Sunday, June 24, 2007

Her email, my reply

My therapist sent me this email yesterday...

I thought that I would let you cool off a bit on Thursday so I decided to write instead of trying to talk after you left my office. Just to be clear, I don't feel that I have been helpful to you nor do I know what would be of help and so I am feeling as frustrated as you are with seeing me to get help. However, if you are satisfied with what we are doing or somehow find anything that we have done helpful, I am happy to continue with you. I just can't imagine how frustrating and discouraging it must be to feel as bad as you do and to not be able to find relief. So, if you want to continue, that is fine and I will see you at 3 on Thursday. Let me know. I would also be happy to refer you to another therapist or we could do some brainstorming about what else is out there that might be of help. I certainly don't want to leave things unfinished and with you angry so think about what you want to do and let me know and I do apologize for upsetting you on Thurs.

Here's my reply...

You feel frustrated? Why? Because I haven't been able to meet imaginary therapy guidelines that dictate "if someone's been in therapy this long, this is how far they should have advanced in their recovery"? Because I haven't met any of the goals on my treatment plan? Guidelines and plans aren't "one size fits all" no matter how much they're supposedly tailored to fit an individual's treatment because we're all different. Everyone's circumstances are different. The severity of everyone's illnesses are different. Or is it because you believe, like so many others before you, that I'm highly intelligent to the point that I should somehow be able to easily see how out of whack my brain and thoughts are from reality and as a result be able to solve my mental health problems without much trouble?

You want to know what frustration really is? It's being stuck in a quagmire of nearly 40 years of negativity that was drilled so far into your being that you had no choice but to believe it is your true reality. A quagmire you want out of because it keeps you living a hell on earth existence but one you can't find a way to break free of because it's all you've ever known, it's all you've ever believed. Frustration is being stuck in a world of contradictions, such as suddenly being told that I'm not the monster I was lead to believe I was by everyone around me and that all those people were wrong and the handful of people now saying I'm not a horrible person are the ones that are right. Frustration is trying to find some way of surviving in a world that's been turned completely upside down from what you knew. One where you're now disabled with severe mental illnesses, where nothing is what you thought it was, even what little self identity you once had is no longer valid. Frustration is struggling to hold onto life because an innocent child is involved yet constantly longing for death. Frustration is trying to find a delicate balance with your medications that doesn't completely bleach you of all personality and feelings yet keeps you from becoming so emotionally out of control to the point where you become psychotic. Frustration is not having any of the answers everyone seems to think I should have because if I had all those answers, I wouldn't need to be in therapy. I could fix myself without any intervention or outside help. Frustration is people continually giving up on you, even when you're fighting not to give up on yourself.

What is it? Am I missing something? Did I ever once accuse you of failing to help me or ever once mention that you weren't helping me at all? If I did, my mental problems are far more serious than anyone thinks because I've completely blocked it out. I don't recall those words ever coming out of my mouth. Though it may not seem that way, I've actually revealed more about myself to you both verbally and in writing than I have to any therapist in the past. I'm sure Ms. N could certainly testify to that, as could any of my previous therapists.

Knowing that my previous therapy relationships ended badly and I was probably to blame for most of them ending that way, I tried to do things differently with you from the start. I gave you a heads up that I was stuck, what I felt my roadblocks to recovery were and a warning that it would be difficult to work with me. I thought maybe if I got that out from the start, we wouldn't reach the point we did on Thursday where you gave me the impression that I was wasting your time, that I'm unfixable, that there is no hope. But we still got there anyway.

I don't where to go from here. Another therapist is out of the question and I don't think you honestly want to continue working with me. Maybe the only place for me to go from here is to accept the reality I've wanted to deny for the sake of my daughter. I don't have any answers, all I have is a whole lot of stress over not having them.


Anonymous Borderlinecrazy said...

Your therapist clearly realized she was being unfair and professionally negligent, but it kind of seems like the e-mail says, "If YOU want to pursue a dead end, I guess it's OK, even though it totally won't work." I'm mad on your behalf (hey, so I'm a little co-dependent...). Guess what? Taking a break from therapy isn't the end of the world and may give you a new view of the situation. Seriously, therapists are just as likely to damage people as help them. They are dangerous people. I sound paranoid, but some of them ARE out to get people (through incompetence and ignorance, but still...). THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I'll say it again because it seems important: THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

8:13 AM, June 25, 2007  
Anonymous angela said...

Sid, I read your blogs and I really feel for you a lot of the time. I, myself, am a borderline. I have had the same feelings you have had, the ups and downs, the eternal rollercoaster ride. Fortunately, I have a great therapist, and yes, we have had our problems, but we always apologize to one another eventually, and I know deep down she cares about my outcome. I don't think that your therapist wants to dump you necessarily. I am going to be honest with you, and i DON"T want to hurt your feelings, but I have felt some anger and some "what the hell" moments with you by reading your blog. I am not sure what meds you take other than the seroquel that you mention often, but i take effexor and seroquel, and i can say that with both of those, if you don't take them everday, and the same dosage, so that it stays constant in your blood stream, it will be better for you. Forgive me if i am wrong, but, it seems you take them sporatically and take more one time, and less the other. Please don't do that, that's what takes away your emotional connection. I have done that, and i know what you are talking about. You are intelligent, and you are a gifted writer. You have a beautiful daughter, and I know you love her by what you write. i would love to see you focus on the positive things, take your meds as directed regularly and get a routine schedule. With or without a therapist, i would be curious to see how this works for you. Again, Sid, I don't want to chastise you or make you feel bad, i only want to put in my 2 cents worth, so please take it with a grain of salt. For some reason, by reading your blogs, it makes me feel "attached" somehow to you, and I would love more than anything to read that you have solved this problem of being in your quagmire. I have been lucky enough to become a lot better than i was when i first realized i had a mental illness. I embraced what i knew, and read and learned as much as i could about BPD, and wanted to fix it, and i just set my mind on that and went forward. I know your situation is obviously not the same, you are a different person than me, but I wish you the best even when you are "up" and even when you are "down". Please take care, and please consider the fact of possibly going back to your therapist at least one more time and talking about this email exchange you had with her. She may have been having a bad day herself, and that was just the topping on the cake that put her over. Give her a chance Sid. Again take my adive or chuck it, I would love to see you happier. Take care, and keep writing.

9:24 AM, June 25, 2007  
Blogger Maggs said... about a med change and put therapy on hold a bit? i can honestly praise my cocktail. i knew the lamictal and zoloft were helping, but once we added deplin (which is a vitamin that basically doubles up the effectiveness of antidepressants), well, holy shit, i'm feeling closer to normal than i have in years.

i feel for you, honey, you know i do.

12:14 PM, June 25, 2007  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

This is very tough to read.

Treatment resistant depression is not getting the kind of attention it should. More money needs to help researchers find better medications. If my stats are right, only about 60% of the depressed population find relief.


5:11 PM, June 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Dr. Landy when you need him? I'm afraid that it is with disappointment, not surprise, that I learn of the pedagogy's shortcomings and inabilities to aide in your situation.

Sure, I could be wrong. Maybe there's some as-of-yet undiscovered benefit that neither you nor I are aware of.

All the same, I can't help but hope and wish that you might someday find someone not confined by the pedantic points in practice-- someone willing to break a few trivial rules and put in the extra effort to see things through.

Best of luck,

7:08 PM, June 25, 2007  
Blogger marie said...

Sid, I am glad you finally laid it out on the table and told you how you REALLY feel about the situation.

I hope it made you feel a little bit better. It would if it were me. I hope you can now move on from this. I know it is not an easy thing to do.

Never give up on yourself! YOU are so worth it.

((((((((((BIG HUGS))))))))))

7:47 PM, June 26, 2007  

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