Posted in Blog

My Therapist, Judge Judy

Today during our session, my therapist mistook my calm composure towards a situation as ambivalence and insulted me.

This year has been an incredibly tumultuous one. Thankfully I am in the process of a career change, however because of the various events which have consumed my mind and mood, I have fallen behind in my preparations. I have spent numerous nights lying awake at night, overwhelmed with anxiety about this, because a career change is a big deal and I am still very much underprepared.

My Epilepsy is also still far from under control.

This Summer I have placed a huge focus on mindfulness in order to control my anxiety levels. The hope is that through this, I can also then control some of my seizure triggers, in order to improve my health.

Today, I had to complete a test for my new job – which I failed. I was devastated, however I get one more chance to pass. Therefore, so that I wouldn’t crumble, I told myself that I must focus on the future attempt and not on the past. Yes I’ve failed, but I know where I need to improve and I know what needs to be done which is why I will fight. However, instead of interpreting this as my being practical, my therapist interpreted this attitude as complacency. She said: “in your mind it doesn’t matter if you fail, because you can always sign on for benefits… Housing Benefit will pay your rent… so to you it’s no big deal.”

Yes. My therapist said this to me.

I’ve had many issues with the woman. Due to her inconsistency, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen her, and yet our sessions began in May of this year. This is also not the first time she has made assumptions and judgements regarding my thoughts and behaviours.

Friends have told me to ask to be seen by somebody different, however on the NHS, finding another Psychodynamic Therapist is like finding a gold nugget in a box of cereal. I referred myself for therapy in November, however due to therapists being in such high demand, I had to wait SIX MONTHS to be seen by somebody. Thankfully during these six months I was still with my boyfriend and had my friends to emotionally support me, but I dread to think what goes through the minds of those who struggle with chronic and mental illnesses alone.

Therapy is supposed to be a place free of judgement; a safe place; a cave you can go to, to unload your burdens, bury them in the dirt and leave them behind.

The rest of the world judges me constantly: they see me as lazy, weak, forgetful, clumsy, stupid. They rarely seem to see a girl who struggles to get out of bed in the mornings and sometimes not at all, who struggles to remember things, who struggles to exercise because she has barely any energy most days, who is fighting every single day to better herself and to prove herself right and her haters wrong – if only her brain would just work with her as opposed to working against her for once; who is now so ashamed of her condition that she no longer tells anybody.

And in this therapist’s room, I am made to feel ashamed. I become the same girl, stuck in Kent and constantly made to feel like a failure by her family.

After today’s session, I was so ashamed and distressed, I walked with my shoulders slumped and cried as I resolved to never set foot in a room with this woman again.

However, now I feel differently. I’ve always been an advocate for being a voice for those who have none. As a child, I had nobody to speak up for me and part of my mental journey has been to become the person I always needed when I was growing up. Therefore, next week I am going to walk into that room and tell my therapist exactly how she has made me feel. I will not be interrupted (she does that a lot too), I will not be misinterpreted and I will not be judged either. The little girl within me needs to be spoken up for and I can’t let her down, when she has been let down by so many others.

Furthermore, I’m doing this for all of the people who are judged in their safe places and have no voice.

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

2 thoughts on “My Therapist, Judge Judy

  1. As someone who has been in therapy for many years with mixed results, I must tell you that in time you will learn to be your own best therapist. You alone understand your needs and issues and you have all the answers within you. You just have to ask yourself the right questions. In the meantime, kudos for standing up for yourself and the little girl within.

    1. Hi Heather! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post! Thank you also for your encouraging words. Many people have actually said the same thing to me as I often wonder how much of my life can I spend in therapy and on medication? Although, after standing up for myself, my therapist and I now have a better relationship and I feel like she is teaching me how to question my thoughts. Hopefully this will make for a better me in the future – or at least a stronger me.
      Thanks again. It’s always a relief to have somebody on my side! xoxo

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