On Firing My Therapist

So two weeks after the miscarriage, I kind of lost my shit. (That's also when I started calling it the miscarriage. Before that, the word felt foreign in my mouth, and I refused to say it. I would just say, "Before I lost the baby."  Now I have had a bit of acceptance, and I can refer to the loss as a miscarriage, even though it feels inadequate at describing the loss.)

The day after I lost it (my shit, not the baby), sobbing in hysterics to my poor, under appreciated husband, I got an email from that sweet guy of mine, informing me of a program his employer offers that will pay for six sessions of counseling.  That very day I called and set up my first appointment.

I believe very much in being proactive about your mental health.  I believe in self help books, and therapy and, if necessary, pills.  I believe in knowing what you're facing and in doing so head on.

When I had my first counseling appointment, it didn't start well.  I called in at the appropriate time and was asked if I could be called back. Ten minutes later my phone finally rang and I was beyond irritated. Do you know how much work it is to settle and occupy three kids in three different spaces (cause we all know they can't be quiet together for an hour) and prepare them for leaving me alone?  It's a lot of work. And actually, it's impossible, because no matter how much prep work you do, they will inevitably need you and find you during that hour.  Hell, I can't even go to the bathroom by myself. 

But I digress.

She called me back and we started talking.  Before our session I had jotted down some goals I had for our time together.  I had also made a list of issues I wanted to discuss.  This is not my first rodeo, people. I was prepared.

One of my goals is to no longer fear death.  That sounds a bit extreme, but fearing death is exhausting, and I think of it multiple times a day. I blame this fear on my being a mother and feeling irreplaceable in the lives of my children.  I have realized with time that my fearing death does not change its inevitability, so I would really love to be able to think of death (mine or someone else's) and not freak out and go into panic mode.  When I discussed this with my counselor, she told me that maybe I should write out a will and talk to my kids about my death. It felt like odd advice, but I was like, "Okayyy..."

Then we moved on to talking about the miscarriage and she said to me, and I quote, "Maybe mommy wasn't ready for a baby just yet."  What? Seriously? You're putting this on me? {sigh}  I didn't know what to say.  I just sat on the other end slack jawed, disbelieving that a person would actually say that to someone.

At the end of the phone call I didn't feel any better, and as we made my second appointment, I could tell the therapist was scattered.  She had put me on hold twice so she could help the guy who was fixing her computer, and when she confirmed the appointment, I had a feeling she wouldn't remember it. 

Fast forward to yesterday, and sure enough, when I called in for my second session, neither phone call was answered.  I left messages on both her office phone and her cell phone.  She called me back four.hours.later and asked what I needed.

I was like, "Well, actually, we had a session booked for this afternoon."  She mumbled something about her calendar not working and an apology. Then she asked to rebook. I told her no. That I would be going with another counselor. 

I am not a confrontational type of person, so it was really hard to tell this person, who seemed genuinely nice, that I would no longer be needing her services. But it was worth it, because when all is said and done, she just wasn't a good fit.  She was not understanding about my fear of death as a mother, she was not understanding of my need to talk about the loss of our baby without coming up with some "reason" for why it happened. And she was not respectful of my time. I am busy. Yes, I am stay-at-home mom, and our sessions were over the phone instead of in person, but that should not have made me any less of a priority to her. 

But it did.

That one hour a week is the one time that I need to be put first. It's my time to be heard, to feel the feelings I am too busy to feel the rest of the time, and to make progress toward my emotional well being. 

I am happy to report that I called the program coordinators to seek out a different counselor and my counselor that I used last year is "in network", meaning I can "see" (talk on the phone) to him.  I am so relieved to know that next week when the time comes for my appointment that I will be speaking to someone who will make me a priority and will respect my time.  Bonus? He does evening appointments, so I won't have to worry over the kids as Josh will be home to take care of them.



Kasey said...

Another bonus - he already knows you. The first therapist not a good fit al all. I've been sitting on s referral for 3 months. Good for you for being proactive.

Cindy said...

WoW! "Mommy wasn't ready for a baby yet?" What planet did she come from. UNBELIEVABLE!!! So thankful you are getting the help you need! You do need to work through grief no matter how insignificant this loss may seem to others. "A person's a person no matter how small!"

Petersons said...

Have you heard of EFT (emotional freedom technique)? It's pretty effective - I use it myself. Could be another tool for you to use.

♥ Sari ♥ said...

"Mommy wasn't ready for a baby yet?" What an awful thing to say. I'm so proud that you stood up for yourself. :)