I Hate my Therapist – C: Week 18
My life revolves around being mental. Go mad. See GP. See psychologist. Go mad. See psychologist again. Go mad. See occupational health. Go mad. See psychiatrist. Go mad. See psychologist again. Go mad. Etc etc etc ad infinitum.
I saw Lovely GP yesterday and begged him for more Diazepam. He made me promise I would not overdose on them, which I did. I told him that I’d overdosed severely (on paracetamol) when I was 16, and that if I wanted to kill myself I wouldn’t be using tablets again as they tend not to work (I’m still alive, as are many people about whom I have read who employed this method of suicide-attempt) but can fuck up your body. I was really ill at the time to which I’m referring and don’t fancy a repeat.
I think Lovely GP thought I was joking about having any suicidal intent, which I wasn’t, but it doesn’t matter because he agreed to give me the Diazepam. Were he not married with three children, were I not happily settled in my own relationship and (at the risk of sounding hairist) were he not ginger (apologies to those of you that are), I would have forced him on a plane to Las Vegas and made him marry me with Elvis or Mother Teresa or Michael Jackson or Princess Di officiating. You can do that in Vegas, right? Marriage without consent is still marriage? I mean, you can do anything in Vegas, yes?
Anyway, the wonderful man gave me the wonderful tablets, along with my other anti-madness drugs, anti-insomnia drugs and anti-histamine drugs. Even though I said above that ODs rarely work, I left the practice with so many drugs that in fact I suspect they could have killed me had I taken them altogether.
Lovely GP thinks my weekend mentalism (not that I mentioned the specifics of it) is caused by the change in medication. He told me to take the Valium when necessary in future (at no more than 15mg – yeah right, LGP, that’s my minimum dose, mate), and told me – in hilariously but unwittingly apt terms – to “hang on in there, SI”. I couldn’t help but smirk, which puzzled him a little.
He had a medical student of evil in with him, but she sat in the corner behind me so I was able to pretend that she wasn’t there and talk as frankly as ever to Lovely GP.
It occurred to me this afternoon that out of all the aforementioned health professionals – doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, OH doctor – he is the only one I consistently like.
LGP is lovely. The OH doctor is nice enough but I so completely despise OH assessments that I cannot separate the personnel from the process. As you know, I no longer hate Dr C; I now have respect for her, but I don’t like her as such. She’s very officious or something, but as long as she doesn’t treat me like dirt and as long as she gives me drugs I don’t give a fuck. As far as the psychologist, C, goes, I swing between loving him, liking him, being fairly indifferent to him and fucking hating him (yes, I know this is about transference).
As I left him this morning, it was most definitely the latter.
The session was a complete waste of time, even more so than the last time I thought our meeting was useless. To be fair to him, that wasn’t really his fault. I wouldn’t talk to him. I just kept chewing my hair, my fingers, tapping on the chair and playing with my glasses.
The first thing I said to him was, “that’s a nice chair.” He had a new chair at his desk. Obviously this was a completely ridiculous comment and I’m not sure C knew how to respond. I wouldn’t have either.
Then I fell silent, apologised for being silent, got pulled up on apologising for being silent, apologised for apologising for being silent, then reverted to more silence.
C decided discussing logistics might kick-start me. Now he is planning to take leave in the first two weeks of August – or at least he is “90% sure” that he is doing so.
Fuck you, C. Tell your wife/husband/partner/parents/friends/whomsofuckingever it is to get their act together and decide when they are taking their leave so as I can have some fucking certainty about this, you stupid fucking twat. And get your own act together while you’re bloody well at it, fuckface.
Then he reminded me that his supervisor is coming in in a fortnight, bumping off our appointment. I waited for him to suggest an alternative date that week, as he fucking said he would last week, but he didn’t.
I sat in silence at first, but eventually blurted out that the medication change was fucking with my head and I couldn’t think straight, or at least so LGP had thought.
C quizzed me about the appointment with LGP. Why did LGP think that? Did I like him? How did I feel about the medical student being there? Why was I so thrilled to get the Valium?
I told him that I had been experiencing a number of mixed episodes of late, that I was attributing them to the Venlafaxine (or at least my transition to it), and that the Valium would hopefully help calm the agitated side of me whilst in them.
C asked how I felt during these episodes. Well, C, my dear friend, funnily enough I didn’t sit down with my cunting laptop and write a thesis on it at the time. I didn’t get a dictaphone to record all my mad ranting and actions. I DON’T FUCKING REMEMBER. I said, “it is possible that I was in some sort of weird fugue state.”
C told me that I was using a lot of psychiatric language. Ooh, shock fucking horror! Knowledgeable patient = bad patient! Take me to the gallows now! Bring out the straitjacket! He said that that would take away from what I actually felt.
I gritted my teeth and took a deep breath in case I lost my temper because, guess what C, as stated, I DON’T FUCKING REMEMBER HOW I FUCKING FELT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In slightly more diplomatic terms than above, I tried to repeat this information to him, but on and on he went, so eventually I tried to articulate the little I could remember. My mood was certainly low but I was simultaneously agitated, restless, blah blah. You’re a clinical psychologist, C. You’re bound to know what a mixed state is.
I deliberately refrained from mentioning the laughably shite suicide attempt and self-harm issues. I’ll come back to the reasons for that later.
I have no idea now how the subject changed but in any case it somehow came back to the issue of his leave. Basically he wanted to know how I felt about it.
“I don’t want to discuss that,” I stated emphatically.
“Why?” he probed. Sorry, but the very fact that you’re asking me that question shows me you’ve just fucking ignored my desire to overlook this issue, you twatting arsehole.
I don’t really remember much more of this conversation. Basically he wanked on and on about this, at one point saying he didn’t want to break my boundaries but he nevertheless felt that part of me did want to discuss the issue with him. To be fair, he was right I suppose. I think it was at this point I happened to tell him that my reluctance to discuss this was “not about me”.
It was about him, you see. In essence I do not want to C to go on holiday and have his break ruined by wondering if I am going mental or if I am dead, which at the minute is frankly not an impossible situation. I know psychotherapists are trained in such a way that they are supposed to leave their work at work, but never having been through that training, I don’t know to what extent it works. I assume that as one of many clients on C’s books, the likelihood of me even crossing his mind is not very high, but that’s my rational mind talking. It very rarely wins my constant psychic tug of war.
C went on and on so much that eventually I did confess the above to him. I am making it out as if he was harassing me, but he wasn’t, not really. I was just incredibly anxious about the whole thing and therefore hypersensitive to his insistence. He said at one point that he thought if he didn’t push this, that I’d think he didn’t care about me, but if he continued to push it, then I’d be angry because he was pushing boundaries. Which was probably fair. I laughed and said, “you poor sod. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, aren’t you?” He looked a bit like a helpless puppy or something, but maybe that’s my imagination over-compensating for my anger with him. Who knows.
Anyhow, the problem is that if I tried to hang myself the other night, what happens if I try something similar again? I can’t guarantee that I won’t. Even if C doesn’t give me a second thought whilst he’s off work, when he comes back in mid-August and his secretary tells him that I have topped myself, how will he feel? I would feel pretty fucking awful, and I’m a complete misanthrope who would welcome the death of about 75% of humanity. (Would I, though? Now I feel bad for saying that).
As I told him, I can only see things from my own perspective. If I were him, I would be worrying, regardless of whether or not I realised my patient was a serious risk to herself. He probably won’t and doesn’t, but I would, so whilst I can rationally appreciate that it’s probably a non-issue, I cannot really believe that. Does that make any sense at all?
It isn’t completely about protecting him though. (He recognised it as my protecting him, incidentally, and he is right; but it’s not just that). I am/was terrified that if I tell/told him about the hanging episode, he’ll have me sectioned when he is going off work because he will not believe I am safe in his absence (or perhaps at all). Any previous discussion of suicide has been either about ideation or, more rarely, the two overdoses that saw me hospitalised many, many years ago. He has no reason to believe that there is a genuine risk at present, because I have given absolutely no indication that there is.
A thinks I want to be sectioned (obviously that’s impossible as the very definition of sectioning is to be hospitalised against one’s will – but I’m sure you get the point). The reality is that it’s not being hospitalised per se that bothers me. I can see potential benefit in that. The reason I don’t want it, though, is because of C.
If I am hospitalised for an indeterminate amount of time, I am very unlikely to see C each week. I can’t imagine forming an attachment to another therapist at the moment, and frankly nor do I want to. If I were not so attached to C, then I wouldn’t really give a toss whether he recommended hospital admission or not. But I am, so I do.
So, back to the point, C proffered the view that part of me did want him to think about me whilst he was away as that would prove that he “gave a shit” about me.
I denied this, genuinely I think. I don’t want him to be miserable and wondering whether or not I’m dead. I want him to be happy and enjoy what, despite my whinging, is a well-deserved break. The more I thought about the risk I pose to myself, the more agitated I became because I wanted to tell him, because I wanted him to help me, but simultaneously I didn’t want to tell him, because of the aforementioned reasons.
Eventually, after his incredibly well-observed (!) that I was anxious and more silence and fidgety behaviour from me, I said, “perhaps by the time you’ve gone the things will have started working and none of this will be an issue.”
“What?” he asked, genuinely mystified by what I was saying. I actually think by the concerned tone of his voice that he was concerned that I’d been hallucinating again or hearing voices or something.
What I meant, of course, was that perhaps by the time he goes on leave the Venlafaxine will actually have started working, and therefore I will not present so much of a risk to myself anymore. I relayed a redacted version of this to him, but he was still confused. I apologised for making him confused, because he didn’t know the context (ie. all the weekend’s fuss).
“I think I can deal with ‘confused'”, he told me.
I threw back my head and laughed like some sort of maniac (well…like myself, I guess). “Lucky you,” I said, “cos I can’t.”
Then I apologised some more for not making any sense. He said it was OK not to make sense.
Sorry, mate, but fuck that shit. It is not OK when you’re me. Sense is a fucking requirement. (This post is an epic non-success, then).
He didn’t say this, but probably this goes back to all the stuff from last week about my intense fear of being scrutinised. I don’t want him to think negatively of me because I failed to articulate myself in ways he could understand. Or for any other reason, for that matter.
More silence ensued. Realistically, it was probably only for about five minutes, but it seemed more like 20. I intermittently apologised for wasting his time, then reverted back to silent fidgeting. I didn’t have my ring to fiddle with today as I left it at A’s house (I normally fiddle with it every week and I felt lost without it). I therefore picked at myself, took off, opened and shut my glasses, and chewed at my hair.
All the while I was thinking that I ought to tell him about the weekend, but the urge to not be hospitalised and consequently not see him regularly for however long was too strong, so I didn’t.
Eventually, to distract myself, I told him that the fucking Aunt of Evil, cunt-bastard-shithead-arsedface-Queen-Bitch of fucking hell, GA (see here and latter portion of here), will be arriving in Northern Ireland next week. I presented an interesting statistic to him. According to D, who has now known me for 13 years, I have not made a single positive statement about GA to him in the whole time I have known him. Not one.
C asked how that made me feel. On the one hand it’s a shocking thing to hate someone so much that for over half your life (and probably longer) you have been unable to find any redeeming feature(s) about them. On the other, I have hated her, or at least most aspects of her, for as long as I can remember, so there really is no reason to be surprised by D’s comment.
C asked why my dislike for her was so profound. If there is one thing I cannot abide, and have never been able to abide, it is being patronised. This is GA’s greatest skill. I remember her condescending tones and statements to me from when I was very tiny. As a precocious child, I couldn’t stand it, and when I expressed annoyance, I was of course branded a brat. She has never stopped it. I still can’t stand it. Thank Christ she lives on the other side of the pond, cos I swear to God I probably would have behaved violently to her if I saw her more often.
Then there’s her constant harping on my weight. So I’m fat. So what? What’s it to her? I only know her because we share genetics. I didn’t choose to have a relationship with her. Oh, and there’s her apparent expertise in my mental (ill) health, despite the fact she’s a trained physicist rather than psychologist or psychiatrist (not to mention the fact the old hag doesn’t really know me at all). Yet further is her proselytising. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of Christian readers of this blog, and I hope they will agree that I do not have a problem with their religion (or any others) in the least. Try and convert me, however, and I become progressively angry; this is a free country, and I will be an agnostic atheist if I wish. I have been a non-believer for years and have politely asked GA on many occasions to desist from trying to convert me, but she never learns.
Furthermore, she was (probably still is) pro-Bush and thought the Iraq war was brilliant (yeah, let’s kill thousands of people, including our own troops, how Christian of you, GA). I can accept – indeed, I can enjoy – well-reasoned arguments for political views that diverge from my own, but not bullshit like “it’s them or us” or “God needs to protect America”. If God does exist, surely He wants to protect all nations of His creation?
But now I am just ranting. The point, if you hadn’t gathered it (!), is that I hate her. The issue with V’s will was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. No more, no less.
I asked C should I meet her or not, outlining the views of my ma (yes), D (yes), and everyone else (emphatically no). He didn’t say anything at first, which led me to believe that he is not specifically allowed to give me advice on my private life (certainly, a counsellor I saw years ago wasn’t allowed to do so). I asked him this; he evaded the question, but did finally say (echoing something CVM had said) that he felt that I was in a vulnerable psychological position, and seeing her might be an incredibly stressful experience that may accentuate that vulnerability.
For what it’s worth, I agree. Sorry D, but I’m going to avoid her. I have informed my mother, who to my surprise accepted this with relative tolerance.
C ended things on this note. Before I left he reiterated that he would be there next week, but not the week after, due to his supervisor’s visit.
I reminded him that he had said last week that we would try rearranging that. He said, dismissively, “I’ll check my diary but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.” He didn’t apologise.
This, only this, is what made me angry, so very angry, with him. Doesn’t seem very serious, does it?
But really – how dare he promise me we’d rearrange it, then renege on that? How very dare he? How fucking very fucking dare he? Who does he think he is? God?
Well, for me he might as well be, I suppose; the reason I’m so upset and angry about this is that I can’t cope without the fucking bastard. He knows this! He knows! He knows I am desperately reliant on him! Fuck him! How dare he abandon me?! Especially after saying he wouldn’t abandon me?
It would fucking serve the underhand piece of shit right if I did top myself and blame him in my suicide note. (Addendum, added later – of course I don’t really mean this).
I left his room on the verge of tears, not that he noticed (to be fair because I didn’t allow him to). I went and sat in the car for a few minutes, ranting on Twitter as I did so about how much I hated him, and thought I might just sit there and cry for a bit. However, I was scared that for some reason C might leave his building and see me sitting in the car in such a state, and I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much he’d hurt me. I knew I wasn’t really in a fit state to drive home (even though it’s not really that far), but I decided to drive a bit and find a lay-by or something.
I had an epiphany just after leaving the hospital; there is a cemetery on my main route home, and where better to go and cry? It wouldn’t look as weird there as it would in some lay-by. So I went there. The cemetery in question is split by a main road – I turned into the left section. Oops. All the dead people in it have been dead for years, so it would have looked a bit odd crying over the grave of someone who died in 1904. Note to self: turn right next time. I walked around for a bit and eventually found a grave housing the body of a lady who died in 1994.
Of course this brings an entirely new set of emotions into the equation. Who was she? Might I have known her, or indeed do I know her descendents? Would she be horrified that I was ‘using’ her grave to disguise the real reason for my pathetic grief? How did she die? I saw from the gravestone that she was old, which is good (well, better than dying young) and hoped that her death was quick and peaceful.
I didn’t stay long. I stood at this poor woman’s grave for about 10 minutes and cried, then went back to the car, dried my eyes and drove home.
Now I am more rational and fully accept that I have totally overreacted. I am still annoyed with him, but the pure rage and rawness of my hurt has abated somewhat, and of course the title of this post is a misnomer – of course I do not hate C. The fact that I felt insta-hatred for him at the time is simply demonstrative of the fact I care enough to get so utterly frustrated and furious over something so simple.
Truly, it is pathetic. When there are real problems in the world, when people are dying or living in terror, how dare I fly into a dysphoric madness over my shrink making a minor administrative error? I really ought to get a life. But where is one obtained?
This entry was posted on Thursday, 9 July, 2009 at 6:47 pm and is filed under C, Moods, Psychotherapy with tags anxiety, bipolar 2, bipolar 2 disorder, bipolar disorder, bipolar II, bipolar II disorder, borderline personality disorder, bpd, clinical depression, countertransference, depression, insanity, insomnia, madness, major depressive disorder, mania, manic depression, mental health, mentalhealth, panic, panic attack, psychiatry, psychology, Psychotherapy, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, suicide, suicide ideation, therapeutic relationship, therapy, transference. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.