Category Archives: Therapist

She Tricked Me AGAIN!

It’s almost been a whole year with K. again!  A whole year of her private practice up and running well.  And it’s almost taken that whole year to figure out how to get my insurance to reimburse me for our sessions.

What a frustrating mess it has been, to navigate Independence Blue Cross.  I have submitted claims, resubmitted, resubmitted, and resubmitted and they kept getting denied for odd reasons, like “provider name not on claim form.” Ehhh…yes it is.  That’s sort of the most important information and the first line you fill in!

I made so many phone calls to them, too.  It was a nightmare.  Each time I’d get a young woman who was clearly sick and tired of being yelled at all day on the phone, and they were worn so thin they just didn’t have the heart to help.  You could tell all they wanted to do was end the call and move on to the next.  On one call, the woman said, “We told your provider last time to submit X and Y.”  When I tried to correct her, that nobody told my provider anything, she has never called, and I have never signed a consent to release information to Independence Blue Cross, they were like, “No it says right here your provider called.” And she went on to repeat the conversation I had with them previously (not K.).

I also wrote letters and (I hate to do this) but got to the point of threatening legal action.  Finally, I had no choice but to involve the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission.  Anyway, that did the trick.  I have all my sessions from last year reimbursed and this year through March.

One of the things they wanted from K. is all the sessions neatly tallied for the month on one paper with a bunch of codes.  She gives me individual receipts at each session with the same information (but they didn’t care for those).  Right now, she is tallying up April and May for me to mail in.

I’m reviewing at at home, and I see two sessions are missing.  I call her back and leave a message.  We have a phone tag conversation.  Essentially she says she wants me to check my receipts and she will check hers.

I have a basket on the kitchen table where I keep receipts, bills, and mail.  I’m digging through the individual receipts and wouldn’t you know, I can find every single one on the tallied sheet but not the two that are missing from K’s. list.

A week goes by.  She asks me to keep looking.

Another week goes by.  She asks me to keep looking.

Now I’m frustrated I can’t find these two receipts.  Well, this morning I was putting some bags into the trunk of my car as I was heading off to work.  There, I see two folded-up-in-squares papers sticking out from underneath my trunk organizer (where I keep the extra washer fluid container, jumper cables, etc).

“That’s odd.” I think to myself. My trunk is super organized.  Everything has its place.  Why are these two papers there and folded up so small?  I slide the organizer over a bit and yank out the two papers.  As I unfold them, I can clearly see K.’s logo on the top of the page.  “Son of a — it’s those receipts!”

So, on the way to work, I call K. and we start playing phone tag again.  On the way home, she calls one more time and we finally connect.

“Hi Nel, it’s K.!” She says cheerily.

“Hi, K.”

“I got your messages, and the information on your receipts matches the copies I have.”

“Oh, good.” I sigh.  Now she can re-type the tally for April and May, and I can go through the process of dealing with Independence Blue Cross again.

“I just wanted you to know the issue wasn’t that I didn’t believe you had the receipts. I wanted you to actually locate them.”

“What?” I hate…hate…HATE when K. has me doing something and then I find out there was some psychology trick behind it.  “And WHY did you want me to find them?”

“Because those two sessions are important.  They led up to a very difficult session afterwards with someone, and I thought they might have been around prior to actually talking to me in session.” She says.

“C’mon, K., they were receipts. It’s not that big of a revelation. I just misplaced them.”

“Uh huh.” She says like she doesn’t believe me. “And where were those two receipts?”

I pause.  There’s no getting out of this unless I hang up on her, and I don’t want to do that.  I know she’ll call back.  “Folded up into tiny squares and hidden under some things in my trunk.” I said in a If-I-have-to-admit-you-are-right-I’m-doing-it-begrudgingly way.

“Yup.” She confirms. “Stuff for us to talk about!”

“Horray.” Meg pops in facetiously.

K. hears her and says, “Well you’re driving right now, so I will let you go.” She always gives Meg a hard time if she gets behind the wheel of  a car–being that she’s 14. “And I will see you on Monday.”

I laughed a bit. “I’m just gonna laugh for a while.  Bye”

What rapid switching roller coaster.  I’m feeling mad that she psychology-tricked me.  Meg is her normal irritable self.  And someone else meanwhile thinks it’s hilarious.


Doing Memory Work with No Memory

After my last post, I lost about 36 hours of time.  The good thing is, whoever was fronting didn’t jet off or go anywhere.  During this blank period of time, I apparently self-harmed, forgot how a cell phone works, and even talked to my therapist on said forgotten-how-this-works cell phone.

I had a 2nd session with our therapist, K. after coming out of this dissociative episode on Thursday evening.  I don’t remember much of this session   It’s really vague.  I just remember going back and forth with her on intense feelings of suicide and depression.  She kept trying to remind me that these thoughts are from a time in the past when I was being hurt, and I am safe today.

Yesterday (Friday), I stayed home from work.  I was exhausted, probably from all the switching.  Around 2pm my cell phone rang, and it woke me up.  K’s name is on the caller ID, so I answer.

“Good Afternoon, Nel, it’s K.” She cheerily says.  “Where are you?”

“Ah…hi, K.  At home.”  I groggily answer.

“And you were sleeping.” She states.

“Yah.” It doesn’t surprise me by now that she can read me through the phone.

“Then, I’m glad I called.  I was thinking you could have your regular Monday session early tomorrow (Saturday).” She says.

“What? Why?” Now I’m confused. Why is she calling me?  Why does she want me to come in early?

“Well, because now you’re missing work.  I think we should meet before Monday, so we can work a little on what’s going on, to increase the probability you won’t call out sick on Monday, too.” She responds.

“Oh.” I say, flatly.  “I guess, ok.”

“We could meet on Sunday, if you prefer.” She waits but I don’t respond, “Or if you’d rather keep your Monday session, that’s fine, too.  I just thought I’d offer.”

“No, it’s ok.  I’ll come in tomorrow.”  I say.  “I trust your opinion, so if you think coming in before Monday is important, I’ll do it.”

“Great! Since I know you’ve been sleeping so much, how about we meet in the morning tomorrow?”

I sigh, “Ok.”

“And you’ll bring your homework.” She adds.

“My homework? What homework?” I’m totally confused.  Not even a vague, ohhh yeah, she assigned homework.

“Mm-hm.” K. says. “You were going to invite Clara to do some collaging.”

“I don’t remember.”

“I know.” K. says seriously.

“This is what I hate about dissociation.  It makes me scared when I can’t remember what I’ve done.  Like, it’s not there at all.  Not even a vague recollection.”  My stomach is now curled up in knots due to the anxiety.

“Nel, I’m sorry you’re so scared.  I can only imagine how frightening it must be to not remember things you’ve done.”  She says empathetically.

As always, I’m uncomfortable receiving kind words, so I move to end the phone call.  Surprisingly, she allows me to direct the conversation this way.  But not without repeating she will see me tomorrow with homework in hand.

After the phone call, I dig up an envelope full of magazine cut-outs that I brought home from Sheppard Pratt.  I internally ask Clara if she would like to help choose some things for the collage.  I don’t get any verbal response.  I don’t even feel like she’s there.  But it’s not hard to start picking out things.

I go through 2 more magazines and pull out some more things.

Then, someone pulls out our acrylic paints.  Pink, blue, and purple gets dropped on a blank canvas page, and we go to town.  Someone makes an imaginary landscape of brightly colored trees alongside some water.  The cutouts are purposely placed above or below the water.

When we’re done, Mina and I come back forward.  I’m floored.  I have no idea who has done it, but the artwork is both beautiful and frightening.  It draws you in with its beauty and then floods you with fear.  It’s like a deception.

As if to purposely trigger.

I know I should put it away, but I want to keep looking at it.  Eventually, after a couple hours, I do place it aside.

We went to therapy this morning at 10am as promised.  We brought in the painting/collage, hugging it to our chest.  Switching is all over the place.  I switch to Clara, which I believe is in System 3, but a different layer of the system.  I switch to an O—- part in System 5, or maybe a T—- part in System 4, I’m not sure.  There’s so much deception and flooding going on, and it’s all vague to me at best.

I’m not sure what work got done, if any, and now I’m co-conscious with Mina and Meg (Meg is one of our teen protector parts).  We were so tired when we came home from the session, we managed to each a bit of rice and passed out.

I wonder if she gave me any homework.

Containment, for the win!

I had therapy yesterday with our therapist, K.  We spent the session reviewing some therapy homework.  At the end of the session, I told her there was something I needed to say.

K. waited, quietly.  Sometimes she takes the approach of saying nothing, to allow my to get internal communication or put my words together.

I continued, “It’s to do with being in the shower.  Nearly every time I’m in the shower, I hear things people said to me.  I never have a picture memory, it’s just these things that were said.”

K. waited.  I didn’t say anything.  “Do you need to say them outloud?”

“I don’t want to say them outloud.  I don’t want to hear it, even though I hear it in my head all the time.” My eyesight diverted to the floor as the shame came on.

“Could you write them down?” K. asked.

I thought for a moment. “Yeah, maybe.  I mean, it might work.”  I reach over for my journal.

K. stopped me.  “Would you rather write them on a sticky?  Instead of having them in your notebook, where it might be difficult to tear it out, if someone doesn’t want the words in there?”

I feel a big YES! from inside.  I nod.

K. hands me a stack of blue sticky notes.

I’m including the following words I wrote for support.  However, there is no expectation you read them.  Often, I click on trigger warnings out of curiosity.  I want you to know that the words below are NOT safe. I do NOT expect you to read them.  In fact, they are not necessary to “get” the rest of this post.

Trigger Warning:  Graphic words behind this break!
      • “You like that, don’t you?”
      • “She likes that.”
      • “I’m going to make you —.
      • “You’re going to —, NOW.”

I handed the sticky to her.  “I want to leave these here.”  I don’t remember if she read them or not.  But as I told her I wanted to leave them, we simultaneously spoke internally.  Parts understood that the memory/words would be left behind in her office.  Everything tough that comes along with it would stay there, safe, until next week.

It was a success in Containment! I did some grounding skills and was able to leave/drive safely home.  Today, I have had zero “fallout” from the session, which is a-freakin-mazing.

It’s great to be reminded that I can use these symptom management skills, and–oh yeah–they DO work!

Why is therapy a slow process?

K. and I are reviewing treatment goals. 

“Of course,” She says, “There’s the ongoing goals of monitoring triggers, safety, improving internal communication…” She pauses while thinking.  “And we haven’t even gotten to grieving loss yet.”

I was trying to listen, but I lost the tail-end of her sentence.  “We haven’t gotten to what yet?”

“Grieving loss.  Loss of control of the body, loss of self-identity, loss of safety…”

I started to get floaty and check out.

K. nodded, “Aaaand, now I’m triggering you.  I think we’ll stop there.”

I can’t even talk about treatment goals without dissociating. :/

Recorder Parts

I’ve long suspected I have parts whose job it is to report back to our abusers, but I’ve never had internal communication with them. Clara hinted that she couldn’t talk to our therapist, K., as freely anymore now that she knows there are others listening.

I didn’t write about this, but our session last week was abruptly halted when another part came forward to stop Clara from sharing with K. This part was not cooperative with K. and would not say much else.

K. asked for more clarification, like what does Clara mean others are listening, who, etc. Clara took K.’s clipboard and a blank sheet of paper and started “pretend writing” like someone is recording notes. “Like this, when people write for a long time and write down everything that happens.”

“That’s why I have to be careful because I know things even they don’t know.” Clara said proudly.

“Oh, you know things they don’t? So that’s why you don’t want to say them out loud because you don’t want them to write it down?” K. repeats.

“Yes.” Clara nods. “But I think…” Clara believes the recording parts can see too, and she really wants to tell K. something but keep it a secret from those other parts. She starts to draw on the paper on the clipboard. It’s a drawing of what looks like a girl sitting alone somewhere indoors. She is frowning/sad and looks up at a Pac-Man ghost floating above her in the center of the drawing. Clara gives the drawing to K.

It is clear K. wants to ask questions but is unsure how to do so given Clara’s concerns. It was nearing the end of the session anyway, so she thanked Clara and promised nobody else would see the drawing. That she would keep it safe.

Fast forward today, I’m surprised I can even remember this happening. I have zero emotion attached to Clara’s session with K. I’m not really sure what Pac-Man means or why parts would be writing things down except to maybe scare us.

They always used to threaten that the government gave them supplies to monitor us at all times like tape recorders. I guess it would make sense that I have parts that literally record things.

Maybe that’s why I am struggling so much building internal communication. Everyone is too scared to talk and have their conversations written down.