Being betrayed in therapy is a devastation the totality of which I am still coming to terms with. I was left lost; a puppet with no master.I had no power, but I was too numb to even want to have power.
In trying to understand the symptoms of my subsequent PTSD, an online search turned up a link to Winer, McKenna & Burritt LLP; a law firm that works with cases like mine. I emailed the firm without real hope that I was going to get a response My therapist had placed the blame on me. Why would a lawyer want my case?
When John Winer’s assistant contacted me, she was kind, caring, and compassionate. She invited me in to meet with Mr. Winer, and upon my arrival to their impressive and beautiful suite, I knew this firm was not going to take my case. Good things don’t happen to me any more.
I was wrong. Mr. Winer did a very thorough intake. He asked questions no one had asked before, took careful notes, and in that first visit gained a very involved understanding of where I was and how I got there. He was so honest about the pros and cons of going forward, the possible pitfalls, and the positives, of my case. What was so amazing from the beginning was that his knowledge of the psyche of a person in my position was accurate; incredibly, here was someone not judging, but understanding. He was not placating, but being honest. He did not treat me as though I were fragile, but intelligent enough to make a solid decision; to think about whether I was willing to move forward into a lawsuit. He empowered me to make my first difficult decision since the abuse had ended, and he trusted me to think about it and come to the right conclusion for me with no pressure from him.As I left, I mentioned to Mr. Winer’s assistant how alone I felt. She told me I wasn’t alone any more, I had all of them!
To say that I was hysterical at times during the next years would be an understatement. I did not want to be alive after the abuse. I felt so rejected and alone. It has been a few years ago that we began this journey. I had learned that I have PTSD, and its fair to say I don’t wear it well. John’s matter-of-fact understanding of and response to my condition is something I will be forever grateful for. His staff’s caring and concern has been phenomenal. The people who work at Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP care about me, and understand the necessarily emotional fallout from my experience. I feel respected and understood by everyone there. I have understood at every important moment in the case, what was happening, and why. I was well prepared for every scenario, and felt fully supported at all times, whether in the office or at home. I knew help was a phone call away.
When my therapist, a man trained to help me emotionally, did not choose to help, but instead to hurt me, I considered myself unlovable. It was the last in a long chain of events; but it was the most brutal and pivotal. After working with Mr. Winer, and his incredibly talented staff, I realize that I would like my power back, thank you. And perhaps I should stay around and see what the next chapter of life looks like. I have the means to seek real answers about these events and others, but also the courage, power, control, and ability. John Winer did pick up those puppet strings, but only long enough to put them into my own hands so I could be empowered to move forward. John’s abilities and understanding are superior. He is a capable and an incredible attorney. But he is also a human being with an insight into my situation that he generously chose to use in order to help me heal, and become me again. It will be a journey, but I’m not afraid to take it any more.
San Jose, CA