Yesterday’s session went by like a shot. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get through, but I spent the first 40 minutes discussing the Request for Professional Review. As soon as I mentioned that I’d sent out one for Zooey, the therapist said, “Wow! What prompted that?” which made me really paranoid.
However, I expected to have a strong reaction to her reaction, no matter what it was. So instead of letting that derail me for an entire session, I just asked her why she asked that specific question. She said, “It’s just that it hasn’t been brought up before, so I’m curious if something happened or what made you decide to do that.” Which made a lot of sense because she’s right, I hadn’t even mentioned the possibility of sending out an RPR. I hadn’t wanted to bring it up with her. I explained that I’d been considering filing some sort of complaint essentially since Zooey terminated, but I was so locked into preserving the relationship and feeling so
guilty ashamed over being “too much” as a client that I couldn’t justify doing so. Between the whole voicemail fiasco and the wonderful conversation I had with my friend (the therapist), I finally had the objectivity I needed to move forward.
The therapist said I was definitely justified in my decision and that she thinks a mediation might be good for me as well as for Zooey. She thinks that perhaps having a conversation with an objective third-party in the room to keep Zooey on track and aware of her behavior might be just what both of us need. I shared my predication that Zooey will be pretty upset about this and likely double-down on her affirmation that she went “above and beyond” in her treatment with me (ugh). She might even lean into this idea that I’m the mental patient and thus lacking in objectivity and reality. Who knows. I’m prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.
The therapist asked me what my goals or expectations were. I told her that I wasn’t entirely sure, but that I mostly just want someone to take note of Zooey’s behavior. I know she won’t get some major sanction against her, but maybe just having some eyes on her practice might be enough to make her really think about how she conducts herself, especially in regards to termination. The therapist agreed. I’m glad I brought it up because she was very supportive and now this is something we can keep talking about as/if the process unfolds.
But I also wanted to talk about the two year anniversary of being estranged from my family. As I mentioned in this post, I printed out the voicemail transcripts and then played the messages. I was so nervous to even ask if I could play them for her. Once she said yes, I shared that this is something I’d always wanted to do with Zooey, but I never trusted her enough. She asked me why, but I just said “Oh boy…that’s for another day” because I wanted to be sure we could get through the messages and talk about them a bit before I had to go.
But then I totally regretted my statement because I realized that by admitting that I didn’t trust Zooey enough to ask her to hear the voicemails, I was ALSO indirectly admitting that I do trust this therapist enough to ask her to listen.
Gah!!! I did not mean to do that!
I also shared that right after Zooey terminated, I felt like such a loser and shitty client that I took all of the things I’d been allowing to seep out and pulled everything back into me, holding onto it as tightly as I could. I wanted to be the best version of my client-self and be as contained and calm as possible so that I wouldn’t overwhelm someone else. I explained that I’m beginning to feel things gradually slipping away from me and it’s getting harder and harder to hold onto it all. The therapist asked me why I thought that was happening and I said, “Because it’s too hard. I’m exhausted. I can’t do it anymore.”
She smiled and said, “Good.”
Which, fuck it all, means she probably recognizes that I’m beginning to let my guard down and maybe inching a little closer towards allowing her to help me contain all of this pain and heartbreak and darkness that plagues me and weighs so damn much.
I didn’t mean to do that, either. Shit.