I didn’t make it to my therapy appointment Friday afternoon. Since I’m not a believer in divine intervention, I’ll just say it was a coincidence. Ben twisted his ankle and although he thought he’d be fine come appointment time, I had already made the decision to not “show” for the session. Someone else could go. I needed a day off. Turned out though, no one was up to it.
That’s not entirely accurate. Sam probably would have loved to go, but we didn’t want her to attach more to our therapist than she already had.
Back in December, we experienced a “rupture” in our patient/therapist relationship. Sam became a little too comfortable a little too fast. During a session, she disclosed some very sensitive information about a past event. No one saw it coming. No one was prepared to discuss, let alone acknowledge any details about said event.
At the following session, for lack of a better phrase, we experienced a full system failure. The family broke apart for several days and Sam went mute. Although related, Sam did not stop speaking because she got in trouble for telling a secret. She stopped because of what happened afterwards, at the next appointment. Our therapist was expressing her doubts concerning keeping what Sam told her private. She wanted to consult with others about her legal responsibilities regarding her need to report patients witnessing past crimes.
That is what caused the breakdown. She could not assure our safety, in terms of keeping our secret… well, SECRET. Sam and others then realized that nothing we say is safe, even in THERAPY. But I digress…
So after months of rebuilding some kind of comfort and safety, it has come to this. Nothing major has happened like in December, but I still feel like shit. I feel like an idiot. You know that adolescent joke where some jerk holds their hand out signaling for you to give them a high five? But when you do, you end up lurching forward and practically falling on your face because they took their hand back and are now pointing and laughing at you along with their crowd of friends? Yeah, that’s me. The one flat on her face.
In an absurd moment of disclarity (not that I am trying to Sarah Palin our blog), I leaped at the opportunity for a more natural way, at least for me, to communicate. I am able to express myself so much more honestly and eloquently writing than I am speaking. There is so much activity and noise happening internally that it’s easy to get my thoughts mixed up. Those are the times when words come pouring out so fast that I haven’t the chance to think them out clearly. It is almost inevitable then that I say something wrong or say too much.
So email seemed like the perfect compliment to the therapy sessions. At the last session I wasn’t able to leave things in a manner than felt comfortable, so I came home and sent a short paragraph explaining. Our therapist wrote back later with some of her thoughts and a request that I respond to her comments. I did late that night. Almost two days past and I hadn’t heard anything back. I finally texted her over 40 hours later to confirm that she had at least received the email (there have been two times when she had not). Our therapist responded with a cryptic text about email not being secure. I texted her back with “I don’t really understand but okay…?” I can only assumed that she assumed that was clear enough and we would discuss it during the session the following day.
But what about the things I said in my email? What about the vague, but important information I had shared with her? Didn’t she get it? Didn’t she appreciate HOW much of risk I had taken sharing those hints with her? KEY information. How could she drop the ball like that? I hate these fucking games.
I made an attempt to open up more. This was me working hard in therapy. My email seemed to be well accepted and even prompted a request for further communication. I felt really good about my stepping up. Then no response but a clumsy rebuff by text regarding privacy. I understand that confidentiality will forever be a loaded subject for us, but my email didn’t contain anything I wouldn’t say in a crowded restaurant.
You know how they say that email isn’t secure? That you shouldn’t say anything in it that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in a crowded restaurant? Well, there’s nothing in my email to our therapist that I wouldn’t have said if we were sitting in a booth eating burgers. Of course, that would mean I would have to feel comfortable going to a crowded restaurant in the first place, but you get my point.
I have examined my email a dozen times now and I don’t see anything wrong with what I wrote. I remained fairly vague on many things and on the few parts where I was more specific, I could have been referring to a myriad of things. Even the points when I spoke about other parts of Elle, they are not easily recognizable as having anything to do with DID. Not that I believe DID is something to be ashamed about. In fact, I think it is a brilliant defense mechanism when dealing with trauma and abuse. However, I do admit I wouldn’t want to announce to a restaurant full that I am one of several “multiple personalities.” My point is that I wouldn’t have written or sent the email if I wasn’t completely comfortable with it out in the electronic mail world.
So now it’s Saturday and there are a million things that I should be doing, but I can’t concentrate enough to even clean up my house. I am so frustrated with yet another case of “falling for the fake high five” that I want to scream.