Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Blind Sided

I don't know what happened in my session yesterday, but I left feeling pretty much blind-sided and abandoned.

Last Friday I left my appointment feeling like my psychiatrist was extremely supportive, caring and very empathetic. I felt he really understood how much I was fearing being abandoned and ending up alone. I felt really cared for even though I was so upset and sobbing much of my session.

On Thursday last week I received a call from an Art Therapy Program I go to saying my name had come to the top of the list for the next acrylic painting class...Did I want to take it? I had refused once before as the time conflicted with one of my appointments and when that happens you go down to the bottom of the list again. So this time I thought two things:
  • I really want to take this class...and creating art does seem to help me
  • I was feeling brave enough to actually ask my pdoc to accommodate my need for a different appointment time so I could take this class and still see him twice a week. I have such a hard time asking for any sort of accommodation from anyone I even perceive to be the slightest authority this would be hard for me to do.

So after carefully practicing how I was going to ask for this, I went to my appointment, sat down, told him about the Art Class, and asked if I could change my Tuesday appointment time. Immediately he says, "How about I see you once a week on Fridays. If you find you need to see me more we can arrange that then. I am really flexible with my hours and you can call me and arrange another appointment if you need it".

I am sure to those of you reading that statement you are thinking...sounds totally reasonable and supportive....but you don't know my history around this whole twice a week appointment scenario. I will not call him...and he knows I will not call him. I would not call him if I am about to commit I am not likely to call to say, "Help, I need an extra appointment". I have cut my appointments down to once weekly before and I always lose it and get even more depressed.

The thing is...I do not understand why now? Why is he cutting me off when I have been so depressed recently. I feel like I can barely hang on right now. Why is he abandoning me like this right now? He said he wants me to expand my horizons, that he knows I have limited energy because of fatigue and motivation and wants me to spend my energy on things that make me feel good. He worries that the time I spend in therapy drains me of my energy. What the FUCK???

I feel (usually feel) supported and cared for in therapy. On days I have an appointment...Tuesdays and Fridays...I actually leave my house and get into the city and do things before and/or after my session. My sessions helped me do, and feel safer doing, other things. In fact, less than three months ago I was concerned that I was too dependent on him...his response..."Wasn't it important to have someone to come to, someone you know supports you, someone to lean on when you are out in the world trying to do the things that scare you"?

I feel like something weird happened. I do not think he is being honest with me. I think he saw an out and took it as quickly as he could. I feel totally let down...and angry that when I am so severely depressed, (but finally had the courage to ask for him to change his schedule to meet a need of mine), I got shot down in flames.


4 comments: said...

why don't you tell him how you feel? my therapist would encourage me to tell him how i feel about him, especially if i'm angry. i was recently a patient in a partial hospitalization program. one of the patients there told me that therapists intend for you to depend on them and trust them, and that after you've bonded with them, they let you go and want you to be independent. i also heard this from one of the group therapists. i am very dependent on my therapist. i love him and hate him at the same time. my case manager in the partial program told me i had to make friends and relationships outside of therapy. i've been looking for work and interviewing again. but the thought of working full-time again makes me sad because i'd have to cut back my sessions with my therapist from twice a week to once a week. i don't think once a week gives me enough time to work out my issues with him. i feel like i have so much i want to share with him. this morning i had an interview for a really great job. i was delighted i had a chance to meet with the company. but when i got home, i started crying. i would miss my therapist a lot, even if i got to see him once a week. twice a week doesn't feel like enough.

Polar Bear said...

Ouch. I'm sure that hurts, Aqua. And I understand how you would feel that he was looking for an "out" and took it the first moment he saw a chance. I would probably feel that way too, but I don't believe that was his intention.

I think it would be good if you could have an open discussion with him about this - to let him know that you feel you still need his support twice a week, and that it's just that Tuesdays will no longer be good for you. Or even that you may just need to adjust the time. If he is flexible and open as he claims to be, then he should be able to acommodate you.

Therapy is about communication - as clients, we need to be clear about what we want/need, so that the therapist knows. They're not mind readers, as much as we would like them to be :-)


James said...

Aqua, I'm sorry things are rough right now. I think you should go for the art class and deal with your therapist later. That's easier said then done though so I agree with the other comments that you might want to have a "heart to heart" with him.

Aqua said...

Katinkab, Polar Bear and James...Thanks for listening and for the advice. I did speak with him...he is a really good therapist and a kind soul...I am just really depressed and I am really sensitive even when I'm NOT I felt really confused. Anyways...thanks again.