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 started my voluntary position yesterday. I’m volunteering at the basement resource centre, the local drop in centre i go to for people who have mental health difficulties. I got on fine. I really enjoyed the two hours that i did. My job was to answer the phone, the door, and also to enter in some data into a spreadsheet. I was pretty nervous about doing the spreadsheet work as i don’t have much experience of using excel. But i did fine. I got all the work done in one hour. So then i just spent the second hour answering the phone and the door. Overall i was really happy with my first day though.
Im looking forward to the weekend. I joined a walking group for visually impaired people. Basically what it is is that we go for a walk, and each of us has a sighted guide, and then after we’re done with the walk we go for something to eat. Its nice just to be able to socialise with like minded people and also with other visually impaired people. I hope the weather will be good for us tomorrow but i think it probably wont because i watched the forecast and it said rain and more rain.
I got a call today from the nutritionist on dr barrys team. Her name is Karen. However i missed her call. I rang her bak but she never picked up. I’m hoping she was calling me to arrange an appointment. Since emilys been struggling so much lately, it would be nice to see someone and try to get that under control. There was a long waiting list to see Karen, but dr barry put in a word at last weeks team meeting to push things along, and it looks like now that it has worked. I’m hoping she’ll get back to me on Monday with good news.
Well thats all the updates from here. I hope your all doing well, or as well as you can be this week.
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.
we’ve been trying so hard to just get through today. Thats not easy.
Granted the days just starting, and the really scary parts don’t come until tonight. But the very fact that its October 31, and Halloween, is a massive trigger to us to our whole system.
We’re with our parents. Dr barry said it might be the less risky of the two options we had, to either stay home on our own, or go to our parents and stay there. So we are choosing to stay with our family for the weekend.
We have a phone check in with our therapist this evening. I’m sure that will help us a lot. I have decided to stay out of the way when our niece and nephew come , and get dressed up and go trick or treating. We don’t need to be exposed to that.
If we can just get through this weekend then we will have dr barrys support on Monday. That appointment on Monday is whats keeping us going, along with the support of Eileen, and my partner too.
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE CONFLICTING FEELINGS. IN ONE BREATH, YOUR SAYING THAT YOUR NOT VALUABLE TO YOUR SYSTEM, UNLESS YOUR BEING ABUSED, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, YOUR SAYING YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR PUTTING YOUR SYSTEM IN DANGER AND YOU DONT WANT TO DO THAT ANY MORE. YOU WANT TO CHANGE. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR FEELINGS ARE CONFLICTED, AND THATS WHAT THE ABUSERS DO. THEY EVOKE CONFLICTING FEELINGS IN THEIR VICTIMS.
HOW TRUE THIS IS. DR BARRYS RIGHT. I DO HAVE CONFLICTED FEELINGS ABOUT LOTS OF THINGS. THE ABUSE I ENDURED LEFT ME FEELING THAT WAY, CONFLICTED.
Todays appointment with dr barry was very intense. We were in with her for an hour and a half, the longest we’ve ever been with her. We discussed a lot of things, including a new medication, latuda. She wanted us to try it, and she was going to admit us to the hospital so that she could monitor us when we tried it. But i told her i didn’t want to go in. I was in the hospital at this time last year. I told her that despite all the overwhelming trauma memories, and suicidal thoughts, and other shit we’ve got going on, i don’t want to go into hospital at this time. I want to try and manage with Eileen and her help, and also the help of my friends and coping techniques. So she agreed with me eventually and for now we’re not starting any new medications. I didn’t bring nitro with me today, because of the weather and also because sometimes when i’m not doing well, having him isn’t the best idea. Its more of a hassle to try and control him when i’m doing pretty badly myself. Dr barry said she thought it would be a comfort to have him and that it would help me, so i had to explain to her why it wasn’t. After a while i said to her do you think i didn’t bring him with me because i was going to ask you to hospitalise me? And she said that the thought had crossed her mind. I cant believe she seriously thought i wanted to be hospitalised. I suppose she did, because she knows what a hard time these months are for us and maybe she thought i wasn’t coping and would rather be taken care of by the hospital. We also talked about the report that she has to write up for the police. She was asked by them to write up a comprehensive report on our mental health difficulties recently. She said no she wouldn’t do that, and she said she’d only give them minimum information. But today she had another thought. She told me that she was unclear what they wanted it for. And so she’s going to write them again and ask them exactly what information they want and why they want it. She said the fact that i am also unclear about why they want it is a red flag for her. Plus also she’d spoken to her clinical director who’d told her she was well within her rights to say she wasn’t happy with the letter she’d received and get clarification around it. She read me out the letter that the superintendant sent her, it seems like a standard letter, like one they send everyone who they ask for a report from. I’m glad she’s not just giving out information about us that could be confidential and i don’t want them to have irrelevant information or personal information that they don’t need so thats a good thing in my opinion. We talked about me being sick for the past week. I was really bad last weekend, then i seemed to get a little better, but now i seem to be worse again. She had a theory that maybe its psychological and due to the severe stress i am under that my symptoms are showing up as physical symptoms. I had to agree it does sound plausible. I also told her about finding diet pills and laxatives in my house. Emily whose 12 and a bulimic had been storing them and using them. She said she’s not surprised that emilys eating disordered behavious is coming to the forefront at this time of the year. I made Emily talk to her because i was so worried about her. I was also a little mad that she’d been using the diet pills because of how dangerous they are. She didn’t want to tell dr barry about what she’d been doing but eventually she did and they discussed it and she promised her she wouldn’t do it again. I go back next Monday to get my injection of xeplion and also to see dr barry as well. I know thats really soon but i think its also a good thing because i have both the support of our psychiatrist and therapist and those two people along with my partner and friends will keep me out of the hospital. And that cant be a bad thing.