To my therapists

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To my therapists
« on: August 31, 2020, 08:34:48 PM »
Thank you for your effort with me. I know a lot of where I am today is possible because of the roadblocks you removed.

Therapist 1, you made room for me at the drop of a hat so that I could quickly get my feet back on the ground and finish school. I know part of it was that you were close colleagues with my referrer, so maybe you felt a bit responsible to help, but you nevertheless made yourself available.

Therapist 2, you were an excellent mirror for me at a time when I was in an exploitative relationship and helped me realize I needed to escape with urgency. I would have let myself degrade much further if you hadn't patiently shown me the lengths I was going to only to receive nothing back.

I do not want to seem ungrateful. I can see your contributions and value what we found. But I wish you had not ignored the clear markers of trauma when I showed them to you.

Therapist 1, you asked me about school growing up, and I reluctantly broke down in tears just a few questions in because you touched on bullies. On our first meeting! And we never talked about it again. Did tears from a grown man who desperately needed to avoid the past make you that uncomfortable? I walked away knowing about automatic thoughts, but nothing about what my past had prepared me to do, or unconsciously repeat.

Therapist 2, we resolved pretty quickly that my exploitative ex was requiring I see a therapist because she had deep-seated issues she was not willing to own, herself. I wasn't willing to see what I had opened myself up to at that time, I was too smitten with the idea that someone professed to like me to see all the dysfunction. But you didn't find that odd that I was gleefully allowing myself to be victimized with obvious negative consequences? We never talked about trauma once.

I could not expect you to be omnipotent. That would be a mistake.

But I do feel strongly that as therapists, it is important not to write people off, assume it can't be trauma, or assume that it is not safe to talk about such things with your clients. After all, if you can't volunteer to talk about it, how are people like me ever going to learn to talk about it? I didn't find out on my own for 8 to 10 more years what this injury was. It might have made me feel bad to learn about it sooner, but then I could have spent 8 to 10 more years healing. Plus it's important to normalize talking about trauma lest we feed this stigma surrounding victims and survivors.

I do not feel safe sending you this letter, not to either of you. One, it would just seem rude coming out of nowhere. But on top of that, it would make me feel horrible in the event either of you responded by seeking legal cover or blaming me for not discussing my needs more clearly. The real issue is I just don't want you to do this to anyone else who comes seeking help, and it becomes apparent the needs are bigger than their asks.

So I will consider sending this, perhaps anonymously.