Thursday, February 21, 2013
A sad day for this psychologist
It has been a really sad day for this psychologist. First, as you can see from the blog post below, I received a message from the clinic receptionist letting me know that my patient would not be making it to session. A friend of hers had called and the receptionist wasn't sure if the person on the phone said that my patient lost her "keys" or lost her "kids." Not being allowed to query further, since for confidentiality purposes we cannot even confirm or deny that a patient is even in treatment, I was left in a state of concern.
After reaching out to my patient's attorney, I learned as I wrote below. Her children were in the process of being removed from her. While her attorney planned to fight it in the afternoon hearing, she knew that there was little chance of successfully prevailing this time as my patient violated clear court orders.
The attorney left me a message telling me that she told my patient to call me to ask me what to say to her children when they would be removed. She didn't call me though. Even if I could have given her the "right" words, it wouldn't have made a dent in the pain that my patient or her children are experiencing right now.
If I wasn't sad enough, when I got home I received a really painful to read letter from "Lamar." I wrote about Lamar a few times and you can read about him here and here. He is a young man whom I have known for many years through my consulting work. He is currently incarcerated, soon to be released and we keep in touch through letter writing.
Lamar lost his mother when he was 12. His grandmother subsequently adopted him and raised him from then on. Though Lamar always had challenges in his relationship with his grandmother, he loved her very much. She died a few weeks ago, just a few months before Lamar would become a free, newly high school graduated man ready to start his adult life with aspirations of finding a job and turning his life around.
Lamar has been going through some pretty intense grieving. He wonders why him. He thinks about giving up and says that something inside of him won't let him. He wrote about feeling so alone. He wrote about knowing that there are people that love him out there and it is something he recognizes intellectually, but he doesn't feel. He asked me what to do. He feels like he is going crazy and doesn't know how to imagine life without his grandmother.
His letter broke my heart. I wrote him back with words of wisdom, words of support and encouragement but you can't take away the kind of pain he is feeling. In fact one thing that I told him is that he is doing it right. He is allowing himself to feel the feelings and he is writing to express himself. I reminded him of the old days when he stuffed down feelings regularly and how he punched down an EXIT sign at school one day when at the time I barely knew him but I was "shadowing" him in the hallway. May his grandmother rest in peace and Lamar, in time, find peace as well.