Bad therapy

This week was one of those group / therapy combos from hell. I am despondent. I know I’m always saying that. This despondent is not a processing kind of despair. It’s more what you feel when someone important to you leaves you, or you leave them.

I went to group after work. I’d been going in every day, which is really unusual for me, so I felt like I was starting a new job. There were hours of meetings at a time. With new things, I go into ’emergency mode’, that is, my body revs up, I see everything super clearly, internally things are silent, and I get so keyed up I wake up every few hours once I actually fall asleep. So by Thursday night, I was pretty tense.

Unfortunately, I decided I wanted to talk. I wish I could have just ridden the group out, and talked when I was in a better space. Luckily, I didn’t attack anyone or say things I didn’t mean this time. But I did ask A why he’d felt he needed to bring in our conversation from the summer.

I didn’t find out much about that. But it emerged that A is really angry at me, and he said a bunch of things about me, like that I want to see him suffer, that I attack people, that I am judgmental. Then Ron asked the group if they wanted to respond to how they saw it. E jumped in and said she’d found me very judgmental last year when we’d had our fight. A said she’d found me judgmental when I’d gotten mad at the group for not talking, that she finds it hard to talk, and so she’d felt attacked.

I found this so hard to deal with, all these people at once. Then Ron kept saying I should be going deeper with it. I couldn’t. For one thing, I was all dissociated and shut down from coping with work. But for another, I didn’t agree that I was judgmental, and that didn’t resonate at all with me. I do have a lot of flaws, and people have pointed them out to me, but that one has never yet been on the list.

Anyhow, that was group. I felt bad, but not super upset with Ron. Yes, it would have been nice if he could have made me feel he was on my side, instead of hammering away at this idea that I’m not accepting that I’m judgmental. But it didn’t seem that terrible. He’s like that.

The session though was really bad. I felt attacked and was argued with. After a while I just gave up and wouldn’t speak any more, which Ron interpreted to mean I don’t want to deal with my problems.

Half way through the session, I was so angry, and couldn’t figure out what to do, I left to spend five minutes in the washroom trying to breathe and get it together. I wish I’d left then, but I went back and apologized for leaving.

I discussed leaving therapy with Ron then. He said leaving because it feels bad isn’t a good measure. I should be assessing, but looking at if my life has improved is a better measure.

Some things in my life have improved it’s true. And I understand that therapy involves a lot of pain, believe me. I find it condescending that Ron feels he has to keep pointing this out. He doesn’t seem to think I understand anything about how therapy works, so he keeps explaining the basics.

There is pain though that heals, and pain that is just pain. I’m thinking this pain I’m in now is not the healing kind. It’s more what you feel when someone you care about abandons you.

Another thing that really surprised me is that Ron thinks that when I mention that things are difficult or different for me because I experience life in parts, this is my way of avoiding working in therapy. I told him I was trying to explain that it means we need a different way of working. That’s not how he sees it. I’m avoiding and using parts as an excuse.

Yeah, I find that really hurtful. I work hard in therapy, maybe not skillfully, but hard.

I’m thinking I need to see someone who specializes more in dissociation than Ron does. Also, that I need to stop group again. Which, if I do, Ron will imply it’s because I cannot tolerate the emotions it brings up in me. But that’s not why. It’s because my relationship with him falls apart with the stress of it. I don’t understand why he can’t adjust himself to be more supportive, since he knows things fall apart when he pushes and pushes. But he can’t.

I feel endlessly bad about all this. I tried working things out through email, one of them very carefully asking him questions so I could figure out his point of view. However he wouldn’t respond beyond saying we should discuss in  person, do I want an extra session. No thanks. I’m still trying to survive the last one.

I really wish I was dead. I really do.

A friend has suggested consulting another therapist to discuss this situation with Ron. I may do that. How can I pick apart what are my own issues from my past, which I’m sure are influencing me a lot here, from what is Ron’s lack of skill, if it is.

I’d prefer no comments, unless you just want to leave hugs of course. I can’t figure out how to turn them off for one post. I’m too upset to deal with anything right now, though I greatly appreciate my readers and the support you offer.

Today I am grateful for a sunny day, that free anti-depressant.

  1. Gel said:

    Thinking of you with love.

  2. laura said:

    Sorry, Ellen…

  3. Sending you good vibes 🙂 Feeling what you wrote, we are with you Ellen

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