episode 73.

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I did no do the EMDR on Wednesday.  I went.  I told Angela that I was nervous about telling her that I was afraid she would chuck me.  And that I was worried about being worried about it.  I was worried about not making enough progress.  So we had a nice long discussion designed to put me at my ease about her not chucking me.  I felt somewhat better.  We talked about the timeline and how she doesn’t have one.  

Somehow, I started to tell her about how Karen sent me an e-mail to see if she could charge my card for the last $60.  And I responded to her e-mail.  I was kind of trying to leave things on an amiable note, and she did not respond.  And I got pissed all over again.  When am I going to not get set off by stupid shit???  Ah well, I didn’t get that far.  I started to say something about the previous therapist, but my emotion took a hit of anger and at the last moment I substituted the word “hag” for therapist.  And Angela jumped all over that.  I am grinning like a nut right now, with embarrassment and humor.  She was like, “What am I, the current hag?  I am not sure I like that.”  

So I countered with, “OMG, last week I was worried all week because I thought you wouldn’t like it that I keep worrying that you will do what Karen did to me, and then I go and call you a hag!”  

I think we’re good.  She assured me her self esteem is awesome.  

I wrote Karen an e-mail, I did not send:

Hi Karen. 

You can take your $60.  

I am going to offer some feedback.  

You asked me if we had a good rapport and I did not answer.  I think we did at first.  It went south after I asked if you liked me.   It got worse when you wanted me out of the IOP.  It was not good when you said things like, “well, we’re usually doing
better than we think we are.”  And it was really bad when you started making goals for me with my insurance company, who hadn’t paid a nickel all year.   You weren’t hearing me at all.  I was telling you what I needed and you were just carrying out your own
agenda.  And you compared me to your other clients, none of whom need to come weekly.  Bully for them! We are only supposed to compare ourselves with others when it suits the therapist that we do so, I guess.   And you yawned when I talked about Quinnie dying. 
And you yawned again when I talked about Babsy dying.  And then you kicked me to the curb like so much garbage.  Oh, I am sorry, you offered to keep the next appointment and you referred me elsewhere — that is the “ethical” way to chuck someone who’s biggest
fear is being abandoned, and the time to decide you didn’t want to work with someone like me was 15 months earlier when I let you know everything you were in for.  

What you might have done differently, you could have left those appointments alone.  I wouldn’t have used them all.  I knew the moment you chucked me that I could never trust you again.  So I was definitely going to get in with someone else.  But it would have
helped with the transition because sometimes it does take some time to get going with someone else.  You could have helped me there.  

You could have responded to my last e-mail, as I was trying to end all this on an amiable note, but even that you couldn’t do.  Afraid I might want to come back?  Get real.  I am not stupid.  And I can never trust you.  I was nervous every session, every one. 
And I was right.  And now I am nervous as hell every week with the new person.  It sucks because I tried not to let what happened with Nancy influence what I did with you, that didn’t work, and then I am trying to not allow what you did to me, reflect on how
I work with the new person, but it’s really hard.  

You did the same thing Nancy did.  When I asked if you liked me, you changed how you treated me.  Instead of trying to figure out what I was getting, and how I could get that in a more appropriate place.  But no matter, you did what Nancy did, and that didn’t
work then, and it certainly wasn’t working with you, but you plowed on.  Once you determine a course of action, you continue with it, without gaging whether it is working or not.  You don’t notice when something is not working and try a different tact.  Well,
until you give up on folks and kick them to the curb like so much trash.  

Ah well, it really is water under the bridge.  You need a bigger tool box.  You need to have more than one idea on how to handle X, Y, and Z.  Or maybe, well, that thought isn’t all that helpful.  

Do you know what I was asking when I asked if you liked me?  Do you have any idea what’s that all about?  I really didn’t either.  But I think I have it worked out now.  I see things very black and white on a good day.  It gets worse on bad days.   That is
not anything new, we both know that.  You either like me, or you don’t.  There is no gray area, there is no neutral.  You can’t have a private chat with someone every week for an hour and not see how that person thinks, and not have an opinion about them,
positive or negative.  I suppose you can pretend.  But that is another story.  If you like me, than I am ok.  If you dislike me, than I am defective, there is something wrong with me.  And this too.  If you like me, then you will not try to hurt me; if you
dislike me, then I have to be worried about that.  I know that I was supposed to be free to talk about anything without the feeling of being judged, and if you liked or disliked me that would be an issue.  And I know that a question that only has a right answer
that is allowable is no question at all.  I mean, what are you going to say if you dislike me?  “No, I think your a total idiot”?  Of course, a positive answer would be questioned, while a non-answer is taken as negative.  So the question itself is not fair. 
But you should have had some way of handling it.  Something better than you did.  Because then everything became about trying to get you to tell me that I am ok, so that I could trust you, so that I could work with you.  So your way of handling it was to have
me come less often.  That didn’t work.  Raise your fee so I would need to come less often — maybe if you would have told me you were raising it.  And then giving up on me totally and telling me to go away.  

I came in feeling rejected by Nancy.
I left being rejected by you.  

As for feeling judged.  I was feeling that anyhow.  Nancy tried to make me believe that what she thought did not matter.  But that doesn’t make any sense.  The rough handling only made me worse.  I was able to progress further than ever with Cathy, because
she was gentle and patient.  With you I felt rushed, shamed for not being better by now, and beaten down with harshness.  So I kept trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I kept apologizing for being how I am.  

You’re mean.  I don’t know if you ought to work with fragile or vulnerable people.   

I quit then because it is too wordy, and probably I will regret sending it.  I got too angry, so it really isn’t feedback it is more I am still pissed.  And I just don’t know if I should send that.  

I shared my story on an unrelated forum a few days ago.  So many of the folks have similar stories, and there was much support.  The thing is, and I did talk to Angela about this, is that I am feeling really down and not supported at all.  Not at home, not at church.  The constant hammering on that one memory is getting to me.  So we did not do it Wednesday, and I feel like a wuss.  I’m feeling unreasonably hard on myself.  I dunno.  I am not ready for winter again.  And I am cold and lonely and I want for everything to be better.  I want to fix up my house and get everything down to manageable.  

I don’t remember if I said here that I had a litter of puppies out of Karma and Kojak, and the next day I lost a puppy and put Heidi down.  Heidi was a little over 13.  She lost her back end, and though she was walking again, it looked very painful, and I just felt that I did not want for her to suffer.  It was hard.  It’s always hard.  I wiped the wet stuff off her when she was born.  I knew she was the one I was keeping at one week old and never looked back.  She was so very good.  She gave me best of breed.  She took first place in Rally Advanced, and first place in Excellent when I moved her up that same day.  And I put her down.  I know it is the right thing to do, but I still feel like an ogre.  

Join the Conversation


  1. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m sorry to hear about Heidi that’s always a difficult thing to have to go through. On the other side I am glad you have a good relationship building with Angela. It looks like you are continuing to grow and it’s amazing to see that. I can’t wait to hear more the next time you write to us. Keep up the progress and stay strong.


  2. Jevati Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m so sorry about Heidi… I got teary just reading about how difficult it was for you to have to make that decision. I think it is difficult for people to understand what it’s like to have to make a choice like that if they have never had to make it. It’s so tough with what you said: that it’s the right thing to do, but it’s like… it doesn’t change how awful we feel when we have to do it. You are in my thoughts.

    You are really, really brave for trying to have a good therapy relationship with Angela. It can be so difficult to try to trust people, especially when you feel like past therapists were hurtful and/or just wanted to end the therapy relationship. To be honest, your strength in keeping trying with your therapy relationship with Angela helps me feel like I can have strength with mine, too. Thank you.

    – Jev

  3. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hi again solongago,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the puppy and Heidi. It’s always hard to lose loved ones, whether or not they’re hairy and have four legs! I think you did what was best for Heidi, and it sounds like the two of you had a wonderful life together. I think she would have had happy memories of you.

    It also sounds like things are going well with Angela. It sounds like she’s really hearing you and working on what you want to accomplish, and that’s what therapy should be about. Even when you’re not feeling like you’re making progress, you are. Healing isn’t linear and sometimes goes on wild twists and turns. Be patient with yourself and take time out to do the things you love. As for Karen, perhaps writing a letter/email like that one and not sending it would give you closure. It might be a way to get your negative feelings from those experiences off of your chest so that it doesn’t weigh on you quite as much. You definitely didn’t deserve to be invalidated in therapy.

    Sending lots of positive feelings your way this week! Give those little puppies a hug for me!

  4. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Solongago,
    Sending you big hugs for the loss of Heidi and the puppy. It is obvious how much you love every one of your dogs and how much of yourself you pour into them. Congratulations on the new litter and I hope that one of them will be able to heal some of the loss you have had this past year.
    Thank you for your complete honesty on this journey. You are open and truthful with us and that is helpful to others who may be feeling the same way but feel they cannot tell anyone else about it. It is okay to feel tired and lonely. Telling others how you feel unsupported may prompt them to make changes in themselves and their communities to make space for people who have experience sexual abuse or assault. Bringing attention to therapists that are unkind and uncaring helps others who have been treated similarly feel validated. It is okay to have to take a break from intensive focus on your trauma. It sounds like Angela understood and responded in a professional and empathetic way. I know you are tired. I know you want this journey to be finished and to feel healed and happy. You are doing it and you aren’t alone!
    Sending you love and strength,

  5. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    Please don’t be hard on yourself for not doing the EMDR last week. Sometimes things can be too overwhelming, and it’s okay to process those things. It’s important to honor how we’re feeling and change our healing process/techniques to reflect that. I hope writing the email to Karen helped you release some of how you were feeling. I’m really sorry about what happened with Karen (and Nancy), and I hope that some of these fears can be alleviated as you work with Angela. I’m glad you were able to talk to Angela about Karen.
    I’m also sorry for your losses – of the puppy and Heidi. It’s admirable that you recognized she was in pain and didn’t want her to suffer. Take as much time as you need to grieve your losses.
    I’m glad that you have a litter of puppies, and I hope you make wonderful memories with them!
    Thank you for the update. We’re here to support you in any way we can, and please write back if you need anything. I hope you have a wonderful week.

  6. Kayla Volunteer

    Thank you for updating us. I find that writing letters to people, whether or not I send them, is really helpful in processing my feelings. I do think you should consider sending that letter or something similar to Karen because it sounds like she was not very professional with you. She works with vulnerable people who are trusting her to be a professional person and to listen without judgement. It sounds like Angela is not at all like Karen and I’m glad you were able to talk to her about this experience.

    I’m so sorry to hear about Heidi. I’m sure she was a very good girl and companion. I hope you are able to kee a puppy or two and love them with the immense love you have in your heart.

  7. zelda Volunteer

    I’m sorry that Karen wasn’t there for you. That’s tough, especially when you thought that she was someone you could trust. However, I’m really happy that you and Angela seem to be in a good place. That’s awesome! Even if you don’t send out the email, it’s good that you were able to process your feelings and emotions through writing. That always helps me and I hope it helped you. Like always, if you need anything, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m here for you.

  8. Lizzi

    It’s okay that you didn’t do EMDR this week. Trauma work can be so difficult and it’s important to take time off to care for yourself. All of your counseling sessions are important, regardless of what method you are doing. I’m glad you got to talk to Angela about your concerns of her leaving you, and that you feel better after that. I’m sorry that you still feel so much pain and abandonment from Karen. I’m glad you were able to write out your feelings in an email, even if you didn’t send it. Sometimes not sending letters or emails is still just as helpful as if you did, because at least you got to think about what you’d say and write it out. I’m sorry about your loss of Heidi. Losing a pet is so sad and painful, but it sounds like you did the best thing so she didn’t have to suffer.

  9. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    I want to start off by saying that just because you didn’t do EMDR this week doesn’t mean that you are a wuss. EMDR work can be very hard and you often have to make sure you are in a decent state before starting the session because otherwise it may not go as well. If it makes you feel any better, I also didn’t do my EMDR work last week because I came into the session so frazzled and overwhelmed that I didn’t think I could handle it at the time. It’s okay if you skip a week; you can just pick back up next week. Also, congrats on the new litter! That must be very exciting for you. I’m sorry that you had to put Heidi down. Losing a dog can be so hard; especially when you’ve had them their whole life. It sounds like you made the right choice to not have her suffering any longer though. You are definitely not an ogre; your are clearly someone who cares very much about their dogs and I really admire that about you.

    I hope you have a good week,

  10. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I’m happy that you had a good session with Angela today. It sounds like writing an email to Karen helped. I’m sorry she upsets you so much. It’s okay to take a break from your EMDR. It can be very challenging to discuss these topics. I hope the rest of your week is good. Thank you for updating us.

  11. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    It’s good to hear from you. Congratulations on the littler of puppies! That must be very exciting. I’m sorry that you lost one and that you had to let your Heidi go. I think recognizing her pain and doing the best thing for her was very compassionate. I’m glad you had a productive session with Angela this week. It’s okay that you took a break from your EMDR. It can be a very stressful process to work through. There’s no time limit on healing. It sounds like Angela understands that. I’m sorry that you had to interact with Karen again. Thank you for sharing the letter with us. I hope you feel a little bit better getting it off of your chest. It’s probably best to keep your emails to Karen short and to the point, but you know the situation best and in the end the decision is entirely up to you.

    Take care. Look forward to hearing from you again soon,

  12. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thanks for coming back here to share with us. I’m glad you had a good conversation with Angela, and that therapy with her is going well even when it’s tough. I hope it helped to write out that letter to Karen even if you don’t send it. It can be cathartic to write letters to people and get all of our feelings out when we were hurt. Let us know how else we can help you.


  13. musicislove


    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us again. I’m sorry that you’re feeling down about not doing the EMDR this week but try not to keep beating yourself up about it. Taking a break isn’t a bad thing, you can continue whenever you’re ready to. And even though you didn’t send the email, I hope writing some of it out relieved you a little bit. Sometimes all you need to do is write out everything on your mind to take some weight off of your shoulders.

    I’m really sorry to hear that you lost a puppy and a dog you’ve had for so long. To me that’s one of the hardest things to deal with, try to be gentle to yourself and take some time for things you love to keep you grounded. We’re here for whenever you want to share more.