Friday, April 08, 2016

Long and lonely road...

Last week, when I went to my counseling appointment, my counselor started off by saying that there had been a change to the email policy and she needed me to sign a paper acknowledging it.  I found that ... a bit odd ... for she had set a boundary about not emailing because she didn't believe it was a good form of communication.  Still, I know about singing off on policies, so I took the paperwork.

Only, well, the paperwork was about a whole lot more than emails.   One place I was acknowledging receipt of the privacy policy.  I don't have the privacy policy.  One place I was acknowledging receipt of the client bill of rights.  I don't have the client bill of rights.  One place, two actually I think, I was acknowledging both having a treatment plan and having that plan presented to me.  I don't have a treatment plan.

I was nervous and felt a bit pressured about signing the documents.  I fumbled my way through a half-joke about how signing would be a lie because I didn't have those things.  She said she could get me copies.  She offered for me to take the papers home to review and sign later.  But I honestly felt pressured to sign.  I mentioned not having a treatment plan a second time, but my counselor did not respond to that.

Why?  Why couldn't I find the words to say:  "I cannot acknowledge receipt of things I've never been given."  and leave it at that?  Why?  Why did I sign?  Yes, I lied on the program's paperwork.

The thing is ... we have talked before about the main reason I left my job at the foster care agency because I could not stand the fact that they regularly falsified paperwork for license audits.  I watched them, many times, falsify paperwork about the children.  I was horrified that social workers would do that.  The program manager and director condoned the practice.  In fact, before license visits, they would pull files, plow through them to see what documentation was missing, and then manufacture it.  You know, like documentation of a medical review.  Nothing important, eh?  It was just sickening.

So, there I was, with my counselor talking about the paperwork being for license compliance, knowing she knows how I felt about what I was tangentially complicit with at that foster care agency, asking me to falsify paperwork in my own file.

Why did I do it?

I am still at a loss to really explain what happened, but, at the end of the session, when it was time to leave, my counselor started digging in at things and pushing and pushing and pushing, leaving me rather confused, rather hurt, and very much feeling unsafe.  This is the second time in three sessions that she did so.  This time, she talked about it being her job to confront me.  Only this wasn't really what I would consider someone confronting a person.  It was so ... provoking.  I kept trying to say that I thought the conversation was not productive and I needed to leave and we could try to talk about the things she was raising later.  But she just kept ... pushing.

I was really not sure what was happening.
I still don't know what was happening.

I finally simply walked out.  And, realizing that what I was experiencing seemed to be her new style of therapy, I eventually decided to stop.  I am still wrestling with that decision.

Neither of the two times of ... provocation ... did I feel as if what she was saying and how she was behaving was what a counselor would do.  It was so confusing and very divergent from all the other times I have been in her office.  After the first time, I talked with my friends about it and wondered if I should continue.  I thought ... surely it won't happen again.  The next session was really focused and great.  The last one was not and ended so terribly.

I want to write a letter not about how the counseling ended but about being asked to sign paperwork that was not true.  Maybe one could argue it doesn't really matter that I received a privacy policy or a client bill of rights.  But surely it matters that I never received or reviewed a treatment plan.  And I am just plain flummoxed why she would present the paperwork acknowledging receipt of things without having those things present.  And the treatment plan?  Isn't it a bit galling to lie about that and to ask your client to lie about it?

Tuesday was difficult for me, because I feel as if I have lost a chance at healing.  Only I have been reading the book on shame primarily about myself.  So, what have I actually lost?  And I have made good strides since last September and that is ground gained that I can hold onto ... or at least try.  What I am proud of is choosing not to experience what I experienced a third time.  I deserve better.

It has been a long week and a particularly long day.  I have learned three more things about my past with which I am not sure what to do ... how to ... absorb them.  And, today, I was so very ill for hours and hours and hours, battling waves of nausea, trembling body, writhing innards, flushing heat on my face, sweating, dizziness, weakness, plunging blood pressure, and fainting whilst lying down (which I hate the most).  I tried, several times, to get up but ended up falling to the ground before dragging myself back up into bed.  The time between the first and second dose of Zofran was practically eternal.

And my heart is heavy, tonight, knowing that my best friend had to put her puppy dog to sleep, after a lengthy battle trying to address her health issues.  Becky has been battling her own illness, sick children, and work this week, all the while knowing a perhaps final assessment of her canine love was looming tonight.  How very hard to make a decision that is, in my opinion, a very loving one.  To decide about your pet's quality of life.  I had to do so with Kashi.  I know ... I know I made the best decision, the right decision, but it was brutal to do so.  Brutal to watch.  Brutal to be back in a home without your beloved puppy dog.  Becky is in need of great conform at the moment.

It's been a long and lonely road this week.  I have been so weary and oft so nauseous that I haven't written my way through it, when writing is my solace and the way in which I can process my days.  I have been hesitant to write ... about me.  I wish I had better words for my dear friend in her trials.  I wish I had more energy than it takes to languish on the couch, clutching my own puppy dog.

Monday is the appointment with the new specialist, the immunologist.  My hope is to accomplish some solid loin girding between now and then.

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