Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Judgy Wudgy Was a Bear

These days, I find that if I stay manically busy, it's all good. I feel genuinely happy and lucky. Maybe even happy-go-lucky.

But the minute I am alone and activity slows down to a hum, it's harder to stave off the thoughts. All of them: anger, impossible sadness, confusion, dread, fear, envy. It's like I live a double emotional life.

So, because I am not a total moron and understand that this is not necessarily a healthy way to go about my days, I sighed and opened up my insurance list of in-network therapists and decided to make some calls again and see if I could find someone reasonably competent. I can't remember if I wrote about it here, but last time I did this, it didn't go terribly well. One woman actually nodded off during our session, after asking me what IVF is. Yeah.

Anyway, this time after a few unencouraging calls (one woman said "I am advanced in years" and then asked me the same question twice in a row), I heard back from someone who sounded like she could work. She knew what IVF is, is located nearby and confirmed she still accepted our plan. Our first appointment was today.

During the visit, as I spilled my sad story to lay the groundwork for a possible ongoing relationship during which she might say some magical thing that will teach me how to live in this new world order, I said I was truly lucky to have H. And then she said: "But apparently not lucky enough." And I played it cool, but I have to tell you it took my breath away.

I mean, beyond it sort of being laced with judgment, as a statement from a therapist definitely should not be, it made me think for a minute. Is it true? Is it possibly true that I think I haven't been lucky enough? I tell myself that the millions of people who try and succeed to have a second child aren't told they are pressing their luck. But maybe when you struggle, you are supposed to take what you get, if you're lucky enough to get anything (which I know some are not). Maybe that's the whole point.

I called her out a bit, at the end. I asked her if when she said that, she maybe thought that this "problem" I'm presenting with isn't really a problem, per se. She said we all experience things differently and who is she to say what is a real problem and what is not. Which sounds to me like a way of dancing around the question of whether she thinks it's a real problem. 

The session was only $16 out of pocket, but I am wondering if I should go back. Maybe coping in silence is better, in the end, than being told you're greedy. Even if it's true.


Holly said...

My goodness this post makes me cringe. After our first miscarriage and 2nd failed IVF I went to a Christian counselor (male) who had helped me years ago. The first thing he said was "we all need to relax and take a deep breath, we know that sperm can't get to the egg in stressful situations." I felt so betrayed and isolated (yet another person who has no clue. I wanted to scream I DON"T OVULATE ON MY OWN AND MY HUSBAND HAS CRAPPY SPERM. No long trip in Hawaii or yoga session was going to fix this.

I went to one other counselor once and it was empowering. She didn't say anything magical but she basically told me that NO ONE can tell me how to greive and that it's all healthy and normal (even the dark thoughts I had about other people's pregnancies). Sure, you are lucky you have a living child, but if you want another, that is NOT wrong. That is natural. 90% of people can do this without a single thought. I'm sorry she said that. I don't like it.

Turia said...

Ooh, that comment made me sit up and read the sentence again to make sure I'd read it correctly. I really don't think that was an appropriate thing to say, and it definitely (to me at least) came across as judgy.

Do you read Bionic's blog? She is also trying to find someone who a) takes her insurance, b) returns messages, and c) approaches her issues in the right way. It is crazy how difficult achieving those three things can be. I think it is partly why I have been so reluctant to find someone myself, even though I am more and more convinced I need it (mostly to help with anxiety).

So what you have a living child and lots of people don't. That doesn't mean you don't have a right to grieve the babies you've lost and the future you worry will never come to pass.

I would keep looking, if you can possibly stand to do so. I think a good infertility therapist is hard to find. (You could try asking Serenity/Karen at River Run Dry. I know she has a therapist and she's near Boston. Maybe her therapist would have a suggestion for someone closer to you.)

Thinking about you, as always.

Brianna said...

I don't trust that woman. If you're already getting a judging vibe from her, I don't think she's the right person for you. Maybe, if you're feeling nice, give her a second appointment, but start off with the "I felt very judged by you" feelings and see where it goes. She's supposed to be helping you deal with your emotions, not cause you more things to deal with.

CC said...

Ugh. If you'd be struck by lightning and survived and were now climbing rooftops during thunderstorms to see if you could do it again, she could say that. But for wanting another child, a sibling for H... It's so annoying how people know what you should be doing when it comes to reproduction.
Good luck with finding someone else. I was also thinking of Bionic.

Amelia said...

I tried therapy, I went a couple times. I wanted to talk about how sad I was about all my dead babies and she wanted to talk about how lucky I am to have a supportive family, a safe house to live in, and that I have G.
I am the most grateful person I know. I am aware of my many blessings. I do not however need to go to therapy to talk about THEM. I need to talk about the bad shit! She did not seem to get this. Frustrating.

justonemore said...

No no no no no no. Run like the wind from this woman. There are therapists somewhere out there - maybe even your network -who can be supportive and provide you with the sounding board you need. This one you have found is making me stabby. Of course you're not greedy. You are a mother and of course you are a lucky woman to have a healthy child, you don't need to pay even the small co-pay for that. You have survived a traumatizing late loss among other traumas, and that this therapist couldn't see that is frankly, horrifying. My therapist (who does happen to do a lot of work with IVF patients, though I am not one of them) immediately recognized my recurrent pregnancy loss as an enormous source of anxiety and has never once suggested that my one living child should disqualify the yearnings I have for another. Ugh. Hugs to you sister.

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