Ok, so it’s two days since that last session. Well, a day and a half, but two sleeps later. And I think the sleep matters a ton, as far as processing.
First, I told him I wanted to talk about something new (food) but had other things to cover before we got there. He told me he had some business, and asked if I wanted to cover it first, or at the end. I motioned for him to go ahead then. BIG MISTAKE. For starters, any time he’s had business to discuss at the end, it’s usually been after our session time is technically over, so I could have maybe taken advantage of that flexibility with his boundaries. The other thing, I had some vague notion of what he wanted to talk about, so I absolutely should have saved it for the end, so it didn’t distract me the rest of the session.
So, Al, our former couple’s therapist, is the one who recommended Sid. They were, at the time, in practice together (a practice which Al had founded). In January, Sid told me that he would be separating from Al’s practice, focusing on his own. He did not say as much, but this was right after Al’s book came out, and thus AlPractice’s prices went up. He stated his motives very diplomatically, “their mission is changing.” Yeah. There’s something behind that, but even if I pried, he wouldn’t tell me.
This is only an issue because of insurance. AlPractice is a preferred provider with my insurance company. SidPractice is not. (Basically, the difference is between an $11 copay, and a $75 copay for out-of-network) In January, Sid humbly asked me if as a client with that particular insurance, I would help him try to become a preferred provider. My life would be easier, and he would be more available to a wider range of insurance with this company. Of COURSE I would help him! I wrote a professional letter to the insurance company, giving Sid the high praise I felt he was due, and how it would be detrimental to my mental health to have to seek a new therapist. I also filled out their official form.
Well, Sid never heard back from the insurance about becoming a preferred provider. I’ve been billed under AlPractice since January, but the split will be official as of June 15th. There are other options, but they all suck. One was switching to Al as my therapist, one was switching to SDJ where I could still see Sid, but he has much more limited availability there than in private practice. The best option is probably filling out extra paperwork so that he can bill my insurance as though he’s a preferred provider, even though he’s not… but that may be finite.
So, good little codependent / Anon that I am, I called the insurance company yesterday: “Yo, what’s going on with Sid’s preferred provider application?” Not surprisingly, they couldn’t tell me much… just what I already knew, that AlPractice is listed as preferred, SidPractice is not. But, the guy I spoke to was very nice, and gave me the number for Provider Relations FOR SID to call, he emphasized that, because “I like my job” and transferring me there directly would probably get him fired. So as of right now, I have an Email out to Sid, “would you be willing to call them? Here’s the number.” I’m incredibly grateful that Cameron (GA Sponsor) works in medical billing, she’s helped me figure out how to handle this. She also told me to keep all the emotion out of my Email to Sid. As much as I want to be all, “SWEET BABY JESUS, IF YOU CARE ABOUT ME AT ALL, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY!!” I just asked if he’d be willing to call.
And I wait. And wait. About 24 hours and no reply yet.
In the meantime. The rest of the session on Monday sucked. Partially I think I was distracted by the insurance mess. Everything else I talked about didn’t feel like I reached a comfortable resolution, or even pausing, point.
I talked about a dream I had about Sid, and Al. We were hanging out socially, like you do with your therapist and couples therapist, on a couch or something. A friend from college walked by, and Sid started talking to him, and with the conversation it was obvious he was a client. Not to mention, he was discussing another guy I knew from HS (who in reality there’s minimal chance knows the college friend) and saying something about their girlfriends being similar. I remember scowling at Sid the whole time he’s having this conversation with my friend, thinking about HIPAA and confidentiality, etc. etc. etc. After my friend leaves, I ask Sid, “is it ok to do that?” and he said, “oh, it’s ok, because I was lying.”
The part I focused on was the lying. The part Sid focused on was relating it to my anxiety over applying for a job at SDJ. The part neither of us talked about was my desire to be friends with Sid, and maybe to a lesser extent Al.
I remember wondering somewhat recently if Sid would lie to me. So I brought it up with this dream, acknowledging that there’s no good answer. “Would you lie to me?” To say no… well, how do I know you’re not lying now? To say yes… well, how can I trust anything you say, then?
He said, “The only honest answer is to say, yeah, I’m going to lie to you.” Fuck. I flushed, told him I didn’t like that answer, but appreciated his honesty.
Upon further reflection, what in the ever-loving HELL could he possibly need to lie to me about?! I mean… whatever he’s been doing, it’s been working. But… that still doesn’t sit well with me. I guess don’t ask the question if you don’t want to know the answer?
Before I told him about the dream, I talked about another potential sponsor for SLAA, but that one small thing about her irritated me and I’m not sure how to work on that. I don’t feel like that issue quite got resolved.
FINALLY. With 10 minutes left in the session, I was determined to bring up the food thing. In hindsight, my sarcasm was a defense mechanism, but my words were drowning in it. In fact, it’s almost exactly what I said in my post… I said something about being hesitant to bring it up with him, because he’s a guy. So, CLEARLY I’m sure he’s never dealt with anyone, either professionally or personally, who has body issues.
When he threw my sarcasm back in my face, it kind of stung. All he said was: CLEARLY.
Maybe he was just trying to illustrate that he got my point. Or maybe the biting sarcasm stung him (ha! countertransference?) and he just wanted me to STFU. But, I dunno. Ugh.
So we finally talk a little bit about my food issues… and he recommends I get a nutritionist, or maybe look at the Program my friend Becky is in, since I’m already familiar with it yadda yadda. Now, I’m not opposed to getting a nutritionist, necessarily… And I absolutely do not have time or energy for an Intensive Outpatient Program. But I brought it up with him because I want to talk about my damned feelings about food… because someone smart told me, it’s not really about the food. 😉
So I felt like he was brushing me off.
Let’s see. First my overwhelming fear of abandonment is triggered with the insurance nonsense. Then I find out he has and/or is going to lie to me. Then he doesn’t seem to care about my food issues.
Fifty minutes, and I went from feeling awesome, to feeling like absolute garbage. Whenever he asks me what I’m feeling… if it’s anxious or something like that, he asks me where I’m feeling it. Shoulders. The answer is almost always my shoulders.
This was the first time I left a session and my shoulders literally hurt from so much tensing. In fact, the left side is still a little sore today.
And I still have no idea if he even gives a shit enough to pick up the fucking phone and call motherfucking Premera.
And I think it would be really helpful to talk to him about my shift on the help line yesterday, and applying for a job at SDJ, since I met with Shannon this morning… but I don’t want to Email him until I hear back about the insurance thing!