There is a woman who lives just about a mile from my house who I have so far allowed to ruin my life.
She is not a lover, or anything so exciting as that. She was my first therapist after my 13 year hiatus from the mental health community.
From the first moment I spoke to her on the phone about a possible appointment with her, she touched my mommy transference button. Not because she was so nice, but because she was indifferent as to whether I came for help or not.
I came in to meet this woman for a ridiculous fee, and she told me I wouldn’t succeed with the first therapist I picked because my DID was too much of a problem. When we talked about me possibly seeing her, she was again indifferent. My mommy transference was triggered again.
I ended up coming to see this woman as my therapist, and it was the craziest, most emotionally dysregulating relationship in my adult life. She saw her indifference as empowering me. It destroyed me instead.
I had always been a person who didn’t need anyone. I can go to the movies or dinner alone and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I love being alone. But she was different.
Her indifference throughout our relationship of whether I was dead or alive propelled me so far into transference land that I couldn’t let go. I needed to do this “mom do-over” correctly, so that she would care about me, or at the very least care whether I lived or died.
As each day passed on, our relationship became more destabilizing to the both of us, though she probably wouldn’t admit that.
She has a need to be the perfect, expert DID therapist in town, so she would never want anyone to think she was less than perfect. Neat, orderly, perfect, and sometimes cold as ice.
I was still obsessed with making this relationship work, even though I started going to an anonymous bar after every therapy appointment with her. I felt suicidal most days over feelings I had toward her, or perceived feelings she had toward me.
I became obsessed with her abandoning me. Sometimes paralyzed by it. We spent endless hours talking about the subject, so I became very clear about her rules of when she would abandon me. She said she would have to abandon me if I ever tried to kill myself, which is kind of a ridiculous rule to have for someone who is DID, but I agreed to it. She promised that she would never abruptly abandon me, and that if it ever needed to happen, I would know far in advance and it would be a slow, gradual transition to a new therapist.
My protector parts had much more insight than me and my younger parts because we were so attached to her. They listened to exactly what she revealed about herself as her weaknesses, and acted on them.
We were suicidal and we told her we needed to go inpatient. She told us she would help, and she didn’t. The next session we told her again, and begged her to call the admissions coordinator, and she didn’t. This was interpreted by us that she wanted us to kill ourselves, and we couldn’t bare the callousness of her not caring. What other rational explanation could there be. To this day, we still don’t understand her refusal to help in the most basic way.
That evening when we had given up all hope that she was going to help us, we went to a bar and had two beers. We spoke to her on the phone and refused to tell her where we were because we didn’t want the police to show up in our small town. I offered to walk home since I wasn’t far from it and live in a fairly safe area. She wouldn’t allow it. I ended up driving because I was really ok to do so, and couldn’t leave my car in the parking lot.
She had told us before that she had no tolerance for people who were drinking, and people who were seriously suicidal. The therapist became triggered again.
I flew out that night on my own, from my own decision, to a treatment center in another state for people with DID, and spoke with her the next morning from a hotel room. I asked her if she was going to leave me over this, and she promised she wasn’t and that “it is nowhere on my radar screen.”
After entering the treatment center and more and more time was going by and I hadn’t heard from her, I knew she had lied. I knew she wanted out. She didn’t have the courage to tell me this herself. She finally came up with this long list of nonsense that were new requirements to continue treatment with her. She knew my protectors would never go for the list as it was just too ridiculous.
At first my protectors rightfully said no thank you. Then I panicked in a huge way and begged her to stay, and agreed to all her conditions, and she wouldn’t allow it. She told me I needed to listen to my protectors. She gave us three referrals and that was it. Only one of the referrals agreed to see me when I got back into to town, but after she spoke with this previous therapist, she literally backed out of agreeing to see me.
I must have interviewed 20 therapists who said they treated DID. At least half were nut jobs, and the other half were either not good fits or nice people who were extremely inexperienced.
I received in the mail a certified letter from the therapist containing all the SuperBills from the year before that I had requested the year before, and the 3 useless referrals. In other words, she was trying to cover her ass.
I called her and wrote her and begged her to either talk to me or help me find a therapist. She never talked to me again. She left me for dead, which is actually meant to be literal. She is no different than my biological mom.
In my entire life, I never begged someone to act like a human being and just help me by doing something as simple as calling me so I could understand what happened.
That was 17 months ago. And even though I did find a good therapist, and realized my relationship with the first was extremely bad for me for various reasons (primarily because we were triggering each other nonstop, though she would never admit that), I haven’t been able to leave my bed other than to go to an appointment for 17 months now, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. I have also developed several health problems over this 17 months.
Today, we do see her across a parking lot from time to time. Depending on the day, sometimes I think of running her down, other days I realize she is just another imperfect human being and care nothing about her. My little ones inside still want her to be their mother, even though we try to explain why she wouldn’t be a good mother for us.
Some days we still cry over the loss of her, and more often, for what she did to us. In the end, we didn’t mean anything to her, and she didn’t care if we lived or died as long as she was clear of any potential law suits. She truly had become my mother in many ways, but when you are mental health provider you have all the power to ruin someone by simply saying they are borderline and extremely difficult. Doesn’t matter if that has any basis in reality. It enables her to protect her do-gooder image, no matter if it destroys me.
I don’t know when, if ever, we will be functional enough to get out of bed and live our lives again.
We know we shouldn’t let this severely less than perfect person wreck our lives, but we truly feel ruined and have no insight on how to move out of this condition. It is so hard to forgive someone who betrays your trust on this level, and then makes it your fault. Narcissism.
I am all for therapists taking care of themselves, and if she needed out, she needed to get out. But, this should have been balanced with my welfare, my chance at survival, and maybe an explanation for what was happening. I am actually a fairly reasonable and forgiving person to those who know me. I don’t know that I will ever forgive her, not that she cares.
So, this has left me bedridden and missing out on my life. I am sad about this tonight, but I haven’t been able to figure out what to do to make it any better. I guess my horrible luck in life continues on.
There are days when I want to kill her, but those are rare and I choose to think of killing myself instead. Either way, without a doubt, she has killed an important part of me already with no remorse. Yet, another very difficult fact to accept into my life.
It is scary to think sometimes the helpers are sicker than the patients. Ah, but to admit so would be bad for the profession, so no one will be admitting that here. The helper is always right, no matter how much baggage she secretly carries.
Please pray that one day I will find my way out of what has become a very imperfect life for me. I deeply appreciate the stranger therapists, who were in the business for the right reason, and tried their best to help me because they cared about human life.