Monday, March 30, 2015

White Flag

You all know what happened in Thomas's therapy a couple weeks ago. You all know the hurt and anger I felt. Well, I write this today to show you that a white flag can be raised and everyone can join together for the good of Thomas and his mental health.

Before therapy last Thursday I decided that I had to at least email Dr. K. and let him know what was going on with Thomas during the week prior to the session. I couldn't give up my role as a mom, caregiver, and partner in therapy. Within a couple of sentences I said that I didn't want to get in the way of Thomas's therapy and that I wouldn't be there that day so that he could have quality time with Thomas. I relinquished my previous role because I felt it was best for Thomas, for one, and secondly, I didn't want to be anywhere near Dr. K. and have to restrain myself from saying anything. I didn't want to cause Thomas any grief so my being absent from therapy and even not showing up in the waiting room seemed like the best idea. That is until I received an email back from him saying,

"I for one do not feel that you are in the way when you attend the sessions and I appreciate the continuity of care for your son."

There was much more to the email but what is written above was key for me. I know that Dr. K. is a part of my blog so I figured he would have read all of the things that I wrote and maybe even your comments. He took a hit, at least if it were me I'd be feeling like I took a hit, and I think he got how much I hurt and how angry I was. I very much appreciated your support but I had to have some sympathy for him after reading the comments. If the chances were that he had made a mistake, said things that weren't probably the nicest things to say, and didn't realize the effects that session had on me then reading my posts and your comments probably stung a little bit. A few of you even suggested I dump him as a therapist and find someone else. The truth is, barring this last issue and a couple before, he has been a wonderful therapist for Thomas and Thomas likes him. I didn't plan on dumping him and probably never will. People make mistakes and if they atone for them then they deserve forgiveness.

So I got that email (quoted above) and I decided that I would go ahead and go into the waiting room. I felt like I needed to look Dr. K. in the eye and gauge how things were between us now after everything. He came out of his office and smiled and said hi to both Thomas and I and lo and behold, HE INVITED ME INTO SESSION!! Thomas was halfway to the office before I got up and I followed him in. Once inside, before even sitting down, I stopped Thomas, made him look at me and I asked him,

"Are you sure you want me in here?"

He said yes and I started to sit down. Then I stopped. There was still the issue of his fear of me being mad at him so I asked him,

"Will you be worried that I'm going to be mad at you?"

Well, previously in the car, we had been talking about whether or not he should take the time off from work while I'm at the conference and I had told him I didn't think it was a good idea. While he had agreed with me at the time, in therapy now, he changed his mind and was hoping Dr. K. would support him in his decision to try to get the time off. He was worried I was going to get mad at him choosing to do that. I told him I wouldn't be mad (and ultimately I really didn't get mad) and so I sat down in my usual spot, a low chair that's really squishy and hard to get out of. There would be no escape for me.

Session went well though we never covered Thomas wanting to take the time off from work but we still got some business done. Peppered in amongst all of the conversation were comments from Dr. K. after asking my opinion on something like,

"You're the expert, I want to know what you think."

I heard that enough in session that I finally couldn't help but roll my eyes when he said it. I am NO EXPERT by a long shot. Even as a caregiver and mom, I am not an expert. I fly by the seat of my pants just as much as Dr. K. does only I'm privy to more information than he is. But EXPERT?



What matter most in all of that, though, was that he wanted my opinion. He wanted me to share my observations and thoughts and as such I didn't hesitate to do so. "Amazingly" my thoughts were useful and we learned a lot about Thomas and some things he's struggling with.

So there we were, a team again, and I left therapy with Thomas, both of us in a better place in our relationship because the session had been a joint session. Best of all, and most important of all, Dr. K. had raised the white flag and made it possible for me to be a part of Thomas's treatment team once again.

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