Apparently I am just not good at this therapy stuff

Journal Entry: July 17, 2014

I had a run in with Chatty Kathy today. I am starting to think I am not cut out for therapy.

Blue Eyes is preparing his first step for his 12 step sex addicts anonymous share. He hopes to get his first step done in the next couple months. It is my understanding that the first step is about acknowledging an addict’s powerlessness to the addiction. Admitting they did not have control over their life and then making an accounting of the behavior associated with their sex addiction and the consequences. It has been a pretty difficult process for Blue Eyes thus far, and he is proceeding at a turtle’s pace, in my opinion. I would imagine it’s not fun going back through all the shit that has happened to you, and the shit you have done over the past 40 years, and doing it without your drug to numb everything out. All that horrible behavior he had been rationalizing and compartmentalizing for so many years is a lot to absorb. It’s been hard enough for me to understand, and I didn’t do anything wrong.

Anyway, Blue Eyes had asked me to help him with some dates on the calendar. Trying to match up family events and activities with acting out events. What fun! We met in his office. Me, with my home calendar for the past few years, and him with his huge piece of paper with his sexual history timeline on it. We talked about all kinds of dates and events, pertinent time periods revolving around the dysfunction with his family, especially his parents and his brother. Our memories did not always match up. Unfortunately, I have a memory like a steel trap, and he has spent a big part of his life trying to forget the shitty things he has done. There were a couple times he didn’t want to agree with what I was saying, so he became non communicative, belligerent even. The more I tried to understand, the less he wanted to remain present. Finally, I just gave up and asked him why he had involved me in the first place. He could just figure out his own damn timeline.

During my latest session with Chatty Kathy, I explained how frustrating it is when Blue Eyes shuts down. It is like he just doesn’t want to have to work that hard. In my mind, I am not worth the effort to him if he is unwilling to stay present, or answer questions, or be honest. It is a shitty feeling knowing your husband has spent years in a self absorbed haze having sex with a whore, and traveling with her all over the world. Chatty Kathy actually accused me of maybe trying to dominate the conversations with my husband and control the information flow and therefore turning my husband off. Maybe I actually don’t let my husband get a word in edgewise, she says. WTF? She actually said that normally she doesn’t let her patients control therapy sessions like I do. I was pretty blown away by what she was saying because most of the time in our sessions I am a blubbering idiot, barely able to get a full sentence out at a time. I am so traumatized by my new life that I have actually spent a great deal of time contemplating whether I can stay in my marriage at all. Feeling like a trapped animal, wanting to flee. I am trying to remember when I behaved like a bully. It is ironic because my name for her is actually Chatty Kathy. It’s almost like she was deflecting. She dominates every conversation. She controls every therapy session and talks more than she listens. She also asked me if my LA therapist let me get away with this… get away with what? Talking? I told her that Tee would ask me a question and then let me answer, always letting me finish my thought before giving her thoughts, she wrote copious notes, and would only interrupt me if she needed to calm me down or she thought I was getting too stressed or to get my breathing back in line. She is an expert at breathing techniques and mindfulness. How does a therapist know what advice to give a patient, if they don’t listen to what the patient has to say? And what happened to the conversation about my husband? This is not a case of him being bullied by his wife. This is a case of his wife is about to leave him if he cannot be honest and forthcoming about the shit storm he unleashed on me and his family. He is no longer allowed to shut down and hide inside his addicted mind, going off by himself to view porn, or running off to his whore for a quick roll in the hay whenever things get a little rough. One of the most comforting things that Tee ever said in one of our LA therapy sessions, was that all I ever wanted was for someone to love me unconditionally and actually listen to what I had to say, and be a partner to me… When I was growing up, there was so much drama and dysfunction circling around my BPD sister, that I kept to myself so as not to burden my parents with things that weren’t critical. My sister sucked a lot of energy. My job was to keep things calm, carry on, do what I needed to do, and not cause more stress. I often went unheard. So when I found a partner, supposedly for life, I shared with him all my loving and nurturing qualities, and my fidelity, honesty, and my strength. But, most of all I gave him my trust. All I needed was for him to do the same. And then when he didn’t, my safety net fell out from under me and I came crashing down to the ground, hard. Trying to pick myself up from that kind of a fall, and then rely on that same person again, for the same safety and security, is nearly insurmountable. These were some of the enlightening moments I shared with Tee. I miss her.

Now here I sit in front of this woman, who is basically calling me a bully. I just stared blankly at her as she talked, and talked, and talked. I did not say a thing. I was not sure what else to do. After she had talked almost non-stop for nearly 20 minutes, I honestly do not even remember what she said, I don’t think I was even listening, she looked at me and said, “you appear to be upset.” I didn’t say anything. I’m not sure if I was even all there. I realized she had not actually asked me a question. Then she did ask the question, rather abruptly, “ARE YOU UPSET?” My answer to her, “oh, would you like me to speak now?” She seemed taken aback. And then she proceeded to tell me that not all therapist/patient relationships work out. Some people just aren’t good matches. I had been seeing her for two months. Was I being fired by a therapist I was paying by the session? Maybe this was for the best. I said, “yeah, maybe this isn’t a good match. I don’t think you actually understand PTSD, or the behavior of a newly diagnosed sex addict for that matter. I realize I came to you because I did not want my therapy to be completely focused on my husband’s addiction, but maybe I was wrong, because I think you need to AT LEAST understand the addiction.” Tears streamed down my face. Then things got really weird. She did a complete about face. She immediately became very sympathetic. She apologized for being too aggressive in her “methods.” What methods, bitch? I think the woman is bi-polar? Anyway, I left her office without any help for my issues with Blue Eyes, and completely frustrated and confused.

I went out to my car, and cried.

I decided to go back to Chatty Kathy one more time, mainly because I just didn’t think I had the energy to seek out a new therapist at this point. The process of telling my long, traumatic and pathetic story is exhausting. I have done it so many times. I don’t want to go through it again.

8 thoughts on “Apparently I am just not good at this therapy stuff

  1. Wow. I see this is a journal entry from July. I hope that things have been repaired with your therapist OR you have found a better fit. I not all therapists are a good fit for all people. I just have finally gotten so, so lucky in my therapy experience with Bea, that I want that for everyone. It is possible to have a therapist who works with you, and I really hope you have found it by now.

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    • Semi repaired with that therapist, then a better fit for a couples therapist. I am trying desperately to get caught up to current. I love the relationship you have with Bea and long for the same, but I am done with individual therapy for now. I don’t have the deep childhood wounds and trauma, just the recent PTSD, so couples seemed to make sense to me. My therapist in LA was the best fit, unfortunately, we don’t live in California. I know the current couples therapist will tell me if I need individual again. We are in couples therapy and that is feeling right to me right now. Thanks for the support. Hugs to you!

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  2. Yes that can be a problem with therapy, not having a good therapist or good match with one. Having gone to several different ones (both as couple and individually) throughout my marriage and being unable to ever find that perfect match has left me somewhat skeptical about the entire process. (Usually they might be helpful initially, to smooth the immediate problem) but never would it seem like we could address the bigger problem and do real work. Maybe a therapist who (at least) has experienced infidelity (or even sex addiction) might be able to be more helpful or understanding. Have you read any of Rick Reynolds from Hope Now? Maybe he could recommend someone in your area . Hope each day brings you some kind of peace dear lady. I feel your pain and am sending you – BIG HUG! Take care chely

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    • Thanks, Chely. I have not heard of Rick Reynolds. I will look him up! Our therapy journey has been a roller coaster ride, for sure. I think we are pretty settled in at this point, but it took a while. More posts on this. Thanks for all your support. Big hugs back to you, sweet lady. I hate this club, but love all you wonderful ladies.

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  3. Gosh, I hope you didn’t pay her for this session! If she wants to point the finger at a bully, she should point it at herself. Start shopping for another therapist. Interview then on the phone for a few minutes and ask about their experience treating PTSD and addictions. Going to a therapist shouldn’t be traumatic. SWxo

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