Last week was very dark for me. First off, there were some family related problems I don’t want to talk about on this blog obviously, but it was scary for all of us for a few days. Anyway, that same week I had another appointment with my psychiatrist. I came in there with two things I was ready to discuss with her. The first was about her being a contact with the social security office (like a reference basically) while my SSI is being processed. The second thing was about me asking her to refer me to a new therapist. I have not had therapy for a long time and honestly, aside from my long time psychologist whom I parted ways with earlier in the year, I have not had therapy ever in my life on a regular basis. Just medication. But one thing I really did need to make sure was this was not going to be a judgmental person who will make me feel guilty for all my setbacks and have me leaving the session feeling a lot worse. I know I have had several sessions with my history of psychiatrists that ended up like that, and this session was no different. In a very annoyed and loud tone she said to me, “I can’t PROMISE this person will not be judgmental”. She referred me to someone young (at my request) who will contact me when there is an opening. But all I could think about after leaving that meeting was what she just said to me. I was furious and also felt hurt once again. When I told everyone in the Twitter MH community about this, they all validated how I felt and were just as outraged at what my psychiatrist said to me. So at least then I knew I wasn’t at all overreacting.
A few days later, I got a call from their office and I scheduled my first session with this new therapist which would happen the following week (this week as I’m typing this). When the days got closer to this appointment I was not at all looking forward to it. I was convinced this person would just be yet another authority like figure who would be all about logic over emotion as opposed to both equally. Someone who tells me I blame everyone else for my problems etc.
I was very nervous and was shaking in the waiting room on the day of this appointment which was yesterday by the way. I was already ready to break down. Then she came out, we shook hands and she led me to her office. She was VERY friendly and warm and nothing threatening which was what I was assuming she would be before meeting her. When we got into her office I explained to her immediately how nervous I was because of my history with people who are supposed to help me making me feel worse instead. She understood and told me that the key to having a good therapist is establishing a trusting and honest relationship from the start. I then began to tell her about being on the autistic spectrum along with being diagnosed with bipolar and PTSD earlier this year. She asked me what trauma I experienced as a kid. And for the next 40 minutes or so, I told her everything from when I was kicked out of public school in 5th grade, spending a good amount of time in physically and mentally abusive schools that led to the PTSD, advocating for myself years later to go back to public school etc. For time purposes, I had to stop my story at the college years. Let’s just say anytime I talked about being restrained, her sympathy and horror of just the thought showed immediately. She told me after every event I described how things from my perspective as a child must have been and was 100 percent accurate in those assumptions. I could not have felt more validated. She understood my struggle completely and even shared with me she worked in a foster home that also used restraining as a form of discipline and how it resulted in so much trauma and vast amounts of stress for the kids years later. So she knows how it must feel for me. At this point in the session which was almost over, I was crying. I was in complete shock that I found someone who got it from the start and validated everything. It just felt too good to be true. I was so happy but very overwhelmed at the same time.
I am looking forward to the future appointments where we can work on things to help move me forward again and help me kick the shit out of my PTSD. All in all, THIS was the perfect Christmas gift I could have gotten this year. Whatever other gift I receive on Christmas Day, there will be no comparison to this.
This was truly a blessing that I really did not at all expect.