The Complaint Hearing: You Got A Troll
My Dear Friend From Afar,
It's 5:30 am, in Austin, staying in a nice hotel who purports nice accommodations, yet, you have been wide awake since yesterday. This morning, you will be testifying before your licensing board.You waited 1407 days for this day to get here.
My 100th LI post is dedicated to you, my friend. I hadn't even begun posting LI articles when your ordeal began. Your complaint process has been daunting, like being in the abyss. You often wondered if you would ever see the light of day. Well, if it is any consolation, you are, today. We have been in correspondence with each other for a good chunk of your 1407 wait time. You have been anguishing over this ever since you submitted your response (within 15 days of receiving the complaint), back in 2013.
You Got A Troll
There was someone who had nothing better to do with his God given talents. Rather than being purposeful to Mother Earth and it's citizens, this Troll decided it would be fun to file a complaint against you. It continues to amaze us, that there are some people who choose to hurt others without any just cause. Sad, but true. You and I both agree we live in a fallen world and understand the need to look underneath the bridge every once in a while for these miscreants.
There hasn't been one day since you received the complaint, that you were able to forgot it or bury it. Relentlessly, you rehearsed this complaint in your mind, similar to how professional musician practices his 3 octave chromatic scale. You practiced it in different tempos, assigned an assorted combination of articulation patterns, different rhythms, and other methods to master this etude of sorts. The rehearsal never stopped. You have been forced a long intermission by your licensing board for the final act to commence. You have also learned, there are no statute of limitations with this complaint process.
The endless waiting combined with no response from your board, added a wicked flurry of worry, frustration, isolation. While caring family members who were powerless to help you, tried to love you but, ultimately, were unable to understand "why" or "what" was taking so freaking long!
The Long - Short Week Of It All
Last night, you ended your work day at 5 pm, got in the car and drove 3 hours to Austin. You secured a hotel, tried to eat a good meal and reviewed your opening statement.
You awoke very early, mostly, because you couldn't sleep. You got appropriately coiffed. You couldn't eat, but did manage to get your hands on the strongest coffee you could find, made the final revisions to your opening statement, checked out of the hotel and told "Siri" to get you to that building.
You are thankful for Siri's guidance, sort of. With plenty of time to spare, you just sit in your car and take a few deep breathes. Then, your brain turns to mush for a few long seconds...then gets recomposed and you put that game face of yours on. It is officially, "Go Time."
You walk, the shortest - longest hallway ever.
You sign in and wait some more.
You hear your case number being announced and it is truly your turn. As all eyes are on you, you step up to the plate and deliver a well-organized, one minute, formal statement. You take the inquisition of questions from your board (more than your one minute), answer the questions and listen to their public discussion. Everyone behind you is listening intently, wide-eyed and church mouse quiet.
You politely hear the Board's decision and their recommendation: penalty or dismissal. You are relieved it is over but the drive home will be longer now... as you to do that lonely, big fat brain dump. You arrive home safely, totally exhausted. You hug your family and they hug you. Too tired to eat or talk, you simply go to bed. You finally have quiet, yet do not feel victorious, at all. You are still feel mad and powerless.
Shattered: Let Your Recovery Begin
I pray for you. It is never easy mending a broken professional spirit. This will take a good long while and you will never be the same. Maybe that is a good thing but it is all too early to tell.
It's been hard to love what you do these last several years and I completely understand why! There are no words for this. You and I have tried to come up with some and there is nothing that should be said, other than you are a dear colleague from afar and I love your clinical skill set.
You asked me, over and over;
We both know there are people who seek out to hurt others, intentionally. As my mentor had to tell me many times (sometimes multiple times a day), throughout my personal 4 year ordeal:
"Back To Biblical Times, It Has Always Been Easy To ' Poison the Well' or ' Maliciously Lie' To Hurt People. We Cannot Change This. We Are Called To Act Properly. Even When Others Don’t. "
K-Mart looks pretty darn appealing and sadly, quitting is an option. While I cannot tell you what to do after this is over, what I do know is get through today, first. Allow clarity to do its magic by allowing natural time to help give you peace. Let the dust settle. Then and only then, you will know what to do. But, this may take a long while, which gives you another Big Fat Wait.
Hang tough, my Friend. There are many who will see you through during your restoration period. We still believe in you and your God given talent, which is to serve others. This too, shall pass.
Plan Smart. be Safe. Serve Others.
Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP