I will definitely talk to Linda about the Pastor/workbook thing. And I am waiting to find out if Debra's friend even remembers what it was called. And it could be it is great for childhood sexual abuse, but not for my situation or that I look at it and just don't want to do it.
I didn't think about the fact that I may have to share more about things with the pastor and Debra if I went through it with them - never dawned on me. I guess I thought that what I had shared with Debra and what she told her husband would be enough. I don't really think I want to share the details with them - partially because I don't want or need them to know, partially because I have to see them all the time and I would be embarassed/ashamed, and partially because sharing those things will cause me upset, and I don't really want to get upset in front of them. I do not think they would react badly, and I know they care about me and that I am special to them. I think much of that has to do with the fact that I remind them a lot of their middle daughter, who they adore and who will be shortly returning to Africa to continue with missions (she has been back for a while because she returned when her sister's husband died last summer. She leaves mid-July to go back). Debra has told me so many times how much me and her daughter are alike, way before I even met her. (And Debra was actually correct - I can see, now that I have spent some time with that daughter. She is totally different than their other 2). This means a great deal to me, because I love them, too, and I know that Debra appreciates me partially because as a head pastor's wife, she has to be careful about friendships, and sometimes people have the wrong motivations for wanting to be her friend or are super-judgmental. (Which is funny. I told her the I became friends with her in spite of her being married to the pastor. I told her I didn't want to have to be watching my mouth all the time, etc.) They are both totally down to earth and real, and Debra actually has a similar sense of humor to me, which was surprising. The pastor is a servant to the core. They also live about 2-3 blocks away from us. I also appreciate their treating me as my parents do not, and they are great with their daughters and granddaughters. But still - the details may be more than I want them to know, or more than they even want to know, and expressing intense emotions with them may be too much for me. They are very emotional people. He may start crying in the middle of a sermon while telling a story - or at the dinner table when he recounts a time Debra was close to death. So they may think it's normal, but that is different form the way it makes me feel when I express such feelings.
And I can't get mad at them or push back or things that I might be inclined to do with Linda.
I seriously did not think about the fact that I would probably have to share details. I am so glad you pointed that out.
I think Linda will think it is a good idea, because she wants me to experience others' reactions and to not feel so ashamed for people to know. And she was so pleased I told Debra, and pleased with Debra's reaction, and that she put me in touch with her friend. I don't know that the pastor would actually be giving me advice or anything - I thought just having someone to be there while did it, and help to see things more clearly, etc. But I don't know - because really, I have no clue what such a "workbook" would be like. So I don't know how much potential there is for contradictions. You and Linda contradict each other. But I am able to sort it out, usually based on the fact that you both know different amounts about different issues/aspects of things. Like, I have talked more with you about my childhood and parents. Linda and I have talked more about it than we had, and I'm sure will touch on it more, but I knew your assessment of the situation was likely to be more accurate, since you knew a lot more. Sometimes I have spent 2 days discussing an issue with you, and only 5 minutes in a session discussing it with Linda - so you have more on which to base any assessment/suggestions. On the other hand, there are things that come up in sessions with Linda that you and I just have not had occasion or reason to discuss. So she would probably be in a better position to assess those things. Also, sometimes, despite the fact that I may have discussed it more with one or the other, I just have a feeling which way to go, or maybe I just recognize I need to explore it further. So I don't think I will have any issue with that, and feel comfortable saying to him: "that's not what my therapist said," or saying the same thing to Linda, or to you.
BUT - I think the considerations are: (1) whether I want to share all these embarrassing details with them and whether I am willing to share intense emotions with them; (2) the time factor - I don't have all the time in the world to be seeing Linda and them and working by myself on things, etc. I would have to decide whether it will help and whether it is worth the additional time commitment (whereas, with Linda, I would do it during my regular therapy times, which are already going to be part of my schedule (although I could reduce it to once a week for a while if need be). On the other hand, I need to look at what it is and see whether it would make sense for me to take up our therapy time working on that and setting aside the other things I'm working on. (3) I need to know how Linda feels about it and take it into consideration; and (4) the other thing to consider is that, although Linda is a Christian, it might be a really good thing to get the pastor's theological perspective on all this and my reactions and participation and situation.
Hmmn ....... I guess the first thing I need to do is look at the workbook.
As for the woman asking legal advice - yes, she wanted it for free. I frequently do pro bono work, and will try to help people out when they can't afford it, but #1 - she was totally rude and didn't even introduce herself (which is why I thought maybe I should know her); #2 - she didn't ask me if I could do her a favor or help her or anything - she said "I need to talk to you..." then just basically was telling me I need to do things for her; #3 - I don't even practice that kind of law, and specifically refuse to practice any kind of family law, and told her that; #4 - She wanted me to do something in a 2-day period, on an emergency basis, and seemed to not care when I told her I had court, appointments, and other clients' work to do and couldn't do anything quickly; #5 - she wanted me to call her attorney and tell her what to do. I explained that I was not going to do that, since I knew none of the facts and am not familiar with that type of law - I would not call someone and presume to tell them how to do their job, and her response was that she could fax me info she had and I could do research and then call her attorney; and, finally, #6 - I offered to refer her to another attorney who does practice this kind of law, but said she would likely have to pay them, and also, she probably could not get any attorney here to handle the case since there was a trial on Wednesday 3 hours away, and if anyone could, even who practiced their, they'd probably require a premium fee. Her response was that she qualified for free legal aid. I informed her that legal aid in Albuquerque doesn't even handle divorce cases, to my knowledge (maybe they do now, in which case she should call them back), and that I was totally unfamiliar with whatever organization helped her get free representation in this other county, but just because she was low income did not mean she was entitled to free legal services from any attorney, unless they agreed to do it for free. So there was NO WAY I would have agreed to help her for free, even if it was within my area of practice, because she was rude and apparently feels entitled. Plus - it is absolutely unreasonable for her to expect me to do research, look over a ton of documents, and make calls for her for free within 48 hours.
If I had had the time and it was in one of my practice areas, and she had been nice or at least asked for help and didn't demand it, I may have considered it, as I am pretty liberal with free help when people need it and appreciate it, but that was not how she was. And in any event, I don't appreciate being trapped after church for a long time being asked legal questions and pushed to do things for people. The least they could do is just ask for my office number. I gave her my office number right off the bat and told her to call me during the week, but she just kept talking. I don't want to be rude - especially at church, but she was rude and she shouldn't pounce on me when we have just finished the service and I'm still up at the alter and just putting my mic away. It's very inconsiderate. I used to have problems with this all the time at church, and I started leaving during the offertory just so I didn't have to deal with it, but it's gotten much better. But the more I think about that woman and when I was telling Jamie (warning her in case the woman called), the more angry I get. I don't understand when people are so disrespectful, yet feel entitled to my time and expertise for free without even asking, and then are pushy and whiney about it. Next time it happens, I think I should just say "It is Sunday, and I am at church and just finished worshiping and I do not handle work matters at church. Here's my office number. You can call during the week." Uggh. It just infuriates me so much.
Okay .... I was just babbling. I am obviously really mad about it - I didn't realize how mad it made me. :)