A Rant — May 17, 2017

Periodically I get comments from people who think that I’m lying about what happened with Dr. T, that I made everything up, that I just want attention, blah, blah, blah. They go on their rant, threaten to discredit me—whatever. It happened again this week.

Generally I let this stuff go, since I know that the people who say these things have their own hurt and anger that they can’t or don’t want to deal with—so I end up being the target of their projections. There’s no point in trying to defend or justify anything—that just gives them more ammunition. They’ve already made up their mind what the “truth” is, so why should I waste my energy trying to explain anything? That just adds fuel to the fire.

But now I’m kind of pissed, so I’m gonna say something. And that is: Who would make this shit up? And why?

* * *

I created this site back in 2009. I did it for two reasons:

  1. Because no one understood what I was going through and I wanted to speak my piece.
  2. Because I wanted to provide resources and support for others who might possibly be going through the same thing. I wanted them to feel less alone.

Was I expecting a response? Heck no! I honestly did not think anyone would find the site. Why would anyone even be looking for it? I was stunned the first time someone left a comment. And gratified that they appreciated what I was saying and offering.

At the same time, I was shocked and saddened to discover that there were others who’d been through the same kinds of experiences that I had. This was completely unexpected. And it was horrifying.

I continued to write about my experience.

But here’s a secret. Every time I pressed that little “Publish” button that would make my post go live, I was absolutely terrified. What if people hated it? Hated me? Ridiculed me? Every time I published a post I pretty much expected to get vilified by someone who would’t get it, wouldn’t understand why therapist abuse was even an issue, wouldn’t have any empathy or compassion for me. I had that fear and dread with every post, and every time I published in spite of it. And the result is this website.

Exactly what do you think I got out of putting my story out there? Attention? Ha ha ha ha ha…!
I can tell you that the total number of visitors to this site over the last several years is a tiny, tiny fraction of what “popular” websites and blogs get in one day. And why would I subject myself to potentially devastating public humiliation?? Being a victim is not exactly sexy, and it’s certainly not an ego boost!

Do you think I’m making money from this site? Ha ha ha ha ha…!
Occasionally, people have suggested that I monetize the site. Do you see any advertising here? Good grief! Can you imagine seeing ads in the sidebar? Yuck! Yes, I have an Amazon store…which people rarely purchase from. Almost all the website fees have come out of my pocket unless some blessed soul makes a donation. There were times when I continued paying the webhosting fees when I really couldn’t afford to be paying the webhosting fees because it was important to me to keep the site going—not for me, but because, well, how many sites are there that deal with therapist abuse?? Where would people go??

Still, I have wondered about whether to keep the site going. For me, there is so much water under the bridge regarding what I refer to as “my situation” with Dr. T that I rarely think about this stuff anymore. Really. I have moved far enough beyond it that the only thing that keeps the memories alive is….this website. So yes, I have repeatedly wondered what it would be like to pull the plug. I haven’t. I do very much value this website as a resource site for those in need, so I think it’s important to keep it going, in one way or another.

This week a reader decided to push some buttons. She went on a rant about how I must be making it all up and an expert said this and that and blah blah blah—and then let me know that she’d figured out who Dr. T is and that she was getting in touch with him to get his side of the story.

Really?

Why?

In the interest of letting people see their comments go live right away, I choose not to moderate comments unless they contain links. (This may now change…) So when this comment showed up, I first chose to let it remain. And then I asked myself Why should I? Who would actually benefit from reading this? Because even though I was able to let it go and move on, I worried that it would be triggering for others. Because isn’t this every therapist abuse victim’s greatest fear? To be called a liar, to have someone threaten to publicly “out” you, to even have someone say they’re going to get in touch with the perpetrator in order to discredit you? So I made the decision to “unapprove” the comment. You may argue with me about this and say Well, why would you do that? Is it because what she’s saying is true and you’re scared? Again: Why would anyone make this shit up??

The funny thing is, even if I had made all this up (and put all this time, energy and money into a complete fabrication), so what? Who cares? Because frankly, a lot of people have benefited from this website. So why hurt them? 

I value and appreciate everyone who has spent time reading the blog and using this website. I never thought anyone would find it and I feel so grateful every time someone comments or writes to me and says what a benefit it’s been. That is the greatest reward I could possibly receive. And I think it’s wonderful when people from this community of survivors step up and support each other. I am so glad that you have found each other! This is truly what keeps this site going. If I didn’t think that people still needed this site, it would be gone in a heartbeat. I’m the owner. I pay the bills. I maintain it. I keep the site going not because I have to or need to but because I care about the visitors—the people who need it. That’s the choice I’ve made and the choice I continue to make.

So there’s my rant. Take it or leave it.

* * *

Love and blessings to all of you!
~Kristi

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27 Comments

  1. Yes, we all want to make up abuse and soul betrayal because it feels so great. Don’t let stupid people suck your energy.
    You are a leader, brave and help so many others on their own healing journey. Truth and justice reveals others, many times they reveal themselves. In that, lies the beauty.

  2. First, thank you for maintaining your site! You and your site were the first ones to help me realize I had a problem with my (ex) therapist. Thank you.
    Secondly, thank you for taking down the abusive comment. You don’t have time for that and we, the readers, don’t have time for that. Thank you for protecting your readers.

  3. Kristi! We all value you and your efforts in healing the victims. I particularly admire you and trust all what you say because you have a light of shine in all darkness all around for many people. You make every person feel comfortable and out of fear. Thanks for all your efforts, We trust you more than any one else. Keep it up and never hold back because of any one because it would make many other people following you to hold back. So, keep it up for us, for me, and for humanity. Cheers.

  4. Hi Kristi, I found your website a few years ago when I had suffered sexual abuse by a police officer investigating my rape. There was nothing (and still is nothing) out there about police abuse and I was very grateful to find your website and see the similarities between the abuse in a therapeutic relationship and one with a police officer who’s care you are in at an extremely vulnerable time. Last week the police made a civil settlement with me and will be apologising for what happened. He didn’t admit he was wrong but the police have and following my case they changed their rules to include a specific policy that no officer can have a sexual or emotional relationship with someone like me. I still feel like it’s not enough but over the course of my case I have found some people who understand the effects of adult grooming and that it is not true consent, and it is wonderful when that happens. I think your website is also contributing to educating people and helping people who would otherwise believe that it was their fault. You have done an amazing job on your website and I hope it long continues. At the time when I discovered it, I didn’t feel I had any true understanding of what happened to me and it helped me enormously. I hope one day to be brave enough to write something myself but I am not sure at the moment. For now I am just so grateful for others that do. Katie

  5. I couldn’t have said it better. In my country there is NOTHING for survivors online. My only peer support comes from websites like this, which are all American. They have been a massive help to me and made me realise I’m not alone.
    My biggest fear is that someone would not believe me, or that I was making it up and it’s important to realise that the perpetrators often deny what they did. In court it’s one against one, I was told if I prosecuted it would be like a rape case, I would have to stand up and face him and have my story picked apart and questioned and listen to him, this respected professional psychologist, tell everyone I’m mentally fragile and that I’m lying. Even though I had evidence and I kept a journal during that time that proved that something totally inappropriate happened I chose not to take it further because I couldn’t cope with that humiliation. Why is it the victims of sexual crimes are often blamed?
    This site is invaluable to people who genuinely need help, but I totally understand if it needs to close. I couldn’t cope with being vilified.

  6. Hi Kristi,

    spot on.

    Some people are almost ‘pre-psychotic’ if not actually. That’s a kind of brain damage/ maladaption / distorted neurological development, where their instinctual drives to ‘fight or flight’ link directly to their frontal brains and they have no control over their impulses. They easily become incensed and / or volatile. PTSD left untreated can look like this but usually these poor sufferers have a conscience and don’t believe their ‘outbursts’ are correct, so usually PTSD sufferers are not the ones who have to start a crusade.

    I doubt this ‘villifier’ has PTSD. This one is a nutter (as we say in UK).

    There are many personality styles of the same condition. Many are intelligent, educated and apparently ‘normal’. But, when their assumptions are challenged, often, they just can’t handle it and they have to start a crusade in order to stuff back down what they might have discovered about themselves. They have to project and they have to do it in a public domain. Like damaged hunting dogs once they get their teeth in they cannot let go.

    Some are very subtle. Maybe they just spread a few rumours and later you can’t get on in life because these rumours have generated a kind of resistance ‘out there’ in your wider peer group.

    I hope this ‘idiot’ doesn’t make too much trouble for you in your peer group and in your professional life. Mine has been ruined by several ‘enablers & flying monkeys’ like this, to the point where I nearly had to give up my profession. I certainly got ill. Obviously I am culpable to an extent. But that’s really the problem with idiots like this; once their teeth are in, it’s YOU who has to prise them off. That then makes you into a co game player in their eyes. They then can keep on ‘upping the anti’.

    Hopefully it will just burn out; ie: run out of fuel. Often these idiots can’t even remember where they started and ‘wander off’ looking for another ‘crusade’ to start / join / derail. . .

    Thanks for your brilliant efforts here.

    Paul G.

    • AFAIK, Paul, psychosis can happen to almost anyone under the “right” circumstances–sleep deprivation, malnutrition, physical illness, even excessive meditation can facilitate a break with reality. I think it’s a bit more likely that some people are just troublemakers who are perfectly in contact with reality (i.e., not having bizarre delusions) but don’t care whom they hurt. Also…who knows whether the troll in question was a therapist with a fragile ego and/or a sketchy past. The tip-off, IMO, was that the person said she had figured out Dr. T’s identity and would be getting in touch with him. A colleague, maybe? Therapists can be very protective of their own and can exhibit terrible in-group bias, especially when they feel threatened. In any overly close-knit group where there are some individuals who do the wrong thing, it’s unfortunately common to see that group adopt an internal code of silence and hostility towards external criticism. So, that’s my take.

    • I am not surprised that mindfulness doesn’t necessarily make people more compassionate, but it is a relief to see people thinking critically about it. I mean, some feelings shouldn’t be just “observed” and “allowed to pass” and “let go of”…especially feelings that tell you, “Hey, wait a minute, I might be hurting someone here. This doesn’t feel right and my conscience is nagging me.” Those feelings are really, really, really important and should not be dismissed!

  7. I want to have at that person! So sorry Kristi. This site has made all the difference to me in the world for my recovery! And it isn’t the site it’s you the person behind the site and everyone else who has take. The brave courage to share their stories. Our biggest fear is that nobody will believe us. I know that is still my biggest trigger to make me pop a vein !

    I haven’t been able to put as much energy here commenting and supporting others as the licensure and civil cases are suddenly very active.

    I also learned from you To put the effort to thinking about what I want in life as I was so groomed to take care of his needs. I have been developing my business and also pursuing my art. However I always take a peek here as I am so inspired to continue moving forward by everyone’s story. We don’t make this shit up. So much of it is too bizzare to make up! So so sorry you were attacked. It just plain makes me angry.

  8. Hi Kristi,
    I personally thank you more than words can express for putting this site together. Most days I feel so alone in what happened. Your site has made me feel less so.
    Nobody could make up the atrocities, the pain and the anguish. I don’t tell people for the most part what took place with my previous therapist; as it was so absurd and surreal that I fear people will think I’m delusional.
    I am so ashamed of what I let myself live through that it feels like a nightmare I can’t wake up from. I wonder if I ever will.
    I’ve kept details from my new therapist, my closest friends, and from my lawyer, as some things are too bizarre and grotesque to put into words.
    I thank you for all you’ve done. Please don’t let the morons out there overshadow all the good this site does.
    Again,
    Thank you.

    • Hi S,
      I get what you are talking about and my heart goes for you.
      I started to realize that something was deeply wrong with my previous therapist while writing my review about him for a forum. Some things simply sounded too bizarre (not just abusive) for other people to believe me.
      It took me some time to confide in my new therapist and tell all the details.
      (sorry for potential mistakes, English is not my native language)

  9. Thanks, S, for sharing. I get you & what you are saying. What we went through was real; we didn’t make it up. We couldn’t have.
    I encourage you to talk to your new therapist about the details you don’t want to talk about as those places and parts need healing, too. Don’t rush yourself but if you think about it during a session, let her know there are part about that are too tough to talk about.
    We are in this together; we aren’t alone!
    Again, thank you, Kristi, for sharing your story and for sharing your site!

  10. Kristi,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your courage in creating and maintaining this website. I just reported my therapist and I am terrified. I am working up the courage to write the details for my attorney, and that too terrifies me. I cannot even imagine having the courage to tell the story to the world, and as you said, hitting that button that says “Publish.” Courage isn’t always a single act, but sometimes a way of life, a hitting of a button, and a determination. Thank you for all having all of these and showing me that I might have them, too.

    • Hi W – you do have courage. You are not alone.
      I only wrote my story out for the attorney in the last few months. It was terrifying as you said; but once I got started, it helped me to organize my thoughts and have a clearer picture of how everything evolved. In some ways I felt empowered by writing it out. (Parts of it anyway).
      Now – Several months later, there is still intermittent terror but vastly less so. It seems to have morphed into anger, disbelief and more anger.
      You have courage, it’ll continue to grow. Good for you taking action!!

    • Thank you!

      I so understand the terror after reporting. Take it one day at a time and take really good care of yourself. Once things are in process it gets easier. The emotions start changing, as S said.

      Courage is so many different things! It’s not about NOT being afraid. It really is just doing it anyway, or persevering when you don’t want to continue. We often don’t realize we have courage until after we’ve done something or until someone remarks on it. Most of us are just doing what we do and then seeing much later how it took courage.

      You are stronger than you think!

    • I am so glad you were able to have the courage to report and to move forward on holding your therapist accountable. It’s a long process and with it comes so many emotions. I don’t think I would have come this far without this resources and the so many good people here who reach out and support each other. I am happy for you taking the courage to speak out.

  11. Dear Kristi,

    I was only ready to google the actual words “therapist” and “abuse” together a mere six-and-a-half years after I had gotten out, and been through actual therapy. I found this website. I realized that I was not alone. Although I never dared to post here myself, I got in contact with a fellow survivor through this very website. She has become one of my closest friends.

    I know what it is like, having to explain what happened to us. Fuck everybody who does not believe you, and certainly fuck everybody who would actually go through the lengths of harrassing you online. We, your fellow survivors, we know. Also, in my experience, there are plenty of good non-survivor people out there who understand and care.

    Thank you for what you are doing here, Kristi. Thank you for being so courageous to put your story out there. You are making a difference.

  12. Hi Kristi,

    Don’t give up on this site, ever. It’s a valuable resource and very important, not just to people who have encountered sexually or physically abusive therapists, but to people who have encountered emotionally, verbally, or psychologically abusive therapists as well. This blog and the community that has risen up around it are doing something very helpful for people.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with such a jerk. I don’t need to tell you how wretched disbelief and victim-blaming are. Know that the people who appreciate this site and all the painstaking effort you’ve put into it are behind you 100%. Your work totally matters, and you matter.

    Hugs if you want them, and kind regards.

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