Three weeks ago, I saw my psychiatrist. A man that I respect because he seems relatively genuine on my progress and listens to all my reasonable and unreasonable thoughts and most of all he writes my scripts.
So, it was in this hour and a half session that he surprised me. Not with flowers or chocolates but with words.
He has been listening to me for a while know and he has known me for many years having treated me in the public system prior to my 2nd round of ECT.
He has heard my story many times over but it was in this session that he took the reins and said some words I have wanted to hear forever. Words that could have saved me many a night of ill sleep. A day of no tears, of not second guessing my feelings. Words that would send me on a path to a thought process, a new way of thinking about me, my trauma, my life, my future.
He told me that I am okay. That everything I have felt is a legitimate response to what occurred at the time.
That speaking up when my parents were divorcing was me showing strength when they showed their weakness, that my belief of the situation was called for. What my parents did was in many ways was inappropriate to put on children all the feelings of hurt and rejection and fear were perfectly normal for child to experience within their distorted reality.
When I fought repeatedly to be heard and noticed by my father when he left and in the years, that followed. This is common with the eldest child with parents that divorce.
He continued recapping his notes from previous sessions.
He said that he seen many patients struggle with early teen rebellion. The drinking, the promiscuity was all well documented with a child seeking to feel acknowledged.
When I was grabbed by the deviant whilst riding my bike to buy bread and milk. To then have him approach me and my best friend in my drive way was a horrendous situation for any young person. Watching my best friend chase him up the street, with no fear for herself because she wanted to protect me. Having my mum follow him like a detective, getting the police involved. She showed me just how far a parent would go to protect a child. That bastard was hunting young girls in multiple locations and without my alert to my mum and her perusing him, he would have continued. He was put in jail, and is registered for the rest of his forsaken life. Many lives were effected in those moments by his abuse. But out of this an opportunity came and many girls were saved.
Being at the brunt of a sawed-off shotgun when working at KFC was 100% out of my hands. I had NO control over the reactions of those around me. I was told that the management had a duty of care to all the young kids working and my feelings of abandonment escalated from this experience. This in turn was what pushed me towards the next few chapters in my young life.
My doctor shook his head saying that the accumulation of poignant events has been ridiculous to say the least. It was within his words that I began feeling something begin to modify within my heart.
My teenage pregnancy was hard and the mistakes made were destructive, but again he said I need to learn from this. He said to me that I have 3 beautiful children, I should take their love on board, use it to heal myself. Love them like I needed, show them what they mean to me. This I understand very well as I have always said they will know of our unconditional love always.
In a short period, I had to learn to fend for myself, living with 4 much older people in a shared house. The experimentation with drugs was fast, using them to feel grown up, to lose myself, to fit in with the new crowd, to free myself from the terrors within my mind. Often the terrors were exaggerated because of the substances but my teen rebellion seemed to dictate that I deserved to punish myself, that my worth was limited. Little did we know then that these were all bipolar tendencies, mania, depression was all bubbling forth.
These catastrophes happened before I was 16. 16 short years that shaped my current life.
This session has given me so much to consider. Being told that regardless of what has happened my feelings are common knowledge in his medical world. I shouldn’t feel ashamed and that I am not as crazy or the huge mental fuck up that I thought I was. (Okay the crazy part is more than true) Yes, I have Bipolar Disorder and Yes, I will be on medication for the rest of my life but he has flipped my thoughts. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just need to start walking towards it.
He wants me to try a treatment that works well with people who have suffered from trauma, so in 2017 we will begin Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. And being the trooper that I am I will be giving it a go.
Now let’s see how this year’s Bipolar Christmas goes.