She sent me a super long email. I don't really know what to think of it and it got everyone all noisy. It was better than the last email and it acknowledged that there have been misunderstandings. She wants to talk by phone before we cancel on the 24th. I don't know. I don't really want to. I am willing to admit that is an emotional response and not a thinking response so I'm going to give myself some time to think it through.

and I'm not saying cancel all appointments. I've kept the january appointments on the books. I just don't know if thrashing this out in the midst of december is what I want to be doing. But maybe that's just an excuse

blah.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
wasn't done
I think most therapists are attuned to "the holidays" and varying individual needs. If I had an appt on Dec 24 that would be the last place I'd be.....yeah, no therapy 4 me! I'll be home by myself, looking at my Xmas lights, drinking a mimosa, and doing a puzzle...or driving the neighborhood looking at other people's lights. If you are a holiday person....you might not want to be working on trauma stuff at this time of year.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So, T and I have been talking some via phone. We are going to talk tonight and then decide if we keep the 24th.

@TruthSeeker Christmas eve, Christmas day and my birthday are my biggest PTSD triggers. I just don't want to add stress to already stressful days. Is too hard.

The emails have helped. Guess I am not mad or hurt anymore. But still don't feel trusting. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight. I don't really want to talk. I am doing it because... T wants it. And I still trust her enough to assume she has good reasons for wanting it. I don't know how open I will be able to be with her.

I was thinking about the question of what I want from T. One of the things I really, really need is consistency. And if you summed up what I've felt is missing this year, it's that.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
So, T and I have been talking some via phone. We are going to talk tonight and then decide if we keep the 24th.

@TruthSeeker Christmas eve, Christmas day and my birthday are my biggest PTSD triggers. I just don't want to add stress to already stressful days. Is too hard.

The emails have helped. Guess I am not mad or hurt anymore. But still don't feel trusting. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight. I don't really want to talk. I am doing it because... T wants it. And I still trust her enough to assume she has good reasons for wanting it. I don't know how open I will be able to be with her.

I was thinking about the question of what I want from T. One of the things I really, really need is consistency. And if you summed up what I've felt is missing this year, it's that.
I think, from my experience, I need consistency to trust. Kids who grow up in inconsistent homes have issues trusting because things keep changing and parents say one thing, do another. I'm one of those.....I also think that living with inconsistent boundaries in relationships has made me reassess my own boundaries, and expect nothing less from others....consistency (and this is a new expectation which has the unpleasant side of reacting appropriately when others push boundaries or don't keep their word. .I try very hard to "walk my talk" because it is something I don't tolerate well and I think it is a reasonable expectation for others.I had an inconsistent T....who scheduled me for the latest appt in the day....than same day cancelled multiple times. I came to be triggered by Friday approaching. My x husbands were both inconsistent and narcissistic....gaslighting.....would happen sometimes....and then there'd be a lull....I never knew what to expect.

I have come to realize that consistency is something that is reasonable to expect...we can call it a normal expectation. I think consistency at work, in consumer relations, and even travel and food industry (quality, cleanliness, service) is a given "normal" expectation. It should follow that consistency in the health field should be a reasonable expectation. I'd consider writing down your thoughts about it all. Good luck with your meeting.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Yesterday I had the psych nurse appointment. That went well. Then talked to T. Not in a good place today. Don't know how much of that is PTSD stuff since it's my triggery time, how much is just being drained from the appointments yesterday and how much is from the conversation with T.

At first we really couldn't talk. is how we get when we we really upset with someone. T did a lot of talking. Do understand better where she was coming from. A big thing is she didn't get (or lost) several emails from us. So she wasn't getting all the information. And she said some good stuff about relationships and communication. So, there was good stuff.

The stuff we found not so good. She kept talking about the harmful, past bdsm stuff. She said she was still stuck on that. she went on to say she'd been traumatized by that. And how that sometimes happens to trauma therapists and they were supposed to keep there stuff out of the relationship but all of them didn't succeed at that sometimes. umm... ok?

she said she was feeling maternal and protective. really can't deal with that. I mean, ok, we got mom issues and so maybe we freaking out about it more than we should. but... we get setting boundaries. if she needs to set boundaries on the kink stuff or whatever that's fine. even if we don't agree with the boundaries, we'd know where we stand. we'd be able to adapt. But maternal? that just leaves us feeling distrustful.

and... I guess... we not sure she understands just how hurtful it was for us. maybe she does. she did acknowledge it in an email. maybe we needed to hear her say it.

Or maybe we are just wrong and relationship misunderstandings happen, like she said, and this is a great opportunity to work on dealing with relationships. maybe we overreacting to everything and just need to be fine. we really good at being fine.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
And how that sometimes happens to trauma therapists
Fwiw? This happened to me. The T phrased it differently, but that's what he was saying. We got through that, and went on to do some really helpful parts work, although I have no idea how it will be for you and your T.

They are only human. For me? It was...a wake up call as much as anything, rather than me seeing it as some sort of failing on his behalf (he's only human - I appreciated his honesty with me about it). About what I was doing to myself. Idk if that's helpful or not to you.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
So yeah, maybe I'm just distorting everything and lying to myself. The thing is what she is holding on to and traumatized about is from a year ago. And when she reacted like that a year ago, I took it onboard and stopped what I was doing. I get that T's are only human. And I'm not saying she's awful. But her reactions being based on stuff from then, more than stuff from now, combined with the unpredictability and difficulties in communication and appointments and her feeling "maternal" is a lot to deal with.

after talking last night, and reading an email I sent her (written over the last few days). she says positive stuff about how I'm doing and her reply today, to the email she read and we talked about last night, was "most excellent".
 
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