Guy’s Story: Abandonment/Bad Termination Part II
So part two begins with backing up a little, when Ms Twig had decided to finally let me go and she saw me to the door, (two doors in reality, the office door then the building’s exit.) On the way out I put my two therapy books and binder in the waste basket next to the couch, (small one for tissues.) In retrospect I wish I had not have done that, but I was under great distress over being treated like this and really didn’t want anything to do with therapy again. The books barely fit, the binder I placed on top of the basket, and then I left.
Now, I am not a suicidal person. Sometimes I have the thought that I look forward to the day my time here is done, but it won’t be by my hand because of religious, moral, and obligatory reasons. But I will say that the duress that Ms Twig caused me pushed me as close to that line then I’ve ever been. Between grief and tears it was not an easy or safe drive home. This was the 9th of the month.
The rest of the week I spent trying to figure out just what went wrong. I began to write a daily breakdown of what transpired over the last few visits. Once done, I could see that I had a pretty comprehensive log of what happened, but the more I studied it the less her actions at that last session made any sense. I felt I needed to talk to her to hopefully get some real answers and get a couple items off of my chest and get some closure.
You see, at this point I knew it was over, I did not expect her to consent to see me as a patient again, and even if she did I wouldn’t want to go back after her betrayal of my trust. I was just hoping a little closure might help in healing some of the pain.
I then read over her practice policies and came upon the subject of terminations and found this:
Ms Twig’s Practice Policy in regards to termination contains, in part: “Therefore, it is important to have a termination process in order to achieve some closure. The appropriate length of the termination depends on the length and intensity of the treatment. I may terminate treatment after appropriate discussion with you and a termination process if I determine that the psychotherapy is not being effectively used or if you are in default on payment. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose of terminating.”
The underlined never happened and from that last line I was still owed this termination session per her Practice Policies.
The following Monday I logged into my Client Portal, (you can check online to check your next appointment with her.), and saw that Ms Twig had me scheduled for the next morning. So, I’m getting my closure session after all, that’s good. I text her, (Ms Twig’s preferred method of communication), a thank you as a confirmation like I usually do.
The next morning only two hours before my appointment I get a message from her that I have no appointment scheduled and that I am NOT her patient anymore and texts a CYA text giving me other providers I can contact. Some “Termination” no? I send her a screen shot showing I was scheduled for an appointment that morning; she comes back with some nonsense about that being an “automated reminder that should not have been sent out”. Which is an outright lie on two points, I don’t know if her system can send out auto-reminders, but in the approximate eight months of sessions at this location I have never received a single reminder. Also, my screen shot is clearly of her website and showing the scheduled appointment.
This entire episode was apparently her just torturing me by dangling this carrot!!!!
I said I want to schedule an appointment and she replied reiterating that I am not a client. I sent her a screen shot of the text above in her Practice Policies on the termination session and “where is my termination process and appropriate discussion?”
An hour and a half later I still had not heard back from her. I sent this text: “I was hoping for that discussion and closure, I am not angry now, just sad and hurt. If we can’t do that can I at least get my materials back if they weren’t tossed?” She never replied and also ignored two follow up texts and two emails.
At some point during this I did receive a formal letter from Ms Twig in the mail that was just putting the abandonment to words and more CYA by providing the lists of clinics again. Again ignoring my request to know what became of my books and binders, and only reason for not providing me with the termination session was “safety concerns”. Another lie, her safety was never a factor; Ms Twig knows me very well and therefore knows full well that I am about as harmless as they come. The only “safety concern” that might have existed was my drive home after being badly treated in that Feb 9th session.
Some of this odd behavior from Ms Twig becomes a bit clearer later once I requested and received my PHI (personal health info).
So, 10 days later after being ignored on every form of communication thus far, ignoring texts, and 2 email requests for answers to the questions I posed in the ignored texts. I decided to call her on the phone, she disconnected her phone!!! What kind of “professional” does that? And no, I was not pestering her, I sent only 2 emails and 4 texts that were not responded to, and I hadn’t called at all until this one call almost a total of two weeks later when I discovered the phone had been childishly disconnected.
Tired of Ms Twig’s games and being treated like dirt I composed my last letter to her again asking about my books and binders and my termination session. In this letter I asked for my PHI and disclosures lists. I sent the letter certified to verify receipt.
About a week later, making it the beginning of March, I received a packet from Ms Twig that contained my PHI and another cold letter explaining that she won’t give me my final session over concerns for “safety concerns”. She did finally respond to the fate of my books and binders, she said they were not saved since I “threw them out.”
This issue of my materials makes an interesting point. I fully and completely understand that Ms Twig was under no legal obligation to save my books and binder. But it does give us an inside look to how her mind works and her coldness. In regards to my materials:
1) Everyone else in the free world: “Guy is really in distress and upset. He’ll want these back when he’s feeling better. I’ll just set them here for him, [or mail them to me], in case he asks.”
2) Ms Twig: I’ll just jiggle this knife around while I twist it, make it hurt some more!
Now, ever since this happened about a month earlier I’ve been advised and encouraged in filing a complaint against Ms. Twig. While doing such would be legally and ethically prudent, I resisted this option as I hoped Ms. Twig would do the right thing by giving me that termination session, and, hopefully, return my materials. All I was asking for.
But, as it turns out, Ms Twig forced me into filing a complaint. First with her refusal to do the human, moral, legal, and ethically proper thing and help me close this out. Secondly, upon review of my PHI I find that she has altered the documents and falsified the ones altered! And I don’t mean differences in therapeutic theory or treatment application, or such, but specifically about things said and done!!
The altered documents are the ones regarding the incident and the few days leading up to it. You see, it’s provable as her system dates her documents when created and when “edited”. Nearly all of the documents during the eight months of sessions there are short as they were created, but not edited. However, the later documents at the end mysteriously get quite lengthy and Ms Twig tries to make me into some kind of monster in just a few short sessions!
The dates tell the tale; in her letter to me she acknowledges receiving my letter requesting my PHI/Disclosures on the 24th, an entry in the PHI shows the evening of the 24th. The very next morning is when Ms Twig started editing these reports. For instance, on for a document created Feb 9th shows an “edited” date of the 25th, coincidentally just hours after receiving my request for these documents. The last “edit” also contains the coincidence of being edited March 1st, the same date she put on her letter and then mailed the packet!
So, I’ll get to the fabrications and lies shortly, but first one of the reasons for this behavior from Ms Twig. In these altered reports she mentions more than once that she referred to legal council to make sure she was on firm legal ground for abandoning me and not following up with the termination session. One can deduce that legal council may have told her what she needs to put in her reports to cover what she has done. Then the edits begin. It is sad that Ms Twig’s concerns were solely for her legal position, with zero consideration for her client’s well being.
In these edits she has me “rocking back and forth hugging my legs and screaming” like a madman in a “B” movie!! I have never screamed in my adult life!! I did not hug my legs and rock back and forth. What I did do was cry like there was no tomorrow and I did hold my head in my hands as I was embarrassed as well as hurt.
After trying to find out what happened and being completely stonewalled and not a word of caring or compassion, I did begin to get angry and she kept pushing me with non-answers at which point I did raise my voice, but at no time did I scream, the very idea is ridiculous. At this point she got tired of toying with me and let me go.
Ms Twig claims in the edited reports that she left the room because I was an increase “in physical agitation and verbal aggression which poses a safety concern.” I was sitting on the couch crying, I was not being physically agitated and as to the other, yes, I was getting angry for being treated like a sack of vomit. I suppose I was expected to whimper and cry and play her power struggle game and when I stopped playing she was done with me.
She did not leave the room for safety concerns, she said “I’ll see you out then” and unlocked and opened both the office door and the exit door and saw me out of each. She claims to have heard banging around in her office, which is a bizarre thing to say as she was at the door and could see her office! The only thing I touched in that office was a box of tissues, (I used them all), and I placed my books in the waste basket. She later claims her waste basket was knocked over, and I suppose that’s possible from the weight of books might have toppled it and I didn’t see it. I couldn’t see much of anything through the tears. If so it wasn’t intentional and nothing in that office was violated by me or my actions.
One of the big questions that was bothering me ever since this last incident was, just what happened between the time I left at the Feb 2 session when the apologies were made, the boundaries were agreed upon, and we had a pretty decent session the rest of the hour and the time I came in on the Feb 9th session to find her glaring, hateful, cold, and angry? The only logical conclusion was there was some kind of outside influence on Ms. Twig as there just was no other reason for this to happen. Well, there it was in black and white when I received my PHI. The appointment was on Feb 2, but for some reason the report wasn’t made until the next day and was doctored on March 1st. Ms Twig specifically mentions that she “consulted” with two of her “colleagues” about my case. So there you have it, the great change in attitude; she is being influenced, not advised, by outside sources telling her how to run her practice.
So after reviewing the maliciousness and falsehoods edited into my PHI I had no choice but to file a complaint, Ms Twig did me great harm and also sullied my character in those doctored documents and proved my mental health was never a real consideration of hers at all and that she’s not even in full control of her office. I was deceived for over a year.
To finish I do not see reason or rational for Ms Twig to escalate a comment about friendship and then the mild argument regarding boundaries and friendships to the action of termination, and such a brutal and callous termination at that. And I remind again that I was going through a bad depressive episode during all of this, when I most needed therapeutic support, not rejection.
As far as the topic of friendship I would like to point out that Ms Twig herself was the first one to cross this “boundary”. Just a few months ago we had a discussion about personalities. I had commented to her that I felt she had a great personality for her job, that it made it easy to talk to her about the private issues associated with mental health. Her reply: “I know what you mean, I speak to some of my colleagues and they’re cold and distant to me. I can only imagine how they are with their patients and how can they expect their patients to open up. I like to spend some time with new patients before starting therapy so we get to know each other and become friends.” That quote is verbatim.
It’s too late for me, what’s happened to me cannot be undone, but maybe this will help prevent future clients becoming victims.
Thank you for reading these long summaries,