I will be deleting this blog really soon. I now blog over at
Please come join me over there!
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.
So…I was meant to go see our occupational therapist Mark today. I didn’t go. Call me lazy, but…the weather outside is miserable. Its been raining hard all morning, and…I just didn’t feel like going out and getting soaked to the skin. So I texted him at 9 AM, our appointment was for 12 PM. I said that I wouldn’t be coming but that I’d phone him later. And I did. We had a long chat over the phone. And we rearranged our appointment for two weeks time. He’s a really awesome person who knows how to do his job and do it well. He said he had lots to discuss with me when we meet next. We’re going to finish doing the interest list, and he and I did some research into different things, like singing lessons, the gym and membership, swimming and cycling amongst other things. This is all so I can become more involved in the community, to make and build connections, all so that my mental health will be better and I’ll have other things to focus on to keep me well and stable. A bonus to our conversation today was he asked if I am ok, if there is anything I needed to talk about, or tell him, if my weeks been ok. He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to care. It left me feeling really cared about and since I didn’t see Dr Barry this week because she’s on vacation, it was nice to have Mark check on me to ensure I’m ok and safe. I honestly feel really really lucky to have such an awesome and dedicated team supporting me and helping me through all of my struggles. Mark isn’t even part of Dr Barrys team, but when I moved over to her team about a year ago now, he kept me on as a client. He also didn’t have to do that. Its not usually done. So I really do feel blessed and so very lucky to have him as part of my team.
i saw dr barry today. Our conversation went like this.
Me: dr barry, will you adopt me?
Dr barry: i know thats what you really want, but i cant.
Me: Please? I’ll be no trouble?
Dr barry with a slight nervous laugh: Alicia, I cant, I’m sorry.
And so the conversation went on. We talked about the weekend. We talked about flashbacks and how I cope with them. I told her I was angry because we have flashbacks. She asked me what do i do with my anger, do I feel it, or do something else with it. I told her that sometimes I sit with it, that I’m learning how to do that in therapy. But sometimes I get in such a rage that I break stuff and bust up my room. She encouraged me to keep trying to feel the anger, let it out.
Then she said…
Alicia, can you try to get carol anne for me if thats ok?
Me: will you just think about adopting me?
Dr barry: sweetie, you have a family. I know its not the family you want. But your mom is trying to do her best. She really wants to work on things so that you can have a better relationship with her.
Me: sigh…thats not the answer I wanted.
Then I got carol anne for her. And they talked about me and I listened.
So because Dr Barry is on holidays, I saw Dr S, her junior doctor. Dr S and us had a rocky start. She’s been in the mental health services for a year now, she wasnt under Dr Barry when I saw her last year for an assessment. Actually the reason we had such a rough start was due to Ro, who is usually a very angry insider. Ro felt that Dr S was dismissing her during that initial assessment, and she got very annoyed with her. But we’re over it now. We actually like Dr S now. Today we discussed a lot. We felt she really heard us, and she really listened. She was interested, and wanted to know about our life, and what was going on for us. It was easy to open up to her. She was really interested when we told her about doing EMDR in therapy, as she said she’s only ever read about it, and she didnt know much about how it was done. We also discussed the ongoing police investigation, and our anxiety levels around this time of year and the anniversaries of abuse and stuff. We also discussed some about our family, and she was really understanding about that, too. I told her what our aunt had said recently and she said how rude that was and how when someone is in another persons home they shouldnt be so insulting. We also discussed some issues around attachment both to our therapist, and to dr Barry. I said how I hate that Dr barry is exposed to the things that happened to us, because she lives in a totally different world to that, and I dont like that she has to be exposed to the horrific things that went on in our life. Dr S said the day a psychiatrist stops caring about the patients they see, is a bad day. And she also said she realised we have a very strong bond built up with dr Barry since we see her weekly. It was a good appointment and I am glad I put my anxiety about seeing Dr S behind me and just went for it, and saw her. It was worth it.
Just got home from our apt to see dr barry. It was a really good appointment, but it was very intense. Lots of stuff surrounding abuse, flashbacks, body memories, and past trauma came up today. I mentioned to her about the student doctors being in the room and not talking to me, and how I’d like them to introduce themselves. She said that was totally reasonable, and she could see how because I cant see that a voice and a hello makes all the difference. She said that because we’re usually so obliging, that she doesnt ever think to ask us any more if we actually want the students in our sessions. But she told me today that any week that I didnt feel like having a student in the room, to just say it to her and she’d ask them to sit out. I was glad about that. I told her I’d been having a lot of body memories lately. We talked a little about them and I told her how during last weeks therapy session I found it really hard to get the words out, to articulate what Iactually wanted to say in regards to the memories. We discussed it and I told her about my aunt and what she’d said to me last week, about things being all in my head, and dr Barry said that I was probably doubting myself because of what she’d said, so then in turn, that led to my not being able to articulate it to Eileen, for fear she wouldnt believe me. It made sense. I told dr Barry that the abuse was so bad that sometimes I figured people were thinking that stuff like what I describe actually couldnt happen. We talked about these next few months being extremely hard and how there are some anniversary dates coming up, including the date that my abuse came to light and including my friends baby being born and killed by the cult. She went very quiet when I told her about my friends baby and what happened to her. I was crying a lot and she got me a glass of water. She kept saying that I would be ok, how strong I was and how I have endured so much and am very brave. I can tell you now I didnt feel one bit brave! What I felt was distressed, weak, sad, guilty, and so many other emotions. Next week I have to see the junior doctor because dr Barry is on holidays. Thats ok though. I feel ready to see her. I probably wont say much to her, but its just going to be a check in visit to make sure we’re ok and safe and stuff.
So our psychiatrist always has student doctors in with her when we talk to her. She has said in the past that we can say no, but I always feel awful about doing that, so I never do. Last Monday, a friend of ours, who also sees Dr Barry had her appointment. We were texting afterwords, and I asked her if the student had been in her session, because they’d been in mine. She said no, that it was just her and Dr Barry. Then I started to get uneasy. I wondered…is it because of our did that Dr Barry always has the students in our sessions? Is it because she’s trying to educate them on it? Part of me wondered if it was just the whole fascination of the did and switching and all, and she wanted them to see a switch? But to be fair, Dr Barry is not the type to gawk, or be fascinated, so I doubt that comes into it very much. But you know when you always have the students in the room, and then you hear others say they never have them, you start to wonder. Tonight in therapy I talked To Eileen about it. I told her how last Monday the guy who was in the room never said a word the whole time. He never said hello, or introduced himself to me. The only reason I knew he was a man was because Dr Barry told me that. It was quite unnerving and unsettling to say the least. I’d like a hello, i’m so and so, i’m a med student in such a year whatever year they’re in at least. Is that too much to ask for? Am I being unreasonable? I dont think so. Eileen said I should mention it to Dr Barry. Also because I am blind, I have to go on a persons voice. If they dont say anything, then I have nothing to go on at all. Plus I felt weird talking to Dr Barry about my inner most thoughts, when the student was sitting there listening intently. I know Dr Barry will have told him some of my story before I went in, but still. It feels intrusive to me. It feels like I am being analysed. I think I will mention it to her this coming Monday. It wont hurt to mention it and maybe it will help. What do my readers think? Wpould you mention it? Do you think I am being unreasonable?
Saw Dr Barry this morning. got a bit of a shock as I wasnt waiting too long before I was called in. Thats pretty unusual as normally there are tons of people and even though your given a time, your usually never seen at the allotted time. Today was different though.
Dr Barry was better from her sore throat and cough. She had a student doctor with her again today. At least she asks me if its ok, I dont normally like students but once I am asked I tend to allow them in to the appointment.
We were with her for 45 minutes. Alicia got to talk to her about her recent anger fit where she trashed the bedroom due to being angry at Eileen. Dr Barry pretty much said what Eileen said about it, encouraging her to pause her anger before it reaches rage.
We also discussed the police coming tomorrow. Dr Barry told me to be sure I knew what I am consenting to. To ask lots of questions so that I am informed about what it is the police want in the report they are requesting.
She didnt increase or decrease any of my meds. I told her I am going to use an ap to remind me to take my meds. She seemed to think that was going to be a worthwhile thing to do. I will try anyway, see how it goes. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing it.
She told me in two weeks she has a week off. She offered me an appointment then with a locum consultant, but its the one I saw when i was admitted the last time, on the weekend, the one who dismissed our did diagnosis. I told her no, I dont want to see him, that I dont like his attitude. So she said thats ok, that I can see the junior doctor who I like. Thats a relief. Before then though I’m going to see Dr Barry again as I am going to see her next week.