I was feeling miserable about this but now I’m angry.
There’s a support organisation that provides a variety of different services to people in NZ with ME/CFS, including grocery/meal deliveries, and now a small scale, pilot counselling programme. I have used their services on the past, and found them really lovely. Not this time.
I know I could use some help with processing my grief around my illness, so I applied to receive counselling and was accepted. I completed the client intake form and returned it. I gave them my availability (any time except Friday during the day, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday evenings), I waited for a couple of weeks and was finally offered an appointment time, Monday afternoon … sure, I can do that.
oh hang on, she says, I can’t do that day this week, how about Friday at 1?
Ah, no, I can’t do Fridays, I told you that.
Friday is the only time I have available this week.
Fast forward almost 2 months. Still no offer of an alternative time slot. Not even the monday slot on a different week. I can’t find her email but I can find her on messenger because that’s how we initially communicated (as per her instructions in the advertisement) and I send her a message asking if I’m going to get a new appointment time.
Tonight she emails me back.
– please don’t message me on facebook, I need to keep things seperate. Fair enough, but don’t ask us to contact you on Facebook to start with if you don’t want us using that.
– you didn’t reply to my last email so I took you off my list. Your last email was a statement that you had no other times available that week. I was expecting you to come back with another suggestion for a time. There was nothing in your email to suggest I needed to reply at that time.
I reply along those lines. Feeling miserable and self deprecating because I messed up.
I get an email back a bit later to the effect that the counselling is free so I should take what I’m offered/chase her and that I’m on the waiting list for when she has times available.
Now I’m angry.
How dare she!
My time is still valuable and my energy is even more valuable. The sessions are free to me because she needs the clinic hours for her qualification AND someone else is paying for it.
Receiving a free service does not negate my right to dignity and respect from the service provider.
A support service for sick or disabled people should NEVER require them to do anything that would cause harm to themselves.
I told her not to bother putting me on the list. I told her that her poor communication had been harmful to me so I was no longer willing to receive counselling from her. She damaged any trust before we even started.