Monday, May 1, 2017

#Microblog Mondays: A Good Fit

I miss my old therapist.

She "got" me, and while she had the advantage of knowing me for about six years, I feel like she "got" me from the moment she started running the pre-yoga support group.

She challenged my magical thinking, she made me think about tough things I tried to avoid, until space and distance and internet video communication made it possible for me to use my mask on her.

I'm not sure the new therapist I started with is the best fit. I have the unenviable task of having my next appointment being a conversation about what I need and want versus what I got the last time I saw her, and if it doesn't go well I will find myself in a position to find a new person.

We have decided not to renew our home study, and I shared that at last week's session with the additional information that now we are figuring out what to do with the two months before it expires, and how it is weighing on me, the emotional cost of staring down the end and figuring out whether or not to take advantage of those two months for whatever might come our way and what we can and cannot handle at this point.

The response I got was that there is another agency, somewhere in California, that is known for "quick adoptions" and that she could get that information for me if I wanted; that I should make sure that in five or ten years I don't regret whatever decision I make; oh, and also that part of her work could be helping me to not feel things so deeply, to better weather the storm of the profile opportunities and getting passed by or having to make a difficult decision so that I could continue on with the waiting and the limbo and the stress of endless What-Ifs.


I downplayed how all that made me feel both in her office and after until I stewed on it for a few days and it really made me a bit angry. I did tell her that NO, we are not doing another agency, we had that discussion in December and that is definitively not on the table.

I am truly stupefied as to why I would want to retrain myself to FEEL THINGS LESS DEEPLY when that is something that actually makes me the sensitive soul I am. It is the heart of who I am as a teacher, a wife, a friend --  and that sounds an awful lot like attempting to deaden myself to avoid pain which frankly, would not work for me anyway. That sounds like an empathy-killing exercise. NOTHANKYOU. I did not say any of this, I just gave her a perplexed look and said, "I don't think I'm trying to feel less."

Most importantly, I thought I had made it clear that I was seeking help with coping with anxiety and the grief related to the over seven years of trying to make it to parenthood and facing failure at every single turn, to cope with the fact that WE ALREADY MADE THE DECISION NOT TO RENEW before I even saw her the first time. That the end is nigh, and I want to work through being at the end, not open up brand new doors of complexity on the other side of the country that could cost a zillion dollars not to mention emotional costs (and frankly "quick adoptions" sounds shady as hell). Clearly I need to reclarify what I want to get out of counseling. Bryce feels like this past time set me back, actually. I can't say that I totally disagree.

I feel like I am getting more out of the reading and journaling my way through Life Without Baby. Which was a lot cheaper than what I am paying hourly, and challenges me without offering yet another suggestion that we try something different instead of listening to me facing acceptance.

I thought it was a good fit the first time, but then this second session has really given me pause. I guess it's time to advocate and then not let some weird guilt for a person I haven't built a relationship with yet keep me in a therapy situation that is unhelpful.

I miss my therapist that moved away, so much.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!


  1. Yikes, Jess. Of all the things you don't need, and have stated that you don't need, and your new therapist is the one who suggests this asinine thing, peddling more hope, and essentially saying "never give up"?!?!?! Oh, my.
    I tend to agree with Bryce that this sort of set you back. How could it not?? I feel you. Jumping from therapist to therapist trying to find a good fit just sounds so emotionally exhausting when you just want to get on with it already. But as you noted, you are paying a pretty penny for the services. You shouldn't work with someone when you are clearly not on the same page, or who for whatever reason can't be objective and accept what you have decided. Or think that you and Bryce haven't taken such great care to make decisions that are so well thought out and researched and are doing what is best for yourselves.
    That being said, I am sorry that things have not worked out and you are at the end trying to find a way forward. I wrap you in a ton of love and hugs right now.
    Also, still working on emailing you back. I haven't forgotten😀

  2. I'm sorry that you are approaching this point of finality with the adoption process and it doesn't look like it's going to work out. And I mean, very sorry. I agree that your therapist's approach doesn't sound very helpful. Her assumptions sound like those of someone who doesn't know you or your situation well. But I feel bad that you are again put in a position where you have to advocate for yourself while in crisis. It's hard to do and when the shit hits the fan one just wants someone to lend a helping hand. It's not too much to ask!

  3. Oh good grief, she just did a version of "just adopt" on you, or as Charlotte said, "never give up." Not the empathy or insight you need.

    I know there have certainly been times when I have wished I could feel things less deeply, and in some ways over recent years I've learned to do that. I recognise the thoughts and feelings, understand and even appreciate them, but have also been able to step away from their destructiveness, which I have to say has been enormously helpful for my mental health. I think it needs to come from the right place though, and her reasoning for suggesting it doesn't sound right to me, so it would also make me question whether her methods (in "training you to feel less deeply") would be right for you either.

    I know this period must be really tough for you - trying to figure out how to approach the last few months but also being settled in the decision you and Bryce have made. So I send love and hugs.

  4. Choking on my coffee from her response. Jess, drop her ass. I'm dead serious. She doesn't get it and won't without you spending a small fortune to educate her. Not what you need.

    My vote is contact your old therapist and get a referral. I'm happy to contact David and Dee to see if they have contacts in your area. There are likely others in this community who have contacts. But this person is a HELL NO for infertility survivors. She will get defensive (they always do) and protest, but she Does. Not. Get. It. Tell her so when you cancel your next appointment.

  5. Following up: have you heard of Justine Foelkner?
    Infertility survivor who is resolving but not parenting.

  6. Telling you to try to feel things less deeply would be like telling a bird not to fly. I remember when you were a toddler and saw the ocean for the first time. You sat down in the wet sand and cried at its beauty. You are a sensitive and beautiful soul. Walk away from that therapist and don't look back.

  7. One of your huge gifts is your ability to feel the feels, and the other huge one is your clarity. So this person who neither recognizes nor values those qualities is definitely not a good fit.

    I salute your twin powers. I cheer for you as you follow your heart, your inner guidance. I mourn with you as appropriate, too. Love to you, Jess.

  8. I think your gut is telling you that this doesn't feel right, and in that case, it may be the right move to look for someone else. You can always go back to her if you change your mind, but she's saying things that don't feel helpful. And, in fact, feel hurtful. Therapy won't always feel good, and it certainly isn't sunshine and roses, but you should feel like the person is walking beside you; not dragging you somewhere.

  9. I agree with the others, it doesn't sound like this therapist is a good fit or helpful in your situation. The last thing you need when you have made your decision and are coming to the end of this journey is to have someone trying to push other options on you and talking to you about regrets! One of my best friends seems to ask me about surrogacy/adoption/donor eggs every time I meet her despite me telling her over and over our many reasons for not choosing those options and that we are ready to stop if our next IVF doesn't work. It is so frustrating when people who should be supporting you, try to make you second guess your decisions. I'm hoping you will find a therapist who is a better fit. I'm glad the "life without baby" book is helpful. Big hugs

  10. This therapist does not sound helpful, nor does she sound like someone who knows ANYTHING about infertility. Drop this therapist like a bad habit!

    Have you been on the RESOLVE website to see if they have any suggestions in your area?

  11. As others have said, fit is important and if your gut is telling you no, then it may be time to walk away. Finding a new counselor may be challenging as it seems you had a really good one in the past. I like the idea of asking her for a referral. Another idea may be to try to do a bit of research before committing to a session with a new person. See if you can have a brief chat (almost like an interview) with a few people or offices if you have not already tried that. Maybe ask if they have had experience in grief, infertility and adoption. Ask about their philosophy and approach with their practice. I've done that kind of thing when I've moved and needed a new OB/GYN.

    As this may not be a popular thing to say, remember that it takes time to develop a new relationship with a counselor. You have a lot of history with IF and adoption to share and process. Not sure what was covered in your couple of visits with this counselor, but it seems the root of what she was asking may not have been completely unreasonable. However, she certainly had a naive and insensitive approach! I think asking if you all had considered trying another agency was a valid question. Had it been asked differently, it could have led to a conversation describing the emotional work that you and Bryce had in already addressing this possibility and reasons for your decisions. It would have addressed that the timeline and decision not to try another agency was not done in a hurry or clouded by distressing emotions--that you all took the time, space and heart to arrive at your decision. You may underestimate how many people make rash, uninformed and quick decisions. You all are not the norm, and that is a good thing. With a different counselor, the conversation from this question could have helped validate your decision making process to help you move forward.

    Second, I think you are correct with your aversion to her suggestion to help you feel less. Isn't that what your mask was trying to do? And that did not seem helpful long-term. However, asking if you if you think it might be helpful to try staying on the adoption road a bit longer with the support of a counselor if that may make a difference, I think is valid. And your choice to say yes or no is valid. A new counselor may ask these types of things to gauge for themselves if you all have really gotten to the end of the road. Good counselors do not like to skip steps. With the right counselor, it is not about peddling hope, but making sure every rock has been unturned. The idea that you will know what you need to know when you know it.

    You may have been very clear with her about your intentions about wanting support with considering the possibility of life without a child. I'm sorry that you were not heard. Hope you can find someone who is a better fit.

  12. Good grief, no wonder you miss your old therapist! Love Cristy's response; she said it best! :) I saw one therapist who dealt specifically with infertility, pregnancy loss, grief & couples issues. She was great, & I got her card at an infertility seminar I attended (she was one of the speakers). I subsequently saw a couple of other therapists -- for other issues, or so I thought, but somehow the conversation would always come back to grief, loss & infertility...! One was recommended by a friend; she had given a presentation on mental health in the workplace at the office where my friend worked. The other I was referred to through my ow employee assistance program. Lucky for me they were all pretty good & mostly "got it," even if they had no specific training or experience in infertility & pregnancy loss issues. Good luck!