The Root of the Problem- Mistrust in therapists

The first time I saw a therapist it was under duress.

I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school.

I ate an average of maybe four times a week. Sometimes less. My grades slipped whole letters, going from the normal A’s to C’s and even a D (unheard of for me).

This all followed on the tail of Uniballer dumping me for Texas mere weeks before. Part of it was the stupid emo-teenage loss of a boy.
The other part was the loss of a best friend.
And even bigger: no one gave a shit. No one noticed me falling apart. Not my parents, my teachers, not even my other best friend, Germany.

It was Katherine who brought it to the attention of my mother. Mom took a mental step back and realized just how much weight I’d lost. She called my favorite teacher (the subject was German) and asked how I was doing.

It looked bad.

She tried to talk to my father about the idea of me talking to a professional. He balked, as he doesn’t “believe in psychology” and said I just needed to suck it up. In a rare moment, my mom put her foot down.

The therapist’s name was Joy. I rolled my eyes when she told me.  I didn’t want to talk at first.  The voices (I wasn’t aware of what the DID was at this point) told me not to trust anyone with feelings or secrets.

Slowly she got me to open up a bit. I told her about the betrayal of my ex and friends. Joy was the first person I confided in about my attraction to Katherine, which terrified me as I was so sure I was straight. Being seventeen, I still blindly thought love had to be firmly defined.

Then we got on an even bigger subject. My father. I went on about his emotional distance, his firm rules, his apathy. I talked about how he reminded me constantly that I had to move out and go to college.

Her response?
“This is all because he loves you. He loves you so much. I think you’re just having trouble seeing it.”

The internal whiplash was physically painful. The voices swirled and buzzed in anger.

I stopped seeing her pretty soon after that (I had turned eighteen, so it was my choice).

It was Katherine who got me to start eating more regularly.

And it was a long time before I tried to trust a therapist again.

6 thoughts on “The Root of the Problem- Mistrust in therapists

  1. weordmyndum

    An incompetent therapist really can make things harder in so many ways. It sounds like she was hearing your parents. My experience is that often happens when kids or teenagers are in therapy, but it’s still the wrong approach.

    1. penpaperandcrazy Post author

      It is. I see that she probably was thinking the whole “Oh, all teenagers think their parents don’t understand/get them”. If I’d been talking about that, it probably would have been understandable.
      But I shared a couple really scary stories about his reaction when I’ve been injured or having a hard time (that are actually in this blog) that I think clearly shows a real problem. If a teenager told me the same stories, I would recognize that. And I’m not even a therapist.

  2. Bourbon

    I’ve had therapists who have for some Barmy reasons sided with my parents and said how its hard being a parent and what not. It really didnt help with my guilt over finding my childhood abusive! Glad you were able to just leave that therapist. How helpful -rolls eyes now too- xx

    1. penpaperandcrazy Post author

      Me too. I daydream about discovering someone like Cat. Of course, that would involve doing that thing where you contact therapists. Lol.
      I guess I should count myself lucky to have my amazing GP doctor.

      Hope you are well.

  3. veva525

    Therapist and psychologists can be so difficult to open up to, and once you open up to them the tiniest bit there’s no going back. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt (they are, after all, at least trying to help) but I know in the end the decisions I make are my own. I’m really sorry you had to go through that so young. I have never opened up completely to a therapist about my past – I would just rather not go down that road or deal with them and their advice, as harsh as that may sound.

    17 is a really hard age – that’s when it all fell apart for me as well, and my weight fluctuated too (but in the opposite direction!). Anyway, love reading your posts, I hope you’re well 🙂

    1. penpaperandcrazy Post author

      Yeah, I only began to open up when I learned to never do that again. This blog is the first place I’ve ever been completely frank and honest about my past and all my abuse.

      So far I’ve been surviving without therapy, though a lot of it has been because I have a fantastic general practitioner doctor. She is the only medical person I completely trust.

      Therapists and psychologists are a huge trigger and issue my whole system has.

      Thank you for the thoughts and support. So glad you like my posts 🙂


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