Friday, February 28, 2014

An Odd Kind Of Justice

Yesterday was therapy day and I was once again called in to the session with Thomas. Honestly I don't know how I'm getting so fortunate to be able to go in but I'll take it while I can.

I had told Thomas' therapist through emails about Thomas tripling his hours at work and his reply had been to have Thomas cut them back; a suggestion that I knew would never fly with Thomas if I were to approach him with it. I had then asked his therapist to please help me with trying to get through to Thomas that it was a good idea to do so. I hadn't received a reply but when we sat down and he started talking, I knew he had heard me.

He began with talking with Thomas about his hours and the back and forth conversation went on for 10 or 15 minutes with Thomas, of course, refusing to cut back his hours. Thomas' attitude? Why work at all unless you have at least 3 days? He has a point. When he's healthy. He's not though so his insistence on keeping the hours made that very apparent to his therapist.

We then went on to talk about his "time anxiety" that accompanies working. I really wish I had a recording of the conversation because what came out of Thomas' mouth and the exchange that ensued was the kind of conversation Thomas and I have quite often. None of anything is logical and very little of it makes sense. He is so wrapped up in how he sees his anxiety and how it "works" for him that he is unable to see another person's point of view. I watched through the whole conversation as his therapist repeatedly shifted in his chair, leaning backwards, then forwards, then repositioning himself. All of that movement was accompanied by frustration on his part as he fell down the same rabbit hole that I go down pretty often with Thomas. Falling into this hole is like going to a nether world where up is down and left is right and the sky is green instead of blue. You know what the world is supposed to look like and where to go and while it looks vaguely familiar, you are unable to figure out what to do. Such was the world that his therapist found himself in and I was fortunate this time around to be sitting on the edge of the hole looking down and observing the whole exchange.

That poor man. I felt sorry for him as his voice began to raise and his temper would slip from his grasp every now and then and he'd say something like,

"Work with me here Thomas."

or

"I'm trying to help you here!"

Of course Thomas didn't budge and instead became more insistent on his point of view, effectively shutting out anyone's valiant attempts to get inside to help him better deal with his anxiety.

Then it happened. The medication discussion. Thomas' therapist brought up the anti-anxiety med but not before apologizing repeatedly for even stepping in to that territory. I knew he was trying to keep me from being mad and frankly I wasn't because he was attempting to use all of the tools in his tool box and since traditional therapy wasn't working, guess where we ended up? Yep, relying on meds to help Thomas cope. That discussion released another monster from Thomas' mind and his therapist jumped back in to help Thomas find his footing about when and how to use his anti-anxiety med to help his anxiety. That went fine in that Thomas doesn't have a problem taking it and in fact welcomes its calming effect but where the problem lay in this scenario is that Thomas feels "compelled" (Thomas' word) to ask me for it and/or tell me he took it. Bear in mind, a while back, I metered out 5 pills into a bottle labeled with his name and specific instructions on how to take it and told him he had complete control of it. It sits on a shelf in the kitchen for easy access. This sense of his, this feeling of being "compelled" to tell me he took it became the next rabbit hole the two of them fell down. Again I watched and having been through all of this a thousand times with Thomas I knew just exactly what his therapist was thinking and feeling. In a way, I felt sorry for him because obviously he had never truly jumped in the ring with Thomas and tried to unravel something so seemingly simple.

Needless to say, the session was completely ineffective, in fact, I would say is was a raging failure if not a complete step backwards altogether in the world of his therapy. Even though I had little hand in trying to help his therapist, I knew from experience that trying to unravel Thomas' delusional thinking about his "time anxiety" and his meds was virtually impossible and to me, not even worth the fight. Even though I had sat back and let the professional take the lead, I came away from that session uneasy and a little bit anxious myself. Thomas, too, came away battle scarred, angry and anxious. It was not a good session and from my view nothing got accomplished.

What I did walk away with was a certain feeling that an odd kind of justice had happened. After all of my emails, after all of my calls to his therapist where I was frustrated and angry and not liking Thomas very much, he now finally saw just exactly what I deal with on an almost day to day basis with Thomas. I couldn't help but say a silent "I told you so" to him inside myself because I think he finally understands the battlefield I step on to on a regular basis and the feelings it leaves me with as I walk away defeated yet again.

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