How to (Not Really) Break Up With Your Therapist

13 Jun

I emailed my shrink over the weekend telling her that I wanted to stop seeing her. Me0Me told me to do it so that I don’t drop a bomb on her in the session. I thought it was a good idea so I went for it.

I walked into the session already in tears. The truth is, I love this woman and I’m unendingly grateful for everything that she’s done for me over the last 4 years. She called me from New York the night before my first D&C to calm me down because I was afraid of general anesthesia. She kept tabs on me through every crisis. She is the one who helped me come to the realization that in the process of losing Nadav, I became a mother.

I feel an unbelievable sense of loyalty to her, so I broke down just at the thought of having this conversation with her.

Then it took an unexpected turn.

You see – here’s the thing about me when I’m in crisis: I go nuclear. I take drastic action. I can’t just “be” in a crisis. I have to act. No matter what.

That was the first thing she pointed out.

Don’t get me wrong, she said that I am free to leave her if I think that’s the best thing for me. But she also said something that made me sort of wake up: “I’m not leaving you. You can always come back here.”

We started talking, and I told her a few of the reasons I wanted to leave. For one – my need to explain everything IF related to her. Another – the fact that I’m treading water, and I feel like it’s taking all my energy just to do that. She helps me tread water but no more than that.

Then she said “Ok, you have every right to be angry with me.”

I immediately got defensive: “I’m not angry with you. I could never be angry with you!”

She asked me why. I told her because I love her too much and I’m grateful for what she’s done for me.

She countered that those things are not mutually exclusive. That love and anger inevitably go together, and it’s a good thing that they do.

Then she said: “Maybe you should look into that. You have anger at a lot of things, but you don’t let that anger out. Instead, you turn it inward on to yourself. No wonder you’re so tired.”


The fact is I felt guilty about wanting to leave her. Just like I feel guilty about all of my losses. Just like I feel guilty about everything.

And maybe that guilt is really just anger turned inward.

It makes sense. Because really, I’m pretty frakking pissed at the way my life’s been going. And yet all I do is wallow in self-loathing and guilt. Maybe feeling some anger will do good things.

In the end, she suggested that we keep on meeting while I look into alternative options. She doesn’t want me to be without support, and I think she’s right about that.

She assured me that whatever I finally decide, she will be with me 100%. She just wants me to “live” in that decision for a while.

And I think that’s a good thing. We’ll see.

***Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode wherein I go to the Russian to ask for fertility drugs!***

(Thanks SRB for the inspiration!)

14 Responses to “How to (Not Really) Break Up With Your Therapist”

  1. me0me June 13, 2012 at 03:46 #

    big like on this one. She sounds great and smart and I’m happy about the anger realization (that I’ve reached personally not too long ago) and about “living” with the decision that I definitely think is a good idea. Yay!

  2. SRB June 13, 2012 at 03:49 #

    That’s a good appointment, regardless of where you go from here. It’s a turning point. Anger is so difficult. The harder you try to rub it out, the deeper it stains. It just…burns. And there is just NOWHERE to put it. There’s no box for the shelf, so to speak. The fire just needs to burn out. The trick is not just not to stoke it, but not to let it smolder. Roast some fucking marshmallows if you can.

    Yay PCOS kitteh! I can’t do shit on the interwebs man. Love it!

  3. Jenn June 13, 2012 at 04:24 #

    She sounds really great, I find what she says about guilt very interesting. I feel guilt with all my losses. Good luck with your dr appt tomorrow.

  4. Mina @ Fertility Doll June 13, 2012 at 08:55 #

    I think that love and guilt come hand in hand. Then I feel angry for feeling guilty because I wonder why I have to own the guilt and why can’t someone else. It makes me feel weak.

  5. Kate @ Infertile First Mom June 13, 2012 at 16:39 #

    I’m glad that went better than expected. I’d have been a nervous wreck trying to break up with my therapist, whatever the reason. Living with the decision sounds like a good plan for now. My shrink always reminds me that there is energy in anger…Which can be directed into useful channels (such as exercise, maniacal cleaning, and strongly worded blog posts)…As opposed to depression, which is just a bunch of wallowing, avoidance, and fears. I’ll take anger and energy over that any day.

  6. Amy June 13, 2012 at 16:48 #

    Wow. That sounds like a very powerful session! I was in therapy for 7 years in my 20s, seeing the same guy every week or two that whole time, and I didn’t cry one single time until our very last session, when we said goodbye. I’m much better at releasing my emotions now, especially since losing my twins, although I have a lot of work to do around expressing anger in the moment whe it involves another person.

    Wha would we do without therapists?!

  7. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) June 13, 2012 at 17:20 #

    I just broke up with my therapist and my marriage counselor on Monday. It can be hard to let go.

  8. myrtletheinfertileturtle June 13, 2012 at 17:27 #

    I’m intrigued by the russian with fertility drugs… hopefully it’s more than just a big bottle of vodka! Also, kitty picture = awesome.

  9. pjsarecomfyn June 13, 2012 at 17:52 #

    well….huh? That didn’t go as I expected either. Well I totally understand the crying and feeling bad about breaking up with her, but I never would have expected the anger breakthrough. You should definitely find a way to let out the anger. Perhaps you could become an ultimate fighter? That would be way awesomer than like punching your pillow or something.

  10. Kristin June 13, 2012 at 18:01 #

    She sounds incredible. I once broke up with an awful therapist that told me that I should break up with my husband. That was an easy break.

  11. psychsarah June 14, 2012 at 20:17 #

    What a powerful exchange-thank you for sharing it. As a therapist myself, it’s always fascinating to hear how clients experience therapy. One of the things I love about it, is that even ending a therapy can be therapeutic 🙂

    I don’t know whether I’ve commented before. My friend, who is experiencing infertility, writes a blog and linked to yours a while back. I have been reading your perpsective with interest, as my friend is the only person I’ve known who has been so open with her fertility concerns. It has been very helpful to me in supporting my friend, to hear your point of view on your experiences. It certainly doesn’t hurt that you are a wonderful writer, with incredible honesty, insight, and sense of humour. Best wishes to you-I hope the RE is helpful and that you and Schmerson are able to bring home your baby very very soon.

  12. Emily @ablanket2keep June 15, 2012 at 03:23 #

    I too keep my anger inside. I have just recently been letting it out and it feels wonderful. Just saying the words “I’m pissed” about a situation was a breakthrough. Kate’s therapist is right how there is energy in anger. Whenever I am angry I need to walk or I run around the house frantically doing chores. Stuff gets done, but the anger stays. Glad it wasn’t a horrible breakup. Hugz!


  1. Strands « Mommy Odyssey - June 26, 2012

    […] funny – since I decided to break up with her our sessions have been amazing. Just bringing up what my problems with her have been opened me up […]

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