I’m seeing my psychologist today, and unfortunately, there’s something I need to say to him. Something happened at the end of our last session which needs to be addressed.
We’ve only been talking for a few months. We don’t see each other every week, but during our first session – a transition from his predecessor – I did make it clear that my name is very important to me (my actual name, that is!). I wrote it down for him, the correct spelling, in both long and short forms.
During the last few sessions, he’s been calling me the wrong name: my long name, the only I only use on forms. This annoyed me a bit, and then I corrected him, but still he kept doing it. I went away and thought about it, and decided that as I had made it clear what my name is and how much it means to me, and I had corrected him, so whenever he called me by the wrong name I would gently point it out to him using these words: “You can call me ___; that’s OK.” I thought that would be an appropriately mild yet succinct reminder.
As our last session was drawing to a close, he used the wrong name, and I spoke the above formulation. He snapped at me, with a briefly-glimpsed flash of his canines, “I can’t be expected to remember all those details.” I politely bid him goodbye, but actually I think he was rather rude, almost aggressive.
Of course, as timing would have it, I haven’t seen him for a fortnight, but I am going to begin our session today by saying that we need to talk about what happened at the end of last session. I don’t expect him to think it’s as important as I do, but I don’t feel that I can trust or feel comfortable with a man who pays so little attention to something so fundamental and so important to me.
I’m feeling apprehensive and anxious, alongside my determination. I don’t enjoy these conversations. However, I have been working on my self-respect, and I want others to respect me, too. I don’t think it’s too much to expect a psychologist to remember one’s preferred name after a few months. It’s not like he’s a checkout chick: we have a regular, meaningful relationship. He has to write my name on forms, for goodness’ sake! Maybe that’s part of the problem: he has to regularly write out my long name. Well, mate, it’s not too difficult to write yourself a cheat sheet. For goodness sake, write it on the back of your hand if you need to!
Do you think I’m being too precious? There’s still three hours before the appointment; I’m open to constructive criticism …