Today was session 8 of the 3rd phase of our CAMHS appointments. In total I’ve blogged about 26 sessions. A few more took place before I started blogging so I’d say we’ve attended around 30 in total.
Phase 1 began February 2012 and we had 10 sessions with a family therapist, then he left.
Phase 2 began August 2012 and we had 8 sessions with a replacement family therapist.
Phase 3 began January 2013 and today was our 8th session with the replacement family therapist and also a psychotherapist.
Those of you that follow my blog will know that since the psychotherapist joined our sessions I’ve been feeling more and more unsure about the direction we’ve been moving in, quite often leaving sessions feeling confused and upset.
Today was no exception, in fact Im really not sure what happened today or where it came from. The psychotherapist appeared to have an agenda for the session that I wasn’t privy to. The session started with them remarking how they felt I’d reached breaking point with the sleep issues we’re having with middle girl. I explained that it had been a bad day when they saw me last but that things had gotten slightly better. Early on in the session he said ‘I think we have some difficult things that need to be said’ and then he waffled on some more, all the time I was still waiting to hear these difficult things. Then he talked about middle girl and her sleeping arrangement’s. He clearly wasn’t happy with the arrangements, but neither am I. He said middle girl seemed to be lost and not knowing where her place within the family was and he knew I’d disagree. He was right, I disagreed and said that the only one of our daughters that may feel that way was baby girl.
He then became very confrontational, he said middle girl was clearly terrified to be sleeping in the same room as these two adults that she had no relationship with. Yes, those two adults he was referring to, are me and my husband! So now she has no relationship with us and is scared of us for some reason. I pointed out that whilst I agree’d it wasn’t an ideal situation, when we’d taken the very difficult decision to move middle girl to our room we had never envisaged it being for more than a few weeks, however 8 months later she’s still there. And there she will remain until our extension is built. I was then grilled, and yes I really felt like I was being grilled, about why the extension was taking so long. I explained that I wasn’t in the driving seat and that legal agreements were being drawn up and understandably legal clauses were being put in place by the Placing authority to protect their finances in the event of various circumstances such a marriage breakdown, house sale etc, all of which was taking time. I was further grilled about my feelings about the clauses.
He suggested we’re finding it hard to love middle girl. He said he felt I really didn’t understand middle girls struggles and he felt she was very switched on and understood everything. He’s met her 5 times perhaps, and he knows her better than me apparently. I explained that I understood she was struggling and how right from the beginning when we first asked for help from CAMHS I’d expressed my concern over her compliance. I explained that loving her wasn’t an issue, but perhaps ‘understanding’ her was because she is a very closed book. I also explained that I understood that middle having her own bedroom wasn’t going to fix things but it would get us in to a situation where we would be better able to support her. I also pointed out that I felt school played a part in middle girls anxiety’s and that her compliance in school, whilst a convenience for her teachers, wasn’t being seen for what it really was, fear. I then went on to explain how we’d taken the decision to move the girls to a different school. I didn’t get a chance to explain anything else before he abruptly interrupted me. ‘I’m not happy with how quickly you make these big decisions’ he said and followed up with a barrage of abruptly put questions ‘How have you prepared the girls, do they know, when will you tell them, where is the school, there is only 2 weeks left of term when exactly do you plan on telling them, why haven’t you mentioned this before.’ Feeling attacked I defended myself by informing him firstly that I don’t tell him everything, and in fact wasn’t sure when he’d have liked me to have told him given that the girls are usually present. ‘You could ring’ he said. Still unsure why he even felt I should be running my decisions past him, I told him that this wasn’t a decision we’d taken lightly, it had been on the cards for some time, over a year in fact, there were many factors involved (which I explained to him) but the biggest being that we didn’t feel the girls felt safe in such a big and busy school and more recently over the last month or so we’d decided that if we were to move them, now was the right time and we’d actually chosen a school today, that was a third of the size and offered a very nurturing environment.
He didn’t like my response. There was an awkward silence.
We’d been talking for only 45 minutes but he said time was up. The family therapist suggested a new appointment date and he objected stating he’d like to put things on hold for now and instead would be writing to the placing authority and us with a summary of his findings!?
I was furious, what had just happened. I felt like I was being accused of something but I really wasn’t sure what. I felt like I’d been attacked. I don’t like confrontation, its scary. And what on earth did he need to write to us about, never mind the placing authority?
I fought back my tears and not knowing where else to turn for advice on what I should do, I rang the placing authority. The social worker listened as I rambled on and empathised about how difficult it all sounded. I told her I wanted to withdraw from the service and she rightly suggested it was better to make such big decisions when I was feeling less angry and upset. We chatted for some time, well I chatted/ranted she listened. I told her about his plans to write to her, she was equally as perplexed about what. She gave me some advice on what my options were and what to do next and assured me she was always happy to help where she could.
My anger subsided and the tears flowed.
What sort of therapy, requires therapy afterwards!? I’m not sure if we’ll continue with this service the way things are or if we’ll ask for a change of therapist or even withdraw from the service altogether, but what I do know is, its not supposed to feel like this, is it?!