Walking Out of Therapy

Twenty minutes into my therapy session today I grabbed my things, mumbled “I don’t want to be here.  I’m sorry.” and ran out the door before Sadie could do anything other than sit in shocked silence.  I was crying by the time I stepped out into the sunshine, and despite making stops at three stores I still arrived home before my appointment should have ended.

I decided to give Sadie until the end of the week to reach out to me, before making a decision about what to do.  I really had no idea if I would reach out to her if she didn’t, or wait until my next scheduled appointment, or cancel all my appointments.  I got an e-mail from her later this afternoon, asking me to let her know when I’m ready to discuss why I left early.

I wrote back within 15-20 minutes, asking if she wanted to do that before Wednesday or wait for my appointment.  I gave her a brief explanation of the three reasons I got upset.  It had been compounding from the moment I walked in, and I reached a point where I was about to burst into tears if I didn’t get away.  Obviously I haven’t gotten comfortable with the idea of crying in front of her.  I wish I had spoken up before it reached that point, but I was trying to just get through the session and not make waves.

First she was telling me that although medication helps, it doesn’t fix everything, and my thoughts are causing me problems.  What I heard was that I am totally to blame for being depressed and if I could just be better and think better then I’d be fine.  My struggle here is that I get two kinds of depressed moods.  There’s the one that comes from bipolar, where I’m physically run-down and have no motivation and can’t focus and end up having crying spells because I just feel so bad.  Then there’s the BPD form of depression, which is totally triggered by negative events and I cry about those things.

I can have suicidal thoughts in either case.  When there are negative events triggering the depression, it’s that everything is too hard and I want to die so I don’t have to deal with it.  The suicidal thoughts from bipolar depression are much different.  In those cases, I don’t want to die – I feel like I deserve to, like the world would be better off without me in it.

To me, bipolar is an illness and the answer is medication, whereas BPD is a character flaw and the answer is to be a better person.  What I was hearing in Sadie’s words was that it’s all my fault I’ve been feeling poorly, and that it’s not even remotely possible that my medication could be anything less than perfect at this point.  And maybe I hear that because I feel like by now it should be right.  The thing is, I’m trying so hard and using the skills she has drilled into my head, and I see where they help but it’s not enough.

Then she was laughing over things I said.  She told me she wasn’t trying to be insensitive, that I was laughing too, so I must know that those thoughts are irrational.  I did say that she knows I laugh when I’m uncomfortable, but it didn’t seem like she took me any more seriously after that.

Then we got into a discussion on intrinsic value.  In the course of this conversation I ended up making a comment that proves what a horrible person I am.  I regretted it as soon as I said it (although we’ve had this same basic conversation before), and although she has said many times that she’s not there to judge me I find it completely impossible that she could hear me say these things and avoid judging.  And that’s the point at which I walked out.

I e-mailed her an abbreviated form of this, and she wrote back that she was shocked at how I had interpreted what she said, that it proved her point about the power that thoughts have, and she wanted me to think about how else I could have interpreted things.

I.  Don’t.  Know.  Clearly I couldn’t interpret things differently, or I wouldn’t have gotten so upset.  If I could see even a glimmer of an alternative interpretation, then I’d have been able to stop her and ask for clarification.

I’m just so tired.


3 thoughts on “Walking Out of Therapy

  1. Hey there,

    Maybe you’re at a point where you still can’t make alternate interpretations the moment things happen, but you can make them afterwards. Give it a bit of thought after the frustration fades. That’s how I started…coming up with those alternate interpretations after things would happen and then discussing them in therapy. The more you do it, the more it becomes second nature and in time it will become the predominant interpretation. It’s not so much about getting it right or wrong off the bat, it’s about knowing both the “right” and “wrong” answer and choosing the “right” one as the one you’ll listen to/pay attention to. I hope I explained myself. If not, let me know. You have it in you, it takes practice and it’s a difficult road, but by no means is it impossible ;)

    Much love and patience for you.


  2. I walked out of therapy session once. It was a session w/ my wife & myself. The guy never came to see what was going on or ask why I walked out. On the drive home she told me “He wants to talk to you by yourself next to see why you walked out.” Guy didn’t even have the guts to ask me himself. I should have not gone back but I did. Told him I saw 3 options – 1 of which was walking out – and that’s the one I chose. He response: “I think you had more options than that. Let me go get your wife & we’ll discuss them.” When they came back into he room, the subject of why I walked out was never brought up again: not then nor in future sessions. After about 3 more times seeing this guy I quit going.


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