Therapy – pretty bad

Thanks to all who left comments for the kid. She appreciates – it is so fun for her to get people who talk to her. Normally no one talks to her so it means a lot when you are kind.

I didn’t describe my last session. It was pretty dismal and too painful to describe. Not that it seemed to be about my dark and disturbing past. Just that Ron and I weren’t getting along very well. We talked about the last group, how disturbed I was by it, and he felt I was threatened by M. So fine. I switched the topic to some current concerns, nothing too heavy. A long-time friend whom I’m thinking of not continuing a friendship with. Then whether to go to a family restaurant dinner that was coming up.

Ron had nothing earth shattering to say. I felt I should be tackling problems from my life, as opposed to therapy problems / group problems. But it was not terribly satisfying. He said I didn’t go into depth with any one thing, I kept shifting around. But, I couldn’t come up with any depths.

I forgot to time keep at the end. Usually I keep strict watch on the clock, because I hate the feeling of Ron telling me it’s time to stop – I always feel like he can’t wait to get rid of me. This session, I forgot. So I was in the middle of a sentence, when Ron got up and started slowly walking to the door. He didn’t say it was time or anything. So I immediately felt guilty, stopped in mid-sentence, said I’m sorry, and dashed out of his office. Thinking back I felt hurt.

At home I fell into such a pit of despair. It seemed to be caused by Ron. I felt as if he’d horribly abandoned me, in a way that threatened my life. I knew it didn’t literally do that, but that was the intensity of the fear and despair I felt. It didn’t make sense to me – the session wasn’t that deep or that bad.

I felt my only option was to quit therapy. So I wrote Ron an email, saying I wanted something from him he couldn’t give, and that therapy made me want to kill myself. And I was not coming back.

So he emailed back saying whatever had made me want to kill myself must have been really bad. And that we could look at what happens to me together if I could stand it. And that he would keep my slot open for me in case I changed my mind.

Basically a kind response. Not that he would likely bring these things up next time, but still.

I was completely depressed all weekend, but by Tuesday I had calmed down, of course changing my mind. Sigh. So I emailed Ron back that yes, I’ll see him Friday.

I don’t get what happens to me. I did feel some relief from my feelings when I quit therapy. But now at a distance of a few days, they no longer make sense. I still feel like I’m not getting along with Ron, but WTF? Seeing him makes me want to kill myself? He’s really not that bad.

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12 comments
  1. Gel said:

    I’m glad to hear that our comments to the Kid were well received. I’d like to hear from her again.
    When I read this line: “…I felt as if he’d horribly abandoned me, in a way that threatened my life. I knew it didn’t literally do that, but that was the intensity of the fear and despair I felt. It didn’t make sense to me …”

    I have felt like that at times…where I have such an intense feeling reaction to something or someone and it doesn’t make sense to me. I have then felt bad about myself because my feelings seem incongruous. But lately I’ve been accepting that if I feel something then the feeling is valid and real. Even while I accept that the trigger is not the problem or the whole reason for the intense feeling. Does that make sense?

    The next thing I am working on is how to process or work through the feeling rather than react to the person or incident which brought the feeling up.

    I hope your session with R goes better.

    Sending warm thoughts your way.

    • Ellen said:

      That makes complete sense. Working through would be the next step….Thanks for the warm thoughts!

  2. Ruth said:

    One of the reasons I continued my counseling because I would have big reactions to minor events. Understanding that a trigger stands in for a previous event took awhile to wrap my mind around. Examining that reaction may take you to the depth that Ron is suggesting needs to be done. Cheering you forward which ever way you decide to go.
    PS the Kid is important to you and very nice. Glad to chat any time.

    • Ellen said:

      Hmmm….me too. Today’s session was better, though I didn’t get much insight, to tell the truth. I guess my reaction is about my past. Thanks for the kind words about the kid. 🙂

  3. Juliet said:

    Taken out of context … because I don’t really feel able to say anything except this – it it just f*cking rude to walk away while you’re speaking – and he didn’t even say anything in advance to that? Seriously… this is just mean and horrible. I’d have been as hurt as you. I hope things will work out for you…
    Take care xx

    • Ellen said:

      It is kind of rude isn’t it. It stopped bothering me though. I know this is his job, and sometimes he makes mistakes, just like I do with my job. But maybe I should bring it up with him. Thanks for the fellow feeling. xox

  4. did you catch this article? http://blog.psytx.com/366/psychotherapy/attachment-to-your-therapist-iii-how-relationships-transform/ – on how those super painful moments between a person and their therapist can lead to transformation (he emphasizes that the feelings are 100% correct, but not always directed at the right person). he knows how suicidal you felt, but have you told him about feeling abandoned and betrayed? that your life felt threatened? about your guilt in going over time? about how hurt and angry you were that he walked to the door in mid-sentence (which must seem like he isn’t really listening to you which is bound to trigger many feelings of abandonment). those would be important to discuss in depth. could you ask him to give you a 5 minute heads up that it’s time to start to wrap up? that’s what i asked sharon for… because i’m always talking right up until the last second and i do need that small window of time to get back into the headspace of the “real world” … we often use those last 5 minutes to figure out what’s on the “save for next week” list (ie outstanding) and sometimes i tell her briefly about how school is going.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s a good article, thanks Catherine. I actually didn’t do a great job explaining today, because I couldn’t talk much, but today was still better and I’m OK tonight. I don’t know why I didn’t go in depth. We just discussed my email a bit and I never mentioned the session end…I’m sure it was nothing to him. I kept close track of the time myself this time. That’s all good advice but I didn’t seem able to do it! Thanks for caring.

  5. kp said:

    Hi Ellen…When I read your posts, I find myself going back and forth; wondering if Ron is the right therpaist for you because he sounds so cool and detached; and wondering if he is exactly the therapist you need because very deep emotional issues come up for you when you are with him. Therapy is so confusing that way; hard for people outside the room to really know what is going on inside the room. But I think it would be helpful if you could talk to him, in session, about some of the very strong feelings that are evoked by him when you are in session with him. I can imagine that that would be very scarey but maybe there is power there too. Thinking about you…Kim

    • Ellen said:

      It’s hard to know what’s going on inside the room too! And I can’t decide either if he’s right for me or not. I definitely need to discuss this with him – I can’t go on with therapy if I’m worried I’ll fall into this kind of a hole afterwards. I tried to talk about it this week…Thanks Kim

      • kp said:

        Hi Ellen…I have only gone to therapy a few times in my life and only for several months at a time BUT I did find a huge difference between therapists. One woman was okay, a man I went to was far too cold, intellectual and critical for me, and one woman was just perfect. When I read your posts, I wonder if Ron is a little more cold and removed than you need But I also know that it can just seem that way when people have very deep wounds that they are confronting. Hugs from Kim

        • Ellen said:

          Interesting about your experience. I’ve also been to many therapists, usually also only for a few months. Ron is the only one I’ve developed this attachment for. I’d always seen women T’s before. He is actually not cold and intellectual – I must be writing him like that. He’s actually gentle and nurturing. He’s smart enough, but I don’t think he’s smarter than I am. And I have often found therapists to be really slow, at which point I no longer respect them.

          I like him. I also believe he cares about me. He’s a nice person, and he cares about his clients. Just we’re in a struggle which is mysterious to me. It could be I’m confronting deep wounds. I know my experience is not making a lot of sense at the moment. Hugs to you.

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