Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Managing anger is hard

Definition of irony: getting angry while trying to get anger management therapy

I went to the office of counseling services this morning. The second I used the term anger management, the woman told me there's a seminar to attend.

Me: With other people?
Her: Yes, a seminar
Me: I don't need a lecture, I want individual therapy
Her: This is what you have to go to
Me: No it isn't
Her: Excuse me?
Me: Having someone talk AT me, will not help me
Her: Well the seminar is what you have to go to
Me: But I need counseling. I read your website - it says counseling
Her: No
Me: But it says you provide short-term counseling for anger or irritability 
Her: You have to go to this first
Me: It doesn't say that on your website
Her: Well you do
Me: Can I speak with your supervisor?
Her: No
Me: Why?
Her: Are you kidding me?
Me: Do I look like I'm joking?
Her: Because she's not in yet
Me: Fine. When will she be in?
Her: I don't know
Me: Well can I leave her a message?
Her: No
Me: What?
Her: This is what I look like when I'm kidding
Me: I don't need a mindfuck.
Her: ::jaw drops::

I tried calling back also, because there's no way I could count on this girl to pass on my name and number. Of course nobody called me back. Once when I called I got the same girl, and she hung up on me. The second time I called nobody answered. Same with the third time, but it was almost 8pm so they were already closed.

So I called Doug. His answering service lady was so nice. I told her it wasn't at all an emergency. She told me she was glad to hear that. Doug called me back less than an hour later, when I was eating dinner and watching Dancing With the Stars. While we were on the phone I heard it in the background and interrupted myself to ask if he was watching too.

Doug: Yeah. You too? Who are you rooting for?
Me: That football player is surprisingly good.
Doug: I like him too.

It feels weird to talk about tv with a doctor. But after we agreed on the football player, Doug just asked what he could help me with, so I told him what happened this morning. He said it shouldn't have happened, and asked if he found me a private shrink, would I go? When I explained about not being able to afford it, Doug laughed. "Don't worry, I have friends who owe me favors."

He told me his file for me is at his office, apologizing for not remembering, and asked if I went to therapy before. I said I had. "A male psychologist, right? The person I have in mind for you is a woman. That's okay with you?" I immediately felt awkward realizing all my doctors have been guys. I wonder if that says something about me. So I said a girlie shrink would be okay. Doug said he'd make some phone calls and get back to me in the next couple of days. "Can this hold a couple of days?" I said it could.


Anonymous said...

Doug sounds like he has a heart of gold.

I originally typed 'golf' :) ha

But that's great news.

Abby said...

Can you report that girl to someone? She shouldn't be working there. "Shouldn't have happened" is an understatement. If someone walked in there in real crisis and got that treatment, and walked back out again like you did...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have some really good people in your corner! We like the football player, too.

Anonymous said...

Another option is to go to a community mental health facility. They have payment on a sliding scale and you may have to pay very little. This is just a back up option.

Anonymous said...

I agree that a person fielding walk-in inquiries at the school mental-health office should be better trained. If someone came in requesting 'anger management', the first thing would be to avoid a confrontation! She should be removed from her job.

That said, I agree that you've got some great resources in your corner and you shouldn't hesitate to avail yourself of them! You did the right thing calling Doug.

Zephyr said...

My son told me that trying to get an appointment with counseling services at his college almost made him want to stab someone.

Someone needs to define "service" to them.

Yankee, Transferred said...

If that exchange weren't so horrific, it would have been funny. But it WAS horrific and I'm so glad you have Doug (and all your other supporters) in your corner.
Hang in there til shrinking.

Nina said...

THAT is just messed up. That girl needs to be working somewhere else. WTF.

But I'm so glad you've got people you can turn to when your Plan A didn't pan out. I hope you like your new therapist.