Got What I Wished For, I Guess

“Hi Rea. Sorry, haven’t had a second to call you today. Crazy busy. Dr S sent a message to say he did hear from you on Saturday and that you’ve gone back to [home] for a week. Sounds like a good plan! Hope you have a good break! Text me when you get back and we can organise another session. Thanks for paying those fees too! Talk soon. N.”

I hate her. I never want to see her again.

Got What I Wished For, I Guess

15 thoughts on “Got What I Wished For, I Guess

  1. Sirena says:

    Are you at your Brother’s now? I hate her message too, I can see why it’s affecting you. It is quite distancing isn’t it? But I’m trying to think about what she’s playing at and what I’m thinking is that she clearly cares a lot about you. The help she’s given you lately is virtually unheard of in therapists.
    I do wonder what sort of supervision she’s got/is getting? What support does she have because every therapist needs other therapists to support them in this work. I wonder what her counter-transferences she’s experiencing. You know Rea, this is a lot for any person to watch…. the way you hurt yourself is so brutal, and it’s heartbreaking and scary and even more so if she’s the one sort of in charge of your health-care. This level of self-harming will make any therapist terrified, so is she really THAT miss-attuned? OR is her reply indicative of counter-transference? It’s certainly not lack of care. She cares a lot. Her boundaries are messy, and unclear and I think she grapples with them, but she cares that is for sure.
    Also, she might be keeping the message light because you clearly didn’t want to talk to her since you didn’t text her back and she thinks you’re at family’s house now and maybe she doesn’t want to intrude on your boundaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After I’d been going through a particularly severe period of self-harming with my last therapist Anna, which a couple of times resulted in bleeding through my sleeves in her office, she asked if I was testing her, and I had no idea what she meant. It just doesn’t really occur to me that people will be affected or frightened by it, because my parents so thoroughly ignored it. It helps to have this perspective that it’s brutal and would be scary for therapists, even though my mind is still going: Really? Is it? It does make sense to me that she’d be pushing me to start splitting my sessions between her and the psychiatrist so that everything isn’t all on her, and I can have sympathy for that.

      She’s mentioned supervision once before (generically, not specifically to me), so I know it’s something she has accessed in the past but I got the impression it’s not something she does regularly like Sienna seems to. What counter-transference do you think could be going on here?

      I’m upset that she didn’t call like she said she would (even though I didn’t want to talk to her – unrelenting standards much?), but it’s mostly upsetting because she’s fucking around with the structure. We have regular twice-weekly sessions, Tuesdays and Fridays. She’s heard from Dr S that I’ve gone home and has just unilaterally decided that we’re cancelling this week, instead of asking if I want to Skype (which I assumed we would). And why would I need to text her to organise another session? It’s like she’s implying they’re not already booked…which I know they are. Why not “see you on Tuesday”?

      I am at C’s, thank god. I arrived last night and am already dreading having to go back to the city.

      Thanks for your input, S. Your perspective is really helpful here – you’re always really good at unpacking and analysing this stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sirena says:

        So glad you are at C’s. I hope it gives you some respite. Try not to focus on the dread of going back to the city and just focus on every moment you exist in his home.
        In the U.K it is standard practice for all therapists regardless of experience to have a Supervisor, it’s a way of ensuring all of them are self-governing each other and also as support and for training and also for a 3rd person to be able to look out for the client and make sure ethical standards are upheld. I wouldn’t touch a therapist who didn’t go for regular supervision.
        If your therapist is in supervision, hopefully she’s being made aware of transference/counter-transference. I can’t answer what hers might be about, only she can answer that. But if I was to hazard a guess….. She might feel frustration, fear, love, anger, and yes maybe tested or manipulated… all the things anybody who cares about you would feel seeing the damage you’re doing to yourself. Also she’s just had a bollockng from the asshole psychiatrist about her being in your home and God knows what else has been said by other professionals so she might feel pressure and confusion about what to do for the best as her rescuer impulse is to rescue you yet she sees you getting worse not better so she might fear she’s causing you more harm so maybe she’s withdrawing a bit because she doesn’t know what to do for the best.

        Also, I don’t know if she’s really cut out for this level of self-harming, or decompensation, what’s your thoughts? I feel like her boundaries are so messy and erratic at times and she doesn’t seem to see that she can’t just love you better. She isn’t really protecting you or herself while she’s unclear on her boundaries and how much she can realistically and sustainably give. For me, she should know why it’s super important for her to do exactly what she promises. Those little vulnerable parts of you are always listening and see things in black and white. They don’t see the grey. So it’s really important that she does what she says she will, that she keeps the structure and she provides containment.
        If you think she’s up to the job and can help you, then both of you can definitely tidy things up and set out explicit boundaries that meet your needs and is something she can guarantee without exception that she can and will provide. This will bring more relief than you can imagine Rea. Even though it sounds crap and scary to boundary your time together, it does gve much needed containment.

        I know you are upset about her not calling, because she said she would. And it’s okay that you didn’t want to hear from her and are still upset she didn’t call…. you are the client you are allowed to bounce all over the place and not make sense and be ornery and whatever else. All those things are reasons why you are in therapy. But her as the therapist, she is not allowed to bounce all over the place with you. She is meant to stand solid while you bounce all over the place and eventually you’ll stop bouncing and return to her. But you can’t do that because she’s currently being dragged along with you, making you both feel destabilised.

        I think you guys really need to talk and I think this can be sorted out. But in the meantime, rest and concentrate on getting your strength back.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That’s exactly what it feels like – she’s just bouncing around all over the place. She’s unpredictable and inconsistent and I get the impression that she’s just kind of scatter-brained and ADD in general but it definitely undermines safety and containment.

        I think I see us as needing a crisis plan more so than boundaries (same thing, I guess, just framed in a different way) – I’ve called her maybe 3 times in 8 months and sent 2 emails, so it’s not so much an issue of needing parameters around the way we interact and what she can sustainably give on a day to day basis, but about needing to know what we do when I’m out of control. “She doesn’t seem to see that she can’t just love you better”…beautifully said. And at the same time, hell no I don’t want to talk about putting anything in place! I don’t want her to call an ambulance instead of take me to the hospital, I don’t want her to stop checking in via text and trying to feed me…I want ALL of the fucking nurturing.

        I definitely have real doubts…not even so much because of the boundary issues but I wonder how perceptive she is (she said to me last week “I can’t tell if I’ve really pissed you off or cheered you up”) and how skilled she is, whether our therapy would ever end up having more direction or depth. But I’m so attached to her.


  2. I completely echo Sirena, about the boundaries, and about her caring. Boundaries are difficult but they will save you so much pain, I really believe that.
    Your thoughts make perfect sense to me.
    And that message from Nikki… that feels terrible. I am so sorry. Sending hugs.


  3. I think Sirena does a really good job of covering a lot of this. Boundaries and containment are so so so important. And it has been a very difficult week, for you but also for Nikki I imagine in many ways.

    But I definitely agree that she is meant to stand solid. And while I hate A’s boundaries, with a passion, especially at times I want to reach out, I can rail against them and she isn’t going to move. And trusting that brings freedom and stability to my relationship with her. A, in a lot of ways, is parenting me the way my parents never did.

    Take care of yourself. I’m so glad you’re still here. I’m glad you’re safe. I am so sorry that she automatically assumed you wouldn’t want to speak this week, and that things have been so difficult. I’m glad that you’ve got support and care in C. ❤️


  4. Still on my phone (though now back home and at work). I don’t think you got what you wished for – I think what you were wishing for was someone to protect you from yourself, and take care of you. Coming to your house, or driving you to a hospital isn’t really protecting you or taking care of you (in her role) – staying resolute and consistent NO MATTER WHAT (you get to send mixed messages, and say whatever crazy shit you want). Her protecting you is calling when she says she will, calling your bluff (keeping scheduled appointments even if you ‘cancel’ or leave town), and caring for you by trusting your capacity to survive this. You are an adult, no one can rescue you or care for you unconditionally like a 0-2 year old is cared for. And it hurts so, so, so much. I know that pain, I feel it most days, and it is very difficult. But the work, when you’re ready for it, is to find a way to be with that pain and let it be felt and metabolized. Dodging it via the self-harm is so seductive, and it is understandable. You can do this, Rea. I know you can. And I know you don’t want to die.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I found this really confronting, and when I first read it I got the strong sense that you were feeling some frustration or impatience or something with me (though not so much when I read it back now). ‘Trusting my capacity to survive’ doesn’t feel right – with the extent of the impulsivity and dysregulation lately, I really believe that on Friday I should have been hospitalised.

      You’re right that I’m an adult and nobody can rescue me. That’s a pretty hard reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely wasn’t feeling frustation or impatience when I wrote the comment, just a lot of care for your situation and this urge to communicate my concern around Nikki’s level of skill in treating you (with your current needs).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Rea, I think Sirena, PD , Rachel, and others have covered a lot of what I want to say. I just want to echo that it was unfair and wrong how things happened, that you worked so hard to get to a point where you were ready for the hospital and being told no–it’s just wrong! As for Nikki, I do believe she cares for you, but she needs stronger boundaries. I hate boundaries, I hate the conversation around them, they scare me, but even I can see that she needs to be more consistent. How can you feel safe when she is all over the place? That’s not fair to you. I’m glad you thought to go to C’s, that you took yourself to a safe place. I don’t think you really want to die– it’s just you are in so much pain. I’m sending hugs and care, if you want them. You are strong, and creative and capable, even at times you don’t feel you are. You can get through this. Xx


    1. Boundaries are hard – it’s hard to see the good things I’d be getting and not just the things I’d be losing. She is all over the place and I don’t know if that can be fixed with boundaries, if she can ever create a stable environment or if she’s just too scattered to do it. But even though she’s inconsistent I’m so attached to her. Everything is pretty hard and painful at the moment and I don’t feel very capable, but maybe you can see something that I can’t.

      I hope you’re doing okay, Alice. I care about you and how things are going for you.


      1. I know things are so hard and feel so painful right now. And I know you are so attached to her. Nikki has been caring and understanding and she has, at times, listened and been attuned to you. I’m not saying Nikki is all bad, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said she is scattered and has not beeb able to create a stable environment. I guess what I mean by “boundaries” is more things set in place to keep her less scattered and help create a more stable environment. Like, what if she was able to consistently respond to you, regardless of what the agreement in how or what she will respond to was? Like, for Bea and I, she will always respond to emails, usually within 12 hours. She will respond to a text (because I only text if I’m in a very, very, bad place so she knows that means I’m nearing crisis) usually within two hours. If she is going on vacation, she might let me know that it will take her longer to respond to emails or texts. For other people here, they gave one phone call and one email a week their therapist will respond too. And some can send email but their therapist will not respond. All of those things are consistent, and each of us knows what to expect. I think that is what Nikki is struggling with. The thing is, inconsistency doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, or that there haven’t been good things about her or therapy with her. I just wonder if, longer term, you would feel safer if she (or another therapist) could be more consistent.

        Sending hugs. 🤗 💟xx


  6. Rea dear one, I have said it before, but I’m so sorry. I’m sorry about your pain, and I’m desperately sad at the way you harm yourself, and I’m angry that you aren’t getting the excellent care that should be there for you. I’ve expressed concerns about Nikki before (though never doubt that she cares deeply), and I think Sirena described them well; a lot of it is about boundaries and consistency. There’s so much wisdom already here on this page from the wise comments of other women who also love you. I fear I don’t have much to add beyond my great affection for you and my absolutely certainty that we need you here on this earth.


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