June 3, 2015

Dear Narcissist Problems, "My Therapist Fired Me"

Dear Narcissist Problems,

My therapist recently fired me for a variety of reasons, largely 1) I was starting to depend more on myself than her, 2) I started holding my ground when I thought she was wrong and/or a treatment was not working for me and 3) I was not responding to a particularly traumatic memory of a very traumatic childhood experience in the way that I was 'supposed to' (the way her textbook said I 'ought to'), e.g. I felt angry instead of just scared... but held my ground when she tried to force me to change my responses to suit her model. The last was what prompted the firing itself, the others led up to it. I still have to deal with the traumas of my abusive childhood but am now also dealing with the trauma of the betrayal of trust by my therapist. I am scared to find another therapist and go through all of that again. How do I find someone new to work with? How do I know if I can trust him/her? What are the red flags to look for? How do I respond to red flags - I had tried to respond to some with my last therapist but was rebuffed, so, following the patterns of my childhood, I gave up letting her 'be right' and me to suffer the consequences. Finally, when I couldn't take it anymore she fired me for asserting my needs and wants to her...






Dear “Fired”,

     It is an amazing day when we do that infamous Google search that forever changes our lives.  For me it was “Mothers who hate their daughters” and BAM!!! Right before my eyes was the one explanation that defined exactly what I had been through for the prior 33 years of my life.  By clicking on that one link “Malignant Narcissists” I found my relationship with my mother described to a T.  This opened the door to meeting others who had experienced my frustration, grief, and inadequacy.  In doing so, we all seemed to be asking the same question; “How do I find a therapist?”  Many of us have experienced therapists who were not trained to deal with this type of disorder, did not understand this disorder, or were adamant on labeling us as flawed and/or defective.  As survivors of this type of abuse we begin our journey down the very lonely road of healing.  When seeking a therapist you will want to interview a few and then finally settle on one who not only understands what you have been through but one who you feel comfortable.  We have spent too many years of our lives being told how to think, feel, and act.  We don’t need this same behavior from our therapists!  I gave some advice the other day and after writing it I would like to retract my statement.  I told a young lady to search for scholarly articles and not to just do random google searches in order to find answers.  I was wrong and I think I said this because the person was young and I was afraid she would encounter more emotional vampires on her road to recovery than need be.  For myself, the path that I found to healing was in doing google searches and reading what others who had lived through this insanity had to say.  I joined support groups online for the days where I needed someone to talk to when life and anxiety was unbearable.  I later started this group.  The best resources I have found to help me heal were from others who had been there.  No amount of therapy could have healed me because I needed to find answers on my own.  I read continuously until I couldn’t read anymore.  I’m talking a whole entire year of nothing but reading on this subject.  When I exhausted my resources I read everything again.  During this year I was running scared and terrified and then I grew angry.  I was angry with my narcissist for stealing so many years of my life.  I think it was a blessing in disguise that your therapist fired you.  You have experienced the red flags of a bad therapist; someone who is telling you how to think or feel, makes you feel ignored/betrayed, who doesn’t listen, and doesn’t truly get what you are saying if they do listen.  If you are uncomfortable with the therapist that is the first huge red flag that you should continue on with your search.  Ask them questions about their experience with narcissistic personality disorder, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and trauma.  Just because they hold a degree in psychiatry does not mean they will understand this disorder.  Interview them and interview a lot of them until you find one that fits.


Narcissist Problems

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