Every Direction- Patient. Psychologist. Relationship.

Every Direction - available When it rains it pours, and I'm soaked.

Minutes before my phone session with Dr. D I was told by my cab driver that Medicaid won't pay to transport me anymore. Of course I freaked out. I then decided I wouldn't think about this until Monday. Well, as I washed dishes (big issues with water phobia) I did so while going over what the cab driver told me. The gist of it is this: Nothing with my insurance has changed. The cab driver said she got a new contract to transport for a company which is clearly a higher paying transport. For quite some time my insurance only pays for 7 miles and only pay the cab company $10 each way. That has not changed. The only thing that has changed is the contract the cab got. I understand why I'm getting booted, I just wish she hadn't said my insurance won't pay for transportation anymore, and that's exactly what she said. That makes me mad too because she went on and on about how the change has affected so many people. She said, didn't you get a letter about it? Um, no, because you know very well there isn't a letter coming. Nothing has changed except that she made a business decision to take a contract. With this in mind, I have to search high and low to find someone who is willing to take me about 10 miles one way. That won't be easy but that's what I need to do. My insurance still covers transportation.

Dr D will continue to talk to me over the phone until I find a new cab company. I hate that though. Due to health issues, I was only able to get into see him twice a month, the other sessions were over the phone.  In our sessions we relied heavily on art. As I drew today it felt pointless, totally pointless!!! Art is how I speak..........

Our professional relationship includes trust, boundaries, honesty and humanity.
It took some time to building a working relationship, but in that relationship he is validating. He also calls me on my crap which is needed. He isn't usually blunt but there are times when he shows irritation followed by a blunt statement. lol....Those statements usually have to do with Betty. lol. Even a reader called me out on the Betty situation.... with one sentence. 🙂 I appreciate that he's going to be human and show irritation or even anger. I don't want a robot for a psychologist. I want a human being and I want to leave him at the office.

Boundaries are a huge thing for me. There was a therapist I had that gave me his home number, the number to his parents house and the number to the phone in his car. I had access to him almost 24 hours a day. That for me isn't good because it also means he has access to me 24 hours  day. In fact, he called me one time to tell me to turn on Oprah because Rosanne Bar said she has Multiple Personality Disorder. He told me about his sex life, about his boyfriend. He called me when they broke up. He called me when they fought over the house they had together. He and I had zero boundaries, zero. After that experience I no longer trusted a therapist who wanted to give me their home number. My experience with doctor's crossing boundaries is why I need Dr. D to keep his boundaries and not get so comfortable with me that he forgets to be professional. Other patients and therapists may be able to manage out of office contact and that is just fine. I have nothing negative to say about that. I don't want it because of the horrible experiences I've had. 

My needs as a mental health patient are complex and they fluctuate in an exhausting way.
I need to see my therapist's face. I need to see his body language. All of that gives me information about how he receives what I say. Through body language he can be sympathetic, show that he's listening and really hears me or he can be dismissive or apathetic. Being able to see his face lets me know if he really gets the point of what I'm saying. Now I'll have to adjust to listening for this information.

Trust and reliability make me feel safe. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but; there's no doubt in my mind that I will have Dr. D as my therapist until he retires. The man is individually wealthy. If my insurance stops paying him he'd still see me at a price so low it's not even funny. I trust that Dr. D is going to be here for me, but sometimes things get complicated and I become terrified that something will happen that changes everything. I trust his responses, its unforeseen circumstances that worry me, like the cab situation or my health.

Roses for Jane - availableWhen my health started going down hill I asked him if he was in this for the long haul? Was he going to be able to go through the yo-yo of health issues? Could he see me break down and weep without being overwhelmed? He said it's hard to see me weep and sob. I know it is. I appreciate that he endures it.

I asked him if he understands that with Lupus and issues associated with it, there's only one way this ends. I needed to know if he can be the professional I need him to be? He said yes. I asked that question about 4 years ago. So far he's made adjustments to deal with my unpredictable health. Writing this makes me sad because I all but asked him if he will be able to see me in a state of exhaustion, bloated by medication, purple bruises, sudden spasms and a broken spirit. Lupus is ugly. It's destructive and robs the person of physical health, of stamina, of teeth, hair, sleep, dignity, a solid breath of air. Lupus is cruel. I asked him, can you watch me die? I wasn't trying to be dramatic. I just needed to know if he was able to bear this with me. Can you be there for all the ups and downs, the close calls, the plateaus, false hope, grief, anger and self pity? He said yes. Thank goodness because that's the answer I needed. I've had two very close calls one of which I was told to get my house in order. ........... My body scares me more than my mind.

Getting personal. There's a certain dependency that comes with seeing a therapist as long as I've seen Dr. D. The though of not seeing him anymore is frightening.

There is familiarity and a higher comfort level now. That familiarity gives way to personal comments, and on my part breaking boundaries. I don't know much about Dr. D's personal life. I basically know what he shows me in the office but sometimes what he shows me makes me worry for him.  Dr. D is a brainiac that requires someone to help him live.  Oh my Lord. I should have known he got married because he was wearing new clothes THAT MATCHED. His hair was cut. I'm telling you he is clueless when it comes to appearance and neatness. He's a total nerd, brainiac, guy.

Oh my gosh he makes me laugh sometimes. There were socks with holes in them that I had to tell him to throw away. Total guy. We gently discussed hair and not doing the comb over thing. He came in to work one day looking like he'd slept in his car. lol. But when he got married he stepped in the office smooth! I was lovin' those Italian shoes...and his laces were tided! I like the wife, she's making sure he does more than think. His office is even clean now.

All those visuals are lost over the phone, but they are strong in my memory. lol. Tuesday afternoon I will begin my search for a new cab company. I look forward to going in to the office once again to see 'who' Dr. D is on that day.....and the wonderful changes his wife has made in him...... Bless that woman....and give her strength so this man can deal with me. I have issues.

Art Title: Every Direction
Art by: Faith-Magdalene Austin
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Media: mixed media on paper,
Finish: signed, unsealed, unmounted
Style: Outsider Art, Art Therapy,
Purchase locations - Original on Etsy, Prints on Redbubble.

Faith
April 30th, 2017-12:16 am EST

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9 thoughts on “Every Direction- Patient. Psychologist. Relationship.

  1. He sounds great! Caring, loving, and funny! Knowing that your counselor cares is a huge step in trust. I am so glad you've crosses that bridge with him. I am taking some steps on that bridge with my counselor but its tough to really believe that caring.

  2. Post author

    I think as time stretches out there's a natural trust that develops. I also think a person's feelings about therapy itself will determine how the working relationship evolves. If the person feels there's a weakness in having a therapist then they may prematurely end it.
    There are still parts of me that need to hear him tell me he's not going to abandon me. Only recently has it been a strain on me when he goes on vacation. I've been going to his office for 13 yrs now but only the last 8 or so has our working relationship been as therapeutic as it should be.

    Dr. D's strongest therapeutic tool with me is consistency. He is consistent with his inconsistent patient and he knows I need a professional in the other chair, not a friend. He knows that no matter how much time has passed I never want him to lose professional boundaries because when they are lost my therapy ends. I will not see a therapist that consistently breaks boundaries or consistently messes up. He's been clear on what I need to do and I've been clear on what I expect from him.

    I'm not the easiest patient to work with. I'm fearful, anxious, I don't trust people and I'm not very forgiving. My past experiences in care shaped the person who sat in his office and told him I was going to do a background check on him. He said why? I said because it's distracting to have the FBI arrest my therapist in the middle of me talking about my childhood. I need to know if you're wanted or if you have a pattern of issues. I said, I needed to know information about the person I'm trusting with my mental health. I did checked him out and did so every two years up till about 5 yrs ago. Don't think I won't do it again. This therapy is about me. That sounds kinda cold but it's true. I need a professional in the other chair not a guy struggling to keep his license.

    I just wrote another entry as a comment. I'll never be called a woman of a few words. lol

  3. I am assuming you have had that happen to you...Oh My Gosh! You have every right to check out your therapist and I am glad that you went ahead and did it and are ready to do it again if need be. I had an emotionally abusive therapist for 2 years (this happened 4 years ago) and I became a sniveling people-pleaser toward her. It has taken me 4 years to consider trusting my now counselor. And it is scary as hell! He is going on vacation next week and will be completely unavailable. He has done this every year and I have never had an "outward" problem with it. I just white-knuckled it and got through it. This time I feel like holding on to his ankles and begging him not to go! I feel absolutely insane with abandonment issues. He and I talked about it last week and we agreed that because I have started to actually feel he cares (different than just "knowing" he cares) that it feels like he is now abandoning me. Man, I have gotten way off topic haven't I? One of the many things I like about him is that EVERYTHING can be discussed with him. Especially if I disagree with him or if I notice something off about him. Not that I have tried those out yet but he reminds me often of that. I just sent a letter (last week) to that previous abusive counselor and it has stirred up mistrust again. I am so easy to be angry at myself for not trusting my current counselor but he has told me that it is normal because of what I have been through. Oh, an re-learning to trust my instinct...that is something big he is guiding me to. okay, you're not the only one writing another entry!

  4. Post author

    Recent triggers make me worry about Dr. D abandoning me while on vacation. It's been a hectic time and when things get crazy my abandonment issues loom large.

    What I hear you say in your comment is that you really want the help. You really want to do the work and will stick to it. That is something to be proud of because too many prematurely leave therapy.

    I also see that trust issues are running wild. I think with every slap in the face I lose my trust footing. It takes a bit to get it strong again.

    I like the drive you have for bettering your life. That drive will be tested but I've read enough of your blog to know that you're a fighter. Are you a fighter by choice? No, but there's a spirit in you that will not stop. I've read that in your blog and in Q's blog. I've heard the strength of your voices, you and Q, and I'm encouraged by it.

    Sometimes when i read an entry on another blog it gets me to thinking so I start writing stuff down. I don't feel triggered by the entries just stirred up and wanting to use my voice, too. I like you guys and I'm pleased to watch you guys move through your healing process.

    🙂
    Faith

  5. I have sent TWO responses to you but it's not showing on my side bar that any were sent! The first one was many pages long (or so it seemed!) Maybe I'm forgetting to hit the send button? I don't know. So, to condense the multi-pages down to you I said how I admire your strength in setting your boundaries, being honest about them with your counselor, and following through on the checks. Sounds like it comes from a previous bad experience. You are so right that therapy is all about you and your healing. I would think your counselor admires you for taking your healing very seriously.

  6. Post author

    We don't always show fight, sometimes we show brutal honesty. I thought the insight on that entry was really good.

  7. Post author

    I've gotten in the habit of writing the comment then before I click send I select all and copy. This way if something goes wrong you've still got the comment that you paste and try again. It annoyed the crap out of me when I wrote a comment and lost it because of some glitch.

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.