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Trouble With Therapist?


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I can't seem to figure out the pattern of my grief. Up until now I've been dreading weekends, but doing better during the weekdays. This past weekend was actually not too bad and yet again I thought I was progressing - moving forward.

Today, Tuesday, has been bad from this morning until - well now, at seven p.m. I thought my sobbing-for-hours days were in the past, but today I have actually been sobbing for hours. I can't even pretend to be okay for my teenage son - my eyes are too red and puffy for that.

I'm 10 weeks out now, and today all I can think of is my husband and my horrible loss. That huge empty space inside me.

I wonder if this might have been spurred by an appointment I had yesterday. I've been seeing a grief counselor who really has helped me enormously. But the last couple of weeks I've been seeing a psychologist, since I thought I was becoming seriously depressed. This psychologist seemed okay at first. However, she shares a practice with her husband and today, just before my appointment with her, I heard her with her husband in his office. They were talking about their grandkids and laughing together, just loud enough so I could hear what they were saying. I felt this incredible anger and despair that I no longer had my husband. Nor will we ever share the joy of grandkids together.

In her office she displays photos of her husband, her kids and grandkids. All happy and hugging.

Our appointment did not go very well.

Am I unreasonable, or was this not very professional of the psychologist? She knows all about my grief. I don't think I can go back to this person. I might just stick to the grief counselor. At least she never talks about, or shows, her private life. It's hard to visit her at the same hospital where my husband died, but at least she provides me with some comfort.

Melina

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Melina, dear, I'm so sorry you had such a difficult experience in your psychologist's office yesterday, and I suspect this is indeed what triggered your sobbing for hours today. When we are in the deepest part of our grief journey (what poets refer to as "the dark night of the soul") we are especially vulnerable and sensitive to anything and everything around us ~ and that would include what you experienced both in the psychologist's waiting area and in her inner office yesterday. Your reaction seems perfectly understandable to me. Imagine, for example, if you were consulting someone for infertility who happened to be eight months pregnant when she met you. Wouldn't that be a little difficult for you to ignore?

It seems to me you have two options here. You can return for one more visit and share with this therapist what happened and how it affected you, and hopefully she will be sensitive enough to understand and help you to process all of it. Her reaction will tell you all you need to know about continuing with her. On the other hand, if you truly do believe that you did not establish any sort of positive connection with her and you already know that in your gut, then you're under no obligation to return to her. Go with your own best instinct and your own common sense, and trust your own good judgment here. And remember that, although this psychologist may be an expert in diagnosing and treating depression, that doesn't necessarily mean that she is an expert in bereavement. Grief counseling and grief therapy are specialized fields of practice, and not every therapist is skilled and trained in working with the bereaved. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to discuss all of this with your grief counselor, with whom you do seem to have a good and therapeutic relationship going.

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Melina,

You are the only one who can decide what to do. Normally I would say give it one more chance and be open and honest with her about what triggered you. However, in remembering my early grief and my visits to a counselor, I did NOT hit it off well with him whatsoever! I think I was wise to recognize it and cut off contact with him...he just seemed so insensitive and controlling, like a bulldozer in fact. I remember him glibly telling me that if he lost his wife, he'd get over it...it seemed so glib and flip and like he didn't have a clue what it felt like, just as I was sitting there pouring my heart out with tears streaming down my face. He gave me a book to read and one of the first things in it was someone removing their wedding ring. Of course I didn't make it past that, haven't read much of anything since.

I think we have to listen to our inner self and do what is right for US and protect ourselves and stand up for ourselves...after all there is no longer anyone else to do that!

But on the other hand, this psychologist needs to be aware of her triggering you so she can be more sensitive to others in the future. You could let her know, whether you decide to continue sessions with her or not.

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This may sound weird for me to say. You don't have to go back to her. You no longer respect her because of that incident. Can I say that it is unreasonable that you may feel that no one could understand your grief if they are hasppy and have what you no longer have. I have no resentment of happy couples. I was happy/at least I have those memories.

The pychologist seeing my husband had five appointments. They were doing ok when she up and gives him a name of someone for him to go to. She was moving to Alaska from NC in 2 weeks????She took on a new patient knowing that? He never went back. It was all I could do to not look her up and say, he committed suicide.It took me 8 years to get him to go.Ok

I have a nosy neighbor across the street. The day he committed suicide, she came over when all the first response people showed up. Turns out I was wrong about her. Her son committed suicide years before from depression. They took me to her home for four hours. Poor Charlie her hubby was going through his own flashbacks because of mine.So the example is: don't assume. Get a grim smile for those times when you see happy couples walk by...tell yourself I was there. I had those times. Then you don't resent the ones that haven't gone through a loss.Everything you feel, there is no right and wrong but anger is not productive. Just puts you under more stress. Let me rephrase that statement. It isn't unresonable it is irrational to feel that way. We don't think rational when we have sooo many hormones from the grief. Like I loved my job of being community relations for 13 store managers. Fairy godmother job. I took a manager position in one store out of an irrational fear. I moved up here away from friends and family. I drove over 3 counties doing good deeds. They let me choose what to do and when and where. No one knew or questioned my choices. I thought since he always knew where I was going...who would miss me now if I got in a wreck. My dogs could starve before work or family knew where I was. See what I mean/irrational to expect others to know about your grief or somber their lives for you out of respect for what you went through.Goes into unrealistic. There's not that many really nice people that would care to do that for you or any of us. Most are not aware or sensitive to others.Take care, girl, be calm and things get a bit better. I won't say great just a bit better.LindaKay

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm not sure what to do, but I am going to see the grief counselor again on Friday. These last two days have been absolute hell - and so unexpected since the weekend turned out better than usual. Both yesterday and today I've been on a non-stop crying binge. It's so exhausting. And I feel so incredibly angry too - have the urge to just lash out at everyone. Luckily there is no one here.

My youngest son is out at a class this evening, and I have to pull myself together and make him some dinner when he gets home, and try to put on a reasonably brave face.

What on earth is wrong with me? I feel like I'm completely losing control. I can't see any positive future whatsoever. My mother called and told me to be thankful I had children, and that since I'll never find a husband like the one I had, I could at least look forward to a future with kids and grandkids - maybe travel around with them. But that would be to end up like her. She does nothing with her life at all - has no friends, just clings to her kids and grandkids (not mine - we live too far away). I wanted a life with my soulmate - traveling, doing fun stuff together or just hanging out together talking. I wanted to be part of a couple - a team. I don't want to be the lonely woman sitting at home all by herself waiting for her kids to call. I feel like my life is over.

Melina

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Your life is not over. I have no kids by choice. It is nice you have kids but...you have a separate life. They grow up and move on. They may not have the time to hang with mom. I had an odd desire to go on a vacation without the purpose of being with a friend or family. It was just an instant of thinking what an adventure it might be to do that. I'd bear all the cost instead of splitting a cab/room with a close friend. But I might just do it one day. Don't be like your mom and life is not over/just crummy right now.smiles. LindaKay]

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Melina,

My mother did the same thing...my dad died 28 1/2 years ago and my mom has clung to her kids and gotten more (religious) fanatical, very out of touch with reality, ever since. I did not want to do that to my kids. I wanted to build a life for myself, so I remarried. DISASTER!!! My kids would have rather I clung to them than what ensued. I never want to put them through the worry and heartache that we ALL went through due to my last marital disaster. I have learned you have to build a life for yourself separate and apart from relationships. It's good to get used to being on your own and build a good support system of many friends and activities. I need to work on this, esp. since my fiance broke up with me...that changed my life pattern once again and here I am back to square one...again! But at least I haven't quit and I'm still learning. I caution anyone grieving not to get involved in another relationship too soon, it takes us much time to sort through everything and come to our senses and right state of mind and even know ourselves as a single person and what kind of life we want. We have to give it time. I say this and many of you are thinking, that's not applicable to me, I would never want anyone but "late husband"...but I tell you, we're vulnerable. We are sad, lonely, scared, don't see a purpose in life, etc. etc. And anyone vulnerable needs to guard themselves because there are plenty of vultures out there waiting to prey upon the vulnerable. It takes time to rebuild your life into one of your making...and it's difficult because we need to do this at the very time we don't see a POINT in it! But keep putting one foot in front of another and keep going...it's the only way. It takes time and perseverance. I know how you are feeling, been there, still feel that way at times, but it's less intense and less frequent now.

Be kind to yourself, you need kindness. Remember always, YOU are your best friend. Treat yourself accordingly.

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Hello Melina,

You are not going crazy, just grieving. I have two close friends who lost their husbands many years ago. I also have another friend who lost her husband 4 years ago. She is getting me a book that she said helped her alot. I will send you title if you like. One of the things she said was in the book that really helped her was to every day have something planned that you could look forward to. My one friends daughter who was fifteen at the time she lost her father told me just remember mom was a little crazy for about a year. This friend is now remarried and in a loving relationship and has been for 12 years. The second friend is also remarried. She is the first to say that at times she felt like she really was going crazy but she survived and surrounded herself with friends such as myself who helped her thru the dark days and now 24 years later she is doing the same for me. Some of the things these friends have told me are, don't do anything major for a year, you will find yourself resenting couples and older people, you will find joy in a day again. I am very lucky to have their support because they really know what I am going thru. Just remember take care of you and don't let anyone pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do. Yes it is nice we have our children but we all know we can't live our lives thru our children, we need to find our own lives somehow again. I lost my husband on 10/10 after 41 years together. I was with him from the time I was 15. My oldest son gave me good advice. He said as humans sometimes we tend to create the situtation that will make us even sadder, so no at this time I cant go back to memories, can't look at any pictures of my husband and I have put away the belongings of him that just make me unbelievably sad, I turn off sad music on the radio. I know one day I will put up all the wonderful photo's of him and let my mind go back to the wonderful memories. Today right now I just can't. It makes me too sad. I hope that your appointment goes well for you but if not move on to someone else. You are in charge of you and don't answer to anyone. Take care and I sincerely hope tommorrow will be a better day and the next one even better.

Sally

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Thank you Sally. It helps to that others have come through this catastrophe and not only survived, but also found happiness. I lost my husband 10 weeks ago and still can't look at his pictures or his clothes in the closet. There is a baseball cap he wore a lot toward the end and it still has his smell, so I've folded it together to keep the scent, and I have it under my pillow - where I sometimes sniff his scent before falling asleep. His cancer meds are still in a plastic bag. I don't know what to do with them. His belongings from his last days at the hospital are in a bag in the closet. I can't open it yet. I wish I'd had 41 years like you, but I'll have to be content with 29.

Please let me know the name of that book you mentioned.

Melina

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Guest popengena

I have no wisdom to offer you...because I think we are very close to the loss of our husbands. I end up falling apart every weekend....no clear reason, other then being empty and alone, and not sure where I fit in the world anymore. I woke up this morning, thinking Joe was beside me..it was my dog......I haven't stopped crying...I went to an acute partial hospitalization program for primarily my deprssion....but they are trying to help with grief...turns out this is more specialized. I went to a posted grief group a few nights ago, but it was no longer there.....at least I went (that was thursday)..I cry all the time..I say sorry all the time....I blame myself for everything that goes wrong.......I hurt inside so much.....when I hear other people being happy....I wonder how in the world they can be like that???? Joe is dead!! I feel 1/2 dead.....the part of my heart that died with him is dead.....I hurt, I cry......I am being told this is the process, and its ok. It doesn't "feel" ok. I feel lost. I lost my identity in everyway...I have no idea who i am anymore..or what to do..I am terrified of what is ahead for me..all negative feelings but very real....I think I am frustrating my therapists and shrink..

pills just arent making me "feel" better...........I hurt beyond that......I'm in the acute program because of my suicide attempt...I thought I'd be better off gone...be with him....but I couldnt pull that off........which I know now was Joe telling me to knock it off.....our kids need me....but why didnt he know I need him?...UGH....I'm so messed up and sad and lonely..and scared all the time........WHEN will I stop crying:(

This hurts too much

f

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Melina,

Ten weeks into this process is so new,your feelings are normal.I think most of us would have felt as you did, listening to someone else enjoying a moment with a loved one.Maybe your Dr. didn't realize you were in the waiting room. I still feel jealousy and anger at couples until I stop and think how unfair I am being to them. It isn't their fault that I lost my husband.

I lost my husband almost eleven months ago and still have many days where all I do is cry and mope around the house. By the next day I usually feel better.. Getting the emotions out help to relieve some of the pain, not that I expect the pain to ever go away. Hopefully it will subside and life will get easier again.

I find that my hobbies are beginning to look interesting once more. I have been able to actually finish three books in the past month as well as get back(slowly) into my scrap booking.

I'm hoping that all of us will at some point come to the realization that we are on our own now. WE are the only ones that can make our situations better, however long it takes.

Lainey

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Popagena:

Of course this hurts too much - we lost half our lives. The first weeks and months are very very difficult, and understanding that right at the beginning from the words of wisdom of my mother and mother in law, I believe, gave me strength to endure those early months. The ups and downs, crying so hard I couldn't breathe through my nose, not wanting to get off the couch, seeing families, etc etc etc. The unfairness, the recriminations, apologizing to your soulmate countless times, praying for a sign or a dream from him, and this list goes on.

But you will find strength; I believe I learned so much from Scott that it has given me the stamina, courage and strength to be there for our daughter, and to try and do something meaningful in this different life. Scott would want (hmmm 'wants') me to do something meaningful!

Melina:

I have a heartbreak drawer where I have put everything that held some special meaning to either our lives together or his death - things that at the time, I simply could not deal with. As time goes on, when I am ready, I will organize them as I feel is appropriate.

Korina

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Hello all.

Reading the posts from everyone who has lost their other half gives me assurance that I am not losing my mind. My fiance died on a Friday night less than two weeks ago and I feel as though I'm in some horrible nightmare, waiting to wake up but can't. Life goes on, it has to, and I'm trying to function through tears that won't seem to stop. My therapist has assured me she's skilled in bereavement counseling and I'll see her today for the first time since the death. She and I have worked together almost eight years and she's at least familiar with certain aspects of my life and I'm hopeful it will go well. I don't know how to stop resenting other couples yet. I know it's not their fault he died, but I haven't figured out how to live knowing Clint died and I'm alone, while others still have their mates. Why me? Haven't I suffered enough in my life already? I went through enough crap in childhood and adolescence with abusive people. I finally find someone who cares for me and respects me; someone I can depend on and love, and he's taken away. How much more must I endure? Life was rough enough, but I knew at least I had a decent relationshp, but now I don't even have that. It's been a difficult morning already.

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Melina, I am sorry you had this experience in the waiting area, and inner office of this psychologist. I believe your reaction to be totally normal and understandable. Your loss is still so very new and raw. It is just so unfair, that not only do we have to grieve our loss, but we have to also adjust to life as single again. You are not crazy at all Melina. What I would like to share with you is that for me, "triggers" did become easier to experience as time went on, and some "triggers" actually cause me to feel warmth and comfort now. I encourage you to not feel that you have to put on a brave face for your youngest son. Grieving is ok and you will be teaching your son it is ok and normal to express feelings.

I encourage you to trust your self and do what feels right for you as far as forming a therapeutic alliance with this psychologist or not. As far as what to do with your husbands cancer med's, the Pharmacy I work at takes med's for safe and environmentally friendly disposal. Perhaps a Pharmacy in your area will take them for you; if you are ready to let them go that is.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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