Man Good, Woman… Baaaad

Every counselor, therapist, and psychiatrist I have ever worked with has been female.

 

And I have never felt like I benefited from therapy… no matter how hard I’ve tried.

When I was in High School I was in counseling for depression during my parents’ divorce (which was a weird divorce for reasons I will not go into right now) and I did it because my mother thought it would be a good idea. The entire year and a half that I participated in what I considered to be a futile experiment simply because it was entertaining to see how many times during a session I could avoid talking about what my very nice counselor wanted me to talk about.

Her big theory about me was that I was a chameleon, and that I had different ways of acting depending on the people to whom I had to respond. She went on vacation and brought back a porcelain mask. I asked her if she was trying to make a point and she said she hadn’t even made the connection.

Who was analyzing whom?

I didn’t benefit from it, but she let me bring my keyboard to sessions and sing my songs and read my poetry to her. It was more like having a captive friend.

At one point she gave me an IQ test and I tested really low, contrary to the IQ testing that had been done for gifted placement in school. It upset me tremendously and I wouldn’t speak to her for about two weeks. (Math is not my friend.) Then she left the city and I stopped therapy.

The next time I talked to a mental health professional was after I called the crisis hotline in college in Kentucky. I was failing my Spring semester classes… because I wouldn’t leave my dorm room except to dart across the parking lot to get bagels from the Starbucks in the campus bookstore. I was 19, I wasn’t sleeping more than 2 hours a night. After one session with a crazy German lady psychiatrist I was diagnosed with Chronic Depression and sent home shortly after.

I sought out counseling while I was going to VCU, but the therapist wanted me to participate in group therapy, and group therapy scared me. It was the first time I was really trying to improve myself. I was in a relationship with my son’s biological father and my meltdowns/tantrums/temper/rage… whatever you want to call it was very very prevalent. In Kentucky I had just isolated myself from everything that was too much or unpleasant. And at home I spent hours in my room or outside by myself. It wasn’t until I had to live with other people in a shared space, with no sanctuary of my own, that my meltdowns became obvious to me. I thought it was just that relationship, or leftovers from abuse growing up.

Ultimately I decided that if I couldn’t have one on one therapy, I would just handle it on my own for a while.

It wasn’t until I moved in with my husband, after a few years of living on my own (with my son part-time, then full-time due to my work schedule) that the meltdowns reared their ugly head again and I feared that my husband would leave me. For a time I wondered if we would even make it to marriage. We lived together for six months before we married… and I was on birth control… and I was out of control. I lost it in public. I lost it in front of our new couple friends. I lost it in our front yard.

I was so scared that I would drive my husband to doing something he regretted, just as I had driven my son’s biological father into hittin me and shaking me because I didn’t stay out of his space. I sought therapy out once more and found a nice lady I saw for quite some time.

Unfortunately, she did not support my polyamorous nature or relationship and her inability to treat my relationship as a valid lifestyle instead of referring to it in terms of abuse and manipulation meant that I couldn’t continue. She wasn’t in my insurance network and I had been paying more to see her anyway, so I called my insurance company and found someone else…. another woman who saw me a few times and sent me off to get medicated.

Lorazepam and Lexapro were good and bad. They both made me feel sick, but they helped a bit. The sickness didn’t warrant the benefit, and my prescription plan wanted me to try other anti-depressants before letting me take Lexapro long-term.

I didn’t feel helped and I didn’t feel supported and the diagnoses still didn’t feel right.

Today, I had my appointment with Dr. B., a man. The entire appointment was highly upsetting but there were things that I really liked about it. I think that the stress of trying to find the place and get there on time and worrying about my head behaving long enough for me to get through things made me uptight in the first place. Then, when I arrived, the receptionist argued with me about my insurance. My insurance company had told me to do things a specific way, and the receptionist demanded the exact opposite. It was really frustrating.

By the time I got into Dr. B.’s office I was already wringing my hands. Luckily he had one of those rocking recliners and it was angled towards a wall with neat little kid’s paintings of sailboats that I really liked, so I could rock and stare at them. He was very gracious about backing off of topics that upset me. I cried during most of the “why are you here” information, and then was okay during the “information about family” portion. But some of the abuse and such… I can’t get in to.

He wants to meet with me again to talk more about “me” and gave me a bit of a rundown on how the pre-authorization for insurance works.

I don’t feel like I was very clear or informative. He said I wore his fingers out because he was typing so fast to keep up. He did say he saw elements of depression, anxiety, PTSD and that he didn’t think there would be an issue with the proving that Asperger’s testing is medically necessary. He recommended walking. I told him about my exercise ball stuff.

So, we shall see.

I’m a wreck.

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