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I need some insight.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Layne, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    So, I'm struggling today. I am feeling LOTS of anger come up and it's scary. It started building on Tuesday when I saw my therapist. She and I got into an argument and I've been a wreck ever since. Long story short, she triggered me and when I very bluntly stated what I was feeling, she reacted to me (out of what I felt was anger) and got defensive. Now, I'm not saying therapists shouldn't get upset with their clients, but I do feel like her reaction was inappropriate. So, I felt comfortable enough to tell her what I was feeling and thinking (I felt safe in that space) but when she reacted out of anger the child in me reacted with such intense fear that I broke into tears and couldn't even remember what I had said to upset her and I couldn't "defend" myself. I know this sounds crazy, but I'm beginning to realize that the more stress I am under, the less I remember about a given situation.

    I felt like her reaction of defense/anger was a signal that this really icky part of myself that I was expressing was not ok to be expressing. This is one part of myself that I hide away from people and the only reason I told her was I was thinking was in the hopes that she could help me work through it objectively but when she reacted personally, it made me feel like I shouldn't have told her.

    She asked me if I felt anger toward her often, because she often feels it from me. I told her yes, but I tried explaining to her that my anger wasn't directed at HER her, it was directed at Her, the representation of my overbearing, judgmental father, or my controlling step mother, etc... I don't even know her as a person, really, all I know is this person who asks me to address these really uncomfortable things in my life. Is it normal to feel resentment toward one's therapist? She has reacted personally to me before and I just don't know if that's right?

    I left feeling rejected and terrified and these past couple of days I have had a very short fuse. Something occurred to me earlier today; that I may be stuck in shame (thank you Brene Brown!!!) for, 1. hurting her feelings enough to make her mad at me and 2. exposing a part of myself that I don't normally expose and having it rejected.

    I hope this makes sense, and I hope it's not too far off the TMS topic...
  2. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    I am so sorry that you are going through this right now Layne, but my opinion on the matter is your 'gut' was right on. If you 'felt' that her reaction was inappropriate....it probably was. I was told many years ago that once I started following my 'gut' feeling - I would be on the right track. Unfortunately, we don't pay enough attention when someone crosses one of our boundaries. My 'red flag' is always an angry 'gut' feeling.

    This does not sound like the right kind of councillor interaction for you. Can you find another one?

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Thank you for that, Karen! I guess a lot of times I question my own "gut" feelings because I assume they're faulty or something. Like maybe my "feelings" about her reaction are not ok to be having. Like I did something wrong...
    Karen and Leslie like this.
  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Layne, I congratulate you on getting angry and verbalizing it. I think this is a big step forward and a very scary step. Part of me thinks she is just human and can get angry and defensive too.

    It is so hard for me to deal with any body getting angry with me. They rarely do because I work so hard to make everyone happy. I recently got in a major misunderstanding with my husband. He raised his voice at me. This is probably the 2nd tine in 29 years of marriage (which is not good). Anyway I felt so insecure like he would stop loving me. I just felt awful about myself. We did talk later and talked it all out.

    I don't know if any of this is helpful at all. I am having a hard time articulating my thoughts.I feel like we need to learn to express anger and feel ok about ourselves when it is expressed back. I am far from there but maybe some day.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Karen hit the nail on the head, Layne - trust your gut!

    And Stella, too, quite articulately:
    I can assure you that many therapists are not at all emotionally healthy, and many are not even strong enough to deal with anyone who doesn't have garden-variety textbook problems. Or I could get even more cynical and say that some just want you to come to talk therapy forever - easy peasy for them, and comforting to many clients. But not for those who want to experience real change.

    I've been told, in my profession, that if my clients never question the amount of my bill, I'm not charging enough. It seems to me that if a therapist's clients never get angry in session, then the therapist isn't challenging them enough.

    And a therapist who is emotionally threatened by honest, non-dangerous anger, may not be up to the task.

    I think that this is brilliant insight on your part:
    and I also think you may have grown way beyond this person.

    You go, girl!

  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    You're not alone with this feeling Layne. You described my thoughts about own feelings perfectly. Your post helped me soooo much. Just these few short lines made me realize just how adept I've become at the people-pleaser role (which I believe is where these thoughts get their start). I don't trust my own judgment when I'm feeling even the tiniest bit uneasy or uncomfortable. If I feel as if I've upset, angered, or disappointed someone I have to find someone to tell, sometimes multiple someones, all in hopes that they will "validate" my feelings (hoping to get unstuck from the shame).
    Karen likes this.

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