Today is a big day.
I need to go back many months ago to a time when I’d come home from my hospital program to absolutely no care. This happened twice. I did have a psychiatrist and he is a great guy but his job is to have me on good medications and follow me on them. He is not a therapist and he does not believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I was left feeling very alone and after just leaving the hospitals 24 hour care (2 months solid each time) is hard enough to readjust without being dumped in to nothingness.
After many months with no therapy at all, I was beginning to crash again. No matter how many healthy “tools” you have, when your trauma is still affecting your life so drastically, you NEED professional support. I shouldn’t speak for everyone I suppose. I need that support or I start to fall apart.
After months of searching with no luck at all, a terrific friend of mine who lives 3,500kms away asked her doctor to recommend someone here. He only knew of one name and he wasn’t even sure if he was a therapist but he might know someone or have some connections that would help. I had tried every other “normal” avenue so why not give him a call?
We spoke by phone one time and made an appointment to meet. It was basically to talk about what he could offer and for him to hopefully pass me along to an “appropriate” therapist. I found out that he was a medical doctor who took a keen interest in psychotherapy but he did not feel that he was capable of dealing with such intense trauma. He agreed to keep me as a patient until he could find something/someone else. THANK GOODNESS!!!
Well… this gentleman has no clue of how great he is as a therapist. Our weeks turned in to months because no one more suitable could be found. He had a couple of leads but the wheels turned very slowly. Very, very slowly. I started not to mind that at all because our sessions were terrific. When we began I was wound up very tightly; sort of like a ball of elastics wound so tight that one hard bounce might splinter them all as though they were made of glass. As each week passed I became less and less wound up. I started to breathe again. I started to feel happier and more calm. My concentration began to come back and I was even able to start this blog. 🙂
Those months turned in to a year before he found and managed to set up a meeting with an equally wonderful therapist who specializes in PTSD and believes in DID. That is NOT easy to find. For a few months I have been seeing them on rotation. Trying to get me acclimated to the new therapist which I feel has been done very well. Now there is talk of me getting a psychiatrist that believes in DID as well thanks to these two professionals working together.
Just imagine! After decades of searching and failing, I just may have a therapist AND a psychiatrist that are willing and able to treat DID and trauma.
As for why this is a big day… my therapy with my special doctor/therapist ends today. He is going on sabbatical for a year and today we will meet to say goodbye.
I feel as though I am saying goodbye to far more than a doctor. I am saying goodbye to someone who stuck by me every single week until he could find what he felt was better. He stuck by me, never judged me, was willing to speak to the Helpers on occasion (as needed), he even did the impossible. He earned my trust. It took him a year but I really and truly trust him. While seeing him off is very difficult, I am now left with the knowledge that I CAN learn to trust others. I always thought it would be impossible. Apparently I was wrong and I am happy that I was. He showed that to me.
He showed me something else. Something huge. He made me feel worthy of the help. He never made me feel that I was asking for too much or being “silly” when wanting someone who could deal with my DID effectively. He made phone call after phone call, he spoke to people where he teaches, he spoke with me through it all and made sure that I was okay with every step. His sentences often began with “I was thinking about ________” which showed me he thought about me and what would be best for me at other times outside of our appointments. He made me feel that I was truly important and that my needs were real and worthwhile of care.
That translates in my mind to “I am worthy.” He gets nothing back other than his paycheck and I have definitely made him earn that. 😉 I’d say he was sorely underpaid.
So he might not be trained to deal with cases such as mine and he might have felt that he was in over his head at times but he did things that no one has ever been able to do before. Allow myself to trust and actually feel worthy.
I will miss him far more than I could ever allow myself to show him in person but I will be okay now. His lessons have been learned, his help gratefully accepted and now I can allow myself to trust others. It will take me a long time but I know now that it can happen. As for feeling worthy… it is not like I haven’t had wonderful friends, my husband and his family around me and telling me the worth they saw in me. I just couldn’t believe them. There had been too many years of the opposite message. Coming home TWICE from hospital to no care at all didn’t help that either. I felt very abandoned by the lack of follow-up.
Somehow all of this doctors extra efforts and incredible care have allowed me to see that I am worthy. My friends and family are not saying things just to be nice. They mean it. I actually do have worth. It feels wonderful and I am grateful to each person who has stuck by me through all of these really rough years.
I sit here now with tears streaming down my face but that is good too. Having emotional reactions used to be completely out of my reach. I still need to be alone to allow them out but at least I am learning to allow them. He helped there too.
We will see each other again in a year and I may need to see him again for some time but my intuition tells me that I won’t. I am really hoping that when we meet again it will be for him to tell me how successful his sabbatical was and for me to tell him how terrific I am doing. I can actually see that now. Me doing really well and not needing two therapists.
No matter what happens a year from now I will forever be grateful for what he has given me. He is FAR better at this therapy thing that I think he will ever allow himself to admit. Since I think he’d never say it about himself, I will say it for him and perhaps this time he will listen to my lesson.
You are amazing. You’ve changed my life. You’ve done everything in your power to help me and you succeeded greatly. You are really a very gifted therapist and your intuition is excellent. Trust that. If you could get ME to trust you and feel worthwhile of your time, you have skills beyond most anyone I have ever met. You truly cared and that is an incredible gift.
Have a wonderful year doing important work that will affect the way doctors learn about providing therapy. I can’t think of a better reason to take that year to concentrate on one thing. You are a very special person who brings a lot of goodness in to this world. Thank you.
And for those of you who read this blog and are still looking for a doctor or therapist to truly care about you or “get you”? Never stop looking. These people are out there and it is incredibly worth every single step you take to find that for yourself. You are worthy of healing and I want that for you as well.