Is it an oversight?

Is it an oversight that I can never quite remember my mother’s birthday? It’s somewhere in the realm of Thanksgiving. Some years it actually falls on that day. For as long as I can recall, I’ve never been able to recall the exact date. Nor do I know how old she is. I do know she is a Sagittarius, but only because she would mention it frequently. “I’m a Sagittarius, you know,” she would say. But I never asked what she meant by that, never followed up.

I’ve had doctors ask me, “How old is your mother?” Who knows why this is germane to my medical health.

I say, “I don’t know.”

I usually get blank stares before I hear, “Is she alive?”

“I presume so. I think someone will call me when she passes.” At this point I usually look them in the eye and wait them out to see where they go with this line of questioning. Most get the message and move on.

It certainly has not been an oversight that I’ve rarely written about my mother. It’s the great mystery of my life, my mother. In most instances in my life I am forever curious, with the notable exception of my mother. There’s a wall there because I do not want to know. I do not want to understand. It is so unlike me. I want to understand most things in life, okay, perhaps not calculus. But, if we are talking about crimes, wars, and a complicated legal decision, I’m game. The one exception is my mother.

It stumps me because in many ways I believe I’m empathetic, and I seek to understand others. Perhaps not?

A few years ago a writing teacher told me that my writing would get better when I start to write about my mother. What?! Why is that the key to writing better? Oy. Let it not be so. Alas, though, I think it may be true.

Many years ago I thought I kept forgetting to call my mother back, an oversight, if you will. But, as the days turned into weeks I realized it was not an oversight. I simply did not want to talk to her. But I could not tell anyone why. I didn’t even know why. I just knew I did not want to speak to her anymore. I found my first therapist because of this. When I walked into her office she asked, “How can I help you?” And I said, “I can’t call my mother back, and I don’t know why.”

There are periods of time I cannot recall from childhood, swaths of time. All I’m left with are feelings, and these feelings get misidentified as oversights when, in fact, they are indicative of my true desires.

Today’s post is written in response to Today’s Daily Prompt.

therapist casting call

The need for a new therapist leads to the inevitable therapist auditions. You start out with the false notion that you’re Broadway, and you can snag an Idina Menzel or Sutton Foster. It does not take long for reality to reveal itself to you. You are, indeed, not the Great White Way. Heck, you are not even a LORT theatre on the regional theatre circuit. You’re more akin to a summer stock theatre in the backwoods of northern Vermont, far from any amenities that A list or even B list actors are accustomed to having.

Such is the quest for a therapist when one has dissociative identity disorder (DID). You need an Idina Menzel or a Sutton Foster, but you’re summer stock in the far reaches of Vermont, and you are not going to find such a person. You look at your options, and think, shit, I should move. But let’s be real. You’re ensconced where you live with your career, apartment, gym, tea shop, etc. Plus, you know you’re not up for a geographical move. It’s not an option. Instead, your therapist options are limited.

Like all good theatre directors that make the most of their meager options, you choose the one with the most positive energy. That’s the only distinguishing factor since all 3 are equally credentialed. If this was Broadway, off-Broadway or even a LORT theatre she wouldn’t get a call back. But these are the dregs of summer stock, so you make the most of it, and she gets the part of Therapist. She’s thrilled, and you’re shamefully resigned.

It’s clear to you that you’re the jerk in this situation. No doubt. And the saddest part is that you don’t care. You’ve run out of patience with therapists that you have to manage. You should not have to be the one with the consistent wise mind time and time again.

But then you see that all out effort she’s putting forth, and you know she’s trying her best, and putting her best foot forward. But it is what it is, and a best fit it is not. You have to make the most of the situation. You’ve seen the gamut of DID therapists out there. This is the best of the lot. You are not going to find Idina or Sutton. This is it, so make the most of it.

the elusive hunt for a new therapist

Readers of this blog may not be surprised to learn that I am looking for a new therapist. There was the incident in January, and there have been other incidents since then that I’ve not written about. I am done, beyond fucking done. I know it might be useful to others to share the latest experience with Doc that led me to this decision, but it is too upsetting. To summarize, (my writing teacher would so object, we should never summarize, but I need to in this case) by Doc’s own admission there has been too much countertransference from him in my sessions. He’s apologized profusely, but he does this every single time. He apologizes profusely, and then it happens again! I’ve also noticed it happens on a 1-2 month interval.

It’s practically been a part-time job trying to find a new therapist. I’ve called therapists that I was given as possible leads, and when one particular therapist could not take me on as a client because she did not have room she offered to try to find me some leads. I’ve then been following up with those leads, and I am disheartened that too many of these people are not good about returning phone calls. A note to any therapists out there reading this: Even if you can’t take on a patient, you should return their phone call and tell them you have no room! I would like to know why the hell I have to put such an obvious thing in a blog post. Returning phone calls in a timely manner (1-2 business days) is the appropriate thing to do, and aside from that, it’s the kind thing to do. A person is looking for a therapist for fuck’s sake! It’s not like I called to order a pizza. I imagine in most professions it is inappropriate to not return phone calls. The expectation is not lowered for therapists, just saying in case some therapists out there are not aware.

I was asked by one therapist how complex I am. I did not know how to answer this question, so gave her my take of myself at this point. Then I never heard back from her. All this searching is made more difficult by the fact that I am looking for someone with experience treating dissociative identity disorder as well as PTSD.

I feel like I’m in a lake with no boat.