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all of that and then.. dumped?!


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Hi all, I'm new and I'm so glad I found this forum! The advice and support are great!


Here's my story: My first real boyfriend broke up with me abut a month ago. It was a very non-traditional relationship and a loong (but interesting) story. Basically, I'm a grad student in a therapy field and we are required to do these clinical rotations in different settings. I was assigned to this younger guy who was receiving rehab for recovery from a stroke (he later became my boyfriend). My faculty supervisor was about the craziest, most unethical person you could ever find in any profession. From the get-go, she would sit in my sessions with him and flirt inappropriately. She prioritized him over other patients- even brought him food! Then one day she asked him for his cell phone (in front of me) and programmed her number into his phone and encouraged him to text her "for therapy".


Now on to me- I was his assigned student clinician and honestly never thought of him as anything other than a patient. But then one day, my supervisor walks in and asks him why he hadn't been texting her. He then asked her if he could have my number and she encouraged me to give it to him (and it was OBVIOUS why he wanted it).. then he told her he wanted to take me on his motorcycle, and she acted like that was the best thing in the world.


Fast forward, he starts texting me romantic messages. I honestly tried my best to hold off- and I did wait until I finished the semester rotation. But he had won me over before I even realized it and we started dating. Somehow my supervisor got wind of it, had a chat with me saying how happy she was for both of us and that he was a "great guy". She stressed how important it was that no one else in my class knew- for my reputation. She told me this about two days before she sat four students down and openly told them everything about me dating a former patient. Thus, my reputation has been destroyed and my entire class thinks I'm some kind of tramp (in grad school you pretty much have the same people in every class for two years).


Meanwhile, things are getting pretty serious with my boyfriend. He had me coming over and spending time with his family (including son) and friends every weekend. We always had something fun planned to do every week and he never stopped telling me he loved me. When I found out what my former faculty supervisor was doing, he was so angry and hurt that I was going through this. So, I had a meeting with the chair of my program's department and told her everything- about me & my supervisor. She was already aware of me dating a former patient (supervisor told all faculty as well, obviously). My chair was so supportive and promised she would address my former supervisor's behavior. She also suggested the three of us- chair, supervisor, and me- have a "mediation" meeting.. so I could get an apology.


The mediation meeting turned out to be an ambush on me. My supervisor literally started acting like a 5 year old and started asking me repetitive questions in a heated voice (like "What is wrong with THAT?!") when I asked her why she had discussed my personal life with students in my class. She then told me it was her "clinical decision" to do that and had no regrets. Not only that, but the chair called a meeting with all the faculty in my department and they decided I needed to be punished-- I was put under remediation and assigned lots of extra work (essay on ethics, research on ethics, etc., etc., etc.) I'm not saying I didn't rightly deserve this- but in my defense, my supervisor (who got off free and easy) encouraged me to date him!


While this is going on, my boyfriend starts becoming meaner and meaner toward me. He acted like an unappreciative little jerk. I never made him feel bad or guilty about what was happening to me- I was obviously upset but I never blamed him for any of it. I thought I loved him- I thought he was worth the lost reputation, dealing with my crazy former supervisor.. I would have done anything for him, honestly.


Then one day, out of the blue, he has his MOM (?!?) send me a text telling me that "i will always be special to him" but there's too much of an "age difference" and "lack of interests". I was crushed. Of course, that was a lame excuse. He wanted to play with me- I was his favorite toy for awhile. And then after all the sacrifice I went through, he got tired of me. Initially, I missed him so much. But the first thing I did was change my number and block him on facebook. NC is easy- he lives an hour away (oh and did I mention that I always drove the distance to see him?!). I can honestly say, I will probably never hear, see, nor speak to him again.


Returning to school for fall semester was so hard- all of my original "friends" no longer speak to me. I'm not even sure why. But as days pass by, I realize that all the anger I harbor regarding this relationship is all with myself. I'm upset because I broke ethics and let that awful woman have influence over me. I'm upset because I dated the scum of the earth for three months. I thought about dropping out of school- especially that first day back when I sat in class and felt cold stares. Especially when another faculty member I have always been good friends with scolded me for dating my ex-boyfriend and told me "nobody cared about what caused me to do it- just that I did it". Especially since I had become accustomed to my boyfriend's company and missed him so much. I didn't even remember feeling this bad when my dad died (probably because of the sympathy I received)


I'm slowly recovering- I am nearly finished with all of the remediation assignments I had to do because of him. I'm appreciative that I didn't get kicked out of grad school. I'm now realizing that he never loved me- and is probably incapable of love- and likewise, I never loved him the slightest bit. Actually, I hated him the entire time. I'll never understand why I was with him at all. There were the "I love yous" and hugs, kisses, and holding hands. But there were also the times he would speak to me as if I was an idiot or yell at me.. there was the time he started laughing like crazy as we watched his dog kill a kitten (I'm a huge cat lover and he knew it). There was the time he left me in his truck for 30 minutes while he went in his ex-wife's home to pick up his son and never came out. Was I possessed?? The break up was hard but now I'm so happy it's over. Yes, my reputation is still there but I'm graduating in May. My ex- psycho boyfriend is now receiving therapy from that wonderful former supervisor of mine again. After all the hell she put me through. But then again, he never cared about me anyway. If the two of them ever hook up, (she's currently a pastor's wife.. of course) that would be a match made in heaven.


I hope that one day, I'll stop being so angry at myself for ever thinking I could think I love such a monster. I never thought I would be "one of those women"....


Thanks for reading-- it's therapeutic to get this out to strangers!

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wow--what an experience--I can relate to the feeling of feeling possessed after exiting a bad relationship. What was the age difference, out of curiosity?


I understand the feeling of being manipulated by people who do not have our best interests in mind. I've learned not to give those people the benefit of the doubt. Now I listen to my intuition and let the mistakes I make be my own.


It sounds like the person you were dating was very disturbed-- I think you should feel very relieved to be out of that relationship. Welcome to ENA by the way.

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You can't minimize that you are responsible for starting a romantic relationship with a patient, which is something that you know you shouldn't do and did. It violates all kinds of ethics and once you are out of school, doing such a thing could cost you your license and get you banned from practice. So i understand that you are hurting, but this is a self inflicted wound and should be a very strong lesson to you that this is a line you should never cross no matter what.


So you learned a very valuable lesson before the start of your career. If the fallout is this bad for a student, it is 10 times worse for a practicing therapist. Don't mix personal and professional lifes, and also remember that you have a person under your care when you take on a patient, and that you cannot let your own loneliness or personal attraction lead you to risking that person and your reputation.


Also avoid the temptation to cast people as all good or all bad (i.e., 'monster') or villains in your own drama. Your BF was perfect in your mind and worth risking things for until he didn't want you anymore and now he's a 'monster'. You are also casting your supervisor as a villain now too, but you surely liked her when she was encouraging you to date him. Remember, people aren't good because they please you and bad because they don't. They are complicated and unique and you shouldn't focus on judging them, but on understanding them and learning from it. It sounds like your supervisor had boundary issues of her own and didn't know whether she wanted to be your BFF and encourage you to date him, or your supervisor who would discourage you from that... and when she talked about it and saw how negative everyone else's reactions were (as they should be as you were breaching a trust and a serious ethical violation), she backpeddled to save herself and her own reputation. That's not excusing her behavior, but understanding it so you recognize that people are complex and have their own agendas and you need to be careful about trying to put them in 'good' or 'bad' boxes because that is shortsighted.


And regarding your 'mean' BF, remember, he was in therapy and your patient! He wasn't there because he was supposed to be all sweetness and light, he was there because he had issues and you took advantage of an attraction for him to turn it into something you wanted for yourself, a BF rather than continuing to serve him and his needs as a therapeutic relationship must do... it could be part of his pathology to seduce and then humiliate women, and you were so busily seeking him as a BF you played right into that rather than staying in your therapeutic role with him to help him. So no matter how badly he acted, your expectation that he should be a 'good' BF was misguided from the start and you betrayed him as well by pursuing a romantic relationship with him.. so who did the worst betrayal is up for grabs here.


it is also very common for troubled people to fall for their therapists, which makes it especially important for you to NOT respond to that and to continue helping them as a therapist rather than harvesting them for your own needs. You didn't make a sacrifice for HIM, you made it for you, to get yourself a BF. And if he turned out to not be a good BF, that is not surprising considering he was your patient and it would be a screwed up relationship from the get-go because of that. You're just lucky his mother (or he) isn't trying to sue you for malpractice.


So dust yourself off and don't feel sorry for yourself because this was a lesson learned and you did something extremely selfish/unethical by taking up with a patient whom you had a therapeutic relationship with. You're paying the price for that foolish decision, and need to recognize that blaming others for your predicament is a waste of time because it was your choice and nobody made you do it. And stop casting other people as villains just because it didn't turn out the way you hoped... People are complicated, and as a therapist you need to try to look past the surface and really learn what motivates people and see them for what they are, both good and bad, all of us are.

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The age difference was 12 years, by the way.


lavenderdove, I see what you mean and switch through days where I realize I was my own worst enemy in all aspects and others when I want to blame others for it. Because this situation has left me scarred and and can't let me trust my actions or decisions, I've chosen to work with children instead of adults until I can fully realize the extent of my actions. Not I haven't already- it's just that I've lost my comfort zone.


Your words are tough to hear but sometimes that the right way to think. I can't make up my mind if I was the victim of these "villains" or if I was the villain all along. In the end, there are no victims or villains. Just harmful decisions that could have caused pain to more than one person.


I am thankful that you pointed out that I have the tendency to recognize people as all bad or good. I have suffered from borderline personality disorder for some time now and often tend to think black/white instead of recognize all the reasons behind the way people act.

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