I did call my therapist to follow up on the email fiasco. I told myself all day that I wouldn’t call; I would just suffer until Friday and deal with all of this during that session because that’s what I deserve.
But then I met with the lady psychiatrist and she was wonderful. She really listened to me and she had a great way of explaining how medications should and should not impact the body. She seemed unfazed, yet empathetic when I told her about my DID diagnosis. She asked for as much detail as I was comfortable giving. She wanted to know about my personal and psychiatric history and then agreed that we would start with what’s most pressing right now and address those symptoms. She was personable and her office has a cozy, welcoming vibe to it. I felt very comfortable talking to her and I left her office with a sense of hope and optimism that I never feel around psychiatry.
Plus she agreed I should go off the Lamictal (yay!), she renewed my other prescriptions and added Zoloft to try and help ease the overall anxiety I feel. She said if that doesn’t work, we can try another SSRI or possibly a stimulant to help fight dissociation and allow my traumatized brain to function better in a “top down” manner (which basically means firing up the frontal lobe, where we make all of our adult decisions).
Regardless, she listened. And that means everything.
So I guess I was in a pretty good mood afterwards, which helped me find the courage to call my therapist and leave a voicemail. I explained that I didn’t send the second message and asked that she call back if she thought we should talk about this before Friday.
She called back thirteen minutes later. I went through the story again.
I added that the reason I’d had to cancel Monday’s session was because I needed medication and the only appointment available with the psychiatrist I wanted to see was at that exact time. Then I told her that the voicemail I’d just left was one of the hardest I’ve ever left on someone’s inbox. She asked me what was hard about it and I told her I was afraid she’d be pissed at me or not believe me and think I was just bullshitting her.
She said that when she’d gotten the message, she’d suspected that another part had sent the email. Then she said,
“So I’m not pissed, but we do need to address this. We need to find a way to communicate to the system because this does directly undermine our work. And we should also talk about how it’s not okay to cancel our sessions for a doctor’s appointment. We need flow and continuity and that’s hard to do if the work is interrupted. Plus I didn’t even know you were looking for a new psychiatrist, so we should discuss that, too.”
I just started crying. I was speaking so fast, trying to explain that I’d only made that appointment because I didn’t want to run out of medication and that I’d never cancelled before despite my insane schedule, so I clearly DO understand the importance of flow and consistency in therapy and I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.
I was so afraid of this happening when I sent the original email to cancel Monday; I knew she’d think it wasn’t a great decision on my part. And it wasn’t the overall best choice, but it was the best I could do with my circumstances at that moment.
She responded and said something about it not being disrespectful; she didn’t perceive it that way. She just thinks is something we need to talk more about.
Honestly? She may as well have just told me she hates me and never wants to see my wretched face again.
She was in-between clients so I knew it would be a short call. I spent most of those seven minutes crying and apologizing before she had to go. I sense that she hadn’t expected me to be as emotional as I was. Neither did I. But I also didn’t expect her to be as firm and cool as she was. She wasn’t angry or punitive, but she has clearly been impacted by all of this shit and the ever so slight shift in her tone is totally making me panic.
Regardless, I got my Wednesday morning appointment back so I guess we can finish this conversation then. That is, of course, If I’m even allowed to go there. And if I don’t die of humiliation beforehand.