The night Getting Together...........Old Ties my old therapist and cohorts from group met I told them about the state I was in when that stuff around my therapy all happened. It was with new perspective I began to realize how B's (I'm going to refer to the director as B) actions were consistent with those of other therapists who abused survivors, something I hadn't seen before now.
Up to this time I had seen just her decision to remove me from my support group as the problem in my relationship there. Now I see even more sinister things she did, all pushing me farther and farther over the edge. I remember my frustrations with her "form" of therapy at the time. However, I was already in such turmoil from that first decision I neglected to see what she was doing was wrong.
I guess that speaks to why I never did sue this woman or the agency. I didn't see what she was doing as wrong. All I saw was it from her perspective. She told me she had the right to do it all, remove me from group, take my therapist away, change my therapy all of it and I BELIEVED her.
The fact that it had nearly killed me didn't seem to matter. That's what she told me, it was an agency decision, and I bought it hook, line and sinker. The agency being the expert and me, just a victim, it was OK with society what they did. And that's pretty much what I've always believed.
I always thought it was a bad decision from someone who was supposed to care about people. But it never occurred to me that society might see it as decision they shouldn't have made, dereliction of their duty. I just didn't see it wasn't just an issue of caring. It was an issue of them not doing their job properly.
I've been angry all these years and thought they shouldn't have done it, like my mother shouldn't have abandoned and disinherited me or turned my siblings against me. But just like doing those things was my mother's prerogative and I had no recourse, I believed the same about B and the agency. It didn't dawn on me until now that others, including the professional community, would see what she did as wrong. That agencies and the professionals they hire are responsible for making appropriate decisions in the treatment of their patients. If they don't, they are breaking their professional code of ethics and maybe even the law.
Sure I believe I've stated here in a post after that Lunch and a Movie Lunch and a Movie incident when I learned the agency had been sued, that I SHOULD have done that. But the fact is I really didn't believe that I had anything to sue over. I didn't believe they had done anything "wrong" in any one's opinion but mine. It was more anger talking than believing B really DIDN'T have the right to treat me that way.That she wasn't doing her job properly. I didn't believe it mattered what B did to me. She had power and I didn't. That's just how it was.
Sure it mattered to me. But no one else seemed to care. My husband was in his usual "la-la" state. My friends from group seemed to push me away and didn't seem to see that anything was wrong other than the anger they saw from me. I'd been abandoned by a pretty darn good therapist, or so I thought. The message of all of this was that it really didn't matter to anyone but ME. It must have been OK what they did. The problem was MY reaction. And who in the heck am I, after all? Those same old messages and yet I've been still harboring them for nearly twenty years.
Now I find out my friends from group feelings for me didn't change at all. My former therapist didn't ask to stop seeing me because I was angry over being removed from group. None of them knew I was in real jeopardy because all my self destruct programming had become engaged. No one got the peril I was in.................no one but me. And no one knew anything inappropriate was happening, not even me and I was the one it was happening to.
People have been harming me all of my life. It's what I know. I'm used to it. It was always the way it should be, it was something I deserved. So I've taken it! Yupe, I've just sat back and taken it believing that's how it is.
Even after I completed therapy I have "taken" things in a way. I've learned if things hurt me, I can protect myself. But even that has been more about putting a wall up and removing myself, the only form of protection to "just not be there."
Kenny Rodgers song The Gambler comes to mind for me. Ya gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and when to run. I've been pretty darn good at doing all of these things except the "hold em" part. I've given up and protected myself but never stood my ground or fought back.
I haven't really fought for me. I may have figured out I didn't have to "take it" anymore but I've never really figured out that it was OK for me to fight back. That I deserve better and it's OK to stand up for myself when life knocks me down. That sniggling little message that it's OK that bad stuff happen to me was still hiding away in there eating away at me. I just didn't realize it was there. The question now is, What am I going to do about it?