Sorry to go MIA for the past week, things have been insanely busy. I have four papers due next week, and am getting juuuust a smidge overwhelmed. At the same time, I've been dealing with the therapy situation. There's no way I can cover all the thoughts/conflicts I've had about this but here's the condensed version:
As you know, I first saw Candidate #1 last week, and she seemed great. Competent, intelligent, and ready to work with me. I was about ready to just commit to sticking with her, but decided that I should probably keep my consult with Candidate #2 anyway, just to be safe. So I saw #2 this past Tuesday, and she seemed great also. Very different from #1, but no less competent or intelligent. She was much cheerier, warmer, and very very sweet. AND she's had tons of ED experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings, which was a major plus to me. Still, I'd kind of already set my mind on sticking with #1, but decided to wait until after the next appointment to confirm.
So yesterday, I had my second appointment with #1. And let me tell you—my opinion totally changed. She was cold, challenging, and critical. I found myself on the verge of tears for the first time in a long time, ruminating about old fears that haven't been a problem in a long time.
Issue #1: She kept saying "Eating disorders are all about control. Eating disorders are all about control. What are you trying to control?" I'm not a psychologist, but I know this: my eating disorder is not all about control. It's about environmental pressures, sure, but it's also about my genetics, my personality, my brain chemistry, and a whole host of other factors that are way too intricate and nuanced to be contained in a lil old blog post by yours truly. Eating disorders are not "all about" anything, and anyone who claims they are has zero understanding of anorexia's complexity.
Issue #2: She wanted to hear about my childhood. Okay, fine. I'm not really into the psychoanalysis childhood-trama thing, but maybe there was stuff in my childhood that contributed to me developing the predisposition to anorexia. I started telling her about my parents, and how they rock and I have a great relationship with both of them. She asked what they do, so I told her about how my dad has always worked super hard and had long hours.
And her response: "Well, it doesn't sound like it's a very good relationship if he was never home."
Me: "Um...he had a family to support? And his work is very important to him."
Her: "Clearly his work was more important to him than his family."
I was speechless. How dare you talk about my dad like that? How dare you? I almost got up and walked out right then, but of course I'm a people-pleaser and figured I'd misinterpreted her message, so decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Issue #3: "Tell me about your mom."
Me: "She's great. We have a great relationship."
Her: "Then how has she let things get so bad for you?"
Me: "But I'm doing really well. And my mom has always been there for me—last semester, I would call her crying multiple times a day when I couldn't cope on my own."
Her: "If you were crying so much, it doesn't sound like she did much good."
So, suffice it to say that I'm done with Candidate #1. I'm too angry, too offended, and too disgusted with her assumptions about me, my illness, and family to even consider going back. I agonized about it for a little, since she does seem so confident and professional, but it's just not going to work. I need someone who makes me feel safe, not attacked. Gut instincts matter, I'm learning. Even if I need a therapist, I certainly don't need to settle.