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Ending a therapeutic relationship

(24 Posts)
verystupidperson Mon 20-Jun-16 22:14:36

How do you do it without feeling upset? For a couple of reasons there's a chance that a professional relationship I've had with someone for quite a long time (almost ten years) could be ending soon - either very soon or definitely within the next year. There's a very slim chance they want to keep in contact - they said they did a while ago - but possibly to do so would be unethical on their part.

This person has been like a second mum to me and I honestly don't know what I'd do without them, I tell them everything.

I know I am lucky to have had someone care for me (professionally) for such a long time but there's a part of me that when I think that they aren't my friend, never will be, probably don't want to be and that soon I might never see them again.. It really hurts and I've been upset all day over this - proper sobbing upset.

I don't know how to handle it. The circumstances that might mean it could end soon, they don't know and can't know that I do - so it's not something I can easily discuss with them..

What do I do? If this makes any sense at all? I don't know how to make myself calm down and stop being so stupid!

PacificDogwod Mon 20-Jun-16 22:18:29

You are not being stupid. At all.
Be a bit kind to yourself - it is very difficult when this happens.

But, and I say this with kindness, you may just have become a little too dependent on them for, you know, 'telling them everything' and a period of time of recognising how far you've come and of giving yourself credit for how well you are doing might be a really positive thing longterm.

I am not sure I understand why you would not open up to them a bit more about how you're feeling?
I really hope it won't be quite as traumatic as you fear thanks

verystupidperson Mon 20-Jun-16 22:27:16

I am far, far too dependant on her yes.

I'm just scared of telling her, and I can't tell her some stuff anyway - I'm stupid because she told me some stuff like where her husband works, where they live etc. Basically through doing that, it's apparent she's selling her house - I can't tell her that I was stupid enough to google her name and then find that out. I feel really uncomfortable and stalkerish to have done that and I wish I didn't know.

She's supposedly phoning me tomorrow and I want to be able to tell her - perhaps not that I have googled her etc (because I can see how detrimental that might be) but that I'm scared of the relationship ending and I'm not sure how to handle it. I'm moving myself for university in a years time all being well so it's a situation I will have to face no matter. I can use that as a way of initiating conversation maybe.

I think it will be a positive thing. It's just so scary and hurts.

verystupidperson Mon 20-Jun-16 22:46:50

I've given myself quite the headache from getting so upset as well, even after taking two cocodamol and polishing off an entire tub of ice cream I'm still feeling sorry for myself! Spent all of yesterday vomiting with period pain, and then feeling like this today - not having a good time just now sad

Jugglingballs65 Mon 20-Jun-16 22:54:37

Its not unusual to feel this way when you havre had this kind of relationship. When you know when it will be ending you may need to do some work around the ending with that person.
I had about 5 years of seeing a counsellor and the ending was really difficult. However she had helped me find the tools in myself to go it alone.
It is similar but obviously not quite the same as a bereavement and needs to be treated as such.

PacificDogwod Mon 20-Jun-16 22:57:48

First things first: change your MN nickname! Do it now!
It's not stupid to feel as you do - it is a well recognised problem, so stop making things worse by being mean about yourself brew

You could tell this person that you realise your relationship will have to come to an end (as you are going off to university) and that you are worried and scared about that, couldn't you?
Start the work of gradually loosening your reliance on them. With their help.
It can be done and you can do it too.

verystupidperson Mon 20-Jun-16 23:14:25

I will change it, yeah flowers

I think that's what I will do actually. I'll phone reception in the morning (it's my GP, the person) and when if they do phone me I'll just explain I need to talk about something that might be hard to talk about. We have briefly discussed it before and she said when the time comes I will cope absolutely fine, it won't be as scary as I think. She also said she wouldn't see a problem with emailing occasionally in the future. It's just very hard to cope with changes sometimes. I know if I am going to Uni for my second degree it will be much easier to cope with it all .. I keep seeing that as a totally fresh start to everything.

verystupidperson Mon 20-Jun-16 23:54:01

The good thing about all of this is I haven't resorted to hurting myself, which would normally be my first response to not coping with something. That's an achievement I guess. I just now need to go to my bed and try to calm myself down enough that I'll get some sleep!

IoraRua Mon 20-Jun-16 23:59:46

flowers that is a huge achievement and you should be very proud of yourself. You see, you have come far and you can go so much further. Your therapist is right, even though the thought is scary.

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 01:02:17

Thank you flowers. I'm glad as I was told I am damaging the peripheral nerves in my forearm - I have lots of numb patches - and they don't think some of that sensation will cone back if I keep going.

I've finally made it to bed now, and have stopped crying. Just to put the phone down and try to sleep next.

Haudyerwheesht Tue 21-Jun-16 01:12:00

That's a massive achievement well done.

Can I ask have you posted about this before? I've read very similar - did your mum used to have regular appointments too? Just trying to work out if I've already given you some advice or if I should do it again iyswim

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 01:19:00

Yeah, I did post about this quite a long time ago under a different name. A lot of it stems from instability at home and not seeing how 'normal' relationships work.. as a child I just saw my parents awful marriage and then my mum's dysfunctional relationships with professionals who were supposed to be doing things for family. Social workers, etc. Like she wanted them to be her friend or her mum.

I never had a stable adult or parent in my childhood or teenage years and I have often had to take on a parent role to my mum and dad so I know exactly why I am in this boat. Have gone through it in therapy. The difficulty is ... when I did tell the psychologist he said bit to worry and if seeing dr helped me keep with it. Surgery always say the same - but it doesn't help and today has proved that. I can potter on for ages OK but this is not normal, feeling like this and for such a long time too! I really want to sort it out now.

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 01:20:51

I will do as suggested - phone her, explain (minus the fact that I've been Googling stuff that's none of my business!) how I'm feeling and what I want to change and if she might know how to help me do this. But I think the best thing is me physically moving on, away from where I am and starting new with lots of things.

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 10:01:10

Supposably GP is phoning me at some stage today . She usually phones before 1ish. Will try very hard to talk to her about this and hopefully we get somewhere

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 15:30:41

She hasn't phoned me yet. I'm sort of sitting here biting my nails waiting which isn't ideal at all. When she phones (if?) I might just ask if we can talk face to face as maybe that's better than trying to discuss this over the phone!

PacificDogwod Tue 21-Jun-16 22:10:54

Oh honey, I hope you are feeling ok.

To be brutally honest with you, I think you would benefit from starting the work of gently detaching from her now - whether she ends up moving house soon or you going away next year.

It really is not healthy to be that dependent on a single other person for support.

What other things help you to calm yourself? Distraction? Keeping busy? Exercise??
You have done so well, you sound so self-aware and it is not hard to not self-harm when you feel so bad.
Like us all, you do the best you can and that is everyday heroic.
Look after yourself - love yourself enough to not damage yourself.

IoraRua Tue 21-Jun-16 22:19:26

Pacific has given you great advice. When you are stressed about it allow yourself to do something you enjoy, something for you alone. Watch a movie, have a bubble bath, a walk, listen to favourite music - whatever it is you like. And let yourself accept the feelings you're having now - if you're sad, that's ok! Took me so long to learn that.

Let your therapist know how you are feeling when you next speak to her. She'll help you find the path, cos you're strong enough already - it's just hard to see it when you don't know where to start. I've a lot of respect for you coming here and saying this. I was where you (close anyway) and it is hard to get it out, or it was for me.

PacificDogwod Tue 21-Jun-16 22:31:16

Just another thought before I go to bed: you could ask MNHQ to move your thread to the Mental Health topic? There's a lot of knowledgeable support to be had there.

verystupidperson Tue 21-Jun-16 23:01:14

I spoke to her at about 6 in the end. She said - without me asking - that she is moving house but not changing job, something to do with commuting distances and being closer to her parents. She wants me to come and see her face to face , in the next fortnight to talk things over in person - which I think is a better idea. If I can't get an appointment she says to tell reception to let her know and she'll see me during lunch or something :/

I had a nicer evening - first time I have felt 'good' in a few days. Went for a walk on the beach with my mum and the dog, cleared my mind a bit after all the upset building up. The dog managed to get herself completely coated in oil, so have had to bath her.. And then of course myself..

I've got a referral to gynaecology again for my periods, and a prescription for cyclizine, tranexamic acid, mefenamic acid, codeine .. Have to contact my work first thing and explain all of this. I am a bit concerned that they're going to put me on a warning - I'm already on sick leave monitoring but at least I can say I've been referred and possibly for admission/surgery again (GP wants me to get a Jaydess under anaesthetic).

So that's all of that, really..

Thank you both so much for your kind words flowers.. I will ask if they can move to MH yes, that's a good idea flowers

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-Jun-16 23:41:55

Hi there, we're moving this over to our Mental Health topic now. Best wishes, OP flowers

verystupidperson Mon 27-Jun-16 18:58:54

Having a difficult few days - and desperate not to simply pick up the phone, I don't know how helpful that would be. My mum's not too well, I got home yesterday to find her collapsed in the kitchen (not unusual for her really). She takes seizures. She then had another two seizures this afternoon. Have put her to bed for a bit and waiting on a pizza cooking. Second day of my holidays this year sad but maybe I will get out for a walk tomorrow, take the dog with me .. Doctor is supposed to be here before 10pm tonight.

verystupidperson Mon 27-Jun-16 18:59:42

I've let myself run out of my anti depressants so that definitely won't have helped!

PacificDogwod Mon 27-Jun-16 20:42:08

No, it won't smile
I am sure a new prescription can be issued if you contact the surgery in the morning.

Your GP is going to visit before 10pm? confused
Or your mother's? OOH GP?

Either way, I hope your mum is ok.
Taking the dog for a walk tomorrow sounds like a good idea.

verystupidperson Mon 27-Jun-16 21:04:54

No, my mum's - OOH I mean. They didn't/won't come out , a GP phoned in the end and had a word with her and all OK now. Mum's now sitting on the sofa with me talking to sister (severely autistic). She has a smear test on Wed (sister does, I mean) and has got herself a bit panicked about it, understandably. She hasn't had sex or anything but thinks she should get it over with.

Yes, I have a script in my handbag, need to get to the chemist tomorrow to pick it up - going into town on Wednesday so I'll nip in past my surgery and get the script for everything else.

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