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to not discuss psychology appointments

(66 Posts)
muffinthemoo Fri 11-Jan-19 20:19:11

I don't know if AIBU is the right place for this; I suppose I just want confirmation that I'm doing the right thing and maybe some advice on how to handle this.

I have recently started a course of psychology appointments following a very difficult birth a few months ago. I expected to 'get over' my feelings around the birth, but I have realised that as I am a few months on and still struggling, it's best to get some help to feel 'normal' again. I've found myself unable to do things like go to a doctor for any reason, and that's obviously not tenable in the long term.

I like the psychologist who is seeing me, but we covered quite a lot of ground in assessment appointments, and she has told me she wants to work on historical trauma as part of the course of treatment. I've mentioned in previous posts that we had a sort of difficult childhood and my mother has a lot of problems of her own; our relationship is very difficult for me to navigate. We have a lot of contact though.

The crux of the problem is this. Mum is aware I am having these appointments, and is phoning me up after each one and expecting (indeed asking for) a blow by blow recap of what was discussed at the appointment. She seems to be under the impression my MIL will be blamed for everything, and to be... gathering ammunition or something?

I absolutely do not want to have these conversations, and am struggling hard with shutting them down. I absolutely am not prepared to tell her that I am going to embark on trauma work related to her conduct towards me in childhood and our ongoing relationship. This work is for my benefit, to help me to deal with some very painful and troubling stuff, and I do not want the person who - to be blunt - caused the bad experiences involved. Over and above that, she would react in a completely unhinged way to finding out I had ever criticised her, even in a therapeutic context.

I am entitled to my therapeutic privacy, right? I am not being unreasonable about this? She keeps prying and rankly attempting to cross examine me. I am well able to deflect and dodge but the continual focus on what she is describing as "keeping secrets from her" is starting to make me angry.

Do you have any suggestions for how to go about telling a very difficult person, who has longstanding untreated mental health issues, to... keep their nose out of your treatment? Has anyone else had this problem?

(My father's advice is just to make up a screed of lies about MIL which I do not want to do. I do not get on with MIL at all but whilst she causes some issues in my marriage currently, she absolutely is not to blame for the childhood stuff which has caused me so much trouble and pain. I didn't even know the woman then.)

GabriellaG54 Sat 12-Jan-19 18:07:38

A sincere question.
If you were so strong mentally, how were you so easily manipulated into giving up your course?

GabriellaG54 Sat 12-Jan-19 18:08:56

My last post was to Catterygirl

Survivor Sat 12-Jan-19 18:28:27

I agree with MissAdventure. The instructions come from the professional and lying about your MIL or anyone will not help you heal. However, beware the No Contact scenario popular since 2014 as the effects have proven destructive unless physical or sexual abuse is present. Your therapist should guide you in how to discover your feelings, if they tell you what you think and how you feel, find another therapist. This is about you and your self discovery. Stay compassionate.

GG65 Sat 12-Jan-19 18:35:24


And emotional abuse, which is just as damaging.

Catterygirl Sat 12-Jan-19 19:41:00

A house move to another country, thereby losing my teacher.

GabriellaG54 Sat 12-Jan-19 19:50:22

Ah! I hope you're happy and settled in your new home Catterygirl smile

Fennel Sat 12-Jan-19 20:06:31

Muffin -
Keep your own sessions to yourself, and suggest to your Mum that if she's upset about it she has her own therapist. At the same company.
How does she know that you're having this therapy anyway?

Pat1949 Sat 12-Jan-19 20:40:31

Explain that it's heartbreaking enough to go over things once with your therapist, to do it twice is far too traumatic. Tell her that when you're in a better you'll open up, and no, I don't think you're being unreasonable, no one likes being interrogated about something they wish to keep private.

Grannyknot Sat 12-Jan-19 20:43:07

You don't have to explain anything!

No is a sentence. When she asks you to tell her about the sessions with the psychologist, reply "No".

Urmstongran Sat 12-Jan-19 21:59:59

Well done muffin for seeking help for your well being and ultimately that of your new baby. Exactly as others have said... this is about YOU and for YOU. I think your mum fears (knows) what is being discussed here and she’s twitchy about it. Understandable. But these sessions are for YOU to get well.
Ask your therapist how best to fob your mum off.
Best wishes. x

Eloethan Sun 13-Jan-19 00:34:34

Can't you say something like "Please, I don't want to talk about this Mum. It's too tiring going through it all again."

I think it is very insensitive of your Mum - and intrusive.

Sleepygran Sun 13-Jan-19 00:58:43

It sounds as though your mother is frightened.She will be aware of the traumas that occurred during your childhood and is worried you will blame her,as she probably doesn't know you already do.
It might be an idea to say that as parents we can all get things wrong, but we do the best we can at the time, and hindsight is a wonderful thing,and by seeing a therapist, you're trying to do the best you can for yourself,and this will help you parent your child.
Say if it throws up any issues from the past and you need to discuss it you will, but at the moment you're happy to keep it between you and your therapist. If she goes on just repeat until she gets the message and add, it's going ok thanks.
Good luck.

Dawn22 Sat 02-Feb-19 22:58:49

I can relate to what you say. My mil was truly dreadful for nearly the last thirty years and her legacy is a broken and dysfunctional family. My difficulty relates to my 90 year old Father. He expects me in good form all the time and if l am ever a bit down he does not realise that l am burnt out from elder care and even though he is a good man l don't like at all visiting him in the nursing home and relentless visiting. Take care of yourself. You are not alone.

BlueBelle Sun 03-Feb-19 03:51:55

A few points, I don’t know your childhood back story, but if your relationship with mum is a difficult one why have you told her you have sought help? Why does she know when you have these sessions ? (as she rings up afterwards for a blow by blow description) It sounds to me as if you are guilty of drawing your mum into your business then resenting her asking questions
Do not take you Dads advice under any circumstances
Do not tell your mum where or when you go to therapy unless you are prepared for questions
It is only human to be curious and if you drip feed your mum bits of information expect the third degree I do not really understand why you invited her to know your business in the first place.

EllanVannin Sun 03-Feb-19 10:21:46

Your mother could well be trying to find answers through you for her own problem/s ? Hence the reason for her unacceptable and pressing curiosity.