As I’ve mentioned recently, my schedule is about to become a total clusterfuck.
I actually only have two classes with two labs this session, but since we also have our first clinical affiliation coming up, we can only hold those classes on two days of the week. Thus, we have to fit twelve lecture and lab hours into two days. Wednesdays are reserved for affiliation seminar (whatever that means), studio hour (whatever that is), and Physical Therapy Club (of which I am the President).
Therefore, the yet to be assigned clinic hours will happen on the remaining weekdays. As I understand it, we will have clinic on Monday and/or Fridays and it could be all day or half the day – which could be either morning, afternoon, or evenings. And we don’t yet know where these clinics are, so my commute could be twenty minutes or two fucking hours. We have no idea.
I also have to go to physical therapy 2-3/week for the next six weeks to treat my own janky hip/leg/back/everything. And, of course, I have psychotherapy 3x/week. Plus yoga class and regular gym time. And there should probably be time to sleep, eat (meh), study and occasionally talk to my spouse and friends (social life? haha). Also, although I attempted to respectfully resign from my job in the Anatomy Study Hall, I was told that was “unacceptable” and that I need to give hours. Oh sure! No fucking problem.
Anyway. I explained all of this to the therapist last week because she’s trying to figure out her Fall schedule. I was really overwhelmed by the task of fitting my schedule with hers so I just kinda blew it off in session. She gently reminded me that she can absolutely be flexible and make three sessions work around my schedule, but she does need some advance notice.
On Tuesday I decided to pull it together and be a legit adult about this. I wrote down all of my known obligations for the next three weeks and created a schedule with all the times I am available versus unavailable. I thought this would be a really good way to help us put the jigsaw pieces together.
But then I remembered I wouldn’t see her until Friday and I wanted to get the schedule to her as soon as possible. I also thought it might be simpler if she just had a written copy of it. I then realized email might be a good option, but we’ve never had a conversation about email other than on the first day when she said she does not email with clients because she prefers to bring the material into session itself.
However, I stayed (somewhat) rational and decided I could just call and ask if it was okay to email her. So I did: I left a voicemail explaining that I thought it would be easier if we each had a written copy of my schedule so that she could match my availability with hers. I also reminded her that we’d never discussed email beyond her stating she “doesn’t email” so I was calling to ask her permission to do so.
She called back shortly thereafter, but I was standing on a noisy train platform so I let it go to voicemail. In her message, she said that she thought emailing her my schedule was a great idea. She explained that she does email, but primarily uses it for just this type of thing (“logistics” around things like schedules or payment). She left her email address (as if I don’t have it saved in my phone from when I originally emailed her back in December to set up a consult) and said that once she received my email, she’d come up with some possible session times and we could discuss it on Friday.
Sounded good to me, so I sent her the schedule later that afternoon.
On Thursday evening I checked my email and I saw that she had emailed me back. My heart absolutely stopped in my chest. I don’t even know what I was thinking. Possibly nothing – I think I was reacting on a more visceral, emotional level to the email itself. Emailing and texting Zooey outside of session hours totally blew up in my face and it started just like this – I emailed her about scheduling, insurance, etc. Small things. But then the emails became more serious and more frequent and then, ultimately, too inconvenient/overwhelming for her.
I don’t envision that happening with this therapist, primarily because she is so solid and clear with boundaries. But, also, I learned a lot from that experience with Zooey and as I spend more time with this therapist, I’m beginning to understand the ways I also prefer to talk about things in within the therapeutic space itself.
Still, it was intensely activating to get that email. Especially since she said we would just talk about in in session on Friday. I thought back to the last email I received from Zooey as her client (where she set up the joint session with my wife so she could terminate my treatment) and just got stuck in that panicked space.
I took a deep breath and reminded myself for the thousandth time that this is not Zooey. I opened the email and saw this:
Hi Andi –Here are my proposed session times – we can talk more about it tomorrow, but thought it might be helpful to have it in writing.Therapist
She talks the talk and walks the walk.