This post serves no purpose other than to vent about the group therapy transition I experienced today. Lol so if you’re not in for some quality crying via words, look away.
Group tonight was a shit show. We had the new girl, L, for the first time. I emailed her beforehand to ask why she chose to keep the rate at 60 even though she is an intern. I tried to be respectful and not call her on it in front of the whole group. But, in hindsight, I was apparently not gentle enough in my email. I tried. I really did. Though, also, I don’t feel like it is my responsibility to sugarcoat for my therapist.
Here is the email I sent:
She went immediately on the defense and took it as an insult on her competence. But she is going to be less experienced, all sorts of jobs pay based on experience. She then said something that caused me to question J, whom I trusted implicitly. She said, “I wonder if this is similar to how you are in your other interactions.” That felt shitty. I said, “no, actually, I’m usually pretty chill.” And she said that’s not what J told her, that J told her I send a combative email almost every week. Yes, I email for extra support, but I don’t call J out for things or act like an ass like she implied. I don’t think I do anyway. Maybe I do. But it still felt highly inappropriate of her to say because of the context. I felt like she was hurt so she was trying to hurt me and it definitely worked.
Then in the middle of group she stopped me mid-sentence to tell me off and tell me what I meant by something I said, which she completely misinterpreted. Fortunately, one other group member stood up for me because I was trying really hard to just express feelings and thoughts and not trigger the new therapist. It seemed like everything we said she had to argue against. Me and the other group member weren’t feeling heard or like it was a safe space for us to express our needs. The other group member made a comment about L needing to be able to see that we were the ones with trauma and that we pay for that space to be able to say what we think and feel without having to worry about hurting the therapists feelings.
I tried to piggyback off that and explain that when she called me out the way she did it really hurt me because that isn’t the kind of person I am and I would never intentionally insult anyone, but that I did feel like she was triggered and I had to be a caretaker for her. She said she wished we would have just asked for what we need, that she wished we would have just asked why she was in this? So someone did ask. And she said, “it’s the concept of the wounded healer.” I said that’s all she had to say but that she can’t blame us for not asking because we’ve been in therapy long enough to know we don’t ask questions that personal of our therapists.
The whole thing ended with her saying she needs to consult with her supervisor and J to see if she is actually the right fit for the group, which is good because initially she was saying all of us had to decide if we were the right fit for the way group would now be run with her in charge and that seemed unfair. We were already there and have already established relationships with one another. And if we get triggered, it is to be expected. She doesn’t seem to have the toolkit to handle her own triggers, much less ours.
And, for the record, I was not the only one with concerns about the money or the fact that she also works with sexual assault perpetrators. This is a group for sexual abuse victims. It feels like a conflict of interest.
I don’t know. I’m just questioning so much. Was I wrong about J? What did J really tell her about me? How could J betray my confidence like that? How could I ever trust J again? Why would J leave us in the hands of this woman who seems so easily triggered, who doesn’t know us and doesn’t seem able to get to know us? I know I’m placing a lot of responsibility on J but I just don’t know where else responsibility lies. I own that I chose to try the new therapist. I chose to show up today. I chose to voice my concerns about the fee and the thing about working with perpetrators and maybe I didn’t do that in the right way. I get my part. But I didn’t completely cause this confusion.