Ever since I started talking to therapist #27 about how I’m looking for a job, he’d mention the same thing.
“You should look into the work Dr. X is doing.”
And I’d smile and say, “Sure I’ll look into that. Thanks for the tip.”
But I’d never write the name down. By the end of the session the name would be long forgotten. And besides I wouldn’t want to use the tip anyway.
I don’t want to get a job referral from my therapist. I haven’t reached that level of desperation yet. I’m so worried about privacy and boundaries, the last thing I want is a job I was refereed to by my therapist.
Imagine the interview, “How did you hear about this job?”
“Err.. Um.. Google?”
I applied to a number of jobs this weekend. One stood out. It matches my interests more than anything else I have applied to. It’s a bit of a stretch for me to get this one in particular, but I figured it was such a perfect match that I needed to try.
I mentioned this job application in therapy this week and described the job a little.
And #27 asked again, “Have you looked into the work Dr. X is doing yet?”
And then I realized Dr. X was the person I’d applied for that job with.
It’s not a huge deal. I probably won’t get the job. It’s a long shot. And even if I did I wouldn’t avoid it because of this. It’s too wonderful of an opprotunity.
I can’t keep things separate to the extent I want them to be. What’s the opposite of the mental health field? I should have decided to go into that.
Wow, what a coincidence! How did your T react to finding out? Good luck to you, long shot or not!
It’s not much of a coincidence. It’s representative of my problem. Everyone knows each other. It seems like there’s this whole world of people in this profession but they’re all so interconnected.
I emailed a completely random researcher on the other side of the world with a question. Later I realized her work cites one of my co-workers articles.
I think he already knew when he asked me if I’d looked into Dr X’s work. I’d said the name of the place and a lot of details. He must have made the connection. I don’t know if he believes me that I really just stumbled upon it on my own.
Hmm, I understand the awkwardness. It would be tough to work in close proximity with someone who knows your T. That said, I think a lot of people in this field go into it because of inner … unrest, shall we say and a lot of therapists are in therapy themselves. So if it’s your therapy that you’re worried will be found out, maybe it wouldn’t be such a huge deal? I don’t know. I’d be uneasy too, though so feel your pain.
My concern is less about people realizing I’m in therapy. Lots of people are in therapy for relatively benign things. But I have things in my records saying stuff like “severe character pathology” and I have chronic suicidal ideation. And I got kicked out of my school when they learned of my 1st hospitalization and it was made even worse by the roommates who harassed me after finding my seroquel when I was finally allowed to return. I’ve already been discriminated against and am terrified of it happening again. Everything I do in my life is in some way influenced by this fear. I am so terrified of it happening again that even things which are further removed from actually causing the same problem (like my therapist knowing someone I work with, which in reality I’m pretty sure he already knows people I work with. It’s not been explicitly stated, but it seems like he knows too much about my work) freak me out. Those things represent being one step closer to being hurt.
I’m messed up. But I’m able to do a lot professionally and academically despite that. The problem is that is people know how emotionally messed up I am they assume other functioning is low too.
I have been empathetic to your concerns about others finding out – specifically in your field – but even more so after reading Differently Sane’s (http://differentlysane.wordpress.com) blog. Do whatever you can to hide it. We should be encouraging each other not to adhere to the stigma but when it comes to our lives, it is (in my opinion) too much of a risk. I can’t even imagine going through what you already have. It is such a terrible situation. I wish I could have some better suggestions to help you out.
A lot of the time I can’t bear to read her posts entirely, because I feel like she is living my nightmare. The only people in a position to fight the stigma within the field are those who can establish themselves in the field before people realize their difficulties.
I understand the fear but I think it would be impossible to keep it all completely separate forever. I went to a seminar on a spur of the moment decision one day, and happened to run into my psych’s own therapist there, and also one of my counselors from a very long time ago, and a few counselor type people who I’d known from being inpatient at a local psych hospital. It was odd but made me think if I had continued to go into the psychology field I would of had to deal with it eventually. I believe sometimes people who have had the most therapy end up making the best therapists. :)