This morning I saw my care co-ordinator at the hospital. I have not seen her since January, so yes I was a bit apprehensive. The purpose of this meeting was to have a review of the 18 psychotherapy sessions that I had with a doctor still in training.
I used these sessions to try to explore my feelings and understand the mess that is in my head. I may not have sorted out the mess in my head but I certainly let go of some things that I have been holding onto for a very long time. With only 18 sessions nothing was discussed in detail. No solutions were suggested or worked through. None of our objectives were met. Was I expecting too much? Were we too ambitious about our goals?
My care co-ordinator who I will now call ‘C’ from this point onwards and I will refer to the doctor I saw for psychotherapy ‘R’.
C asked what I wanted to talk about. I had prepared a list of things but did not want to dive straight in to that. I wanted to know the format of the review and what could the possible outcomes of the meeting be. I was told that we would get to that later. I did manage to talk about most of the things on my list throughout the session. I am glad that I went prepared.
The first question she asked was how I felt my sessions with R went? My last session with him ended really badly, in fact I walked out. It placed a cloud over all the sessions we had together and to be honest it worries me that all therapists are like him. Deep down I know that they are not and that everyone is different. It was just one bad experience and I need to move on from that.
I knew from the very first session with R that it would be difficult to work with him. He never introduced himself, said hello etc. The first time he saw me he stood outside the waiting room called my name and took me to a room and sat in silence. With no introduction and no guidance on what we were to be focusing on I started to worry about saying anything. Worried that anything I did say would be wrong. I need guidelines, especially in new situations. I wanted him to introduce himself to show that he was human and approachable. Was I asking for too much?
After a few sessions I wrote R a letter to explain how uncomfortable I felt. He did say that he did not understand why introductions were needed. Heavens above, we were complete strangers, I think it would have broken the ice a bit! I felt he was an unemotional robot and felt embarrassed for writing that letter and so just told myself to forget it and get on with therapy.
I was not able to look at R from that point onwards. I just looked at the floor throughout every session. He gave no reaction to anything I said, very rarely asked me questions. But during one session I decided to approach a subject that has had a very detrimental affect on my life. Every day I think about something that happened a long time ago. I told R that this was a huge and difficult ‘thing’ for me to do. It did take me almost a full session just to say a few sentences. But I was glad that I finally got it out in the open and was convinced that now I would be able to move on from this and reduce the influence this ‘thing’ had on my life. But most of all I wanted to work on finding a way to forgive myself.
At the following weeks meeting R never mentioned it. Maybe he was waiting for me to talk it. I understand that may have been the case but I told him that if I bring a new topic into our meetings and he does not ask about it then I will not mention it again. In my head I thought that because he did not ask me about this ‘thing’ then it was not important. Not important to him but still very important to me. It made me think about the trust I had given him to tell him something so very private.
C did not know anything about this and asked if I could tell her what this big ‘thing’ was. That was not possible. R had not included this in my notes so again that reinforced within me that he did not think it important. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill in regards to this?
C also did not know anything about the lecture R gave me in our last session together. He upset me and kept pushing me when I asked him to stop. I did not want our last session to end with me being upset. I wanted it to be light but R kept asking if there was anything that I wanted to revisit. No! Not on the last session but he kept going on and on and so I did get upset and cried.
In a desperate attempt to take control of the session and turn it around to something light hearted I thought I might end by asking him where he was going to work next. I only asked to wish him well. But he said that I had been inappropriate for asking such an innocent question. R was leaving to continue his training at another hospital after my last session with him. I was not really interested in where he was going to work next as he was my therapist not a friend. But he did not like this question. Why did he not just say that he did not want to answer my question instead of giving me a lecture? C did not even know that I had walked out. This was not included in his notes.
Anyway that is the past, so where do things go from here. I asked C this question and at the same time told her that I was angry with her for saying that I had to go through a period of three months without support (that turned out to be four months in the end). I did ask for this to be reduced, I did say that I was worried about how I would cope etc. I had come so close to taking another overdose. I had written my goodbye letter to my husband and written my check list of things to do. I needed her to know that the last four months had not been a bed of roses for me and that a little help would have been appreciated and that I would like more help now. I told her that her ‘not up for a review’ processes made me feel like a statistic and not a real person. She put these feelings down to my borderline personality disorder (that did irritate me to be honest).
Well I did manage to get myself through those four months. I pulled out all my old notes on DBT and took out the bits that I could use to get through.
So again, what happens next? C said she did not know and that she would have to speak to the team about things. I am not that great with DBT so would like to learn more about that, however the hospital is looking at introducing a mentalisation group that I could be considered for.
No real answers yet. We will have another meeting next month to discuss what the team thinks.
I came home today feeling alone, very angry and confused.
So I had a bad morning and it is OK to feel the way I do. But time does not stay still and things move on and I will feel different soon.