Quitting Therapy

We just sent an email to A, telling her we quit therapy.  It was a really bad session this morning, and we just cannot take any more.  But now we’re panicking.  What if she calls the cops on us or something?  We’re not suicidal or anything, but the cops never believe the crazy people.  And in two hours we’re supposed to have another meeting with someone from DMH, and we’re really not in a good headspace for that either.

Anyway, this is the letter we sent.

*

A,

We’re done. We’re not coming back to therapy because it’s doing more harm than good, and that’s too high a price. You keep making all these assumptions and judgments without ever questioning if they’re right. You’ve never asked if they’re right. Lately, they’re usually wrong.

You assume we’re just archetypes or subpersonalities, but you’re wrong. We’re parts, but we’re also individual and complex people in our own right. Maybe we were just subpersonalities once, but as we interacted with each other and the outside world, we grew beyond simple archetypes like “wounded child” or “protector.”

You assume that those of us who are hesitant to trust are children and are stuck in the past, but you’re wrong. We’re among the oldest/most adult parts in our system, and we’re almost always firmly rooted in the present. Sure, our feelings and decisions are colored by our past experiences–but no more than yours are.

But you don’t want us around; you only want Hope because you’ve decided she’s the only real person. But you can’t have her without us, and we’re as real as her and you. We understand that must be hard to grasp when you’ve only ever experienced being one person, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve made any effort to understand us. You won’t even talk to us. You obviously know we’re out (at least some of the time) because you say so, but you never talk to us. You talk about us to Hope, even when Hope’s not present. You look right at us and call us by her name. You ask over and over if we’re present, but you’ve never once asked who’s present. At this point we wouldn’t trust you enough to tell you, but you never even made an effort.

And when you get someone you don’t like, which basically means anyone who’s not Hope or good at pretending to be her, you try to make us switch. You just shove us aside like we don’t even matter. You say it’s grounding, but you’re wrong. Most of us who you’ve dealt with are already oriented in the present, but you want Hope back. And you don’t even have the guts to admit it. You ask questions about her interests or bring Zelda (A’s dog) over because you know that’ll get her back. It’s manipulative, and it’s not okay. Unless the one who’s out is a danger to self or others or is a kid too young to be out safely on their own, you have NO RIGHT to make us switch against our will. You never asked if we wanted to switch or were willing to–you just manipulate us into it. That’s a HUGE violation of trust.

We don’t trust you anymore, and we don’t want to. And yes, that includes Hope too. So we’re done.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Quitting Therapy

  1. Sorry to hear your current therapist is not going to work out. I hope you are able to find someone you can trust and respect, and in closer distance to where you live. Wishing you all the best, Rose

  2. Juliet

    Given how things have been between all of you and her, I can understand your decision to leave. It sounds like the right decision to make.
    I hope you’ll be able to find a new, more competent therapist soon. x

  3. I know it’s odd to be happy to read this but I am. Obviously, she was not the therapist for you and I was worried she’d end up doing more harm than good.

    Try not to worry about the police being called. As long there was no suicidal talk in the last few sessions she’ll have no cause to. I think this was a good step for you, all of your parts included. xx

    Will you carry on looking for another therapist?

    • I don’t know if I even want to bother looking for another therapist. It seems like it never works out well, and often it does even more damage.

      • In your case, I have to agree. It seems like there must be someone out there who could help. Honestly, I think part of your issue is that you’re smarter than most of the people you’ve seen in therapy. You need someone who understands DID and is willing to treat all of your parts as important, because they are. xoxo

  4. If it’s any help: we feel you made the right decision, and we back every word you said. You dissected some of our major sticking points to with dominant DID discourse. (On a tangent: The more we learn about various theories on how identity is formed in all people, the more we get furious at singlets who think they’re hot shit in comparison to someone who is “just an alter.”)

    …Also, the Zelda thing was particularly slimy. Obnoxious enough to always try to get the switch to happen in the first place, but that’s super underhanded of her.

    • Thanks–it helps to hear that. Sometimes I really can’t tell if I’m being crazy or not.

      I’m curious what stuff you’ve been researching on identity formation. I find that stuff really interesting too.

      I don’t think A meant to be slimy with the dog–or any of it, really. I think she really thinks she’s doing what’s best, and she just never considered that she might be mistaken. It’s human nature, but…it also felt unfair, manipulative, and ultimately dehumanizing.

  5. kat

    wow, very gutsy. and also, a very important step in protecting all of you from the ways A has been acting. i think its probably a positive step to be done with A considering how she has not really respected all of you, but i still hope you will try to find another therapist who will be more helpful, as i think good therapy could still be found and still be very helpful to you. good luck on this new leg of your journey and hope you continue moving forward and making progress.

    • I just don’t know where else to look for another therapist. The ones in my area who have experience with DID either aren’t taking new patients or don’t take my insurance. There’s no way I could afford to pay out of pocket, even with a sliding scale.

      • kat

        well, my only suggestion is contacting your insurance by phone, and when the initial csr says you have no choices, then ask to speak to her supervisor (or to a level 2 rep) and then explain your unique situation–if she cant help, she should tell you she will escalate it to a bigger boss (get this gals name, and the one above her that she is going to ask). the 2nd or 3rd level should be able to come up with a solution…such as, maybe they find a therapist not in network, or not taking new clients, and they make an exception to permit you to have access to a therapist in your general area. it may even take a week or so for them to get it to the right person to make the exception, to find a provider they want to make it for, etc. but your insurance is obligated to find you a provider in your area that will see you.
        so, just try going up the ladder, and know ahead it will still take a bit. if you dont hear from them in 2-3 days, call back to get the last highest person you spoke with, then just ask what the status is. keeps em honest 🙂 good luck, and lots of patience!! i have had to do the same thing for different things with my insurance–just keep reminding them after you finally get to the person who can help.

      • I have Medicare and Medicaid, so they’d both have to make an exception for the same person, which I don’t think is likely. And I can’t be sure it wouldn’t just turn into another bad situation like this one or the last three therapists. I just don’t even want to try anymore.

      • kat

        actually i have both medicare and medicaid, and if medicare or your medicare replacement plan (medicare advantage) covers the provider, then medicaid picks up the remainder, plus copays and deductible. so its just medicare or what medicare plan you have that needs to make the exception.

        i understand you wanting to just stop looking, its an exhausting prospect, even just to think about. but, if you ever feel like you want to get a therapist again, you can always try then.

        no matter what you do, good luck and hope you stay well (relatively speaking, of course 😉 )

  6. It does seem that A had theories that weren’t helpful, not so much that you needed to work through issues between you. So quitting makes sense. Take care.

  7. Mandy

    I’ve stayed with therapists too long. I’ve occasionally trusted myself and quit, and later felt so good about myself, that my instincts were correct. You just might find your instincts are right–and that will only make you a stronger person. You’ll find the right therapist, but don’t feel you need to rush. Revel in your strength now 🙂

    • I don’t feel strong. I feel like I’m coming apart. I’ve felt panicky all afternoon and evening. A emailed me back, but I can’t even open it. I don’t know if I want her to convince me to try again with her or if I want to delete the email and never talk to her again or what. And I–we–feel very, very alone. Like no one will ever be able to understand us or help us. Just like our childhood: alone in a world full of people who don’t want to see or understand. Some of us want to curl up in bed and cry, some of us want to lash out and hurt A (verbally, not physically), some of us want to hurt ourselves, some of us want someone to comfort us and hug us and make everything okay…and none of us are getting what we want. And I can’t even begin to figure out what we need.

  8. Mandy

    Oh no. I’m so sorry. THAT must feel terrible! I hate seeing an email that I feel that much dread about opening. I wish I could give you words of comfort 🌷

  9. Finding a new therapist sounds right to me, Hope. Hang in there! I saw fourteen therapists before I found the one I have now. She diagnosed me with C-PTSD and DID immediately, and then she gave me options for deciding on our work together. I chose Ego State Therapy. That therapy honors all the parts and puts them all to work interacting with one another. Among themselves they negotiate and sometimes even integrate to bring about peace. You have full control over what happens, and my therapist had utmost respect for each part and its function. Her attitude helped me be more accepting of myself and more accepting of all my parts. That acceptance helps bring about peace in itself, and gradually it helps relieve PTSD symptoms and relieve negative feelings about yourself. This has been my experience, anyway.

    Maybe what would help–and it took me a while to figure this out!–is to accept that some therapists are not competent in working with people who are diagnosed with DID and/or C-PTSD. A therapist may SAY she is trained to do that work, but she may really not be. I encountered a few of those. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to screen prospective therapists in order to get the best shot at getting effective help. I’m not sure how Medicaid works, but traditional Medicare allows people to see clinical psychologists who specialize in trauma work. The person I see is a clinical psychologist, and she has dedicated her life to helping her clients undo the damage done to them by other people. She’s a keeper! And there are other therapists like her. The challenge is to find those people.

    Please don’t give up on therapy, Hope. The right therapist and the right treatment will make a huge difference in your quality of life! It took me almost thirty years to find the right person. It’s never too late! And all my efforts have been worth it! I wish you the best, Hope!

    • Thanks.

      I have both Medicare and Medicaid. If I found someone who just took Medicare, I couldn’t afford the co-pay…so I have to have someone who takes both. It’s such a pain in the ass. Can we have single-payer already?

      The other problem I’ve repeatedly come up against is that I live in a mostly rural area. There just aren’t a lot of specialized therapists. I rely on public transit, so that also narrows the field considerable. A, the therapist I recently fired, was two towns over, but it took me 2-3 hours each way on the bus. If I could afford it, I’d love to move to a bigger city where I could find more resources…but if I had the money for that, I could probably afford to just pay for therapy out of pocket.

  10. Hmmm I should have read this post before commenting on the previous (hazard of reading through a blog long after it’s even written)
    I hope you can find a therapist who wants to work with all of you.

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