In case I forget.

When the Problem isn’t the patient -or- The laugh that destroyed hope
August 5, 2006, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Brain Bits, Fear, Mental Health

The stress, the tension, the frustration, the embarrassment, the fear, the fear, the fear, the isolation, the fear, the hopelessness…they all led my Dr. PCP to urge me to see a therapist to help me through this time.

Since I trust him literally with my life, I always try to comply with his advice.

I set out to build a relationship with a therapist and this is my experience so far:

Therapist #1: Takes three incoming phone calls during our initial (and final) session, none of which were “emergency” calls, he just answered the phone whenever it rang. I later found out that he was once one of Andrea Yeates’ therapists. Look how well she turned out.

Therapist #2: Spent the first 30 minutes of our inital session listening to my situation. He asked how I feel about the man who hurt me. We talked about that for the rest of the time. When I arrive for the second session, he tells me it’s clear that my problem is that I can’t let go of the “rage” I feel towards this man and he is concerned that I may become violent towards this man. I ask what on earth made him think that and he said “well, you did say you have fantasies about this man experiencing the same kind of pain he caused you” and that I DID spend most of the first session “obsessing” about this man. I pointed out to him that he kept ASKING me how I feel about this man, and that is why we talked about it. I explained that I had come to him for help in dealing with my abject terror surrounding whatever is wrong (remember that after 1.5years of tests and drugs and more tests they STILL DON’T KNOW) with my BRAIN. He said I am in denial and that I can’t expect him to “do all the work” if I expect to “get well”.

Therapist #3 This man actually gave me some hope. He listened carefully to what I said, he empathized, he drew out my feelings and fears about losing my mind and my job and my husband and my house and my -yes without hyperbole- very life to whatever is wrong with my brain. By the third session he had witnessed my burping a number of times, and suggested that hypnotism might help with my anxiety and fear. I showed up for our 4th session on a really bad burping day. I went in, we sat. He asked how I was. I told him I’m not good, not good at all. I told him it was a bad day symptom-wise and a worse day emotion-wise. I burped a few times in this first 5 minutes. I felt safe with this man and made no effort to hide the burping. He started to talk about how he would like to try hypnotising me, and right then I had a strong series of burps while he was talking. He guffawed. He laughed out-loud at me. I felt like I had been slapped. I felt like I had been totally betrayed. I felt my face flush, and I felt the first rush of tears. I said, “It’s NOT funny.” He looked shocked at his own laughter. I said again, feeling my heart start to race, “It’s NOT FUNNY.” He couldn’t hold in another tiny chuckled, and said “You’re right, it’s not funny.” I felt devastated. I picked up my purse, I stood up, I shouted as I fled the room, “IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!”

That laugh – which I know he didn’t mean to let out of his mouth – was like a stab through my heart. I don’t trust easily. This man had come highly recommended. I had truly been able to start to trust this man. And then I found out that inside, inside HIS brain, he thinks this is funny. HE THINKS MY PAIN IS FUNNY.

I don’t want to pass the freaking open windows. I want the open window to be on the 20th floor, and I want to swan dive out of it. God damned them all.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey, thanks for dropping by and your kind comments. Have only read this single post so far and want to take more time to read your story.

I’m appalled at your experiences with therapist 1 (I don’t know anyone who would do that, emergencies aside) and 2. Kudos to you for having the guts to try again. With 3, what an absolute shame. He sounded really promising. To his credit, you say he looked shocked but to not apologise, explain his behaviour..I’m amazed.
Hang in there. Finding the right fit with a therapist can be like finding a decent pair of jeans.

Comment by HealthPsych

Ha I think jeans are easier! At least the dressing room mirrow can’t lie to you. :)

All therapy is on hold now. I’m focusing on the epilepsy clinic appt and trying to not think about what I anticipate will be another disappointment.

Comment by incaseiforget

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