So you all probably remember me talking about my therapist Jonathan Eastmon.
To review, Jonathan EAstmon is the clinical director of Albany care where I’ve lived since November 2013. He is an amazing clinician trtuly rewspecting each person as a human being and finding flexible ways to work with pretty much everyone. He tries to guide the staff towards his same way of working which makes Albany as warm and caring as it is. I still wish there weren
T hundreds of people living here. And because he truly cares about the residents being as happy as possible he really wants to help us with like everything. From problems with caseworkers to issues with computers and other things, he also happens to be a tech wizard and is solving tech problems all over the facility. He’s great with working with all the staff that come in and out of here and like I said you couldn’t ask for a better director of this place.
When I first came here I had absolutely no interest in therapy. I was so suicidal and barely wanted to live and thought therapy would make me worse. I was really self injuring a lot and this put me in power struggles with the staff. After a couple months of this jonathan burst into my current PRCS office sat dowsn and said that he wanted to talk about my self injury. And that he wasn’t gonna tell me to stop. So we talked about it for like two hours. And came up with a care plan based on harm reduction and one of the conditions being I see him for therapy. He said I could think of it as chat sessions not therapy if I didn’t want to.
Whatever you ccall it it was really hard opening up to him and learning to really express my feelings talking about every self injury incident that happened and stuff. I tested him a lot in the beginning to see if he would really be there for me and he passed all the time and as we talked about everything our relationship grew. It’s him I give credit for for putting me on the right path to getting my SI under control. I loved having him in my life to depend on and connect with.
Over time he’d have some crazy scheduling problems. One quirk he has as I said is he truly wants to help all hundreds of people staff and residents here that he’ll say he’s gonna do something like meet with you and then not be there. I’d sit waiting and he would be nowhere in sight. Often no one could get ahold of him or I’d hear at the last minute that we had to reschedule and then he wouldn’t reschedule. We talked about this on several different occasions and how upset I was. In fact at first him missing a session would send me into crisis, I’d scratch just to spite him and not talk to him for two weeks. Over time I became better able to cope with it and more understanding but that had it’s limits especially when he’d say he’d reschedule and he didn’t.
I had a big argument with him about this time last year and we made this whole agreement that he’d give as much notice as possible before missing a meeting and he’d reschedule within that same week. This lasted like for maybe one or two misses but not longer than that. Over the past six months or so things really changed. For awhile he’d backed off on responding to phone or e-mail contact though I was always able to do so. I knew it was because I was doing better and connecting more with staff mostly Edith. But it seemed like more and more our individual meetings became less of a priority til I wondered often if they were at all. I just plain could never get ahold of him. I did et mad and frustrated and a couple times during this period I did cancel on him when he finally did schedule something which is counterproductive. But that was more about in the moment feeling like I’m so over him and there’s nothing I could say to stop this from happening, since talking with staff it’s a huge fault of his and I learned he leaves them hanging too which for awhile made me really mad and still does! But anway I haven’t met with him since June for this reason.
Around that time I decided to just go and find another therapist. Not sure if I posted about Melissa this one woman I wrote who’s right in Evanston. She’s a dance therapist and seemed really nice and understanding about my financial situation me being blind and just over all situation. She agreed I could come for $10 and my mom agreed to fund this. Right up til I was gonna meet with her I just got so overwhelmed with starting a whole new therapy process. Not so much telling my story which I’m good at but opening myself up to make that connection to give the person a chance and to work through all my little quirks and see how acceptintg this person really is. It takes patience and a certain kind of openness to work with me. I wrote her and she said she understood. I said I was particularly sensitive and I explained the Jonathan disaster. She said if I chose to see her she’d be there for the long term and I could contact her anytime.
So I guess that offer is still there though it’s been months since I asked my mom about paying for it and not sure if she will or not. Sometimes she says money is fine and sometimes not so I don’t know.
I had planned when signing up for some groups either with trilogy or thresholds the two big organizations around here, to ask for an individual therapist. A woman from thresholds is coming the middle of this month to talk to me about their services. This would be free due to them taking Medicaid. Part of me thinks it might be good to see another therapist outside here and get a new perspective. Edith agrees but says it’s up to me. We’re both kinda amused because right now she’s basically my caseworker and therapists. And she says I don’t listen to anything she says anyway and we just laugh about it because in spite of that she really does help me. She has my same sense of humor and is really overdramatic with expressing herself and it kinda reminds me of Deborah from MA and it’s just funny. She’s my one huge connection here. If she leaves she’s taking me with her.
Anyway so Jonathan is finally back from vacation. And so I decided before deciding whether to see another therapist or not I’d talk to him. First of all clear the air with all this stuff about him pulling back from me apparently due to me doing better, yet he never discussed this with me, and there needs to be a balance because when I don’t hear from him at all I feel he doesn’t really care at all. Talking about all this will help me figure out if we really can keep going with therapy again. Which I’d really like to do actually because it would bew so much emotionally easier to do that than start a whole new relationship.
My friends say I should clear the air to get closure but that I should go with a new therapist like Melissa. That Jonathan will just back out again get caught up in his work and not be able to see me and how hurtful that would be. I think if I’m gonna do this I have to accept that this is a huge quirk of his that won’t change anytime soon. I mean if he does the same thing to staff than it’s not about me being a resident or anything it’s just him. So I guess I’d have to just know that as it has before this issue will likely come up again. If I can figure out the whole why he backed off in the first place, minus the scheduling thing, I’d at least know he truly still cares even though I am doing better emotionally. I feel like being able to accept this is easier than trying to work with a new person and the damage that would cause. From everything from understanding self injury/ the harm reduction plan I have, to my relationship with my best friend and older sister (adopted) Jess. All outside professionals when they hear about our relationship automatically albel it codependent or say I have poor boundaries. That was pretty hurtful. Jonathan and staff here know both of us intimately and how it was we became friends what our stories are and the ins and outs of our relationship, and basically that though there’s always room for improvement it’s more healthy than unhealthy and we couldn’t have gotten this healthy individually without each other.
So tomorrow is the day. I wrote all this out in an e-mail to him as I often do. First to remind him of our appointment. By the way, even when he puts something in his phone he’ll still forget! And also to let him know what I want to talk about so he can really think about it. I’m hoping this will go well and we can start fresh whether I see someone new or not. Jess says maybe I could do both which would be interesting. So yeah I’m really excited actually. And hopeful.