Monday, February 23, 2009

Dear Therapist

Dear Therapist,

Tonight when I arrived @ DBT, “emotional counselor” was reading the book, ‘Women who hurt themselves’, and she said it was a great book, and really gave her a different perspective on women who SH. I mentioned the book during the ‘assessment/interview’ the first time we met. I don’t know if you have read the book I gave you, or not, but I was happy to hear another clinician validating my thoughts about the book. I still don’t agree with the concept of DBT, and Marsha’s voice, or the sight of her – like fingernails down a blackboard. But I wanted to tell you that you were right, about my broadening my support network (clinically speaking) – I really do like both PDOCand Emotional Counselor. I’m glad you continued to press that. I think they’re both quality, caring clinicians.

I have felt very ‘emotionally regulated’ these days (lamictal complimented w/seroquel)– in fact, I feel kind of numb – but maybe my body will adjust to the new dose of lamictal and that will lesson. I guess I’ll find out when it happens. Minimal anger, practically no sadness – for real - I don’t think I could hurt myself if I wanted to and tried.

Which makes me think – if the meds (and at this point – I believe it’s all medication related – my thoughts are clear again, and it makes me wonder if ‘revisiting’ the past is really what I want. Good or bad – it is what it is – I don’t know what that means really – like if I can ‘accept’ it and move on. And maybe someday help someone else. I don’t know – just thoughts. (I know – thoughts that need to be discussed IS – not EM). But I’m wondering why bother?

Last night, dear daughter was ‘emotionally disregulated’ and when I tucked her in to bed, she asked me to come back and check on her in 10 minutes. I didn’t really want to go back upstairs – I was busy cleaning the kitchen…but then I thought about how important it seemed to her, and it wasn’t really ‘putting me out’ so I did…and she was so happy, exclaiming, “YOU CAME BACK!”… and I was glad that I did. I tell you that because I made a connection with that, and how I used to view ‘you’….as validating, ‘there’ for me, etc…and perhaps I didn’t tell you how much it ‘helped’ me to know you were there, maybe I didn’t shout, “You ARE here for me – you ANSWERED me in a time I needed you”….but that’s how I felt. And in that moment, I knew how dear daughter would have felt if I would have decided not to check on her in 10 minutes – I didn’t really agree to do it, I heard her say it, but I didn’t commit. She would have felt like I did, when you started chanting, “DBT-marsha linehan has all the answers” maybe she would have felt like I didn’t care, like she didn’t matter to me because her ‘perception’ of my caring depended on that. Sure, she would have gotten over it, forgiven me because I’m her mother, but still, I was glad I did it.

But I have not forgiven you for changing. Despite what you may think, I did feel accepted and validated by everything you did for me, for being there for me when I needed you. And although I realize you did what you thought you needed to do to “keep me alive”~ and I heard what you said the past 2 weeks during our “sessions”, I still disagree, and I still feel abandoned by you. I know that I looked you in the eye and said that to you 2 weeks ago, so I’m not expressing something to you right now, in writing, that I didn’t say in session. You kept me alive by accepting me and caring about me and being there for me and validating how I felt. Not by changing into someone I perceived as abandoning me. That just made me feel like you didn’t care at all, which, if it was your intention, it sure made me independent again~ but from a trusting therapeutic standpoint, it really just makes me feel abandoned, invalidated, and distrusting of you now. And therefore I am afraid to tell you anything else about me, and my past - because I no longer feel accepted by you.



  1. i so get what you write here. i have experienced that with my kids from time to time. i don't want to give them what i didn't have but then i realize i am breaking the cycle because i care to check or go to them when they need me, even when i least want to. thanks for writing. i needed to read your words today, and not feel so alone. hugs.

  2. I'm glad to hear that my words helped you feel not so alone. As much as you may feel alone on this 'journey' and I know I do so many times, we are not alone.
    And you made me feel not so alone today by commenting on my writing.
    Take care of you!