Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Looking for a therapist (still)

(First: I didn't mention getting new shoes and I worried blacksheep. Yes, I got shoes that work  better for my feet. No more ouchie.)

I sent out some emails to local therapists last night. When I do the modern equivalent of throwing a dart at the phone book I find that I am mostly interested in working with black women--apparently. If you search through all the people who are therapists in Fremont (and are listed online in a way I can find) only black women mention the important buzzwords for me: intense early trauma, "all stages of addiction", incest, complex ptsd, ongoing anger issues, depression. Even when white people (or Asian or Middle Eastern [from what I see here]) try to say they work with trauma they are fussy and particular. They work with "change of life traumas" or "immigrant family issues". Not really my problems.

"Hi, thank you for calling me back I have a few important buzzwords I have to run past a therapist before I can work with them: incest, bdsm, promiscuity, self-harm, attachment parenting, complex ptsd and queer. Let's talk about them.

I don't have a problem with educating an open minded therapist about alternative lifestyle issues. I am looking for a long-term relationship. I have two distinct needs with regards to therapy: first is that I go through periodic intense crisis periods. I have very little prediction of when they will happen outside of obvious anniversaries of trauma. Those are often very intense for me. I strongly prefer someone who has some experience in EMDR and CBT because I need occasional directed work. Mostly I see therapists because I do not have ongoing bonding relationships with very many people and I suffer intensely from this. Lack of attachment is one of the hardest parts of my life for me. I use therapists as surrogate parents and friends.

I need a therapist who will not flinch or overly react when I am all of a sudden telling you intense details about lurid rapes. I need someone who will not get overly indignant all the time--that's not very useful. I am already angry. If you flinch or react or pull away when I talk about difficult things I will begin to look for patterns of disapproval. I will find them, I will project the fuck all over you and then I will disappear. I need to have a fairly blank mirror to talk to for a long time. That is hard for therapists. I am a fairly weird patient. You have to get to know me slowly.

I have been in therapy more on than off for 27 years. I have a few intense hot buttons due to these experiences: first and foremost is punctuality. If you do not respect my time you do not respect me. I will take note. I won't be back. No I won't try to "work it out." I'm fucking paying for your time. I feel entitled to my 55 minutes. It is one of the few things in this life I feel genuinely entitled to: I pay for 55 minutes and I bloody well need to get them. I need you to be careful what you say to me. If something sounds like a promise to me and you don't follow through I will disappear.

And seriously dude, all of my symptoms existed in well documented fashion for many years before I tried smoking pot. The fact that 99% of western medicine believes that my first problem is marijuana and I "should be sober before beginning treatment" means that I'm just not in a position to accept a lot of help. I'm not very open to western drugs right now. The side effects are far worse than the benefits of the drugs. They hurt me. Pot isn't great but it is effective and less damaging to me than most of my other options. I'm not interested in being shamed because I'm trying to deal with a lot of stuff that isn't my fucking fault.

I don't take advice well at the beginning. I have to warm up to people. I have to know someone for a while and hear a series of shorter conversations before I begin to respect someones opinion. I do not respect people just because they want me to. I am very anti-authoritarian and I am very resistant to being directed towards giving up aspects of my self-determined identity. I have come a long way. I need to be respected for that. I do not need more people who are just assholes about how I'm not perfectly like a non-traumatized person so obviously I suck."


And the next asshole who sends me a long letter about how what I really need is to say how helpless I am and turn everything over to "God" and go to AA/NA is going to get punched. Fuck you very much. It's an approach that helps approximately 10% of the people who try it. I'm very unlikely to be in that small group.

It's weird to me that I am doing very well and very poorly at the same time. I'm afraid that is going to be permanent. I have a lot of body memories from being raped. Most of my intense suicidal ideation happens around wanting to be away from those sensations. it hurts and I'm really tired of hurting in that way. Flashbacks and corresponding suicidal ideation seems to be a permanent fixture in my life. Managing that takes a lot of energy. It has been really bad since Shanna was about eighteen months.

I really hate my parents. If my father were alive I think I would enjoy killing him slowly by inches. I would take off one finger and toe at a time before I slowly started carving shapes out of other parts of his body.  I don't actually want to hurt my mom--I suppose that's good. But I don't want to know her. I don't want to act like everything is all hunky dory and fine now. I'm not fine. I'm a fucking wreck. You fucking assholes wrecked thirty years of my life so far. How much longer am I going to have to feel like this? Maybe forever? Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

Mostly I feel very lucky that I get to have the life I have. I enjoy my kids far more minutes of the day than they trouble me, even including all the extensive work I do for them. I'm really happy to have them here as companions for my life. I do not begrudge them some work. But it is a lot of work. It's hard to find enough energy for everything.

It's not that my relationship with Noah is free from all frustration, but it is very affirming. Noah thinks I'm just a great person. I like being around him. He talks to me like I am smart. My house is a very good and safe place to be.

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