Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An open letter to my therapist.... **RE-EDITED**

Dear Ms. xxxxx....

I'm sorry I had to cancel my therapy appointment at the last minute. My husband's job is very demanding and there are many things about his job that are out of his control.
He works in news.....most of his job is unplanned!!


In addition, in a management position, his responsibilities are often to higher-ups who are headquartered in another city. This provides extra scheduling challenges. A conference call scheduled by someone other than himself, cannot be avoided from time to time. Yes, he should have called me, but he forgot. He's human. There have been times in the past when I have forgotten appointments I have had. In fact, I did it only 3 weeks ago to my primary care doctor. It was an accident. I didn't mean to do it. It just happens sometimes. People are not perfect. And that's ok.


I know you have felt like, at least in the beginning, that my husband wasn't committed to me making my therapy appointments happen by watching the kids. I know that first appointment, he panicked when Marinne threw up and called and asked me to come home. He relies on me and that's ok. I told him that therapy was a priority and I wasn't leaving. That's the way we do things. WE CO-PARENT. We are a team. I help him and he helps me. If he could, he would come home every time we had sick kids to help me. But that isn't realistic and I know it.


He knew it too, he just panicked. He's not used to having to deal with a sick 2 yr. old on his own. And when I said no that I wasn't coming home, he sucked it up and dealt with it. He did fine.


But, your judgment today tells me you are still holding this against him. We moved on....but did you? Because I have been seeing you consistently for many weeks now, without fail. This has ONLY happened because of his support. It's not easy for him to just up and leave when it's not even his actual lunch hour.......this takes planning and sacrifice on his part to make it happen. And I appreciate him for making it happen.....


I know I missed last week. But, I called you as soon as I knew I was going to have to miss because of his meeting. I called before 8am. You were not there. I left you a message. You did not call me back to discuss it with me. This meeting was, again, out of his control.


My husband feels terrible. He is very upset. He's sick to his stomach because he is afraid he disappointed me. And I am not mad at him. (In fact, I think he would feel better if I was mad at him and yelled at him) But I won't, because I am realistic. Again, his job is very demanding. And things happen. Schedules change. It happens.


Bottom line, he is the bread-winner for this family. If he doesn't do his job, he gets fired. If he gets fired, it would be disastrous for this family.


Quite frankly, I believe your judgment of us was harsh. You said that maybe once school starts...I could make it to therapy. Well, Pat, that was just mean. I am committed to this. But, in the real world, things happen. You make it sound like I don't care. Even more than that, you make it sound like my husband doesn't care and that is not true. Unfortunately, it was just bad luck that we had two last minute things that caused us to cancel two weeks in a row.


If you need to/want to...charge us for the appointments. Again, we could not help it.


I guess what is upsetting me the most is the irony of it all.....I have trust issues. And now, because of your harsh words, I am now having serious anxiety. And now, I will have trust issues with you. Are you trying to give me a dose of "tough love?" Because that doesn't work with me. It just makes me wonder when you will hurt me again.


Although, I understand your side, I feel you are being quite harsh and not very understanding. I feel a little betrayed by you. Am I overreacting? I don't know. But, it's how I feel. I am in a panic. Because you are mad with me (or maybe more with my husband.) Will we be able to get past this? I don't know.


You keep mentioning hiring a babysitter. That's all good and fine, but I already pay you $20 a week in co-pay. Then, a babysitter would cost another $10/hr., which would be about $15 once you factor in driving time. That's $35. Now, although I feel that therapy is worth the money....but that's also $140 a month. And where we would get that in our budget....I don't know.


In addition, we only have 1 babysitter. And when the kids go back to school, so will the babysitter. So, really that solves nothing. And I'm not about to leave my children with some stranger....just to make it to therapy. No one can take care of our children better than my husband and I. So, that's why we try to take care of it ourselves. In the 6 months we've lived here in Kansas, we have only had a babysitter 2 times. And the last sitter, although she came highly recommended, was HORRIBLE. But, this shows how infrequently we leave our children.


So, my husband asked me if it would help if he calls and apologizes to you. I don't know if it will or not.


So, where do we go from here? I don't know. I honestly don't know if I can trust you again. You really hurt my feelings. And it's been your job to talk me thru all this anxiety. And now you're causing it.


I guess it only proves your human too.


Sincerely,
Roxann


---------------------------------------------
edited to add....

Basically what happened is... Ike had a conference call that went into the time when he comes home so I can go to therapy. He was on the conference call w/ his boss (the general manager) and some big wigs....when he sees the time and realizes it's Tuesday and it's 11:05am and he was supposed to be home 20 minutes ago.

Meanwhile at home, as the time ticks on...it's getting closer to 11am and I am getting ready to go. I am sitting and waiting for him to get here at 10:50am. I knew something was "wrong" because he's been her every week to let me go. And usually he's early.

So, by the time it hits 11am....I haven't heard from him and he wasn't here. I knew something was "wrong."

I then called the therapist to let her know, because even if he showed up right now....I was already late, not including drive time, checking in and paying the co-pay, etc. So, I decided to go ahead and call her. When she answered I said, "I'm sorry to cancel at the last minute, but I guess I won't be able to come today. I don't know where my husband is. He didn't show up at home and I haven't heard from him. Something must be going on."


Well, she responds by "huffing" at me, like the sound of disgust.


So, I say again. "I'm so, so sorry. I just don't know what's going on.... It's just not like him to not call if somethings changes. I really am sorry."


So she says, "Well, I guess you need to consider hiring a babysitter or something so you can actually make it to therapy."


(I can tell by the tone of her voice she is mad.)


And just then the call-waiting goes off.


So, I ask her to hold on for a second. Ike sounds panicked. He says...."I'm on a conference call w/ my boss and I just realized what time it is....Did you call and cancel?.....I'm so sorry.....I'll come home right now.....My boss is telling me to go on home....."

So, I say. Hold on...it's too late. Stay there. She's already on the other line. I told her I didn't know where you were. I already cancelled and she's mad. Go back to your conference call and call me when your done.


So, I click back over to the therapist, who continues to act irritated with me. She says, "Well, if I figure out anything for your babysitting situation, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'll see you when school starts."


I am stunned. I don't know what to say. So, I say, "Ok." and I hang up the phone.


So, about 20 minutes later. Ike calls me back.


He says, "I'm so sorry, would it help if I call and apologize to her?"


So, I say....I don't know...but it couldn't hurt. She says she won't see me until school starts...so I can actually make it to therapy.


Ike says, "Oh, geez, I'm sorry." I respond by telling him I am not mad at him. I know things happen. No biggie.


And, I really am not mad at him. I'm just realistic. He feels bad enough without me adding anything to it.


Now....all that being said. I understand her side, as well. When you have an appointment, the expect you to show up. Last week, I had to cancel because Ike had a conflict come up. I called as soon as he knew and told me, before 8am. And actually, I had a migraine that morning from all that crap I had eaten the day before for that diabetes test. (the migraine was most likely caused by the caffeine in the Cokes I drank w/ lunch the previous day)


I felt bad, but neither of us could change it.


Then, this week...well.....you read what happened. So, I can understand her being frustrated...but I think the way she dealt with it was unprofessional and unfair. Maybe I'm wrong.


Now...I should also say...just so you have all the facts....this woman IS NOT a doctor. She is just a licensed therapist with a social-work Masters degree.


Anyway, I feel like she tried to "punish" me like a 2 yr. old about something I could not control. And Ike messed up, he admits that. But, he couldn't control why he wasn't home, even if he had called me before the conference call started. I still would have had to cancel....and she would probably still be mad. I don't know. I just think the whole thing is bull.


Does that help clarify?

----------------------------------------------
Check the comments section for continuing conversation on this whole subject.

Here is what I posted there.....


I see some good points here...

Beth R...you give me WAY TOO MUCH credit! But, I love you for it!


Mandy...I wish you were here to give me one of your great big hugs!


Beth H....I bet you are right, if she had to cancel on me, she wouldn't blink an eye!


Jamie...I see your point. I've prepared for those classes you speak of and it's a lot of prep work. And when people don't come...it is very frustrating. Part of it is the desire to share our talents, but of course, there is the other side...of making money doing something we love.

But, I offered to pay for the missed appointments. So, isn't that probably what this is really all about? Money?

I actually think she doesn't know me well enough to "care" about me. Now, she might be "concerned" for my well-being, but it probably isn't any more than that.

The "problem" I have with her is her whole "attitude." Instead of just saying what's she's feeling...she "HUFFS AND PUFFS" and is PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE with me.

Geez...you would expect a therapist to be a little more straightforward and honest, wouldn't you? Isn't it her JOB to COMMUNICATE in an effective Manner?

Instead, she ACTS mad, but doesn't actually say that. And then, she "punishes" me. If she were actually concerned...she'd try to reschedule as soon as possible and find out "if something is going on" or if this was just a clear case of bad scheduling issues.

And we've had this "babysitting" conversation more than once. Bottom line...I have not found a babysitter that would work for this every Tuesday at 11am appointment. And she knows this. AND I REFUSE to leave MY CHILDREN with just anybody....and it that means that I have to "suffer" and miss therapy or whatever else...than so be it. I will not "settle" when it comes to the care of our children.


So, that's why Ike has been busting his ass to get home each and every time. And he has. And it hasn't been easy. And he hasn't complained, not even once.

But, these 2 situations were out of his control. But, he did mess up when he forgot yesterday...but it goes back to he's human.


Karen....I know you can understand the instability of the TV NEWS business. (Beth R, too)

It is what it is.

And I was very surprised w/ her harsh judgment of me based on something I COULD NOT CONTROL. And then her "punishment" of not coming back till school starts was mean in my book.

Does any of that makes sense?

July 18, 2007 11:28 AM


~~rox


******OH...and if this is about COURTESY******
(meaning, if it's inconsiderate to cancel an appt. at the last minute.....)

I'd like to point out...that I have been EARLY EVERY SINGLE WEEK and NOT ONCE has she been "on time" to come and get me for my appointment. I have been sitting and waiting on her past 11am every single time, which pushes our 1 hour to past 12pm. And then, Ike is even later getting back to work, even though he was home on time.

I have not complained to her about this...I just tried to be a little tolerant. Too bad she didn't employ that with me.


So...what do you think?


--------------------------------------------

Thanks Stacy and Jamie for the new comments.


I'm just gonna wait and see what happens. I am definately NOT going to quit going to therapy. It's been so good for me.
There have been so many changes in my life lately and therapy has been one of the things in the GOOD column!!!


I guess we'll just see how this plays out. I'll call and make an appointment and see what she does.


Ike called and tried to apologize, but he got her voicemail and she did not return his call. This says something to me.....



Plus...you should hear her voicemail message. It's VERY UNPROFESSIONAL. If you want to hear it for yourself...I'll give you the number....



Even all that said, I still like her and we were making good progress. If fact, the week before these two cancelled appts. I had even made her cry. (not sob, but tears) I think she was truly touched by what I was saying in regard to my rape and my response to it and my struggles regarding it.


Thanks again for all the input. I do appreciate you love, support, comments and criticism. It all helps.

xoxo
Roxann






11 comments:

RickertsZoo; Summerfield, NC said...

Exactly what is the doctor trying to prove by berating you? It can't be a commitment issue because you have 4 children with the same man that you have been married to for all of those years and more!
It can't be an organizational issue because you have one of the cleanest homes I know AND you scrapbook AND blog AND cook and MENTOR friends.
Some of us have the cross to bear of chemical imbalances that do not allow us to fend off depression. That is not something that a visit to a doctor can help. If your insurance or pcp requires this, then find a doctor who shows a bit more empathy towards your situation.

Mail it. You have every right to be upset with the way that SHE made YOU feel. That is not a caring doctor. She ain't HOUSE.

Love you!

jamietg said...

Gee, um...You've gotta tell us what the doc said? Or did you and I missed it? Oh, the DRAMA! Get your ass here now so I can smack it! :)

Mandy said...

What a cow!! I would be pissed too. Poor Ike, I bet he feels like crap! She needs to understand that life happens and she needs to chill out! Good luck!

Beth said...

Wowzer! I would mail the letter. She would probably never let you get all that out if you say it in person. And you know, just like any other medical professional, if she had to cancel on you at the last minute, she wouldn't blink an eye.

jamietg said...

Ok, I've thought about it, and I'm gonna be the bad guy here. I get a little miffed when people don't show up for a $15 class, so I'm thinkin' I can understand her getting upset, especially since it's not the first time. She probably cares for you, feels that she's gotten to know you, and is understandably concerned with you not seeing yourself as important enough to merit making Ike get his hiney home for your appointment. So, rather than say anything insulting, b/c it doesn't sound like she did, she gave you a couple of hints that she thinks it's in your best interest to get in there, NO MATTER WHAT. That being said, we don't know if she had something major going on in her own life that she had to put on hold to come in for your appointment. Who knows...and like you said, she's human...sometimes we just can't keep our emotions to ourselves, especially when we actually give a darn about someone. Whaddya think? Wuv woo! :)

Karen said...

I see Jamie's point, but as you stated in your letter, how can you trust your most inner thoughts and feelings with someone who is so judgemental? I wouldn't feel comfortable with someone who made those assumptions about me and my family. Dump her.

the real ~Roxann~ said...

I see some good points here...

Beth R...you give me WAY TOO MUCH credit! But, I love you for it!


Mandy...I wish you were here to give me one of your great big hugs!


Beth H....I bet you are right, if she had to cancel on me, she wouldn't blink an eye!


Jamie...I see your point. I've prepared for those classes you speak of and it's a lot of prep work. And when people don't come...it is very frustrating. Part of it is the desire to share our talents, but of course, there is the other side...of making money doing something we love.

But, I offered to pay for the missed appointments. So, isn't that probably what this is really all about? Money?

I actually think she doesn't know me well enough to "care" about me. Now, she might be "concerned" for my well-being, but it probably isn't any more than that.

The "problem" I have with her is her whole "attitude." Instead of just saying what's she's feeling...she "HUFFS AND PUFFS" and is PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE with me.

Geez...you would expect a therapist to be a little more straightforward and honest, wouldn't you? Isn't it her JOB to COMMUNICATE in an effective Manner?

Instead, she ACTS mad, but doesn't actually say that. And then, she "punishes" me. If she were actually concerned...she'd try to reschedule as soon as possible and find out "if something is going on" or if this was just a clear case of bad scheduling issues.

And we've had this "babysitting" conversation more than once. Bottom line...I have not found a babysitter that would work for this every Tuesday at 11am appointment. And she knows this. AND I REFUSE to leave MY CHILDREN with just anybody....and it that means that I have to "suffer" and miss therapy or whatever else...than so be it. I will not "settle" when it comes to the care of our children.


So, that's why Ike has been busting his ass to get home each and every time. And he has. And it hasn't been easy. And he hasn't complained, not even once.

But, these 2 situations were out of his control. But, he did mess up when he forgot yesterday...but it goes back to he's human.


Karen....I know you can understand the instability of the TV NEWS business. (Beth R, too) It is what it is.

And I was very surprised w/ her harsh judgment of me based on something I COULD NOT CONTROL. And then her "punishment" of not coming back was mean in my book.

Does any of that makes sense?

Stacy Armstrong ~ Come on in, The Studio is Open ~ said...

Okay......I'm going to ride the fence on this one. You can hit me when you get here for this, but at least you know I'm honest and not blowing smoke you know where.
First....She doesn't know you that well yet. She hears "excuses" all day long from people who "say" they are commited and lie to her and lie to themselves. Who knows, the 2 people before you may have canceled as well so her entire day was shot. She was just a little huffy. Doesn't mean she not good, or doesnt' care. She's tired of swimming in other people's excuses and lies.
Secondly, You are not making up excuses. You have a valid reason for not showing up. If your husband has to work, he has to work. I've been there too!

Thirdly, I would consider this a little hick up in your dr./ patient relationship. Seriously, show up with your kids next time Ike can't make it and tell Ike to pick them up there. Offer to do a phone confence with her. Its too easy for people with fake excuses to call at the last minute......and believe me they do. At least she will know you are making every effort. THe woman sees a lot of bullshit and doesnt' know the difference between somebody being real and somebody being fake. Granit she should be polite always, so mail the letter to her. Let's see what she has to say. OR you could put on your flame retsistant big girl panties......you know the ones with the Monogram R on them..... blow it off and keep going. If you quit, you will prove her right [in her mind anyway]....(Right as in you are not dedicated). You are stronger than her grumpy PMSing selfcentered ass. Got that!
Am I making any sense here......I've been up for more than 24 hours.
Lastly, the other alterantive would be to pay me to your therapist. I'd tell you like it is. Tell Dr. Phyll to take a hick and you can pay me in scrappy supplies.

jamietg said...

Hey poops, It sounds to me that you've definitely made up your mind already, with our without our input. So trust yourself...ya know, if you're hurt then you probably need to find yourself another therapist. I hate it for you...to have to start building a relationship all over again. Don't let this stop you, though, ok? Get on with it, and start looking for someone else. Now, I'm off to Chicago!!!!!!!! hee heee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~

the real ~Roxann~ said...

Thanks Stacy and Jamie for the new comments.

I'm just gonna wait and see what happens. I am definately NOT going to quit going to therapy. It's been so good for me.

There have been so many changes in my life lately and therapy has been one of the things in the GOOD column!!!

I guess we'll just see how this plays out. I'll call and make an appointment and see what she does.

Ike called and tried to apologize, but he got her voicemail and she did not return his call. This says something to me.....

Plus...you should hear her voicemail message. It's VERY UNPROFESSIONAL. If you want to hear it for yourself...I'll give you the number....

Even all that said, I still like her and we were making good progress. If fact, the week before these two cancelled appts. I had even made her cry. (not sob, but tears) I think she was truly touched by what I was saying in regard to my rape and my response to it and my struggles regarding it.

So, I'll deal with this next week.

Thanks again for all the input. I do appreciate you love, support, comments and criticism. It all helps.

xoxo

Roxann

Kerry said...

What about finding a new therapist?

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