To understand this post read this one first.
I was scheduled for a therapy appointment today but after last night I had been on the fence about going. I was such a wreck last night that I couldn’t sleep and I had a bad headache from all that uncontrollable crying. In addition to that I’d also felt a sore throat coming on before I even went to group.
So at 7:30 am I texted my therapist telling her I wasn’t going to make it and went back to sleep.
I woke up at noon to a message bin full of messages from her. Actually there were two, but the second one took up five messages and is what this post focuses on in continuation to the fiasco of last night.
The responses I wanted to (but didn’t) give are after certain parts of her message are in parentheses in red. So if you can’t see the red in the ‘reader’ please click to go to my actual blog.
Message: So the dbt team has decided that you are expected to give a repair to T2, (this is where I started shaking. And I was like, WHAT!!!??? Like they are the puppet masters and I am to do what they say. The grand masters have decided…said in a deep guttural tone of voice…and I have no say or no control over how I respond) myself and group for leaving in the middle of group session.
I understand you were upset (You understand nothing. I was crying uncontrollably. You gave no fucks what I was dealing with.) and you are expected to use skills to stay in group. (Oh. My. God. Fuck your skills. This was a traumatizing event. This was handled like shit. I understand you guys had a group to conduct… no wait… you had a JOB to do right? Because after all isn’t that all this is for you? You kind of proved that in group last night when you tried to appeal to us group members’ sympathy (?), while talking about phone coaching by saying, “You know, it’s not like we get paid for phone coaching.” Like wtf? And your clients should be concerned about that for you, WHY??? Talk about inappropriate!)
Due to this you missed one of the most needed skills.(Can you say condescending guilt trip! So fucking manipulative! Oh and because this is so much more important than the fact I was crying uncontrollably and had just been traumatized by not one, but TWO therapists. I’m wondering if you texted this to the other group members who couldn’t be bothered to show up at all last night. Because if you didn’t, this part of the text also demonstrates double standards. So much abuse in one little sentence…hooda thunk?!?)
You are more than halfway through dbt (condescending and more guilt tripping) and sometimes it is necessary for the treatment team to make decisions that may feel uncomfortable or invalidating (Uncomfortable or invalidating??? Try traumatizing. Now we’re looking at minimizing. Let’s see how much more manipulation you’ve dealt out in this one text.) in order to create change. (You mean damage. You are creating damage. You see, making a repair (apologizing) to you and T2 would actually be humiliating (which is actually the least of it) and RE-traumatizing, not to mention a big fat lie. Because I’m not sorry for leaving group. I did it for ME. For myself because, I deserved to be treated with much more respect than I was given.
T2 waved me off like I didn’t matter. And now I’m sure I don’t matter to him. And that’s OK in the big scheme of things. His opinion of me is none of my business. But when it becomes action and I’m treated with behavior that damages me further then it IS a problem for me, and that’s when I GET TO DECIDE MY OWN FATE IN THIS GROUP, not some unseen team I don’t even know. Attending a group where he is a therapist is a problem for me without his amends.
When a therapeutic environment stops being therapeutic it’s a problem. If he sees no reason to repair/apologize himself then that is not a therapist I will benefit from. I’m guessing the team expects me to come to group feeling adversely about one of the therapists, which has become about both of you at this point anyway. I don’t see any benefit in that at all.
So if I apologize to the two of you, I would be betraying myself and my values. I’ve done enough of that in my life and you know that. If I bow down to your demands, I would be saying, “Yeah, it’s OK that you scapegoat me and it’s OK that it appears that double standards are in play here in this group.” I won’t fucking do that to myself. Are you kidding?
I am beyond disappointed in your lack of compassion here, but I know you work for a system that does not allow for much of that so I will work on forgiveness for you concerning that. Not so much for you, to do you any favors, but for me, to give me the peace that I deserve.)
We can process this during your next appointment.” (You seriously think it’s that easy? It seriously doesn’t even occur to you that there might not be a next appointment? As it stands right now and if yours and T2s stance remains the same as this text, without regard for me and what I experienced last night, you can count me out of DBT altogether. Tell your precious team that.
I made a pact with myself…that I would watch out for me in therapy from now on. I need to be that for myself. My grown adult self needs to look at for that small child self, especially when she is faced with such behavior as went on last night. I am fucking appalled by this whole incident and how you both handled it. If I see red flags or feel uncomfortable or worse as a result of a therapist’s actions or lack thereof, I will not stand for it and I won’t hang out for any abuse. And as if that’s not enough, our appointment isn’t until AFTER the next group session. That does not work for me one little bit. So you can definitely count on me not being in the next group session. So now what? Huh?)
My actual response: “I had every right to leave. I was bawling my eyes out. I was crying uncontrollably. I don’t agree with an apology to the two of you. I felt bullied and T2 was out of line. I have no issue apologizing to the other group members but I feel that you guys handled that whole thinking poorly and I feel scapegoated. And the last part of your message is a bit of a guilt trip and comes off as condescending. I am feeling pretty traumatized by what happened last night and now by your message. The team decided what to do without hearing my side of things. You are putting this all one me. I feel that a repair or apology is in order from T2 and from you too.”
I am feeling pretty confident in what I sent back to her. And I think that’s only because of the support I have/had here. I would doubt myself much more if not for that, thinking that it was all me. That I was the bad guy, that I was wrong and out of line.
I was in crisis after that incident and it got completely ignored. All they care about it that I left group. FFS. This fucking team…this unseen (by me) team, doesn’t even want to look at that or consider that. They weren’t even there. It’s obviously about staying rigid to the rules and staying loyal to two therapists that fucked up.
They can take their repair and the rest of their skills and shove them all where the sun don’t shine.