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Today marks four years since I was harshly and abruptly abandonded by my oldT. If you don't know the story you can look it up in Personal Stories Thread on August 11, 2010. I was less than a week out of gall bladder surgery and pushed myself out of the house to see him because he was leaving on a 23 day vacation and that was hard for me to contemplate. He had also told me there would be no contact during that time he was away.

So I went in prepared to talk about my surgery experience and his vacation. Instead, ten minutes before session was up he handed me a list o T's that he pulled from the Psych Today website and told me to find one during his vacation with the idea I would be seeing them going forward. I froze. I became paralyzed and asked for more time to discuss it. He refused and shut the door in my face. Left me standing there crying in the foyer. Alone. Abandoned. Terrified. I died that day. The person I was then died.

Sat in my car for a long time crying and unable to drive away. Hysterical and in grief. He finally came out took away my car keys, called the police and had them take me away to the ER Crisis Center. He followed but didn't say an thing to the people there but he declined to "commit" me. He left me there saying we would meet in September when he got back.

The next day, Friday the 13th, I got an email when I got home from work saying he was taking me off his schedule and I needed to focus on finding a new T. I was terminated.

It has been a very long and hard road to recovery. I saw 4 other T's before settling in with my current T who saved my life. I was a shell of a person after that traumatic ending. I was almost catatonic for a long time. My brain still does not function like it did. My T has never given up on me and has walked this horrible road with me every step of the way. I don't even remember how bad I actually was but he does. He had to sit with me week after week and see what oldT did to me. It made him very angry at oldT. I never really understood what happened and it took me a full year to get some closure when we convinced oldT (we threatened him with the licensinig board) to meet with us so I could have my say. I Did have my say. I read him a 14 page letter spelling out everything that happened and what I thought about him and how he handled this. I got to say good-bye to Tdog who I loved and who I was very attached to.

Anyway, when this time of year rolls around I start to feel triggered. The feel in the air, the smells in the air. End of summer. The night sounds. All of this takes me back to those weeks of terror. Today it's even raining like it was that day bringing with it the images of me standing outside T's office with the rain soaking my summer dress as I pleaded with him for some time to talk.

Things are better now. I have a good T. I am attached to him, whether I like it or not. He protects me and takes care of me. We have both worked hard for our relationship, proving that when two people are committed to each other it can happen. You can come back from the ashes and experience care again. I am not seeing him today but I think I need to call him and talk to him, to hear his voice and to thank him for always being there for me.

While I have come through this and am doing much better, I am still not and never will be that person I was before the trauma. I'm not sure who I will end up being as that is still a work in progress. Maybe I will be a better, stronger, more compassionate person for what I have been through.

I just wanted to mark this day in some way and to say that it IS possible to recover from devasting terminations and loss of T's. You just need to find the right new T to help you recover and you have to be as committed as possible to the process.

Thanks for reading
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You are amazing. I have been around for 3 and a bit years and I remember you going back to OLD t to see him. I have always been close to your story as I was terminated brutally a year after you. I know the deep damage it has done to us both and to others.

This is my 3 year anniversary and I never thought that I would be able to handle it, but I am. The positive relationships with new T's replace some of the hurt from the OLD t. I don't dream of OLD T anymore, but I still do stop in the street if I see someone that looks a bit like her and I have to tell my brain that it isn't her. Sometimes the trauma, the smell, the memories, the triggers - just grab you and take the wind out of your lungs once in a while.

But now it is occasional for me and not every minute of the day. I am healing very slowly, but I am healing.

The legacy however is our poor NEW T's. They have had to deal with our behaviours, emotions and irrational brains and be witness to our deep, deep pain. I have given my lovely T a terrible time of it as I have punished her, screamed, cried and tortured her as she received the backlash of what I went through. My poor T who is incredibly patient, kind and unwaivering in her support and here is me 3 years later still fighting and kicking and telling her that I am terminating her so she won't do it to me. Sometimes that old stuff just rolls out before I realise what I am doing.

Our new T's seem to be very similar in their support. We are both lucky to have found them. I am glad you have your T TN, he is just what you needed and deserved to help you heal.

Thinking of you on this day
MC thanks for your response. Although it's been some years I still sometimes feel a need to talk about it. I just wanted to add that aside from my wonderful T, I had strong support from a good friend and my sister who had to listen to a lot of terrible stuff as a result of what happened. I also found comfort and support on this Board, although I ran into a nasty troll who added to my pain and was then banned, writing here helped a lot.

SD... I know it's the time of year for you as well and I remember when you joined I was just about seeing the light of day after what happened to me. I understood exactly what you were going through and the feelings it evoked. Yes we are getting better but it's like being in a war. And yes, our poor T's. They have had to withstand a lot from us. My T will sometimes sigh and say that he wishes he had me before oldT did so much harm (for my sake not his). He knew exactly what he was taking on and he has never wavered although I have given him enough reasons to leave me. We are so fortunate that they are so committed to our healing and that they believe it can happen. While we may not realize how much we are healing they an see more clearly our progress than we can. I'm so glad that you can feel yourself healing and are able to handle the anniversary better than in the past.

I also want to mention that I refuse to call what happened a termination. Termination from therapy implies a process whereby it is discussed, you have a discussion about the referrals provided and there is an orderly transition to a new T with no harm being done to the client. Where the client is given a reason for the termination and is allowed to express their feelings and are heard. None of that happened for me. What happened is that I was abandoned.

TN and SD I am so sorry for what happened to both of you. Don't people like your old T's realize how they affect a persons life? I guess they obviously don't but they really should be in another profession. Your stories make me so grateful for my T who has stuck with not easy me, for years. I am one of the fortunate ones.

TN, I think you will end up being a better, stronger you when you finish your journey with your current T. No way in hell could your old T take you where you need to go. Your T now will. Life works so funny sometimes. It's almost as if you were destined to be with your current T but you had to go through hell to make your way to him. Take it easy on yourself today and I am so glad you found current T.
It's almost as if you were destined to be with your current T but you had to go through hell to make your way to him.

Hi Becca. Thanks for the comments. You know I do feel that way now. I couldn't always say that or think that in the past. But finally finding my way to my T after everything that happened makes me appreciate him all the more. I did endure and I did find him and I am so much better off than I would have been and who knows how far we can go? I think my T can take me whereever I want to go if I work with him and stop fighting him so much. I do know he's the right T for me and I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

Hi (((TN)))

Thank you for posting this today; and I'm only sorry that you've had to experience this as well.

Your post is very poignant for me too this week; as this coming Friday it will be exactly one year since I was abandoned in similar circumstances Frowner

I also want to mention that I refuse to call what happened a termination. Termination from therapy implies a process whereby it is discussed, you have a discussion about the referrals provided and there is an orderly transition to a new T with no harm being done to the client. Where the client is given a reason for the termination and is allowed to express their feelings and are heard. None of that happened for me. What happened is that I was abandoned

Absolutely!! None of that happened for me either I'm sorry to say.

I'm just thankful that you; ((SD)), and myself, have all found wonderful new T's to help us over these awful abandonments.


Your strength is amazing. I have seen some of your hard days on here, but they are far outnumbered by days when you are such an encouragement to others or can speak so eloquently about the really good work with your current T. I have remarked a few times to the parallels, but I can only hope to be as insightful as you.

(((SD))) and (((AV))) and anyone else who knows this catastrophic collapse of the therapeutic frame, my heart is with you as well.

I, too, know the abandonment. Mine was more drawn out and occurred simultaneously to my separation from my ex, so it's all convoluted in my world. And like you, I give so much credit to my current T who knew far better than I what he was agreeing to take on.

My heartfelt appreciation to each of you... you give people like me hope.
Hi AV... I didn't realize you were coming up on one year and that it was in August. I'm sorry you are someone else that has suffered an abrupt ending to a therapeutic relationship. Despite the pain and anguish, I am happy that we have all found good, dedicated T's to help us heal. You've been quiet about therapy lately so was not sure how you were getting on with the new T and it's good to know things are going well for you.

PWW... thank you so much for saying what you did. It really means a lot that I can offer my hope to others and that because I have been walking on this road for a longer time I can tell them it gets better and you will heal again. So much of what I write here I have learned from my current T who is very wise and steady. Yes, we have our disruption but like you said, he knew far better than I did what he was committing to. He told me he knew full well it was going to be a long, tough road but he always reminds me that I am well worth whatever it takes.

I also like your phrase "catastrophic collapse of the therapeutic frame". That really describes so much of what happened. I'm sorry you suffered this fate too, no matter how it played out, it's still traumatic. And it has happened to too many of us. Glad you are safe with a new good T.

I hope you will find time and desire to share some of what you are working on with your T.


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