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hour 1 (part 1)
i wish i could write these the day of or after, but i usually need a day or two to process until i can write. this week’s session was very hard, so it took me a bit longer to get this down in writing. we also discussed many things, so i am going to split this session splash into 3 parts, hour 1 (as 2 posts) and hour 2 (as a single post).
Roommate’s friends do not like me!
we started hour 1 talking about an incident with my roommate and some old friends of his. i brought it up even though i did not plan to, so it must have bothered me more than i thought. my roommate (also my best friend) got in contact with some old friends, and they were discussing meeting.
somehow i came up in their conversation and his friend said “she probably has him tied in a basement somewhere by now” and also eluded to me being a bad friend. they also made it clear they did not want me coming along for the visit (it has been years since i last saw them). of course my roommate defended me, he is a good friend, which i appreciated a lot. but it made me really sad and made me cry (a little) anyway.
my therapist asked my why it bothered me so much? it is because it immediately reminded me of my roommate’s/best friend’s parents, who also feel the same way, and probably disowned him because of me, and my ‘influence’ on him (i am not exaggerating here). it happened almost 10 years ago now, but i still hold a tremendous amount of guilt about it to this day, especially because he does not even talk to his family now.
i also felt that his friends were being judgmental, since it had been so long since they had seen me and were not willing to give me a second chance. i hate to call people judgmental, because it makes me feel judgmental as well. but i cannot help how i feel. in that vain, i also feel that they are shallow (which to me means lacking a depth of personality, interests and humanity).
i have always felt this way because they are all social drinkers and do not care to talk about anything deep or meaningful. no joke, i remember once one of the girls and a few others got into a conversation about something equivocal to whether or not to recycle (i cannot recall exactly what the topic was) and she said, i can’t talk about this, it is too serious!! wtf? and this type of attitude is reflecting in all of their conversations, drunk or not. not really my kind of people anyway, i told my therapist.
this prompted her to ask me if i wanted them to give me a second chance. i said no, because of the above reasons and because i felt it did not really matter. i don’t have many friends, but i only want ones that i really ‘groove’ with anyway. however, if my best friends was going to start hanging out with them regularly, i would want them to at least be civil and get to know me a little, if they are going to be around the house.
Should I write a letter to an ex-client about professionalism?
i next asked her if it was appropriate to write an ex-client an e-mail about how i felt he mistreated me during the time i worked for him. the situation is that my car broke down, so i had to start working from home. i told him to please let me know if the arrangement was not working out, and i would rent a car to continue our regular meetings, which he agreed to.
long story short, a few weeks into this arrangement, he called me and said it was not working out, he had set up to work with his old bookkeeper already, who lives in a different state and would be, what!?, working from home. he said for me to call him at the end of june when i would have a car, and we could go back to normal. so basically, my therapist and i agreed that i was passively aggressively fired.
side note, how did this client expect me to still get a car by the end of june if he had taken away $1,000.00 a month of my income (more than half!)? he also gave me one day notice, so basically none. it is my understanding that 2 week is typical, but even 1 would have been nice. he never treated me well, and doesn’t treat anyone in his life well as far as i observed. but here is my personal list of grievances:
- he was often not home when i got there and my work was not ready for me. i waited outside for him many times, and was late only once over a half year period.
- worked in his home and he never greeted me when he got in, but sat down to eat lunch instead. this means he did not make sure the internet was working, whether or not i had work, or if i had any questions.
- he had me work at a pull out from his desk that was 2 x 2 feet on an old wooden chair, knowing that i have a serious back issue. i told him weekly that i needed a new chair and that it was not an option, to no avail.
- he would often (i mean a few times a day) say “this was an error on your part” then later correct himself to say he figured it out and no error was made. when i did make an error he would ask me why, which happened maybe once a month. how about human error jack ass? and to note, i counted about 5-10 errors on his part weekly, and i was only there one day a week. wtf? i pride myself on my accuracy!
- had constant internet problems, that he blamed on my computer (which i had to supply a laptop myself to work in his home, which i got specifically for this client). every other client has supplied me with a work-station if i did not work from home. i already have 2 computers (PC and MAC)!
- at one point i had a friend come in to consult on his internet issues at $50 an hour, but the issue was inconclusive. he did not pay my friend for the ONE hour spent because he felt he did not get a solution, although he was given 3. other contractors, such as Geek Squad, came to the same conclusions. he stiffed my friend and thought he was in the right, but paid Geek Squad! frugal my ass, try a manipulating cheap skate!
- he basically treated me like a hired hand or a commodity, and does not view his employees or workers as human beings, obviously!
so i asked my therapist if i could express some of this to him from the view that i felt the office environment and him constantly trying to find small errors was very unprofessional. my therapist suggested that i take it more from the perspective of what i would have normally expected in the given situation and not accusatory, which i thought was a good idea.
i told her i wanted to write it and then sit on it for at least a week, which we agreed on. we also discussed writing two different versions, one where i just rant and rave and one that i could actually send without jeopardizing my professional image. (once i get these done i will post them.)
my therapist asked me if this client reminded me of somebody? i had actually thought about that a lot, because he causes me to have very bad panic attacks, especially when i had to tell him something slightly negative or had to ask for something, such as a proper office chair once a week. this was singular to him and the environment and does not happen often with any other clients. i started to think about the way he treated me, like i was a robot and his physical build which reminded me specifically of one of my abusers.
this client is muscularly overdeveloped (so is his wife) and works out daily. he even had a set of weights in his office and reported straining his muscles often. i could tell that he was a shell of a person, hiding from something with the level of perfectionism that him and his wife operate at, or try to appear to operate at. they were always tense, often agitated at each other and argumentative (yes, right in front of me), and my client had an explosive temper and one time even banged his phone hard and suddenly, screaming “fuck these people”. scared the shit out me!
i also got a weird sense about the way he treated his two daughters. the younger one is spoiled to death (nannies, maid, multi-million dollar home, kind of lifestyle that he called frugal) and one day was throwing a temper-tantrum in the office. he grabbed her hard by the arm, looking to me like it might have bruised her and dragged her out of the room screaming. lot’s of read flags for me.
my therapist next asked me why i wanted to tell him? i told her that given all the faults that i saw, i felt that he might take my words into consideration, if i could present the facts properly (even though he is the robot!). i guess i feel that there is hope that he will react reasonably, and he might think about changing himself, even if only a little. i don’t know why, but i really want him to change how he treats people in the future, or at least give it some thought.
i will cover the rest of hour 1 in part 2 tomorrow.
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