I’m feeling kind of off/down today, for reasons I can’t quite articulate.
It started with my appointment with New Therapist 2.0 this morning. Lots of anxiety beforehand, almost as bad as before the first meeting. Heart going a hundred miles an hour, sticking my hands in my pocket so she wouldn’t see they were shaking, couldn’t stop my knee from bobbing up and down, the whole nine yards.
I felt vaguely disappointed after the appointment, and I don’t really know why. I think part of it is that I’m tired of having to rehash my history every time I see a new person. It’s old by this point, and it’s frustrating because I feel like there are more pressing issues. But of course she wouldn’t really understand a lot of it without the context of my history.
And there was just this general sense of disconnect afterward. I didn’t feel it in the moment, or at least I didn’t realize I was feeling it in the moment. She was very sympathetic and got that a lot of the “treatment” I’ve had was just further trauma, but it felt…I don’t know, not quite patronizing, but something close. I wanted her to say something insightful, I guess, not just nod and make sympathetic groaning noises. But that’s not really fair to expect from her two sessions in. It’s hard at the start because they don’t know you well enough yet to be insightful, and it’s really a gift to have found someone who understands that mental health treatment can cause/exacerbate trauma. I don’t remember it being so hard when I started with my Boston therapist, though. Then again, I don’t really remember starting off with Boston Therapist, beyond my heart hammering when I stood there about to ring her buzzer the first time. And I definitely remember it being hard to start off with my Riggs therapist–excruciatingly so. It was more than 6 months before I felt any connection with her, and for most of that time, I was convinced she downright hated me.
I almost wonder if part of me is creating this sense of disconnect to avoid doing the work we need to do around trauma stuff. I mean, the last time I talked much about the abuse in therapy was when I was at Riggs. It came up some with Boston Therapist, but most of my work with her was just trying to hold my ground and not kill myself. Maybe on some level, I’m afraid that if I start looking at the trauma stuff again, I’ll fall apart and lose this new-found happiness.
The thing is, I think I’m finally in a place where I can do trauma work and make it stick. When I was dealing with the unrelenting depression, none of it held. I couldn’t convince myself that I wasn’t a terrible person who deserved all the abuse and deserved to be dead, and no one else could convince me, either. Now that I’m feeling so much better, it’s more likely to stick. I’m more likely to get rid of the symptoms permanently rather than getting just a temporary reduction in them. I don’t want to run from this, consciously or unconsciously.
Then at kung fu, Pembontu was telling us about this fundraiser that we’re doing to raise money to provide free self-defense class to survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault as well as women who are at risk. Basically, you get people to sponsor you to do 1000 kicks and break some boards. Everyone’s supposed to raise at least $50, but he was saying some people raise upward of $500. I’m sitting there thinking, “Who the hell am I gonna ask to give me money? Sure as hell not my family. The only friends I have are other broke mental patients, and god knows I don’t have any money of my own to spare.” I want to do the kick-a-thon, but I’d just look like an asshole if I showed up without any money.
Really, the issue is not the money–it’s that I don’t even have anybody to ask to sponsor me. Most of the people I interact with are my treatment team and other patients. The only non-crazy people I interact with regularly are the people from my kung fu class. Yes, even being able to go to kung fu is a huge improvement…but I feel pretty down on myself right now for not having any social network to speak of.
Apparently, kids, tonight’s episode is brought to you by the number 7 and the word “disconnected.”