If you think it is difficult to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, try breaking up with a therapist. I’m only joking. Both suck. Maybe both suck equally, I don’t know. But, right now, I am feeling the blues of officially calling it quits on therapy with C. If I were one of those people who write in the form of lists, then my “how to break up with your therapist” list would go something like this (but really it should be a “how not to break up with your therapist” list because I think I did that in the worst possible way):
- Text therapist (despite her rules) because you’re freaking out about the rupture again/still and because you were cleaning out your memo pad and found all these notes/unsent texts that proved your gut was right and you knew the rupture was coming all along.
- Have therapist send a very therapy-like response that actually kind of feels good but doesn’t ease the soul crushing anxiety.
- Write therapist a response that clearly states I never felt heard and I need answers for us to keep working together.
- Have therapist respond in a way that makes me feel really ashamed for doing therapy so horribly and not being able to respect her boundaries.
- Stew over my own neediness. Fire off an emotionally raw, triggered response.
- Send a second (more angry) response that says we are done and she can unburden herself of me.
- Take a million pills to sleep through the rest of the day and the night because it hurts.
- Wake up the next morning, feel like it was a mistake, send response that says my response was emotionally triggered and I wasn’t sure if I meant it.
- Have therapist respond in a friendly manner, stating that she will look forward to seeing me at our next session then.
- Sit with this for a day.
- Realize that I was right before and that everyone on here was right and that all my friends were right.
- Send email that states very clearly that this is the end of our therapeutic relationship. Express gratitude for the good parts. Make clear where things went wrong.
- Feel a sad sense of resolution
And that is that. I officially ended the relationship with my therapist. It kind of does feel like the end of a romantic relationship, I mean, in the way that it hurts. But, I think I gave myself quite a while to prepare for the end. I knew it needed to happen, I just didn’t want to accept that I was going to have to make it happen. I wasn’t ready to cut off the attachment I started to feel in the first few months.
The real good news, the real hopeful news is that I have started talking to new counselors, in a search for one who has good boundaries and has empathy and all the good things I needed these last 6 months. There are 3 who seem really promising. Time for another list. These are my 3 prospects:
- S; she is actually a licensed social worker but she is in private practice doing counseling. She has at least 8 years working with trauma cases. She seemed extremely empathetic even over the phone. It took about a week and a half for she and I to get in touch over the phone but I look forward to having an initial session with her to see if we could be a good fit. I could see her providing all the things I need to feel contained in session, so that I wouldn’t feel the need to seek containment out of session. Bonus: she is on my insurance.
- Dr. W; it weirds me out referring to her as “Doctor” but she does have a doctoral degree, so I guess I could get used to that. She has been in practice for more than 12 years. She doesn’t necessarily specialize in working with trauma survivors but she does something cool: walk and talk therapy. That intrigues me. Plus she is on my insurance, so that is good. She seemed nice enough on the phone but my gut told me I might have the same issues with her that I had with C, in that I couldn’t feel any warmth.
- R, her intake paperwork was really, really elaborate which I liked. I would go in knowing exactly where I stand on all the ethical gray areas. She addresses outside contact, touch, gifts, the professional relationship, etc. The weird thing about working with her is that she just moved here and doesn’t have her own office yet. So, she does phone sessions, video sessions, and in-home sessions. I would need in person but I don’t know how I feel about in-home sessions. I really liked all of her responses to my emails though. She seems incredibly smart. My only worry would be that she and I would fall into the same intellectual shield issue I had with C. We connected so well on an intellectual level that it prevented diving into the emotional depths. R is not covered by my insurance but her rates are affordable and she does work with trauma survivors.
So, here is to walking a new journey. I think I am finally past the point of freaking out about all the change in my life and now I’m just rolling with the punches.