Posted by: Marie | August 23, 2010

(384) Beginning of the end – 8:00pm

Post #384
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, March 4, 2010 – 8:00pm]

I just got off the phone after a 20-minute phone call with one of the therapists (Janet) to whom I sent an email this afternoon.

We played phone tag, back and forth, during the afternoon, but finally connected this evening.

After talking to her, I am feeling hopeful. She was awesome – gentle, compassionate, thoughtful, considerate . . .

She listened . . . really listened. Each time I told her some bit of my story, she repeated it back to me to make sure she understood accurately. No judgments, no unsolicited advice . . . just careful listening.

What a concept!

It felt very good to my soul.

I have started breathing again.

Maybe it is possible for me to find a therapist who will co-create an environment where I don’t always have to show up ready to do battle with the therapist. Maybe it is possible for me to have access to a safe and healing space.

Photo by Martin Chen

I was a bit nervous about talking to her . . . I wasn’t sure it was reasonable for me to ask for a 30-minute, no-charge interview.

But, she assured me my request was reasonable . . .

In fact, she said she always does the first full-length (50-minute) session for no charge . . . as opposed to an interview. She said I could use that time as an interview or as a session . . . or a mix . . . it was up to me.

She said it is reasonable to want to see a therapist in action before making a commitment . . . she feels that is a smart way to do business.

Well, cool. How cool.

I explained I was still involved with Mark but I would be wrapping things up with him in the near future. I asked if she would feel comfortable doing an interview despite the unfinished relationship with Mark. She asked some questions to confirm I really was going to wrap things up soon . . . then she said she would feel comfortable doing an interview now-ish.

We set up the interview/session for next week, on March 10th.

After I hung up the phone with her, I reflected on the explanation I gave her about why I hadn’t already ended things with Mark . . . as I was giving it to her, I could hear how pathetic it sounded.

So, I came to a major decision . . .

It is time to end things with Mark . . . as in, we need to wrap things up in the next session.

I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish with him in this second round of therapy. I have started speaking my truth . . . the whole truth . . . which allows me to stay intact when interacting with people. I have confirmed, without a shadow of a doubt, I am open-minded, fair and compassionate in the midst of conflict.

I have figured out I tend to select emotionally unavailable and abusive people [men] for relationships. I select people [men] who refuse to carry their fair share of the load in the relationship and who are content to let me do all the work required to keep the relationship afloat. I select people [men] who refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of their behavior and who are content to hand off the suffering of the consequences to me.

Mark is the perfect example of this.

I select these people because I believe they are the best available to me – I believe I can’t do any better. I believe my choices are either to be a martyr in a relationship or to be alone.

I’m now challenging that belief by being more selective in choosing my next therapist. I am searching for a therapist who will work as hard as I am working and who will be as transparent as I am being. I am searching for a therapist who has his or her stuff already sorted out, long before I get there.

I don’t think there is anything more I can gain by keeping Mark as my therapist. I feel clear, at a gut level, about walking away. I have finished the unfinished business.

Mark and I have a session scheduled for March 18th. In that session, we need to clean up any unresolved issues. We need to create a sense of completion between us so we can interact peacefully as we bump into each other in the community.

I would like to come away with a solid sense of completeness . . . so much so that he could take piano lessons from me. Trust me, I won’t be back for more therapy with him . . . we can consider the therapeutic relationship finished – very finished. But, getting the air cleared would allow us to have a subsequent relationship as a student/teacher.

That might be fun – I think he would be a fun student – narcissism and all – since I would have the greater power! Hah!

I wonder if it would be inappropriate to rap his knuckles whenever he makes a mistake . . . . [grin!]

(Don’t worry . . . just joking!)


Responses

  1. I think strangling him with piano wire would be a more appropriate chastisement.

    I am so glad you connected positively with Janet. Can’t wait to hear what happened next. You deserve someone who can meet you at your own level — and it’s wonderful that you got to the point of really knowing that yourself!

    • Ooooo . . . don’t tempt me, David . . . LOL

      Thank you for the kind words! It was time to move on!

      – Marie

  2. Very glad to hear you have finished your stuff with Mark – and that you have found at least one good therapist.

    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    • Thank you, Evan . . . talking with Janet was a positive experience, for sure!

      – Marie

  3. Hi Marie,
    I thought you might find it helpful for screening and evaluating therapists to have a copy of the American Psychological Association’s code of ethics for therapists. It says what therapists should and should not do.

    Here’s a link to it: http://www.counseling.org/Files/FD.ashx?guid=ab7c1272-71c4-46cf-848c-f98489937dda

    You might notice in section A.5 that Mark has some ethical restrictions on how he is allowed to interact with you after you’ve finished therapy.

    SDW

    • Hey, SDW –

      Wow! Thank you for the link to the code of ethics! I actually read through it just now and found a couple of codes that Mark may have violated! What a great resource!

      Great point about the possible subsequent relationship . . . I actually wrote a post on that a while back:

      January 11, 2010

      – Marie


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