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Problems with T understanding me.

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Problems with T understanding me.

Postby gentlebutch » Wed May 16, 2018 1:26 am

*long rant and possible triggers ahead* also I apologize if this is the wrong forum or has been asked before

Okay here goes

Okay I have been having issues with my T and I live in a rural area so no matter who I saw I would have similar issue(s). I have a hard time trusting him since he went into why did I think I was queer he said it nicer and didn't use the word but that's what it amounted to. It was about both my sexuality and gender identity I identify as non-binary or gender queer. He went into a long thing about my dad and such I almost felt like I was at an x-gay meeting and it was more than once. I know of no straight people that have ever been asked that and if a gay person had asked a straight person that we would be called recruiters and everything else in the book probably a law suit. He's not the first one but it's getting old at this point. I think of therapy as my one safe space in the world. My family had problems with my mom not kicking me out when I came out to her. I don't know his personal beliefs and don't care but he seems uncomfortable if I mention a girl is cute, etc. I don't go out of my way to mention it nor am I crass so I don't see his issues. The therapist before him did the same thing and what I don't get is in her private life she has quite a few GLBTQ+ friends she even knew what MCC was before I explained it to her because some "dear dear friends of mine that were gay went there." I know that a lot of people are scared off by this kind of behavior and some went to a glbt+ counseling center in the area and she retired so it closed down. It was basically the only place most felt safe because it was owned and operated by a lesbian. The area where I live within a few miles of me the region is 30% glbt+ but very conservative area of the Bible Belt. For clarity CA (my nic for T before him) she did the same thing with asking of questions and such that almost felt like you are gay so therefore not normal. I'm not oversensitive it's an issue in this conservative area. It used to be way worse but in the 20+ years I have received services has improved.

I have thought about leaving counseling but I have MDD, PTSD, panic attacks, etc. enough to where between that and physical health I am on disability. I don't know how to talk to him though about things that aren't okay to say. I honestly don't think he intends to be bigoted it's just hard for him to understand my POV and where I'm coming from. But even if I'm not dating and may never date my lesbianism and gender queerness is part of my identity and I have no where else that's safe. I have a rare form of Down's Syndrome called mosaic and one of the ways it affects me (individually because the disease varies widely) is I am one of the many people that has a hard time staying calm and hearing or using a soft tone so I easily lose control of my tone and can also get very angry. Basically I would like to know how to talk to my T about this and tell him comments that are not okay to say. This area of sexuality and gender issues are new to him plus he's fairly young and I don't know but I think at least partly he's trying to understand things at least from my perspective. A lot of people are homophobic here including T's and I have a hard enough time I want someone that if they feel that way can leave it at the door. I don't know how he feels and that's his own private decision but my therapy hour is just that my therapy hour and I don't have to put up with homophobia in that one safe space. And I think if I could get across to him what is offensive and what is not that would help matters because he sincerely seems to not want to offend me.

There was one main time he offended me but he did it two or three times but he has done micro things but I don't expect either of us to be perfect but I don't want to dread sessions and I don't want him walking on egg shells. I will leave though if he crosses certain lines and he knows me well enough to know I wouldn't be back. I really want and need therapy I don't just occupy space or try not to I know the gov't aka tax payers pay for everything I get except for small co-pays if any. In case of Psych services including day program there is no charge. I am high functioning for the most part but I do have problems with small talk and convos like these anything that isn't a text book question and answer makes me nervous and without preparation among friends and family which I can't realistically do on this one I don't know what to do.


TLDR section
Sorry for the long story I shortened it a few times believe it or not. Summarizing is another hard spot for me. Basically in a nut shell I don't know how to not feel like I'm in an x-gay meeting a lot of the time and he is so afraid of hurting my feelings now it almost feels like he's on egg shells. He seems to think 3 or 4 times before every sentence now. I just would like to either be able to tell him something that would give him guidelines or I would like some kind of resources to refer him to. Because honestly T's in the area get very little diversity training. I honestly don't think he wants to make things worse but I also don't want to feel like I'm being recruited to straighthood the only way to truly be normal. And that doesn't even get into my gender issues and that led to more foot in mouth syndrome for him. He doesn't have to accept it but I have been dogged enough in my life for these things the last place I will put up with it now and the only place I feel I have control is in MY therapy sessions which are MY time and I only see him every 2 to 3 weeks which is fine but that means it needs to matter even more.
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Re: Problems with T understanding me.

Postby anathegram » Wed May 16, 2018 2:32 am

I only have boring advice.

gentlebutch wrote:anything that isn't a text book question and answer makes me nervous and without preparation among friends and family which I can't realistically do on this one I don't know what to do.

You can still prepare by yourself. It might help to write down a few sentences or bullet points about what you want to say before a session and bring them in with you.

gentlebutch wrote:Basically in a nut shell I don't know how to not feel like I'm in an x-gay meeting a lot of the time and he is so afraid of hurting my feelings now it almost feels like he's on egg shells. … I honestly don't think he wants to make things worse but I also don't want to feel like I'm being recruited to straighthood the only way to truly be normal. … He doesn't have to accept it but I have been dogged enough in my life for these things the last place I will put up with it now and the only place I feel I have control is in MY therapy sessions which are MY time and I only see him every 2 to 3 weeks which is fine but that means it needs to matter even more.

I think this is actually a very good start. Write it down/print it out, bring it in, read it to him. He might not know what you mean by an ex-gay meeting, though, maybe edit that to "feeling undermined" or something.

There's probably a not-small chance things won't work out with him; all you can do is push for clarity and honesty from both parties.
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Re: Problems with T understanding me.

Postby gentlebutch » Wed May 16, 2018 2:49 am

Thanks the problem is in this area there's actually more that's worse than him instead of better. I really would like to move but no resources. I'm not talking a few miles away I am talking at least a couple of hours away. Knoxville is probably the closest. I just don't want to go through multiple therapists and where I go which is pretty much the only option of one of only one or two options for me in the area. So I really hopes it works out with him thanks though. If it doesn't do you have any advice on how I could let a therapist know right off the bat what's acceptable and what's not without it being awkward for first session because I'm a pull no punches type but I don't want to be mean or unkind even first session.
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Re: Problems with T understanding me.

Postby anathegram » Wed May 16, 2018 3:41 am

Yeah I don't think you should give up on him yet. You said it seems like he's walking on eggshells now, which isn't good, obviously, but it means he's trying. Stick with it a while, definitely.

You are absolutely allowed to be firm about what is and is not open for discussion. I think it's way more important to make an accurate first impression with a new psych or therapist than a 'good' one. You are probably not being as mean or awkward as you think you are.
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Re: Problems with T understanding me.

Postby anathegram » Wed May 16, 2018 9:14 am

Another general thought:

Therapy is never one-way. Therapists are just people and everyone has a limited range of experience. It's not your job to fix your therapist, but every decent one learns from their clients. Maybe some time from now not only will he be working with you more effectively to address what you actually want to address, but you'll also know that someone else like you who goes to see him will be starting off from a better place.

(Sorry I don't have any specific resources or anything. I don't know much about gender or sexual identity, but I've dealt with a few therapists :wink:)
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