Boundaries, there are none. I want to scream, “I told you so. I knew it” To have that realization validated means a lot to me because it means I can trust my judgment. I can trust my ability to recognize behaviors that may not be healthy.
Had it been a guy behaving this way, I may not have seen it so clearly.
The conversation my psych nurse and I had about her marriage is still something that I won’t blog about but we had a very intimate conversation about her two marriages. We talked about one client in detail who adopted my frogs. I was emotionally supportive to her. Just before she left she said, “Oh, I’d like to purchase, this, this and this.” She left me with a high. She showed herself as vulnerable, let build her up then rewarded me for doing so.
That might seem a far stretch but I’m writing this because I know the pattern.
Today this same psych nurse showed me a photo of the young boy who sat with his father and brother in a family style photo. The nurse ‘name dropped’ a bit then put the photo away. She then said to me that she has a 55 gallon fish tank at home that she’d like to GIVE to me for free. My head went everywhere. I had to tell her I needed to focus on our session because the 55 was too much to process right then. We talked about med changes, and about Baclofen with medicinal marijuana that has to be eaten. We talked about needing a social worker and about getting the home health aide out here very quickly. I then handed her a blue note with everything she needed to get for the boy’s frogs and had her take a photo of some of the supplies so that she would know she’s getting the right thing. She said she’d call me in a few days and let me know when she can drop off the fish tank. (sigh)
At first I said, heck yes I want the tank but I’ve had time to think. I CANNOT TAKE THIS TANK. I told my friend that if I said it out loud it wouldn’t happen so I did. I said it out loud to her in vow form. I will not take this tank. How painful, what a terrible position she has put me in. She dangled in front of me something I love. Her offer meant I had to talk to insiders and explain to them why I said yes at first and now I’m saying no. She dangled in front of inside children a gift I can’t let them have. I’ll talk more about that later.
It will take everything in me to contact her tomorrow and tell her that I feel this crosses client/patient boundaries and that I won’t be able to accept the tank. I say it’ll take everything in me but to tell you the truth, I feel strong. I’m happy I immediately recognized that there’s an issue. I may have been shocked by the offer but it only took a short period of time for me to snap back and go, oh, wait, no, this isn’t’ good.
Here’s a therapy plug: If you don’t think therapy works, think again. I never would have recognized her pattern of behaviors had it not been for therapy. Therapy works! And yeah, this whole ‘thing’ may have been missed had it been a male I’m dealing with but its not….and I didn’t miss it.
Now, I said that I’d talk more about her dangling this gift in front of me and in front of inside children, particularly the alter named Milwaukee who takes care of the fish tanks. She’s the one I worried about the most having to tell her that we can’t take the tank. Here’s the thing. I already have two 55 gallon fish tanks in my house as well as a 90 gallon fish pond in my closet. I’m very capable of getting large tanks down the road if I want them. My psych nurse is not my only option for tanks. I know that and my insiders understand that.
Wow. Just wow. I’m keeping the filter though. That filter is tight!
What a test of growth this will be to make that phone call tomorrow and let her know what the word boundary means. The last thing I want is for this to turn into a boiled bunny situation.
Her offering me a full 55 gallon tank set up doesn’t make me think she’s a nice, generous person. It make me afraid of her. What happens when I reject her?