Did you ever find yourself uncomfortably reclined in your therapist’s office? Have you ever wondered why your coverage chose this person to treat you? Has it crossed your mind that there are ways to spend $75/hr. besides talking to someone who’s only pretending to listen.
Several years ago I arrived at the end of my rope. Unfortunately, I fought cultural norms, religious beliefs and scheduled a mental health appointment. Then, my therapist had the audacity to invalidate my needs. Why are you seeing me today if you’re not helping? Why are you not seeing the tears stream down my face, the pain in my voice? Where is your empathy? Desperately, I screamed from the corners of my soul that I needed help. The primal vulnerability of my pain fell upon professionally deafened ears.
I guess my broken and fragile reality was muffled between your high-end office decor, your Redbottoms and a Gucci pantsuit. I had no choice but to fix myself for free because if I didn’t, I might not be here today. I made myself strong because you didn’t heal me. I arrived broken, and I left more broken.
Can you relate? Share with us your story of invalidation, cultural ignorance or blatant disregard of your self-identity. Be strong. Be open. Tell your story.
I see writers like you, like Gabby Sidibe, like other memoirist I admire, and y'all are leaving blood on the floor with your work! And I need to stop hiding, open up a vein, and bleed, you know?
My God. Contessa, you told the story of so many of us.
Contessa Louise Cooper, great job on sharing your experience and showing the lack of cultural awareness that continues to exist in my field. I am sorry you had to go through this and I hope this did not deter you from getting the help you needed from a different therapist. I'm sure I speak for most of us in this field when I say we salute you for speaking up and will pass this along to our counterparts of other cultures and races. Thanks for sharing.