An Open Letter to MT (my therapist)

Its-Not-About-Me

Dear MT,

I guess you had a health emergency this week. You cancelled my appointment with you, which you had never done before. You told me I could continue to e-mail you and you would respond if you could. I should have been grateful that you offered that. But I was scared and anxious which led to some incredible anger on my part. How could we have talked about doing something very difficult for me on Tuesday and then you cancelled my Thursday appointment? I did what we talked about and ended up with anxiety that was about sky high. My anxiety level was off the charts. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I couldn’t sleep, not a wink. Not even with every medication I have access to. I was wide awake and scared. And then you cancelled my appointment, saying I could continue to email you, but you wouldn’t be able to work for the rest of the week. My anxiety level rose to the edges of the infinite universe. You know, my last therapist, JM started acting in bizarre ways. She cancelled several appointments with me due to medical issues. Turns out she had brain cancer. She is dying. That is one of several reasons I am with you. What if you were dying and not telling me? I know you kept telling me you are in good health and just needed a minor tune-up. Why couldn’t you tell me what was wrong? I get that there are boundaries and I am not supposed to get caught up in worrying about you. You are doing your best to make my therapy about me, which JM didn’t do. JM was personally insulted when I didn’t heal by the book. You work to make my therapy work for me. I trust you. But I became a selfish jerk to you when you indicated that you were not well. Instead of being sympathetic or empathetic and leaving you alone, I emailed you and accused you of knowing that you would be cancelling my appointment on Thursday, but not telling me. You replied that I needed to stop projecting the worst onto you. That is true. JM was probably the worst therapist I ever had. She hurt me. She was emotionally abusive to me. I know I need a therapist…I need to heal. I need to be able to put the past behind me and live in the here and now. I TRUST you, but I also expect you to do the worst. I expect you will turn into JM. That’s not fair. It does nothing for my therapy with you, when I have to stop and question your intent and motives all of the time. When you cancelled my appointment on Thursday, I felt like you had known you were not feeling well and you should have told me that there was a possibility you would not be there on Thursday. I really believe that if you had known, you would have told me. But I reacted as if you were JM and did not have my best interest in mind. But then….it’s not all about me. Your life is not all about me. One or two hours a week, your life is about me. Otherwise, you are human (as you pointed out to me) and you have your own life…with kids and a husband and animals and things you do that I am sure I have no idea about. I’m sorry I reacted as if you are a robot whose life revolves around me. I can be a selfish jerk. On a regular basis. I think in an effort to get me to understand that you had no malice, you told me more about what was going on with you. I have to tell you, that little bit of information freaked me out more. You were in the hospital. Of course, in my mind you were dying. And then you told me that you should not have to share any personal information with me that you did not want to….and you know what?….You are right. We have a professional relationship. All I needed to know was what you told me in the first place. It’s not all about me. I need to trust you not only in my sessions with you, I also have to trust you outside your one or two hours a week with me. Because it’s not all about me. I try to make it be about me. I think I have a tendency to make lots of stuff about me. I think that’s why I struggle in such a big way to leave my childhood behind me. It’s why it seems that I can’t heal…why it’s taking me such a long time to heal. Because it’s not all about me. I’m going to say this now and I don’t know if I will be able to say it again (because you know, I’m not always strong…I’m not always brave), but the abuse was not about me. It was about the people who abused me. There was nothing about me that made the abuse happen. There was nothing so bad about me that it caused me to be tortured. It’s not all about me. What you do, what my friends do, what my kids do, what my wife does, what the abusers do….it’s really not always about me. I’m really sorry that I may have hurt our relationship by making everything about me. It sucks to end up in the hospital when you’re not planning on it. It sucks to have people still demanding stuff from you when you are not well enough to not be in the hospital. I know that you would not intentionally hurt me. I actually think that you will not unintentionally hurt me. You have my best interest in your heart and mind. My one or two hours a week with you is about me. The rest of your life is your life. Please forgive me. I can be a selfish jerk. I don’t want to be, but it just comes over me sometimes. I need to work to be more present and mindful about myself. Did I end up being okay? Of course I did. I can take care of myself. And if I need some extra support and caring if you are not available, there are plenty of people in my life willing to offer that. I have a session with you in 30 minutes. I hope that we can work this out. I hope you will know that I don’t want to be a selfish jerk. I hope that we can be good in our relationship again. I want to be able to continue our work together. I am so sorry that I made it all about me. I will try not to do that again (but you know I will, I’m human). I hope you like the cookies I made for you last night and that you will see them as the apology and peace offering that they are.

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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to MT (my therapist)

  1. I have had my struggle with my therapist when she is unavailable. I am glad you were able to write out your feelings and share them. I hope it helped and you were able to reconnect with your therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

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