Thursday, November 04, 2010

Awkward and Inappropriate!

That's me!

So things have been a little rough here lately. If you've been reading my blog for any time at all, you know I am a big proponent of therapy. I have a history of depression and the times I've been in therapy have been some of the most productive and ultimately positive experiences of my life. So that's all good. Nothing awkward or inappropriate there, right??!!

Lately, with all the moving and the infertility hoopla (which? surprisingly doesn't go away when you stop shooting yourself up with drugs and subjecting yourself to the stirrups & turkey baster and talking about it all. the. time.) and the what-do-i-want-to-be-when-i-grow-up angst that swirls together daily with the am-i-a-good-enough-mother suckiness, I've been feeling a little, well, blue. Okay. A lot blue. In the past few days, I've been putting in calls to potential therapists to see if I can get myself back on track before I spiral down into the truly ugly place.

First, let's talk about therapists not returning your phone calls. Because that's awesome. I have called no fewer than four therapists in the past week. Until today, ZERO had returned my calls. Seriously. What is that about? I get being busy. I get not taking on any new clients at this time. Hell, I get "I don't really like the sound of you voice and I don't want to be your therapist". Fine. But call a girl back.

Presumably, people reach out to therapists when they are feeling pretty low, am I right? So what better to make them feel even lower than to ignore their calls, which could be true cries for help. If you can't fit a new client in, by all means, just give a call and let a person know. Maybe suggest another therapist--surely therapists know other therapists. Or if a therapist exists without community and within a complete professional vacuum, okay, but at least RETURN a call! Even if it's to say "I'm sorry, but best of luck to you." I'm just saying. You're primary professional interest in life is caring for the emotional well-being of others. Return a freaking phone call.

But someone did call back today! So that was super! And she was so nice and warm on the phone. She asked me a bit about myself and what was going on that made me feel like therapy was a good choice for me at this time. I told her about my history of depression. About how I'd been in and out of therapy for about a decade. About the infertility. And the moving. And the uncertainty about what I wanted out of the future and my questions about my competence as a mother. Your basic snapshot at my Crazy.

She commended me on my self-awareness (which I think might be therapist code for: thank goodness you already know how crazy you are so I won't be surprising you with that news about 5 sessions in) and we made an appointment for Friday. I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. Just knowing I was moving in the right direction gave me a tremendous sense of peace.

Nothing awkward or inappropriate here, right?!!!

Until.

About ten minutes later, she calls me back.

my therapist: "Um, Sarah," she says to me hesitantly. "I have to ask you a question about something that might be a little awkward and could have an impact on our ability to work together."

Oh my. Here comes the awkward and the inappropriate.

my therapist: "Does your child go to Name of the Preschool My Child Goes To?"

me: "Why yes, he does go to Name of the Preschool My Child Goes To."

not my therapist: "Yeah, so does mine."

OHMYGOD, people!!! OH. MY. GOD.

Turns out, the lady who would be my therapist thought she recognized my name while we were talking, but couldn't place it. After our phone call, as she was going through her email for the day, she saw an email FROM ME, as the secretary for the preschool's parent council. That's when she realized that she did, in fact, know me, know my son, know that it would be totally inappropriate for me to be her client.

There *may* have been an abundance of nervous laughter on both of our parts and "wow! that would have been SO embarrassing!!!"s in reference to me walking into her office on Friday and having a face-to-face moment of recognition. Because can you imagine??!!! She apologized a hundred times over for not putting it together sooner (like before she let me carry on for 5 minutes about the details of My Crazy?? Which she now knows all about and will undoubtedly be thinking about any time she passes me in the hallway of Name of the Preschool Our Children Go To.)

zOMG, people. Clearly, I'm not shy about struggling with depression; I have shared it here on numerous occasions (like right now!). But there's something about a classmate's parent knowing, like one who you don't even know well enough to be able to recognize her name when you see it on a list of your insurance company's mental health care providers and say, 'better not call her! I see her every single M-W-F at drop off and pick up!'

So we both agreed amidst the nervous chuckling that yeah, to pursue a professional relationship as client and therapist would INDEED be awkward and inappropriate. So very awkward. And so very inappropriate. And after a plethora of profusely effusive apologies for knowing each other and for not knowing that we knew each other sooner, we got off the phone.

She did tell me that she will call back with a list of referrals for me to pursue. I just really hope that someone she recommends to me will actually return my call. And not know me.




9 comments:

Eat naturally said...

I have a feeling this could be the start of a really good friendship and that would be a bonus. You can laugh at how silly the call was over a glass of wine. Then...no therapist needed!! Hope you find what you need girl and remember -everything happens for a reason.
:-)

cicadalady said...

It's always nice to have a blog. Because then at least there is some sense of purpose to those rough moments in life. Great post! Sorry it happened though!

Becca said...

I was also thinking "Yay, new friend!!" and "How funny is this going to be in five years when you two are best friends!"

Good for you for taking steps to feel better. I hope you find resolution soon!

Mama Bub said...

As someone who finds the awkward in every situation, I think the this one is mostly fine. I think, as a professional, she won't be all "oh there's the crazy lady" in the halls at school. Nor will she be thinking that you're crazy.

Maggie said...

It goes to show how delightfully small the world really is, though as one comic said, " I wouldn't want to paint it".

Anonymous said...

As a marriage and family therapist intern, I agree witwith the above comments. I'm guessing the therapist is uncomfortable with making you feel uncomfortable. As for therapists not calling you back, I'm sorry. I think yourl reactions are all valid reactions. An imperfect world. Try not to take it personally. In the parlance of our times, "their bad."

Susan said...

Look at it this way...to a therapist, your kind of crazy is just garden variety crazy...and I say that with love and as a fellow crazy. :) The kind of crazy that a therapist doesn't even bat an eye at because they see the extreme kind of crazy that makes people like us look like those people we love to hate because they seem to have it all together all the time.

Now had you told her "I see dead people"...well, then you might want to start looking for a new preschool. ;)

sarah said...

LOL, Susan! Excellent point!

And, Kita, as embarrassing as it was, the first thing I thought was "this will be great for the blog!" LOL And it just once again reinforced for me how important having a sense of humor is. :-)

Jen said...

Ok, that is really funny. Great post! I have to say, Susan has a great point.

I had been thinking about a therapist myself for quite some time and could not find any good referrals. When I finally got a referral from an internist who was like "This is the best therapist ever. I send all of my female patients to her and you will LOVE her." I looked at her card and thought her name looked very familiar. After a few seconds, it occurred to me that she was the mother of one of the little girls in my daughter's preschool class - and someone whom I had already socialized with at parent get togethers.

So, you know, there went that!