Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Monday, February 01, 2010


First, Breaking News: Gage is HOME! And cleared to return to school!

Tomorrow I have to do something hard. Essentially I have to tell Dr. Mind he pushed too hard and totally freaked me out.

He, predictably, determined that I have to deal with what may happen with Dr. Brain. Obviously we hope and pray she'll be fine and able to continue working. But she may be unable to do that, and she of course may not survive this. I know these things. I am struggling though to accept just the basic "there is a big change that may or may not affect me much" thing, and the questions he was asking were things I can't answer. The truth is that I do not know what I would do without her. I've had something like 12 therapists and 5 psychiatrists. Psychiatrist 1, Dr. Prozac, died suddenly about 6 months before I finished grad school. Psychiatrist 2, Dr. Scared Me to Death, i only saw a few times and did not respond well to after she popped out with "You may be bipolar" 5 minutes after meeting me and caused me to run away. Psychiatrist 3, Dr. Stupid, spent 8 minutes at a clip with me, didn't listen to what I said, and would document I was doing fine because I was able to work, despite the fact I was coming home and immediately going to bed in my dirty scrubs, fighting to be able to shower because of paranoia, and was suicidal. She was a treat. She also made me a million times worse by giving me meds that were so obviously wrong for my diagnosis. Dr. 4 was really a team of doctors but mainly I saw just the one who I developed a relationship with, during the clinical trial. I really liked him a lot. However I don't think he is anywhere around anymore; he was a fellow back then and a fellowship with the Guru of Bipolar pretty much gets you a job wherever you want. Psychiatrist 5 is Dr. Brain. Then of course there were 2 in the hospital and they were both ok, but they don't count since I don't remember well and were too short-term to really know much. One of them didn't want to listen to me about my severe reaction to lamictal and why I've been determined to not be a candidate for re-introduction after the rash, but to be fair my ability to explain was very limited. So out of those 5 doctors she is the only one I've had a long-term, really therapeutic relationship with. It doesn't make me feel confident about other doctors.

There are other reasons that I can't imagine one of the bad things happening. I can't imagine such an alive, giving person not being here. She has young children. Her youngest daughter used to come to some of my sessions back when she was 4 and nap on her mother's lap. She'd be about 11 now. And she's a good person, one of the best people I know.

So anyway, we ventured into that. Which was enough. But for whatever reason he decided I need to use this to start considering what I should do to bolster my support system from the few people it currently is. Within minutes he had made my mother become unable to assist me, himself move away or worse, and Dr. Brain gone. And the only resulting feeling is panic. Then, to make it even worse, he reminded me that he has always been very honest that when his son graduates he may move away. OK, he has. Except that he totally forgot that I have no sense of time from recent years and so in my mind that is 8 years off because that is what number I absorbed. Apparently though that was 4 yeras ago. But it is really 4, I know now. And I don't want to worry about that for 4 years. But I also know how rapidly 4 years goes. And I know how perfect he has been for me and that finding someone like him will be very hard. Not impossible as I have at least had 2 very good therapists out of the 12, but unfortunately most of the rest were either duds or out of their league with me.

And then he just got plain old stupid. Which is the part of this I least look forward to. If you were reading back before the hospitalization drama you may remember that I had been working on my intense fear of various things, including a terror of guns that runs so deep that the only logical explanation is that something very traumatic happened around me with a gun. I don't remember this, but I do know I've had extreme reactions to guns as long as I remember, and that not only was I raised by a violent man who I know threatened to use guns in a horrible manner at least twice, but I also was molested by someone who had no problem scaring me horribly to keep me quiet. Either of them could have done something that horrified and terrified me and was probably beyond my understanding.

So I was talking about my reluctance to build a support system because I'm just tired of people knowing that I have this. Clearly I'm willing to be quite open about it, but only when I choose, and when I am in a situation where I don't know/don't care what you assume about me. In my regular life though I don't enjoy the things people automatically think when they know. This is particularly true in my professional life because people make so many assumptions. They think that if they know what my med combination is that they know what is wrong with me. This is especially true with being on a high dose of anti-psychotic. People make such assumptions about that that I have even had a family doctor refuse to even meet me because I was taking one. (Now medical students learn about me from my family doctor who got past his assumptions really fast with me, but he started out with them.) I'm tired of people finding out about this and suddenly I'm not who I used to be. So while I understand I need support, I don't want to tell people.

Unfortunately this is where he really screwed up. I think he just used an example that came to mind, or which he's used before, and he forgot my terror of guns. But he was trying to point out that just because people know something doesn't mean they know the whole story, or that they know what it is really like. (I am still not sure where they then become a support system, but that's because I didn't make it that far into this example). His example of choice was to tell some story about how he shot someone as a kid. He later told me that it wasn't true, but that was after I nearly fainted out of horror. I think he realized the error, but it really, really upset me and was one step too far in a conversation that already made me feel like he was stripping away all my security at once and not replacing it with anything.

So I left last week feeling afraid, alone, abandoned, and terrified of the future. Also a bit afraid of him. So tomorrow we have to talk about this and how difficult coping has been.I don't want to. I hate confrontation and I really hate saying "you screwed up a whole session and I've not calmed down since".

Truthfully I think his logic was something along the lines of I'm better now so I can handle big things. The problem is that I'm better, but I'm not exactly settled into this new version of life and I'm got to find where my coping skills are and learn new ones to cope with this transition into the most normal life I've ever had. My moods are better, aside from being very teary with this, but this is all new to me and I have to learn a new way to live. Yes, ideally i should have a more wide support system. I could have handled that conversation. But the one where all security was riped away was overkill.

And have I mentioned I hate confrontation? Even with Dr. Mind who I've had more confrontations with in the last 4 years than anyone else in the last 1o years?

overload, overload........


Michal Ann said...

You'll be on your way to your appointment and might not read this but I just found your post after checking several times today.

I will pray that you'll come through your talk with dear Dr. Mind and find your relationship better and stronger. I think that could happen.

Keep pressing on...I know you are. I hope you gain a vision of the future...a hopeful future so the things of the past lose their hold on you or vice verse. I pray you retain only the wisdom and are completely healed of the pain and the fear.

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Read and repeat! repeat! repeat!

And I will join you...

Emilija said...

That was a very strange session! But it sounds like he is generally very useful, keep working at it.