Hurt by my therapist

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Howamihere

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Hurt by my therapist
« on: January 07, 2018, 12:45:46 AM »
You know how they say you shouldn't become friends with your therapist? Well... I always thought that was to protect the therapist from their less-than-stable clients. I became best friends with my therapist and it has resulted in the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life. When we moved our relationship out of the office, she love-bombed me like crazy. I didn't "get it" at the time. It was platonic (we were both married) but very emotionally intense. We were inseparable, like sisters, for 5 years. I walked her through horrible tragedy when none of her own family even showed up. I sacrificed over and over, because that is what you do for someone you love, right?  Right??? Well, turns out she is NPD. My other friends saw it, but kept quiet out of respect for me. Circumstances have changed in her life and she has devalued and discarded me as if I were meaningless. The horrid part is that as my therapist, she KNEW exactly how this would hurt me. She knew how I feared abandonment and lack of closure. She moved to a distant land, and cut off all contact. And what's more is that IF I would have done this to HER??? Oh my!  She used to  freak out if I went over to another friend's house instead of hers, back in the day....  There is such a double standard. I would spend hours reassuring her that I would never "dump" her. I thought that was so silly.... who ever just dumps their best friend??  She takes and takes and I give and give, and all the while she tells me how selfish I am if I express any discontent. As my current therapist says, I should have been able to trust that she would never do this to me as a friend, but especially given that she is a mental health professional and KNOWS what damage this would cause to another person.  My mind can't comprehend this. And my heart can't withstand this.  My mind is spinning so bad, I don't even know why I am writing this or what I am even asking. I am a smart, educated person and this has reduced me to an incongruent babbling fool. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'd appreciate any of your prayers.

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Hazy111

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 01:15:41 AM »
She wasnt professional. You cant be friends with a T.

 But i think your experience confirms my belief that a high number of Ts are PD , but are in denial. The t/client dynamic  is so set up for narcissistic supply.

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Howamihere

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 02:19:26 AM »
Hey Hazy 111, thank you for your response. I'm aware that it's not a good idea to become friends with your T, but in my state the only rule is a waiting period of a couple years before any romantic relationship. We had decided to end therapy and wait 2 years just to become platonic friends, but within a week's time she contacted me to say it was silly to wait so long. To be fair, she had sought supervision on the issue. However, as our relationship soured, she blamed me for pushing too much in the office for a friendship. I can see now how it was her responsibility no matter how hard I pushed. She was the one with power.
I don't want to debate whether it's right or wrong...  that ship has long sailed. I'm hoping someone can help with my broken heart, my gaping loss, my "sister"who has rejected me, my best friend who abandoned me... when she knew how it would rip me apart. How does one get to be so cruel? So callous? After all we had been through....????

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 02:26:31 AM »
She has violated an ethical guideline that exists to protect the client, you in this case.

I am glad, you have found another therapist and can work with her on your abandonment issues.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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NotFooled

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 02:40:51 PM »
I recently saw a YouTube video of a therapist talking about covert narcissist and how often times they are therapist, teachers counselors and ministers.  It's a type of MO for narcissist to hide who they really are and abuse family members ect. behind closed doors.

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Howamihere

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 05:59:34 PM »
Hey Kieveen, thanks for the reply. That's interesting. My therapist/friend told me that her relationships with her clients helped her fill the void she had felt for years due to a lack of close friends.

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EntWife

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 09:36:35 PM »
Oh, HowAmIHere - what a terrible thing that therapist did to you!  I can't imagine how difficult this has been for you and I hope you the best in your recovery!  I have a family-member who is both NPD and a therapist as well (he's actually a couples' therapist who takes the women he sees who decide to divorce out to drinks) - it is extremely concerning to me that these people are in positions where they're able to take such unfair advantage of those of us who are vulnerable and suffering! 

Would you feel comfortable reporting your therapist?  I know that probably seems like an overwhelming prospect, but if you could save others from the same situation I know it would be for the best.  Can your current therapist report it? 

 :bighug:
"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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Howamihere

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 01:18:46 AM »
Hey Zen_Warrior, thanks for the reply. My therapist is no longer practicing so there is no need to report her.  This situation feels really complicated to me, because until me, she had never breached any ethical boundaries. In fact, she was/is someone who always stayed far away from any possible misstep. I pushed very hard for a friendship, and yes she still should have said no, but she was very conflicted and agonized over the issue, even seeking supervision. I told her that no matter how our friendship turned out, that I would never pursue any action against her because I pushed so hard. Now in hindsight, I see how naive and ignorant I was. I assumed it (the rule) was to protect my therapist from being hurt... never did I realize that I might be the one ending up hurt. And hurt is such an understatement. More like devastated. Shell shocked. My emotional world has been blown apart and I never knew it was possible to hurt this badly. She has inflicted a wound which I will carry for the rest of my life. I assume a lot of the guilt and responsibility. I never should have pursued a friendship with her. I had no idea what might happen. I'm still in utter shock at the betrayal and complete disregard for my feelings. At some level, I feel she should know what this action is doing to my heart and my mental health. It seems like a mental health professional should know how devastating this is, but even more, as my "best" friend, I can't believe she would be capable of this. I cannot wrap my mind around it. My world has been rocked and it will never be the same. And she doesn't give a rip.  Just unbelievable.

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hanna3b

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 09:58:54 AM »
Your therapist/friend is an extremely troubled person.  It can take time to recover from something like this.  You're not only dealing with the sudden loss of an important relationship, but you are forced to question just what that relationship was all those years. 

If you can, I would suggest trying to catch yourself before you start ruminating on her and your old relationship with her.  It's natural to try to find explanation for her actions, but they just don't make any sense.  She's not behaving in a rational way. 

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cookiecat

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 11:02:03 AM »
I am going thru same thing with a friend (she's not a therapist though, furthest thing, lol, she cant even fake empathy).  I think it's especially hard when you are close with someone and you help them thru a tragic time in their life and they basically depend on you and isolate you; when they discard, it is brutal.  I agree it's doubly painful to not only be discarded but then to question the entire friendship.  Was any of it real? Did they use you the whole time?  And getting over this crazy idea that maybe you can still help them not be so disordered if only you could explain how their behavior hurts people.  I struggle with thinking maybe deep down there is some humanity in this friend despite all signs showing she is void of this.  I think I had some ego thinking *I* could be the one to help her because I understood her pain.  But then I take a step away and see that she really is a cruel, cold miserable person not just to me, but there is a pattern.  I just have to accept that I'm just another one she used in her pattern.  But it is so hard when you were in their dysfunction for so long.  Time and talking it out seems to be the only thing that helps....and being mindful to not get in that position again.   

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StayWithMe

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 01:56:34 PM »
Were you actually paying this therapist while you were friends with her and having sessions with her?

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Howamihere

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 12:44:50 AM »
Well... I guess it depends on what the definition of friends is. I wasn’t seeing her outside of the office, but we often exchanged emails between sessions. The content of the emails usually had to do with either psychological or often spiritual/ theological issues. I found our conversations fascinating in that she challenged me intellectually, and I think I did the same for her. I found out later though that she was experiencing inner turmoil because as much as she wanted to be friends, she knew she shouldn’t, so then I would experience a pull-back that ended up confusing the heck out of me. By the end, it became clear that we were developing a friendship and she terminated therapy.

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Liftedfog

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 12:32:16 PM »
....but were you paying her?  If so, that would be ten times horrible.  Stay strong. We are here for you.

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Cuthberta

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 08:46:52 AM »
Hey Zen_Warrior, thanks for the reply. My therapist is no longer practicing so there is no need to report her.  This situation feels really complicated to me, because until me, she had never breached any ethical boundaries. In fact, she was/is someone who always stayed far away from any possible misstep. I pushed very hard for a friendship, and yes she still should have said no, but she was very conflicted and agonized over the issue, even seeking supervision. I told her that no matter how our friendship turned out, that I would never pursue any action against her because I pushed so hard. Now in hindsight, I see how naive and ignorant I was. I assumed it (the rule) was to protect my therapist from being hurt... never did I realize that I might be the one ending up hurt. And hurt is such an understatement. More like devastated. Shell shocked. My emotional world has been blown apart and I never knew it was possible to hurt this badly. She has inflicted a wound which I will carry for the rest of my life. I assume a lot of the guilt and responsibility. I never should have pursued a friendship with her. I had no idea what might happen. I'm still in utter shock at the betrayal and complete disregard for my feelings. At some level, I feel she should know what this action is doing to my heart and my mental health. It seems like a mental health professional should know how devastating this is, but even more, as my "best" friend, I can't believe she would be capable of this. I cannot wrap my mind around it. My world has been rocked and it will never be the same. And she doesn't give a rip.  Just unbelievable.

The boundary is there to protect both sides, but most of all the person in therapy.

You are not the only one; I had a counsellor once who told me that we had become friends. Fast forward a few months and he treated me very badly; he told his wife and his superiors that I had developed an unhealthy emotional attachment to him, and that I was in love with him. He told this to anyone who would listen, including another mutual friend. I was with the mutual friend at the time and I heard mf say, 'I don't think that is true at all.' As soon as mf told me what had been said I dropped that counsellor like a stone.

It took me years to get through that, with the help of my friend. For a long time I couldn't work out whose version of reality was true; mine or his. It was absolutely dreadful. I had been slandered to Lord knows how many people, and as far as I know only one of them took my side and told him so.

Boundaries matter. A therapist can never be your friend in the way that other people can. It is not your fault for not knowing this, any more than it was my fault. It is absolutely the fault of the therapist for not telling you that the very best kind of friend they can be to you is a professional one, with proper professional boundaries. As for whether she had ever done this before, that really is irrelevant. She should not have broken professional boundaries at all.

I am really sorry this has happened to you; it will take a long time to recover from but you will get there. In the meantime be kind to yourself, and consider this a form of grief. The person you knew is lost to you; that is a very real bereavement and will feel much the same as if she had died.

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xredshoesx

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 12:55:57 PM »
i don't think it's your fault.  regardless of what your state stipulates, she knew what she was doing and that it could be considered unethical in other places. 

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Howamihere

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2018, 03:29:12 AM »
Well, I was paying her for 2 years, during which time we were becoming close but not socializing out of office. She allowed emailing though, and she would respond sometimes very warm and friendlike, and then randomly it would be brief and professional. I never knew what to expect. Now I know that intermittent reinforcement is a total mind f*** and forms a type of trauma bond. But then when we quit therapy, she said she was no longer conflicted and then she felt very much “all-in” as a friend

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Adria

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Re: Hurt by my therapist
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2018, 11:40:32 AM »
Wow! I am so sorry this happened to you.  Don't blame yourself. She is the professional and it sounds like she knew exactly what she was doing. Very cruel indeed.  Take time to grieve. As time goes by, probably more things about her will become clear to you and that will ease some of your pain.