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We have had a few psychiatrists over the years. Because we are in the public health system, things change a lot. When your going private, usually you see the same person for years. This hasn’t been the way it is for us.
We started with Dr M. She was quite a nice person. A little set in her ways, but we liked her. Then again, we were young, and very unwell, we’d have literally done anything that anyone told us, just to feel better and become well again. We first saw her for a year. She put us on meds. She made us go to therapy. Unfortunately back then we had a severe eating issue, we didn’t eat or wouldnt eat hardly at all. We were severely underweight. The therapist she made us go to was attached to the mental health services, and so wasn’t very good. We didn’t like that she would constantly weigh us, and focused on nothing but our ED. She never asked why it was we didn’t want to eat, or why it was that we were so suicidal, or we didn’t want to live. After a year of seeing Dr M, she deamed us well enough not to see her any more. Within the year though we almost got hospitalised to the psych ward once, we narrowly escaped that because our mom didn’t want us to go in there and she would not agree and because we were only 17, she had the final say. After stopping going to Dr M, we were out of therapy for a while too. Eventually we got back into therapy when our memories started to hit us full force. The memories of the SRA and MC and other abuses were plaguing us and causing us to have terrible flashbacks. So we entered into therapy again, this time with a wonderful therapist, who ended up devastating Shirley, and causing a system collapse. But we do still think she was amazing, she did so much with us in the 9 months that we saw her. She was instrumental in us getting a diagnosis of did. But inevitably it ended, and not very wel I might add. She said she lost her objectivity around our case. She did however get us back in to see dr m, and be assessed for a did diagnosis. Dr M didn’t know much about did, but she assessed us and diagnosed us with the disorder mostly based on our therapists account, as we weren’t really able to give her a lot of info, but we’d been seeing our therapist twice weekly and she’d met some parts insiders and had more of a full picture of how things were for us at that time. We then found out that Dr M was retiring. Dr D took over. It was a major change for us because he was a male psychiatrist. We didn’t think we’d be able to connect with him or trust him. But we actually did manage to get very familiar with him, and we saw him for five years. He was a pretty good doctor as psychiatrists go. He was the first doctor to hospitalise us, he also tried us on lots of medications, and we did lots of outpatient groups while under his care, we also had brain scans, and other tests, just to make sure we actually did have did and not something else. He tried to get us admitted to a unit in the UK specifically for did, but they refused to take us because of our blindness. They said our blindness would complicate things and they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. After Dr D went to a new catchment area in 2007, dr C took over. She was only ok. We had a lot of ups and downs with her when we were under her care. One time Ro who is one of our darker insiders, threatened to kill her, of course that caused a load of problems, after those threats she refused to see us alone any more and would always bring a nurse with her when she saw us after that. Despite the ups and downs though, we did like her and got along with her. In 2010 when we had our formal diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder from the specialists who came over from the UK, she was there for part of the assessment. She believed in did. She spoke to insiders in our system…she saw us and understood us. But in 2013 she moved to Australia. That is when Dr Barry took over our care. And I can honestly say she is the best psychiatrist we’ve ever had. She just gets it. She is a great listener, and knows exactly the right things to say. She is friendly, and she is real. The fact that she is real is really important to us. She’s not afraid to let her emotions show either. She is just an all round good psychiatrist and I feel very lucky to have her. We all do. We’ve had a lot of therapists and psychiatrists I know. But I can honestly say that each of them brought something new to our treatment, each of them played a part in who we are today.
I’ve been thinking a lot today. Mostly I have been thinking about our teen years. So much happened during that stage of our life. It was before we were ever diagnosed with did, because we were unofficially diagnosed with did in 2001. But it was during our teen years, that we discovered we had any mental illness, namely depression, and an eating disorder. And it was during our teen years that the abuse came out, came to light, but I am not going to write about that now. What I am planning to write about was the bullying we endured twice during our teen years. The first time we were bullied, was when we were still in the boarding school in Dublin. For those who maybe don’t know, this was a school for the blind. When we entered secondary school at age 13, was when the bullying started. It was intense. It was horrific and horrible. The girls who bullied us were very nasty and mean and would stop at nothing to cause us pain. Eventually we told one of our teachers, our class head teacher. She said she’d sort it out, and she did. The bullying stopped and we thought we’d gotten through it and it was over. Only a few years later, when we left the bording school and returned home to go to school at home, it started up again. Only this time we had a much harder time than before. We were in a school of over 500 pupils, all of whom could see, we couldn’t as we are blind. At first when we went there it was a novelty to the other girls. They’d never been in school with someone who was blind. Lots of them were eager to show us around, be our friends, take care of us. But of course this didn’t last. When the bullying started, it got really bad really quickly. They’d call us names. They’d make us cry. They’d do things to injure us…for example knocking us over when we were carrying our backpack, trip us going up the stairs, put superglue on our chair, you name it, they did it. It was when they tripped us while we were walking up the stairs that everything blew up. We broke our arm then and had to go to hospital. So then, the bullying all came to a head, it was found out by the teachers and principle. Of course this made the bullies very angry. They then started to do things outside of the school so they wouldn’t be noticed. So while the teachers thought it had stopped, it really hadn’t. It was escalating further and further. Eventually we couldn’t take any more. Eventually we tried to end our life. We were taking Prozac and we overdosed on it. Luckily for us, our mom found us. We were rushed to the hospital and it was only then that we met our first psychiatrist, Dr M. Dr M diagnosed us as having clinical depression and anorexia. She put us on antidepressants. She continued to see us as an outpatient for over a year until she deamed us well enough not to see her any more. We still had to stay on our meds though. I supposed if the bullying hadn’t happened, we might have never seen anyone and we may have never have gotten into the system as early on as we did. Sometimes though i wonder if becoming a service user of the services for mental health at such a young age was helpful. I’m not sure still if I think it was or not. Thats part of our story and I hope someone out there is able to relate to it in some sort of way. It was hard for me to write and think back and remember the awful experiences of bullying and of our teen years. But I am glad I decided to open up a little bit more than I have done in the past about what happened to us.
So…I’ve been sitting here for hours doing email. And reading blogs. I just cant sleep. Of course if I got up at a reasonable time of day, it wouldn’t be like that. But today was Sunday, and I slept in. Only sleeping in turned into a kinda all day thing. I did get up and watch some tv for a while and I fixed myself something to eat, but then I just felt like going back to sleep again. Now I’m paying for it because I’m wide awake. Its lucky I have email and blogs to keep me busy, otherwise I’d go stark crazy from just being bored.
I just hallucinated. I hate that so much. I just saw one of my abusers. She berated me. She really got to me. I could hear her voice so intensely. It scared me. It really fucking scared me. Her voice was so vivid, the words loud and clear. I really hate this. It makes me feel less strong. When I hallucinate it makes me feel vulnerable. Seeing one of my abusers, their face, hearing their voice, makes it seem all so real again. Like I am back there. Like its happening all over again. I hate it.
a muddled brain
flitting in and out
as you try to grapple
to hang on for dear life
time whizzes by so fast
you wonder where it went
what you did
who you saw
how did the hours fly by?
where was I?
this is dissociation at its finest
as you try to figure out the answers in therapy
you know someone inside has them
but nobodys giving any clues
what to do?
so you keep on searching
hopeful that some time soon the answers will come
desperately seeking the truth so you can piece together the weeks, hours and days of your life
SO CAROL ANNE AND ALICIA BOTH TOLD YOU ABOUT THERAPY AND THEIR PART OF LAST NIGHTS THERAPY SESSION. NOW ITS MY TURN.
I’D BEEN WANTING TO TALK TO EILEEN ABOUT SOME STUFF FOR A FEW WEEKS. FINALLY LAST NIGHT I JUST CAME FORWARD AND WE TALKED.
MOSTLY WE DISCUSSED THINGS ABOUT THE DARKS. WE TALKED ABOUT HOW TWO INSIDERS IN THE DARKS ARE STRUGGLING WITH TRYING TO NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH ABUSERS. THERE’D BEEN SOME LOST TIME THIS WEEK, AND, I TOLD HER IT WAS BECAUSE THOSE TWO INDIVIDUALS WERE OUT THEN. THEY’D RECIEVED SOME UNWANTED EMAILS, AND PHONE CALLS, WITH ORDERS WHICH THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON. AND THEY HADNT DONE SO.
EILEEN SAID SHE REALLY RESPECTS THEM FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THE ORDERS WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN. SHE SAID THAT THAT NEEDED TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED. SHE ASKED ME THEN HOW THE DARKS FELT ABOUT SHIRLEY HAVING SPOKEN TO HER A WEEK OR TWO EARLIER AND I SAID WE DIDNT FEEL THREATENED, THAT SOME OF US DIDNT CARE, BUT FOR SOME OF US IT WAS A HUGE STEP, AND IT MEANT WE REALLY DID TRUST HER BECAUSE WE WERE ALLOWING HER ACCESS TO OUR CORE, SHIRLEY, OUR HOST, THE MOST VULNERABLE OF US ALL. SHE ACKNOWLEDGED HOW THIS MEANT A LOT TO HER AND SHE WOULD TAKE IT SLOW AND GO EASY ON SHIRLEY AND NOT TRY TO RUSH INTO THINGS.
I TOLD HER I THOUGHT THAT SOME OF THE DARK INSIDERS WOULD NEVER COME AROUND TO THE IDEA OF GOING TO THERAPY AND ATTACHING OR TRUSTING SOMEONE AND THAT THEY PROBABLY MIGHT NEVER TALK TO HER. SHE SAID THATS OK AND SHE WOULDNT BE PUSHING ANYONE WHO DIDNT WANT TO TALK TO HER TO TALK. THAT ITS NOT A PRODUCTIVE WAY OF DOING THINGS. THAT IN TIME IF THEY FELT LIKE IT SHE’D BE THERE AND WILLING AND READY TO TALK TO THEM. AND WE LEFT IT AT THAT.
THE SESSION WAS PRETTY INTENSE. I FELT BETTER THOUGH AFTER TALKING. BUT THEN, I ALWAYS DO.
I had some time to talk in therapy last night. It went like this.
Me: Eileen, did you think about adopting me?
Eileen: I know that’s really on your mind a lot lately, isn’t it?
Me: Yes always.
Eileen: Have you tried going into that room we created inside, with me in it?
Me: Yeah, but its not the same as having a forever family. I just want a forever family who’ll love me, see me, take care of me…
Eileen: But what about the rest of the system?
Me: They could come with me when I move in with you.
Eileen: And what about Nitro?
Me: Oh he can come too. You can have all of us wrapped up in one big parcel.
Eileen: Its a lovely image to think about isn’t it?
Me: I wish I didn’t have to just think about it. I really really wish you could do it. Your family are really lucky to have you…do they even realise how lucky they are?
Eileen with a laugh: I am not so sure they see it like that.
Me: Well they should. Why didn’t I get a family like yours? If you adopted me I bet you’d make rules, would you?
Eileen: It would be nice to have a life without rules wouldn’t it?
Me: Sure it would.
Me: I bet your family are really nice people? Even if I don’t know them yet.
Eileen: So you really want either me or Dr Barry to adopt you? How would that happen, Dr barry cant move in with me?
Me: Ok, I’ll spend half the week with your family, and half with Dr Barrys. That’d work?
Eileen: You have it all worked out don’t you?
Me: I wish I could see you. I hate not being able to see. If I could see you could give me a picture of you to look at.
Eileen: I know. That would be nice. But maybe we can record my voice, maybe I can do a meditation for you, or something nice like that. What do you think?
Me: Ok, but I still wish I could see you..what do you look like?
Eileen: Well I’m five foot 8, with hazel eyes, I have brown hair with a hint of red and blonde going through it, its not very noticeable though, just a hint of those two colors…and, I could stand to lose a few pounds…
Me: I bet your super skinny. And you wear glasses too, you forgot that bit.
Then our time was up. But I’m having more time next session. I guess we’ll talk more about that then. I wonder if I can convince her to adopt me in some way?