out of the ashes

I’ve written here recently about the issues with my therapist

Last night I *rewrote* the ending to this particular relationship. It was hard to do. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. For me. And for her, I think.

Two weeks ago, I left her office after throwing up in her bathroom. I told her I couldn’t see how I had anything else to say to her that would be useful to me. I cried for days. (yea, again with the crying…it’s probably better than keeping it all in)  Later in the week, I sent her an email. It went something like this:

“I felt like a little girl when I left your office. I felt abandoned and lost and now I’m angry with you. REALLY angry with you. I feel like there is so much more I  need to say to you and I’m angry that I feel that way…”

You get the idea. She replied so kindly and told me she was available to help me process this mess in whatever way I needed to. I set an appointment with her for last night. I had to call two friends just to get out of the car when I got there. It was hard. It was important.

I’d written a list of the things I felt I needed to say. And put it in my back pocket. Just in case. I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to do anything the same way I ordinarily would while there. I sat in a different spot on the couch. I didn’t pick up the pillow I ordinarily would pick up. I was determined to leave that room feeling like an adult who’d made a good choice for myself. I did just that.

I told her the past two weeks had been very hard and that I’d left her office feeling very small the last time. I then said “I don’t know for sure what you know about a few things I need you to know about so I’m going to talk right now like you don’t know and just go from there. I’ve thought alot about this and I’ve decided I’m just going to tell you what I think, what I know and then what I’m going to do.

I think you feel as badly about this mess as I do. I think you really don’t know how to help me anymore and that’s ok. I know there are some issues that it’s time for me to address and I know the last two times I’ve attempted to open the door on those issues, you’ve told me you’re at a loss. That’s ok too. I won’t be coming back here after today however I want you to know that I believe you are good at what you do. I know I’ve learned alot from you and I know it’s time for me to find someone who can assist me in the next phase of this process.”

There was more but when I was finished I said “And that’s all I have to say so I think I’ll go home now.” I’d been there for half an hour. I didn’t cry. I was in my very adult place. Sarah said “I don’t think I could possibly add another thing to what you’ve said because you said it all so beautifully. Not many people would or could come back here and make something good out of something that was so bad. I feel like you’ve given us both a gift tonight and I appreciate that so much. I know you left last time feeling terrible and it didn’t feel to great on this end either because I really do want what’s best for you.”

She asked if I wanted her help finding a new therapist. I said “I don’t know, what does that look like?” She explained that she’d make some calls and ask some questions and get back to me with a few names and numbers. I told her I’d appreciate that and there were a couple other people I know in the field that were doing the same thing for me. I mentioned that it couldn’t possibly be a bad thing to have more than one place to start.

When I got back in my car, I started shaking and I spent alot of the evening with tears in my eyes. Not crying really. Just thinking. I didn’t sleep too great but it’s ok and it will be even more ok as I process all this. I called the two friends I’d called when trying to get out of the car and chatted a bit. Then I went and bought ice cream. Very. Chocolatey. Ice. Cream.

So…the journey continues…on we go…



13 responses to this post.

  1. Wonderful handling of the situation. I’m very glad you could tie it up with some positive threads. You have learned a lot. As I’ve said before, any … repeat ANY therapist may be outgrown and become ineffective for a client. It is time for you to move on and to grow more. Good luck with the “interviews” for finding a new one. 🙂


  2. You go, girl! Brilliant, mature response to the whole situation. I would say you handled it better than your therapist, so you’ve obviously learned a thing or two, and it also proves you’ve got the innate guts to handle what comes your way. You just need the courage of your pretensions, and you’ve proven just now that it’s there for the taking. How wonderful that it was all smoothed over. You needed that closure. (And the chocolate ice cream…)


  3. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! I hope it doesn’t offend you for me to say that I am so proud of you, but even if it does, you’ll just have to get over it, because I am SO PROUD OF YOU. Proud to know you. Proud to be your friend. BIG HUGE HUGS TO YOU. Geez! I just was half of a relationship that ended badly. Not my choice, I bent over backwards to try to end it well. It was not a professional relationship, but a personal one. I so wish the other party had had half your guts, your smarts, your integrity . . . yea, all that.


  4. Wow, Traci. You are strong. Incredibly strong.


  5. Oh dude, that’s awesome!! I’m so proud for you, and wish I’d been there to buy your ice cream afterward. What a huge and dazzling accomplishment! I’m sending good thoughts for you as you find the next starting place.


  6. Good for you! And ice cream always helps.


  7. YOU ROCK.. you’re an amazing amazing person!

    Send me an email to luvinginc@yahoo.ca if you’d like to be added to my blog permissions.




  8. Posted by scribbleandscribe on Friday, July 20, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    very impressive Traci!
    Hugs to you through this phase of healing.


  9. Wow – that must have felt great. You faced something very difficult, and you were prepared, and you said your piece, and you negotiated, and you healed things, and you left with more than you thought you would.

    I am incredibly proud of you, and I’m sending a huge

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ hug }}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    You simply will not stand to be infantilized. You don’t run away from the difficult part.

    I think one really valuable part of this is that you developed the vocabulary to describe just how you felt and thought. It can so often remain inchoate – unformed and vague – and that makes it difficult to take action in an adult, productive way.

    I think you could consider that a kind of rite of passage, a mitzvah, a graduation.

    Now, find someone astute that you can’t run circles around. You’ll need a smart one (grin).


  10. Posted by Boston Pobble on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Very, VERY well done! 🙂


  11. Brava!! Beautifully spoken.


  12. Well done, you handled it so well! I am new to your blog but what I have seen so far looks really interesting so I will definitely check back in soon 🙂


  13. Good for you!!! That was HUGE!


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