Being cared for versus being cared about

Yesterday during therapy we discussed something that happened during last weeks session. Last week, Eileen and me were talking about me being a partner in our work, about us working collaboratively with each other. Eileen had said that she saw me as an equal in the therapy process. Then she said “I dont see you as someone who needs to be cared for” “It is not my job to care for you”. At the time I didnt say anything about what she’d said, but later that night when I went home and was writing about my therapy session, things started to hit me, thoughts, feelings, everything came crashing down around me. Parts of me were feeling sad, angry, overwhelmed, let down, disappointed, vulnerable, I started to wonder, does she care at all? Am I imagining she does when actually she doesnt? The thing is it was so confusing, because, a week earlier, we’d had an exchange during our session that I felt was so raw, so real, so honest…she’d said to me that she hated how I was alone and on my own during this difficult time of year, how she hated that I felt so unsafe. I knew when she said that that her words came from the heart. That she meant them and was being sincere adn not just saying things just to please me or something. So that is where the confusion lay. She cared, but she’d said I didnt need to be cared for? She wasnt going to take care of me? It wasnt her job? So yesterday we discussed this and after we did it made a lot more sense. She apologised for saying what she did, in the way that she did. She said it definitely wasnt her intention to hurt me or cause me pain and grief and harm. I said how I felt about it, that I was confused, let down, disappointed, and I felt disconnected from her because of what she’d said. She said being cared for is not the same as being cared about. That she cares about me but that she isnt going to care for me because she knows I have the resources and am very capable of caring for myself. That to care for me would be like her taking me by the hand and saying now you need to do this, or that, for example you need to put on your coat, eat every day, come here and be here for a certain time…etc. That the fact that I show up each week at our arranged time, for example, means that I know enough to know my schedule, I am taking care of my own arrangements, I am not so sick and stuff that I cant care for my self. I hadnt thought of it like that. Then she said me using the word treatment for our therapy process is not really ok, because doctors treat patients, therapists dont. She does not consider herself to be treating me. A client is not a patient. Psychotherapy is not the same as for example a doctor who treats a patient with tablets, in order to fix a problem. She said I do not need fixing in her opinion. Therapy is about her guiding me to come to my own resolutions. When she put it like that it made much more sense and I felt much better about it. I knew deep down that she always cared for me and about me. It was just the two exchanges were getting so mixed up and muddied in my mind. Then I was focusing on the negative connotation that I thought she’d said when she really hadnt meant to be negative at all or to upset or hurt me in any way. It was so good to be able to talk it all out yesterday. So freeing. And Eileen was so happy that we did. She said she was so glad I’d decided to mention it to her. I told her I wasnt going to say anything about it. And she was like “I’m so glad you did”.

talking through the tough stuff in therapy

i have therapy tomorrow. i’m nervous. i shouldnt be, but i am. i cant help it. there is some tough stuff that i need to discuss. mainly it is about the rape we went through last easter. the rape that ended us up in the hospital, in the psych ward for our birthday and easter and the trauma we went through after it, examinations, reporting to the police, etc. talking with dr barry today about the report she did up for the investigation has led to me being seriously triggered tonight. earlier i could not find words to say how i felt. i emailed eileen and just said i am having real trouble finding my voice. i know she will understand what i mean. but then later i did manage to write again to her and talk a little bit about what caused me to shut down and about how i felt. i know we need to go deeper with it though in therapy. discuss it more than we have which isnt very much at all. i dont know why i’m so scared. i trust eileen. i feel safe with her. i know she’ll understand. and empathise and be compassionate. so why am i so hesitant, scared, afraid to let it out? its baffling to me. but i really do need to try. and i will i guess. the thing is my memory surrounding that time is foggy sometimes, but then during flashbacks it isnt. more weirdness. i wish things werent so complicated and were more clear and i wish too that i was just able to feel my damn feelings and not this roller coaster of emotions and then nothing for a long time and then back to full on freak out mode again. its really throwing me for a loop. i hope tomorrow goes well. if i am brave enough i’ll bring it up that is if there is time. other insiders want time so i am not sure what will come out of that or if i will have much time during the session. i suppose i could always flag it at the beginning, say i need some of the session time. and i may just do that too.

Doggy adventures

well, it is me, nitro. my mommy isnt very pleased with me. know why? because i was naughty! heres what i did today.
first during college, i decided that while my mommy was working, i’d get up and take off. i thought that’d be a fun game to play. all of a sudden mommy reached down and tried to feel for me under the table, but i wasnt there. i was at the other end of the room with my lead in my mouth trying to get the lecturer to take me for a walk! what fun that would have been! but mom spoiled it on me by grabbing me and hauling me back and making me go back under the table.
then while we were waiting to see the psychiatrist dr Barry, i decided to get all restless so mommy had to take me out to pee. after i went pee she told me to find the door, but would i? oh no. i decided there was more grass that i wanted to sniff first. so i ran over to it and she lost her way and we couldnt get back inside! needless to say she wasnt pleased with me! she ended up ringing the receptionist and dr barry looked out and saw us and came to get us. when dr barry called me i ran right over to her! all pleased with myself. but that was short lived. mommy told me to hurry up and go inside and stop acting like a little puppy! but i am still a puppy even though i’m 5!
so what do you all think of my adventures? woof woof!

my psychiatrist is back from vacation!

dr barry came back from vacation. we saw her today. i was so happy to be seeing her.
we talked about my awful experience with the doctor last week. she said she had an idea that i hadnt had the greatest experience. Karen her team leader had told her because when karen rang me last thursday I’d complained to her and vented my frustrations. so she gave dr barry some warning that I might bring that up today. and I did.
dr barry said she was sorry that i’d had such a terrible experience. she said she didnt know there had been a crisis, that zuliana had been inundated with requests from patients to see her and so she hadnt been able to see me, not because she didnt want to, but because she was with someone else when I got there and dr Walsh just took my file and decided he’d see me instead. not what he told me but what can you do. i just had to go on what he said.
anyway dr barry said she was surprised he’d been so curious about my blindness. she said maybe he was trying to build a rapore with me by asking me about it. that he had nothing else to go on so decided that i wouldnt mind talking about it. and i didnt, but the amount of questions he asked about it was excessive to say the least.
then she blew me away. she said his speciality was in trauma. that in his private practice he treats trauma patients. and he probably even has some people who have did but he probably doesnt have people like me, who are polyfragmented. but he treats trauma! he should have known more about did than he did! i cant be the only did person in ireland, although thats entirely possible I suppose.
she kinda defended him but she said she felt she had to. he was just covering for her and He’d come into a busy sector, and its public system patients, so the doctors who work in the public mental health system are even busier than those who are in private practice.
but the main thing is i got to say how i felt. put my point across. and she listened, and heard me and validated me and thats enough. she said its too bad we didnt click as he may be covering again for her in the future, although she laughed and said with how busy the week was for him he might think twice about it, being that a lot came up that wasnt expected to come up.
we talked some about halloween and my week. i told her we’d put a safety contract in place. she thought that was good. i told her i’d passed my exam and she congratulated me on that. then she said she’d been thinking about my case and she needed to say something to me. i kinda froze wondering what it could be. but all she said was that she still had the police report on her computer, the one we were meant to submit over a year ago. she said we really have to take a look at it, or she might be brought up by the police for hindering an investigation or refusing to comply with their request. so i told her to bring it next week and we could look at it. she said she’d try to remember it but if we didnt do it next week we’d look at it before xmas and get it submitted before then.
Overall though the appointment was good and I got a lot out of it.

Feeling the love and support from my therapist

So I mentioned in a previous blog that I got my exam results yesterday. I could not wait to share my good news with my therapist. When we went for lunch, I quickly ate and then went outside with Nitro to let him pee. While I was outside I sent my therapist Eileen a text. I checked to see if it had delivered, but it hadnt. I thought maybe she’s not on wifi or something so she cant recieve imessages and when she is back home she’ll get it. All day I waited for a response. Waited and waited. Part of me felt angry, why isnt she responding? This is important. I need her to respond. The more I waited the angrier I got. I felt annoyed that it was taking her so long to reply. Eventually when it was 7 PM I caved and called her. I knew she’d be in a lecture then, she teaches on Monday and tuesday evenings. So I called and decided I’d leave a voice mail. I left a message telling her I’d texted her and wondering if she’d gotten it, of course I also told her about my exam results. I felt disheartened and sad that I hadnt been able to talk to her in person or exchange some texts about it. Then, at 10:30 pm she finally responded. I grabbed my phone and almost dropped it I was in such a hurry to read what she’d written. She said how she was delighted for me that I’d done so well, that I must be thrilled, and she congratulated me. I felt so loved. Her words deeply touched me. All my previous annoyance and anger disapated. My heart melted and I soaked up the love. This is what it feels like to be truly cared about. Its nice. More than nice. Its amazing.