Fifth page – Session at August 13, 2008
It’s the second paragraph (starting with “Friendships”) that drives me up the wall. She has done a very poor job of summarizing a very complex situation.
Yes, there were four friends with whom I was very disappointed when I returned from living overseas, but each case was different. E.g. two of them had plenty of time for me, they just spent it all talking about their problems. Hence the “in their own drama” remark. I didn’t cut off all four friends. One drifted away, another is still in touch intermittently.
The two drama queens? Yeah, I cut them off. They were major users. I NEVER said I was “cold, mean” – I just don’t think of it that way, I see it as extricating myself from a toxic situation. I think the therapist thought I was cold and mean (again, she had too little info to make that call), but her opinion should not be in quotation marks as if I said it.
It’s true that the two cut-off friends would “have no clue” about how I felt, because they had their heads too far up their own asses to even contemplate another person’s perspective. But I think the therapist interpreted that to mean that I had failed to express my feelings, probably due to not have them validated by my parents as a child and yadda yadda.
Sixth page – Session at August 27, 2008
I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, the stuff she wrote is more or less accurate. On the other, she hardly wrote anything – 95 words to cover an hour of complex topics, like my parents’ custody fight when I was 13-15 years old.
The two-column part bothers me because it looks like she believed that my beliefs about my family are wrong, and that I needed “new possibilities” to believe. Except that my beliefs were not wrong. My family really is just that way – not listening and “bad”. (I doubt I said “bad”, but meh, close enough.) Do you see enough information in the previous notes for the therapist to have determined that my beliefs are actually wrong? And if my beliefs are correct, how it is therapeutic to change them?
Let’s work with another example. Say I have all my money invested with Bernie Madoff (whose Ponzi scheme was revealed later that year) and I’m starting to see red flags. I’m getting nervous, afraid of losing everything. I express this to my therapist, and she just assumes it’s all in my head and gets to work on changing my thoughts. But it’s not all in my head. I’m right. What would following the therapist’s advice lead to? Financial ruin.
I think believing that your dysfunctional family is in fact healthy could just as easily lead to ruin. Especially when there is an inheritance in the offing…
Then there is the part about “the client feeling [that parents’ custody fight] not because they wanted her”. My parents’ custody fight was NEVER about their care for their children. It was always about getting back at each other for past grievances. You know how I know? I lived with them for 18 years. They were not caring parents. Neither of them ever took much interest in their children UNTIL the other parent claimed to want them.
So I never would have told the therapist that I merely felt that my parents did not want me. They actually did not want me. (I know, it’s horrible, but I’m past it now. I was past it back in 2008 when I saw this therapist. I never brought it up. She was digging for dirt.)
Notice that we are now into the fourth session and the discussion has nothing to do with dealing with anticipatory grief. The topics are all over the place.