Thursday, November 27, 2008

"This Madness Has Got to Stop"

I left my last session mad at myself for a post I had written the week prior. The post titled "Anxiety" was read by Dr. X, who in turn phoned me to ensure I was okay. I felt like a complete idiot for writing the post; embarrassed that I triggered Dr. X. to worry about me, and stupid that I had not stopped to think about how my posts might affect other people.

Whatever the case I was really mad at myself for not being more thoughtful and careful about what I say, but also afraid that I might need to censor myself if my pdoc was going to read my blog. I had not thought about the possibility of that dynamic when introducing my blog address to Dr. X. and inviting him to read it. Now there is a therapeutic dynamic to consider that hadn't crossed my mind before.

I really love that my pdoc periodically reads my blog. The problematic dynamic happens in part because I am not one to reach out between scheduled sessions. I believe keeping this boundary is very important because I respect that Dr. X has other patients, I am one of many, and it is not fair for me to expect more than what we have agreed upon. So sometimes when maybe I should reach out I express myself on my blog instead.

There is a sense of awkwardness in me now about writing exactly how I am feeling. I can see how for a pdoc it would be awkward territory too. If he reads something, where his patient is clearly thinking suicidal thoughts, it seems the caring and ethical thing to do would be to follow up with the patient and ensure they are okay.

So...I was mad at myself for expressing anxious suicidal thoughts and feeling like my inconsiderate behaviour led Dr. X to worry for me. In our session last week I tried to express how I felt, but I think it came across that I was mad for him calling me. I wasn't. That call was a very kind thing to do on his part. I was mad at me....for creating a situation, where I didn't really leave him a choice, and I was embarrassed for what I wrote. I was angry at me.

Today, I angrily and very expressively(read loudly) was telling Dr. X how perturbed I was about about the outcome of something else this week: a call I made to our government's tax office yesterday. I went on and on.

Here's the ANNOYING scenario:

Me (calling the tax office):"In August I qualified for a disability tax credit for the years 2003 through 2013. For the years 2003 through 2007 I was told to send a request for an adjustment to each of my tax years. I did in late August. It has been months and I have not heard from your gov't department whether or not my taxes have been adjusted and whether my taxes owed each year were lowered. Can you please let me know what is going on?

Tax Guy: You sent in a request for the adjustments the beginning of July, but we did not send you a letter saying you qualified for the adjustment until late August.

Me: That does not make sense, because I brought the letter that said I qualified to my Accountant, asked him to send in the request for an adjustment and then he sent in a request for the adjustment. There is no way I sent in an adjustment request before I received that letter. Why would I if I did not know I qualified.

Tax Guy: It shows here you sent a request for the adjustments the beginning of July, but we did not send you a letter saying you qualified for the adjustment until late August. (repeating verbatim what he said before.

so I try from a different angle...

Me: So you are saying I qualify and that a request for an adjustment sent in a bit earlier than I was sent the letter saying I qualify. However I qualify from 2003-2007 (all years which are in the past) so can you do the requested adjustments for those years because I did, in fact, qualify and a request was sent in?

Tax Guy: It shows here you sent a request for the adjustments the beginning of July, but we did not send you a letter saying you qualified for the adjustment until late August. (once again repeating verbatim what he said before). We cannot process an adjustment request that was sent in before the letter saying you qualify was sent out.

Me: I do not understand why? The adjustment request will say exactly the same thing the original one said. It doesn't make any sense that you cannot process the one you receiver PLUS there is no way you received that adjustment request before I received the letter of qualification...because I DID NOT KNOW I QUALIFIED. I had to bring the letter saying I qualified to my Accountant in order for him to put through the adjustment request.

Tax Guy: Ma'am [that word sets me off] we cannot process the original adjustment request because it was sent before you qualified.

Me: (About to explode inside and blow a gasket at the "Kafkaesqueness" of this entire conversation). "I will call my Accountant and have him resubmit it. Thank you."

Then I looked at my original application and it says "If you think you qualify for the tax credit fill out your income tax forms AS THOUGH YOU QUALIFY" Isn't that like applying for an adjustment BEFORE you qualify???? And you thought Kafka's, "The Trial" and "The Castle" were absurd!!!!!

So I relayed all my anger over this conversation to Dr. X today. I bet the entire waiting room could hear me rant. I was rather boisterous in my anger. After I finished I apologized for "losing it". My anger was excessive, and I was out of line. I get so mad at myself for not being able to control how I feel.

Dr. X. said, "This madness has got to stop". I thought he meant my madness at him and at the tax office, so I explained again I wasn't mad at him, but at me. "I know, I know, I am an angry person. I hate that about myself".

I missed his point altogether.I should have known he was referring to my madness at myself , not my anger towards others. Then I felt like laughing..."Yes indeed, This madness DOES have to stop!"

He told me my anger at the tax office was the energetic, exuberant side of me coming out...maybe not the bubbly/happy version of said energy, but the energy nonetheless. I recognize energy is good, but I do not like how angry I get over small things. I wish I could let things go and instead laugh at the absurdity of some of the bureaucratic rules in this world. Argh!

2 comments:

NiroZ said...

If your going to censor your blog, you should really think about why you created this blog. Is it for yourself, or for other people?
Are you struggling to express yourself to other people anyway?

Catatonic Kid said...

You could always leave some posts password protected - so that it would be expressed but wouldn't bring about unexpected consequences.

At any rate, I'd talk out your feelings with your therapist. And perhaps you could think about setting up some guidelines for you both as to when it is/is not necessary etc. for him to be concerned between sessions. Often we say things in blogs just to get them out rather than because they reflect reality particularly accurately and maybe if you discussed that aspect a little it'd ease your mind a bit?

I'm sure your therapist will respect your wishes on the matter unless he really feels sure that you are in immediate crisis.