I learned in the absolute worst way, that my therapist just happened to be antisemitic.
Our first session after the massacre went ok, she mentioned just enough so I knew she was a little Pro-Palestine, but not a ton, and she listened to me cry about the massacre, and cry about the feeling Jewish liberals have of being abandoned by the left. I’ve talked about my Jewish experience many times, and she knew how affected I am by all of this, and that my grandmother’s a holocaust survivor.
I had another session with her a couple of weeks later- which was when the Pro-Palestine movement was really picking up in the most terrifying way, I texted her before the session to make sure it wouldn’t be an issue. She assured me.
Before our session I was feeling a bit better about everything, it was the same day of the huge Jewish gathering in Washington, I watched the whole thing live streamed while I worked; watched hundreds of thousands of Jewish people sing together, and support eachother, it was beautiful, I wasn’t alone.
The entirety of our session, she argued with me about war, said some pretty insane things that I guess she believes to be true, things that don’t make any sense, that no one would possibly believe, if it wasn’t Israel; but alas, here we are.
She made me cry, and not in the good kind of therapeutic cry, she made me terribly uncomfortable; and then I paid her.
When I texted her to tell her I wasn’t going to see her anymore and how bad she hurt me, she didn’t understand- she said - “I didn’t incite violence”…. I didn’t think inciting violence was where that line was.
She thought, “from the river to the sea” wasn’t a death chant, but then recognized that she knew killing the Jews were on the first page of the Hamas charter.
She brought up Gaza, and asked me what my definition of genocide was…. My definition?? I didn’t know that’s how definitions worked. I didn’t know you get to create your own definitions to match your personal options.
She said Israel’s overly aggressive response to the attack was what was fueling the rise in antisemitism. Overly aggressive. October 7th was the worst day for us since the Holocaust. The absolute horrors that were performed that day, to civilians, to children, the children that are still being held hostage.
Then- she said that she didn’t understand why we wanted that land anyway, surrounded by Muslim countries; and that when they were figuring out where to put us, there were some other countries in the conversation. Why would the Jewish people would want to live in their homeland? Every prayer every story in the Torah, it all happens there. And, I definitely shouldn’t be put in a position to defend that in therapy.
I had been trying to not engage, so this session, with my therapist, was the worst encounter I’ve had, I wasn’t arguing with trolls online, I’ve been staying out of it, letting it eat at my insides, needing so badly to talk it out, in therapy.
I’ve been with her for 5 years. Our opinions have always aligned, I’ve always considered myself to be a liberal social justice warrior, too. I never thought I’d have to take being Jewish into consideration when it came to healthcare.
It’s always hard to start over with a new therapist, but I feel like now in particular- I need to be able to comfortably talk about my feelings surrounding the war in Israel; also- I have a very very long and severe history of mental illness that is hard enough in itself to start new with.
On October 7th, when I was told Israel was at war, my first response was- oh no, this is going to be really bad for us. And was told not to worry, there was an absolutely horrendous terrorist attack, antisemitism isn’t going to rise over this, they were very obviously the victims.
Which- would be the only thing to make any plausible sense, I’m sure it would be the only response, if the “they”, weren’t Jewish.
I can go on forever about how this is making me feel, but not here, in therapy, with someone who isn’t rooting against me in a war that I can’t possibly afford to lose. With someone who believes in the only free democracy of the Middle East, before buying into the will of an autocratic terrorist regime.
#MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Therapy #Jewish #PTSD #generationaltrauma