My Family!!

My Family!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Strike Four....Your OUT!!!!!

I have been having so many interesting things in my life happen, that I honestly don't know what to choose to post about today. I hope I have more time this week to catch you all up on everything!

Foster and I have been spending some much need time together this weekend. We have been in the same vicinity of each other for the last three days, and it has been great.

I started my weekend out with my very first counseling session. I THOUGHT it would be a good kickoff to the weekend, because I figured it would put me in a good mood and clear my head. Boy was I wrong!! I walked in to a 60+ year old woman. She seemed a little stern, and not very comforting like you would imagine a grandmother-aged woman to be. As I sat down, she started asking me the typical questions, "What brought you in? Why now 6 months later?, etc" It seemed a little strained. For one, I did not feel like we could really connect, because we were decades apart in age, and there was really nothing we would find in common. Also, she comes from a generation that treated baby loss a whole different way. Most of the 50+ women I know who have lost a child, never got to hold, see or even know what gender their baby was.

I mentioned to her that I was having anxieties and thoughts that I knew were not normal. I had very dark thoughts when the subject of my deployment came up, I can't sleep when my husband is gone, and I have feelings of urgency to get pregnant for multiple reasons. One of these reasons is my mom. I know she does not worry about her own health, but I constantly do. She has not seen a doctor since my sister was born 25 years ago! She smokes and is over weight. She knows this, is aware of it, but still does not want to go to a doctor for them to just tell her she needs to quit smoking and lose weight. Now, to give her credit, she is a very hard worker, and is always active. She works all over the farm without stopping. She constantly reminds Bug and I that she could probably out do us any day of the week. This is very true, but I still fear for her, and along with this fear is the want to give her another grandchild before something bad happens.

First strike against this counselor is in the first fifteen minutes of our meeting she suggested medication. I immediately told her NO. Not only do I NOT want to be a zombie, but I am also currently trying to get pregnant, and I do not want it to affect my fertility or the next baby. Most anti-anxiety medication are dangerous to a fetus. Plus, I am not disabled by my anxiety therefore no medications are required.

I gave her an example of what makes me nervous. I get a little social anxiety when I am in large groups of people who do not know what has happened. Inevitably, when you are 29 and married, one of the first questions is "Do you have any children?" Well, we all know the answer to this is, "Yes, but she lives in heaven." However, if I follow up the question with this answer to a complete stranger, there is the uncomfortable silence, the pity filled facial expression, and the "I am so sorry," that follows. I always feel as if I am the one consoling them by the end of the conversation. This was her response:

"Well, you should answer 'No', because you are not a mother."

EXCUSE ME?!!!???!! Even my husband said he knows better than to tell a baby loss mother that they are not a mother. "Yes, I am a mother. I birthed her, held her, and still love her with every being of my soul!" I exclaimed.

"Technically you are not though, because you do not parent her here on earth."

"Would you tell a mother who lost their only child at 5 years old that they are not a mother?" I asked.

"No, but she was a mother."

"So was I. I agree that I am not a parent, because being a parent would mean I would have to have a child to 'parent', but I am still a mother!" I could not believe what was coming out of her mouth. I wanted to smack her.

Obviously strike two was this lovely exchange of words.

Strike three was when she disregarded anything I had to say about my faith. I mentioned my thoughts on my "feelings" prior to the loss and how I thought it might have been God's way of emotionally preparing me. She brushed it off and said that she believed it was just woman's intuition. I tried to tell her multiple times that faith is what has kept me strong so far, and she brushed it off as if I was using faith as a crutch. I wanted to scratch her eyes out by this point.

Strike four is when she was putting words in my mouth. I expressed my anger towards the Nat. Guard for not filing my paper work when it should have been done.  If it had been taken care of, I would not be stressing over the upcoming deployment, because I would not be in the Army anymore, and would not be going on the deployment. She turned all of my words around and said that she felt that I was angry at the Nat. Guard because I blamed them for my loss. Is that what I said? I don't think so! Now I was envisioning beating her head in with a stick.

As if this was not enough, she asked, "Since you won't let me put you on drugs, how do you expect to deal with these problems?" This was the third suggestion at medication, and I was getting a little annoyed.

"Ummmm.....isn't that why I am coming to you? Aren't you supposed to help me talk through them, and come up with other ways to deal with my issues?"

"I guess," she replied, "But do you think talking to me is really going to help?"

Well, I guess not.

I came out of that appointment fuming. I called Foster and unleashed, and then immediately called Military Onesource and requested a change in provider. They listened to my complaints, and quickly got me an appointment with another psychologist. Unfortunately, this one lives 30 minutes away, but hopefully she will be a little more compassionate.

Needless to say, my first experience with counseling has not been a good one, but I still have hope.

For you BLMs, how many counselors did you have to go through until you found a right match?

Has anyone else had such a bad experience with counseling?


Olivia's Mom said...

Wow...just wow. I can't even believe that's how your session went!! Just reading about it made my jaw drop. The nerve of that woman! How does she even have a license if she's that harsh to her patients, and that disregarding of the issues at hand?!

I'm so sorry you had to go through that! I really hope that your next session with this new therapist is much better!


butterflymom said...

Unbelievable...I'm just sitting here shocked that you had to educate a counselor. So sorry that you went there for support and you walked out with more unanswered questions and feelings of anger. Hang in took me a couple of times to find the right one. I would do some checking in to support groups in your area that may know of good counselors. Hugs to you, my friend. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I would have a lot of choice words to tell her before I left. I'm so sorry that your first experience has to be that way. Shrinks should know better than to criticize faith and automatically prescribe meds. Hopefully the 30 min drive is worthwhile and you have a much better person.

annoyed army wife said...

Whoa! That's bad. I probably would have walked out after strike two and told her we weren't a good match. I hope the next one is better.

Annie said...

Wow. That's pretty bad. I've taken ONE class in pastoral counseling, and she broke a lot of important rules in your first session... Good for you for sticking up for what you know and believe.

I'm sure you'll find a better counselor. (It shouldn't be too hard to find someone better than THAT!)

Olivia's Mom said...

One more thing. (I'm still disturbed by your experience with this so-called therapist.) Just from the few classes in counseling that I've taken, I could do better than that! It sounds like you got her through Military One Source? If so, I would file a complaint with MOS. They shouldn't be sending ANY military family to her for any sort of problem. I can't imagine what she would say to a spouse of a deployed soldier who is not taking it well -- or worse, a widow of one! I wonder if you could make something similar to an ICE complaint? I've used MOS for various things, but have yet to use them for counseling, so I don't know the protocol. They should definitely take her off their list for Columbus, though!

Sara said...

To say that woman is a quack is a gross understatement! I would have totally freaked out at her! Thankfully, I saw a Christian counselor when we lost Carter so I was able to go to and stick with her. Without her guiding me in God's truth, I wouldn't have made it through! Hang in's SO rough but you'll make it through. And you are not are a grieving mommy!

Nina said...

That was quite an experience in counseling. I am studying psychology and actually working on a research project about the therapist characteristics etc., so as you can guess, I also got professionally interested in your session with the therapist.

As you already know, you just need to keep looking for a therapist who you feel comfortable with. That's the only way to make long-term progress in therapy.

Holly said...

Oh my gosh that lady is off her rocker!! She is a pathetic excuse for a counselor and I really mean that!! She shouldn't even have a license. Why is she even still counseling people? Other people have to have complained about her. I really hope the next one is much better. I think it would help if it was a Christian counselor and even better if the counselor themselves have experience with babyloss, either through personal experience or in counseling other parents.

Rhiannon said...

Hi Erin, I have been trying to catch up on your blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Rosie. It send chills down my spine when I read that you and your husband burried your sweet girl with a claddagh ring, that is precious.

I am so sorry that that counselor was such a b#*ch! That is just awful. As Priscilla said, I would report her. She should be dis-barred or whatever it is in counselor world.

Thank you for all of your kind words on my blog. I am happy to have connected with you (a fellow redhead to boot! :) Here's to hoping brighter days are coming our way. (((HUGS)))


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