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Therapist sorta dumped me :(

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Nickinthemiddle, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Nickinthemiddle

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    Ah so okay I saw my LGBT therapist for the second time today and we went through my history like she has asked and well, she said that my identity might need to go on the back burner because I have so much unaddressed trauma throughout my entire life that I really am not going to get anywhere with my identity issues until I see a specialist she referred me to, whose specialty is trauma. The other specialist works with LGBT community as well so she's safe. But my therapist says she still would like to see me but my level of trauma has to be addressed first.

    Sooooooooo... that makes me sad. So I guess I decided to just call myself 'queer' for now and stop trying to categorize myself because apparently I'm all kinds of messed up and have to put that on the to-do list after I have danced with all the skeletons first.

    Don't really know how to take this. ??????
     
  2. CyclingFan

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    I don't know if it's right to classify yourself as "all kinds of messed up". I don't think that's really being fair to yourself, you know?

    There were things that I had to deal with before I could deal with sexuality questions. Things that made it easier.

    (*hug*)
     
  3. Chip

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    That's got to be upsetting to you, and I feel what you're saying. One thing that might help is to keep in mind that the advice the therapist gave you, as much as you might not want to hear it, is probably the best advice for you.

    People who have a lot of trauma issues have a lot of emotional baggage that gets in the way of being able to look at much of anything surrounding sexual identity and orientation. It sounds like referring you to a specialist is actually a really responsible way to handle the situation. I know it seems like it's delaying, and in a way it is, but it really is helping you to resolve things as fully as possible.
     
  4. womaninamber

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    It is rough to hear, and I totally relate to wanting to work on identity issues. I hope things work out well with the other therapist. I agree that it does sound like your therapist is very responsible.
     
  5. Tightrope

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    I don't know what to make of it. I think that, just like a doctor, a mental health professional might identify a couple of areas that need to be addressed ... such as primary mental health diagnoses and workshops to deal with certain issues, or primary mental health diagnoses and addiction issues, such that you might be a client to 2 different people or offices ... either at the same time or one after the other.

    I agree with womaninamber and Chip. The therapist might have identified trauma as the primary issue and LGBT issues as a "secondary" issue. What I mean is that the trauma might keep you from functioning the best you can and how you deal with sexual identity doesn't ... or doesn't as much. I don't know the specifics, so this is what I'm reading into what has been said so far. If your therapist is a good one and has given you a good referral, I hope the next therapist you see is someone you like. Try to be open minded. But trust your gut at the same time.

    I've been at this fork in the road more than once. We know fairly early on whether we're going to click with a therapist or not. So do they! I know that I'd feel broadsided if one I liked and trusted was going to shelve me when we hadn't done all the work we could possibly do.
     
  6. PeteNJ

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    So I'm a firm believer that if one therapist doesn't do it for you -- find another. For a period of time I spent far too long with the wrong one.

    I also believe, quite passionately and strongly, that at some point, healing, growth, (and fun!) happen from living. From jumping in and going it!

    Of course, as you are on your journey, get the support you need to work on the baggage in your past and the support you need for being in the present. I don't think its an either or situation.

    /p
     
  7. Tightrope

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    I was involved in such a situation in either 2011 or 2012. It lasted for 12 or so sessions. Probably 8 sessions too many. There was something wussified and annoying about this guy. He would give me these little articles to read and then we wouldn't even discuss them. I do believe he was conscientious and really took his work seriously. I just wasn't the client for him. He then told me we're not making any progress. I couldn't even trust him and open up to him. The thing that really bothered me is that philosophy of working in the NOW, which he used, and this whole mindfulness thing. I really can't control how my mind wanders and I never have been able to. I was there to talk about my PAST. That's why there's a NOW and how the NOW got to be. My current therapist went through my history with me fairly chronologically. Now we are talking about the NOW. I wanted to make sure he understood what has transpired in my life. I believe he does. And I've laid my cards down on the table to him on ALL topics.

    They certainly don't do the work for us. We do the work. However, they're either a stepping stone or a support system ... or both.

    I guess I can't stress how nice it is to have a trusting therapeutic rapport.
     
  8. arturoenrico

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    Roses, I would look at it differently. She is telling you that she doesn't think she has the skills to help you, which is a very honorable and professional way to proceed. Many therapists don't have the integrity to admit when they aren't able to help but will still schedule sessions and take your money. However, as a therapy junkie, I can't see any reason why the second therapist can't help you with the trauma and adjustment to your new identity. I also was with one therapist way too long and he never helped me accept my sexuality. It is better to know this from the start. Hope it works out.

    arturoenrico
     
  9. TheStormInside

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    It sounds like your therapist is trying to do right by you by admitting that what you're dealing with is outside of her area, and I think that you should take that as a good thing. While I don't have trauma specifically it took me years of dealing with depression and anxiety issues before I could even begin to address my sexuality, let alone talk about it in therapy. It sounds like that's not your issue, but that you may have things to untangle related to trauma that, through untangling, may clarify your identity. And even if it doesn't, as Tightrope said, it may be more beneficial to you to address mental health issues that are more seriously impeding your life first.
     
  10. Nickinthemiddle

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    Thank you everyone. You all gave very warm and sound advice. She was talking about the 'now' a lot, and I was freaking out wanting to clarify my identity, but she kept telling me that it did not seem like I really needed to clarify my identity so much if I'm not going to be dating or anything like that right away. The more we talked, the more the stuff of my life came out and she was like, well, I think the trauma is so tangled up in there that you will probably not be able to sort out identity until you see a trauma specialist first.

    She says I can still see her in the meantime, in the future, or whenever so I'm not officially 'dumped' I guess...

    It was a little relaxing though to sit across the couch from hubs and let out a breath and say, well, I don't know for sure what label I am so I'm just going to be a 'queer' girl, because I've always been a 'queer' girl and always will be, so for now I guess that's just gonna have to be good enough.

    I think that's what she was getting at, ironically!

    I guess it makes sense. If the amount of trauma that started in early childhood that caused me to willingly suppress and disassociate from desire/disgust and all that in between, plus the assaults and other bad things... I just never walked around thinking oh poor little traumatized me, I just think of myself as a survivor, so it kind of took me back to have somebody say, you still have trauma. I thought I had worked that bad boy out. But I haven't. Boo.

    Thank yall for responding.
     
  11. bi2me

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    The folks I know who had trauma as kids often think they've worked it out, but then it keeps creeping in later on. I think if you got referred on, it was so you can work with someone who is a specialist. Hopefully you will like the new therapist too, and then you will have 2 :slight_smile:
     
  12. Tightrope

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    Same here. They might deal with it better, but it never goes away.
     
  13. looking for me

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    i can see where this would seem like a set back but i kind of see it as a side step. if you went to the dr for a sore hand and he/she said, yep there is something wrong with the hand that we can work on but you need to see another dr about the broken arm (trauma) first and then come back to me you would. i think this is kind of like that. lets clear up a few other things to make it easier to get to the ultimate goal.

    hope this helps.
     
  14. Maeve

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    I think this is a sign of a good therapist. She knows her limitations, and you need more help than she can give. When you're ready, she will be happy to see you. If she tried to work with you now, it would be counterproductive.
     
  15. Nickinthemiddle

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    Thanks everyone. I have not been active lately due to working on these issues. Now I am inside out and outside in. I can't tell up from down. All I know right now is that god, I hate every saying my life has been so bad, I don't want anyone to pity me, there is always someone who has had it worse, but I have so many emotions of anger and hurt and betrayal and rage, and mixed within it the only things I can say is that I cannot deny that I have loved women to the deepest of my soul so I am not straight, and also that I cannot be without my husband who is supporting me through all of this even though a sexual relationship is either not possible because or orientation, or trauma, or what the hell I don't know, so I don't know what to call myself or what to do, other than work through all the bullshit that created this fucking mess. I might pop in but I think I will be on a sabbatical while I work this out. I can guarantee I will be back later, but I don't have much useful to add right now. Thank you everyone for being here for me to get to this point. I hope I will be back sooner than later.