I know I am so behind on replying to comments, and reading other’s posts. Things have been really hard the last few days. I want to tell all of you thank you for your kind comments, for validating my feelings, for all the support. I really feel like this is a special place, and we have this very special community where we support and understand each other. And I am so thankful that I found this community of people. Xoxo
I texted my best friend on Wednesday: “hubby and Bea have been emailing since February. Everything is so screwed up. I can’t breathe.” She called me, and we talked until I had to get Kay from school. She told me I needed to go to therapy on Thursday and tell Bea what I had found out. She said even if I wanted to quit, I still needed to go, and get closure. She also told me that she believed I should tell Bea and then work through it with her, that I was better than the girl who used to run away. I argued, but she won out. She told me she would be upset with me if I didn’t at least show up on Thursday and talk about it with Bea.
So, off to therapy I went. It sucked. It was the hardest session I have ever had. Even all the memories, and some of the hard things Bea and I have dealt with, this was the hardest…………
Thursday morning. I’m driving to therapy, numb and sick to my stomach. I’m not really here, everything has that strange not real look about it. When I walk into her office, I try to smile, to act like everything is fine. I can’t face this right now.
I sit down, and say hello. I can’t even look at her. It hurts. I can’t do this.
Bea attempts to engage me in small talk. She asks about my hair, she talks about Hagrid. I can’t find it in me to truly respond, the one word answers I give sound hollow and far away. When she realizes this isn’t going to work, she says, “I was wondering if anything had come up after Monday’s session (which I never did post about). You seemed surprised that it wasn’t as scary to talk about the underwear memory this time around.”
I shrug. Part of me wants to respond, wants to weep with pain about all the crap that came up in my head after that session. But I can’t. She doesn’t feel like Bea to me. She doesn’t even feel real.
“Did you have a hard night last night?” She asks.
I don’t say anything. Yes, I had a horrible night. I cried and cried and felt all alone and betrayed and hurt and flooded with memories and everything is a mess. I finally nod my head.
“Im feeling really floaty right now. Is that you or me?”
I’m so far away at this point, I think ‘me’ but can’t get the word out.
“I know if I sit up and plant my feet, I’ll feel more grounded, but I’m so comfortable like this, I’m going to try to feel grounded without sitting up,” she tells me.
I just stare at the floor, not really seeing anything at all.
I’m not sure how much time passes, or if she talks about anything else, but eventually her voice breaks through to me. “Did something happen this week?”
I nod my head. It feels like the most difficult thing to do, to make my head move. I want to pull my knees to my chest and hide my face, but I can not figure out how to move that much right now.
She asks other questions, which I ignore, until she says, “Do you have anything written down?”
I glance at my bag, where I do have a letter written to her. But then I shake my head. I’m not ready to do this, to face this, yet. I can’t. In the back of my mind, I’m feeling some satisfaction that she seems a little lost, and like she is grasping at straws.
She asks me questions, and she talks. I really can’t hear a lot of what is being said. It’s just not getting through the fog. At some point, I whisper, “I can’t do this.”
She waits to see if there is more, and then she asks, “Because talking about it will make it real?”
“And….reactions.” I struggle to force the words out. And then I do move, quickly pulling my legs up and hiding my face. I burst into tears.
“This is really painful. There is so much hurt right now, it’s hard to even be present. It doesn’t feel safe to feel all this, does it? But you aren’t alone, I’m here, and you are safe.” She says softly.
“I am all alone.” I sob the words out. I hate that she tells me she is here. She’s not here, not anymore.
“That came out very clearly. And it feels scary, and painful.”
I just cry and cry. I can’t speak.
“Are there words right now? Or is this a place of no words?” She asks.
“I have words.”
“Can you say them?” She questions.
I shake my head.
“Because you are worried about my reaction?” She makes some sense of the little bit of conversation I’ve made.
I nod my head. Yes.
“Do you think you did something?” She asks gently, like she is speaking to a child afraid of being in trouble.
“I….no. Yes…it’s complicated. I can’t….” I’m confused and overwhelmed and can’t find the words to speak.
“If you can try to say the words, we can make sense of this together. You don’t have to be alone with this,” she tells me.
Her words hurt. I cry harder. “It’s broken. I can’t….it’s just broken.”
“Broken can be fixed.” Her voice is calm, and sure, and I know she means it.
I shake my head. “How? How can this ever be fixed?”
“Well, I don’t know, but I do believe broken can be fixed,” she says. “What’s broken?”
“Everything. Everything is broken. It’s complicated.”
“Okay. This is so very hard. Who broke it?” She’s trying so hard to help me, but I can’t really feel it. Her words seem like an echo, as if she isn’t really here with me.
I can’t answer. The answer is Bea. Bea broke it. But I can’t say that. I’m afraid of hurting her, upsetting her.
“Okay…you didn’t say you broke it, so I don’t think you feel you did anything bad. Yet you are worried about my reaction. I’m really lost here. Is there anything else you can tell me?” She asks.
I shake my head. “Even if I say it, what good will it do? How will it help to talk about it? It can’t be fixed. I just want it erased, gone. I wish I never found out!”
She listens to my sobs, and says softly, “Anything causing you this much pain is worth talking about.”
I shake my head, again. “Even if I do tell you, you’ll probably just think it doesn’t matter and I am being silly and stupid!” The words fly out of my mouth, so quickly I can’t stop them.
“No, no. I would never think that. Anything causing this much hurt and distress is big. It’s very big and it matters.” She tells me.
“I…hubby….I found an email…..” I can’t get out anymore than that before I start crying so hard I can’t breathe.
“You found an email he wrote? And it was really upsetting?” She clarifies.
I nod. Yes.
She waits for more, but when I don’t say anything, she asks me if the email was recent.
“February….” I mean to say more, to tell her since February but I can’t get the words out.
She hesitatingly asks, “Did he cheat?”
“No…I…it’s not…I mean…he didn’t really…I can’t..it’s complicated.”
“I really hope I didn’t do anything to hurt you, to make you feel this badly, but if it’s not something hubby did, I feel like I have to ask if I’ve done anything?” She says the words slowly, like she is maybe thinking out loud.
I freeze. I feel sick. I won’t lie to her, but I really, really don’t want to answer this question. Slowly, I nod my head yes. I feel devastated. I can’t even. It’s just too hard. I have no idea what she says next. I just curl into myself, and go far, far away. I eventually pull a notebook out of my bag, and hold it out to her.
She reads it, and then she talks. I don’t remember all her words. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, that was never my intention. I can only imagine how bad this feels, how much pain it is. I know it has to feel really scary, and I’m sure when you found it yesterday you felt like we had been conspiring against you. I’m sure it feels like I can’t be trusted anymore. I’m so sorry. This….it’s not just a job to me, I give everything I can. I don’t take your feelings, your safety or your trust lightly. I do think this can be repaired, worked through. I believe that. We’ve worked too hard, and this is too important to not fight for our relationship.”
I don’t say anything for quite a while. I’m drifting between really far away and a less far away. “You hold have told me. Why didn’t you tell me?”
She sounds so sad when she answers me. “I don’t have a perfect answer. He emailed during times when your stability was wavering, and I have just thought if I don’t respond, he will be questioning you, and that is not something you can handle right now, and if I can keep him calm, get him to wait, to be more supportive….I know even when you don’t want to talk to him that if things at home became unstable it might be really too much. I want to help build in support, and protection for you. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I’m not working with him, hubby and I aren’t in cahoots. I know how much your trust means, and it isn’t something I ever have or ever will take for granted.”
I don’t respond, I’m hearing her, but all I can do is cry. This hurts. It hurts because I know she is hurt now, it hurts because I feel betrayed, it hurts because I feel alone, it hurts because my safe person isn’t safe right now.
“I can’t imagine how bad this hurts. I was wrong. I should have told you. I’m learning an important lesson right now. And if this ever comes up again, with anyone, I will tell the person next time.”
“No more emailing with him. You don’t email him. Or talk to him. No more, ever.” I say the words, and I’m not loud, but the anger in my words is something anyone in the room would have felt.
“No more emailing him. I understand. You are mad, that’s good. Get mad, be mad. You have every right to be mad. This feels like a huge betrayal.” She says calmly. I’m expecting her to get angry back, I have never spoken to Bea in anger before. I don’t know what to make of this.
“You should have told me! I’m not even mad that you emailed him back. I’m mad that you didn’t tell me.”
“I know. I know. This isn’t a small thing, it’s huge. I’ve been an important part of your life for a long time now. In some ways, I’ve been a big part, and in other ways, not. But this feels huge, and it is huge. It matters. Of course you are upset, and hurt. I understand why you are upset.”
I sigh. I hate that she knows she is important. It feels like she shouldn’t be, like it is ridiculous that she is. “I don’t want it to matter.” I say, sadly.
“I know. It hurts. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t hurt. I think that we have done some really good work together. I’ve known you a long time now, and I think this relationship is too important to not fight for. This matters to me. And I really do believe we can talk it through and repair this. I want to do that with you. This relationship is worth that.” She tells me.
“I can’t…I can’t,” I whimper. It feels good to hear her say it matters to her, to know she wants to fight for this relationship, that it is important to her. But this all feels so bad. And there is so much to contain, and I can’t go to her. I’m alone and flooded with memories and feelings and nothing feels okay.
“I know it feels like that. I know it does. I think you can. You came here today,” she points out.
“I didn’t…I didn’t want to. Kay made me. She told me…..she’d be mad if I didn’t. She said that I could face it…that I was better than the girl who runs away.” I whisper the words.
“Thank you, Kay. And she is right. We can work through this. You can work through this.”
I hear tears in her voice, and it pains me. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I tell her, frantically.
“Don’t apologize. You have nothing to be sorry for. Why shouldn’t I feel some of this pain? It’s okay for me to cry, to feel this hurt, too.” She has said this before, that it is okay for her to cry and feel sad.
I can’t stand being the source of people’s pain, unless I’m so angry I can’t feel their hurt. But now, I can feel it. And it sucks. “This sucks. I know…I know you didn’t do this on purpose. I’m just…I hate this.”
I snap a few more times at her, in between crying and saying sorry. She handles my anger and crying, and tells me I have nothing to be sorry for, that she is the one who is sorry.
“I hate this. I know why you wrote him back, I know why he wrote. This hurts. I can see your side, and get it, and it sucks.” I tell her.
“It’s a gift to be able to see all sides. It is hard, but it is a good thing.”
“It sucks. I can always see both sides. That’s why it’s so hard.” I say through my tears.
“I know, I know that makes it hard. I can see your side, why you feel so betrayed and hurt, and I can see me from that time period’s side. I can hold both those perspectives, and feel compassion for both,” she tells me. Maybe that is what I am missing; compassion for both. I feel more compassionate towards her side, hubby’s side. I know why I feel the way I do, but I am berating myself for it, and feeling stupid over it, and hating myself for being upset.
“How is this ever going to be fixed? I can’t.” I wail.
“It feels huge, insurmountable right now. But we can work this through. We can talk about this as long as you need to. If we have to talk about it for 10 weeks, longer, we can.”
I shake my head. I feel gone, or maybe it’s that I feel she is gone. I don’t know anymore.
“Do you have the emails?” She asks.
I nod. Sort of. I took pictures of them with my phone. I couldn’t just forward it to myself. I don’t want hubby to know what I found. So, I have them, sort of.
“Why don’t you bring that on Monday, and we can go through it? I can tell you what I was thinking?” She suggests.
I shake my head vehemently. “No. No. We are not doing that. You are not to read it. No.” If she doesn’t remember all the things he said, I don’t want it all coming back to her. He wrote awful things. Some may be true, but he said mean, mean things, and described me as this monster person. I’m ashamed over it, and hurt, and I don’t want to face that right now.
“Okay. We don’t have to do that. That’s okay. We can go through my notes from that time, if you want.” She says.
“You don’t look for those emails and you don’t read them either,” I tell her. I need her to do this, if I’m ever going to trust her again. I don’t comment on her notes, at all. I’m honestly afraid to know what she has written. I’m picturing awful things in her notes about me.
“Okay. I won’t read them. I won’t look for them, and I won’t read them,” she says seriously.
“I hope not,” I lash out at her. I’m angry and hurt, and I can’t take much more.
“I won’t. If I say I won’t, I really won’t.” She says softly.
I stop and think for a minute. I know this is true, if I think about all our history. “Okay, okay. I know that,” I relent.
I don’t remember how we ended things. I know she asked me if I was going to talk to Kay today, and she encouraged me to do so. “When your safe person is suddenly not safe, you need someone else to help you see objectively, to help you know the world is still safe.”
I tell her I will call or text Kay today. I’m glad she knows that she doesn’t feel safe right now. I wish she did feel safe. I hate this. “I hate this so much. I hate all of it,” I tell her. “I can trust Kay. She would never talk to him without telling me.”
“She’s much safer than I am right now. It’s okay to hate me right now. That’s okay.” She gives me permission to be mad.
I shake my head. “I don’t hate you. I hate things people do, I hate this, but I don’t hate you. I don’t hate people.” After thinking a minute, I add, “Well, maybe my mother in law. But that is a whole different thing.” My mother in law manipulates and hurts people on purpose, she doesn’t care who she hurts, or who is caught in her crossfire. She only cares about herself and getting what she wants. Bea is not like that all.
“Maybe you are feeling a similarity between me and her? Like I manipulated things?” Bea asks.
I shake my head. “I feel…..like you lied, like you knew what his feelings were, and have been disagreeing with me even though I am telling you exactly what he has said. But no. You aren’t like her. You didn’t…this wasn’t to hurt me, I know that.” I’m still crying and I feel like I must look a huge mess.
“No, I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. I honesty was doing what I believed was best at the time. In hindsight I could have done something differently, but I was truly doing what I believed was best for you. Your safety was my only concern. And things were very unstable, I wanted to do anything I could to keep things as stable as I could.”
I nod my head and cry quietly. “I know. I know you, I know that.”
She tells me that she is human, and flawed and she will make mistakes. She tells me she has work to do, too, because she is human. “When it feels like we are walking a tightrope, doing this very tricky balancing act, I have to do my best to keep things as stable as I can for you. It’s….things can be really unpredictable and for every Alice, there is a suicide attempt or a hospitalization. You did get through some really hard spots, but there can be so many what ifs, and I have to do what I can to help you build resources. I’d feel terrible, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I felt negligent, if I hadn’t done all I could for you.”
I don’t respond, but her words do penetrate. I can feel that she does care, that she does want me safe and she is here. I only feel that for a minute, and then it’s gone, replaced with hurt over what I feel is lost. I dissolve into tears again.
I don’t know how we end things. She tells me we can email, I can call or text, whatever I need. I remember it being hard to sit up, not wanting her to see me. I couldn’t look at her when I left, and I practically ran out the door.
32 thoughts on “Everything is broken ”
Get mad, BE spitting mad at her, she deserves it! And keep being mad until you’re not mad anymore. She fucked up big style. She knows it. That was a betrayal, regardless of the good intentions behind it. She could have chosen to come clean about the emails once you were out of that critical crisis place. I can inderstand why she didn’t from a personal point of view but from a client’s perspective, where trust is absolutely the first middle and last thing in that relationship , she really fucked up. So don’t feel bad that she’s upset, she bloody well should be.
I love this. I don’t feel that mad– or any mad, really– right now. But I love that you aren’t afraid to put anger on the page…I don’t know, it sort of gives me permission to be pissed. So thank you. I have a feeling things will be messy for a while and I will be between numb, mad, hurting, overwhelmed, ext, ext. When I’m mad, I’m going to read this again to remind myself it’s okay. Xx
It IS VERY OKAY TO BE MAD, and I will be mad for you, cos I am furious with her. I will be your mad evil alter-ego 😀
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The idea of a mad evil alter ego makes me smile. Maybe that’s weird, I don’t know. But you brought some giggles into my life with this, by being serious and silly about mad at the same. Thank you. Xx
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sending love! 🙂
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I just read your post and I’m soy glad Kay was able to convince you to go back. I’m glad you’re willing to stay the course and experience the repair. The odus is on Bea to work hard to regain your trust. All she can do is be consistent and assure you that she will never again speak to anyone without your permission unless she feels you may hurt yourself – and that’s just being a good therapist. This is what my therapist said to me. I, for sometime, was unable to let go of the betrayal. I acted like it was all resolved but in the back of my mind I would say “I’ll never call her emergency line again. I’ll check my husbands phone, emails, cell phone statements to make sure there really is no communication….” This went on for maybe 6-8 months while all the while my therapist continued to be consistent, reassuring, open to all communication from me and accepting of all the angry outbursts or undercuts I threw at her. Always acknowledging my right to my anger and my right to be heard, accepted not rejected or told I’m being too this or that for expressing how I felt. Alice, after awhile it seeps through all your armor and little by little you relax in the trust and begin to realize it was never you. You were never crazy, too this or that. It was the people around you that fed you the lies and you were a child who was a sponge and absorbed all their projections. Little by little having Bea validate your hurt, anger and feelings of betrayal you’ll learn to feel and believe you have a right to all your feelings and deserve to be heard and have someone accept all of you and that you deserved it all along. Staying the course and talking it out and working through this with Bea will help you know what you deserve from others and how to recognize those that can give it to you and those that will never so not to waste your valuable energy attempting to please them. You’re worth Bea having to work extra hard to regain your trust and you have no reason to feel badly about it.
“You’re worth Bea having to work extra hard……” Thank you for saying that. It made me feel good, to think I am worth that. This whole thing just really sucks, and it helps to hear your story, to know I’m not alone and you have experienced something similar. Thank you for your support and for sharing. Xx
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Wow. This is a major boundary violation by your T. My opinion is that you are mostly under reacting. A major boundary any therapist must hold is confidentiality. If they are a member of an association, they can be disciplined for violating your confidentiality. There is an exception. If they have strong reason to believe you are a danger to yourself or others. Even in that case, I don’t think they may go without your permission to a family member or friend, rather, they’d have to admit you to hospital. For this reason, some clients don’t feel safe telling suicidal thoughts to their T, so I don’t really agree with this exception.
Whatever. Bea was trying to manipulate the situation by trying to ‘handle’ you through your hubby, instead of letting the feelings play out in therapy. Now she’s letting you take the blame for feeling hurt – it’s your past or something. Saying that it’s a proof that she really cares is not good. Yes, therapists need to care. However, they cannot be so out of control of their feelings that they start intervening in your life outside of therapy.
With SA in childhood, our boundaries were seriously violated. As adults, it’s a big challenge to repair them and find out where they are. A T who violates boundaries because of her own issues is not much help.
I’m sorry Alice. I don’t know what I’d do if this were me, and I can only imagine the pain of this. I realize how attached you are to Bea.
I guess for me, I’d only trust real reparation. If Bea acknowledged she’d violated a sacred boundary. If she acknowledged this was because of her own issues. And if she was seeking supervision or therapy to discover why she did it.
Any anger you can feel is totally good – it’s the healthy part of you trying to protect yourself. You have a right to be angry. Whatever you do, do not feel sorry for Bea. She is a professional. Time for her to act like one. Do not turn this on yourself.
Take care. Sorry if this is not helpful to you. You must deal, not me after all.
Okay (‘takes a deep breath’…..) this is so scary for me to say, because I appreciate you and your comments so much……
I don’t fully agree with you. I don’t feel like she violated any confidentialities. I’ve read all the emails, and she never once told him anything that I’ve said or discussed in or out (emails, phone calls) of therapy with her. She only told him she knew why I was emotionally deregulated and that while she wished she could discuss this further, I would need to be on board. She told him to hang in there. I don’t feel like her emails back to him were excessive or anything not okay to write. I feel like she was walking a very fine line, in some ways, because I have had her speak to him before– with and without me– to help him understand what was going on. And many times, I have offered–to hubby– to set up something with her for just him or for us. It wasn’t until more recently that the idea of him anywhere in the therapy room made me feel as if he would be invading my safe space.
I do see where you are coming from, and when I think how I would react to others here if their therapist had done the same, I imagine feeling very protective.
I feel like Bea was so very wrong not to tell me he had emailed and she had replied. That is where my anger and hurt lie. Well, that and hubby a words.
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(Posted before I was done, ugh!)
I really don’t feel like she is letting me take any blame. I think she spent time trying to talk me out of feeling blame, and acknowledged that this was all on her. She admitted that she was wrong. I’m not sure there is much she, or anyone else, can do to change my feelings of blame. I am really sensitive to other people’s feelings. I can’t change that. It’s part of me. I feel like ultimately she had to validate that I can understand both sides and feel badly about it, or I would have felt ignored. I don’t know.
I really do applicable your perspective, because it is different than mine, and it does show me that I’m not bad or crazy for feeling angry and hurt. Anyway, I hope that it’s okay for me to disagree, and that you won’t stop sharing your opinion because of that. Xx
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Hey Alice – (Your second reply doesn’t have a reply, option so I’m replying to the first for both) – No worries whatsoever. I’m totally supportive of your telling me I’ve got it wrong, or you don’t agree, or whatever. This is your life, your therapy, and only you know all the ins and outs in any case. I appreciate actually that you replied when you disagreed, because the usual procedure in blogging is to ignore that comment, which is what I sometimes find hurtful.
The additional details on the email situation do help me see where you are coming from.
With my own T, he will not even confirm that a particular client had a session with him. I know he would never respond to a partner email about a client, even if he knew the partner – He’d refer them to their own therapy if needed. He wouldn’t give out any info about me to anyone.
It’s a little unclear that you’re saying both that Bea admits she made a mistake, and you’re also saying she did nothing wrong given the circumstances.
In any case, all the best with the repair work. Just remember – you do have a right to be angry! And you have a right to be heard about that.
Thank you for being supportive of me disagreeing. That is a relief. I honestly didn’t know the usual procedure was to ignore things you disagree with. I try to respond to everyone, even though sometimes I do miss comments. I’m glad I responded and you are okay with; this is yet another learning experience for me.
I love that even though you don’t agree, you can see where I am coming from. I’m sorry I was unclear– what I mean is that Bea didn’t do anything wrong in a legal sense, or whatever. Like, she didn’t violate ethics, as it was such a grey area. But she was wrong to not tell me in the sense that it has taken a long time for me to get to a place of really fully trusting her and knowing she is there and being able to be unfiltered when I speak or write to her. That’s what was wrong, and it was a (HUGE) mistake to not inform me that he had emailed and she emailed him back. But it wasn’t wrong in a legal type sense. Does that help make sense?
Thank you for wishing me the best, and for reminding me I can be angry and have to right to keep talking about it. I’m really glad that you replied back. Xx
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Wow, you possess so much pluck! A lot of people, run, or gallop the opposite way from confrontation.
When a child contains terror and trauma within them, worse, blames themselves, feels guilty or responsible for the crimes of others, they do not advocate for themselves as they rightly learn to do from birth on. It just stops, or did for me, feeling unworthy of it. It is something I still struggle with.
That you do so in spite of such terrific hurdles is extraordinary. Just wow!
And it hurts so much. Open up, trust someone, than bam…It is hard to conceive of another who I need to rely on, to have weaknesses, faults, or to make mistakes. There’s no room for it in my need.
Once you do begin to feel compassion for your own needs, frailties, and humanness, you will make room for the very same in others. I am learning that too.
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I’ve always run from it. Or pretended it did not exist. This is the first rime I haven’t. I always put the other person’s feelings before mine, and avoid conflict because I am so afraid of hurting them. This, facing a conflict, telling someone they hurt me, is new and hard.
I’m not sure it’s “pluck”. Lol. I just couldn’t fake it, but I couldn’t just leave, either. It does hurt so much. Thank you for seeing that. I’m thinking it may be worth it, though. I don’t know.xx
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I can’t imagine how awful that must feel to find out she was talking behind your back. Betrayal is the worst. I’m glad you went in and were able to confront her. Sending you big hugs and lots of support as you work through this.
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Thank you for all your support, and validating how bad this feels. It is really nice to hear that others understand how hard this is. I’m glad I went in, too, even if it was hard. Kay is right– I don’t need to run anymore. Xx
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I totally agree with Ellen – qualified therapists can’t chalk up major boundary crossings as mistakes! She broke your confidentiality and caused a conflict of interest – did she skip the paper on ethics??? You’re not a Guinea pig to learn from. She’s not a student. I’m so glad you went to her, that was important that you confronted this. But her attempts to reassure you – going through the emails?? Ouch! Confronting and you’ll have to consider her truthfulness. It’s not her job to spend hours of sessions redoing the damage she made! I’m so disappointed for you. You need to go through your own emotions. Would you consider looking at a regulatory board and getting advice on this?
Bea did not break any confidentiality rules. She did not disclose anything to Hubby, she allowed him to vent and attempted to calm him in order to be a support to Alice. Bea did betray Alice’s which took a long time for her to build and it is up to Bea to work to regain that trust.
*Bea did betray Alice’s trust which took a long time to build. No was no HIPPA violation on Bea’s part.
She doesn’t have to pass on information to break confidentiality. By liaising with another party she’s broken a code of ethics. She’s not ‘his’ therapist – and she should have advised him immediately to see someone else. But instead allowed a parallel conversation. Personally I would reported her to whatever regulatory body she’s part of – if she even is.
Penny, you are right, she’s not his therapist, and I do wish that she had suggested to him the idea of seeing his own therapist. The thing is, I had given permission for them to speak before, has set up times for him to see her without me, and brought him to therapy with me. She also sees Kat, and some of his emails were about my behavior effecting Kat. I think it was a very grey area, and she should have been honest and told me, but I don’t think she broke any code of ethics.
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This is true, she didn’t break any confidentiality rules. She broke my trust, and she should have told me, but she didn’t disclose anything to him.
Penny, this is so scary for me to write, because I don’t fully agree with you. I don’t want to upset you, and we all know conflict is hard for me, but, I’m learning….
she did break my trust, and she was wrong, but I don’t feel like she broke confidentialities. I feel like she was in a very grey area. She should have told me: the fact that he emailed and she replied never should have been a secret, but I’m not mad that she replied. She never told him anything we had discussed, or anything I’ve ever said to her in a session, email or phone call. She simply told him she knew the whys of my deregulation and that she couldn’t talk more without me on board. She asked him to hang in there. That is all. I’m honestly okay with everything she said in her emails. I’m not okay with not being told about it. But it is a huge mistake, and she broke my trust big time.
Thank you for seeing how yucky the idea of going through the emails is. Maybe one day that may be helpful. But he wrote so many hurtful things that I feel I can’t go through them with her until I have some trust and safety back. I– or at least a part of me– still believes in her truthfulness. I feel like I can’t base every judgement of her on this one thing. Yes, it’s big, but if I look at all of her– everything from the past year and a half– I feel like it is worth trying to repair.
I hope that disagreeing with you doesn’t stop you from sharing your opinion. I like hearing from you, and it would make me so sad if my disagreement changed that. Xx
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Sounds like you’ve already learned how to speak your truth handle conflicts in a healthy manner. Disagreements are inevitable and they don’t have to end in irreparable damage if we are taught how to work through them. Everyone here is a work in progress towards a common goal. You are nearer than you think.
Thank you. I don’t know if I have learned to fully speak my truth, but here, in this little blog community we have, I felt safe enough to to do so. It helps that this is writing and not talking. I’m learning though, and I like that you say I am nearer than I think. Thank you again. Xx
I read this earlier today and it is one of those posts that sucked me into the moment which truly not a good place for you to be. I would have never ever been so brave as to go back. I would only been able to email her in anger and NOT afraid to hurt her feelings. Your feelings are just. Anger, betrayal, embarrassment, hurt, scared and sad. Confusion. It would be confusing because now she is telling you she was concerned that you were in a bad place. I can’t for the life of me imagine my hubby writing negative things about me to my T and her responding. It would all be so painful. So now you need to breathe and decide what to do. You need to decide based on you. Not anyone else. This isn’t about how to help Bea’s other clients or her or your hubby. It’s about you. You and the little girl inside of you who is scared and overwhelmed. No right no wrong. Take care of you.
This is so painful. Thank you for validating that. Thank you for the reminder this is about ME and my feelings and what is right for me, with no right or wrong choice. Ultimately, I’m not sure what is right. I only know, right now, I want to keep talking this through with her. Xx
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My first reaction to reading this post was that she did make an error, you should have been informed immediately. She was (with good intentions) doing what she thought best for you, but it wasn’t her decision to make. And it sounds like she realizes that. And I am so sorry you were hurt, I am sorry you have this process to work through. Also, what I see here (and in your dialogue around the comments from other readers) is that you are really advocating for yourself and your views and what is best for you, in a strong, direct, and assertive way. And that is so powerful. And also, Bea is human and very involved in your family’s life (your therapist, Kat’s therapist), so I can see how her judgment was clouded. She fucked up, but, we all do. And you love her, and you don’t want to punish her. I can hear that too. I don’t know what I am saying, other than I feel okay about all of this. Life is messy.
Thank you for understanding this Rachel. She did screw up, big time, but as you said, it is this very messy grey area. I did advocate for what I feel I need and want this time, didn’t I? When I think about that, it is powerful. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, it is such a good thing for me to see. Life is messy. Thank you for being supportive. Xx
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It is very powerful. In all of these comments, I see you protecting something important to you (your relationship with Bea) AND your self-respect. And letting it be anything but ‘perfect,’ which is such growth. I see this strong and confident and assertive Alice emerging. Well done. Truthfully, does heckling people who care and fess up to their mistakes help? No, it doesn’t. Granted, professionals and their clients are a special circumstance that does need extra caution. That said, I know you both want to mend the wounds, and it will happen. Perhaps in not as long as you think.
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I know Bea has been a tremendous resource for you and I believe she didn’t mean to hurt you, but I absolutely understand your fear and anger here. This is just so unacceptable. Thinking of you xo
She has been so good for me, and had helped me grow and heal so much. But there is so much more to do. I’m scared and angry and sad that she doesn’t feel completely safe right now. But I’m hoping this is another growing opportunity. Thank you for thinking of me. Xx
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