I had my first counselling session on Friday.
It was so enlightening.
I met the counsellor, Jo, who was so easy to get on with. We chatted and went through a tiny bit of my history and filled in the ACC form and she came up with a bit of a diagnosis.
She thinks my anti depressants aren't really working as well as they should be and she also told me I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was a bit dubious but then she explained herself.
Earlier in the session she had asked me how aware of my surroundings I was. Quite proudly I informed her that I had often thought that I would be a good detective because I always remember and take note of things around me. For instance, I was driving down West Belt last Wednesday night at about 7pm and I saw a blonde girl with a ponytail, short skirt (part of the Rangiora High School uniform), no jacket on even though it was drizzling and cold, listening to an iPod. She was walking North and I noted the time to be 7.22pm (I picked up my cellphone to check it). She had just walked past a white car on her side of the road and it was at about the point where she would be opposite the two storeyed pale yellow house with the circle shutters on the 2nd storey.
My counsellor had looked at me with a wierd expression when I had gone into so much detail. But that is just one of so many I could retell. She explained at the end that this is PTSD. That I am hypersensitve and hyperaware of what goes on around me as I am always on the defensive.
That was interesting to me.
When I first got diagnosed with depression was when Ben was 2. My aunty had died of bone cancer in the September and I had gotten engaged in the October. It was 2002. I wasn't coping that well. Had lost my job in the June due to restructuring, I had loved that job. I was working in a dementia unit doing the 5pm - 11pm shift. It was mad. One day Blair said something a little bit on the grumpy side. I cried and cried and cried, and could not stop. I went to Mum and Dad's later in the day and said I was worried that I couldn't stop crying. My tonsils had been removed about a month earlier and I had bled out twice and ended back in hospital twice. I was convinced by my father that I had depression and that I needed to go to the doctor. I went the next day and cried my heart out to my darling doctor. He went on to explain that he himself has depression and knows when it is out of balance because if he has fewer patients than normal he is convinced that no one likes him anymore, not the more realistic explanation that people are just healthier that week!!
At this time I went under Pysch Emergency Services and got some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. At the time I mentioned the sexual assault and the pyschologist had told me that CBT was a different thing and I would be better at looking at some further counselling for that issue. I never did. I fell pregnant with Phoebe and had to come off the meds. I coped, sometimes only just, during that pregnancy and then plodded along through some ups and downs, as we all do.
Then I got mentally ill again, see this post for recollection, and ended up back on the same anti depressant. I have plodded along since but never really feel 100%.
As I went through the initial interview with the counsellor she asked a lot of questions regarding the sexual assault. She was worried that I didn't seem to recognise it as out and out rape and she spelt it out for me that it was. She thinks that the fact that one of the offenders moved into the same street as us at the end of 2002 has more to do with the reason I got full blown depression than the other factors. She thinks I have a way of putting the bad things to the back of my reality but they are controlling it.
I already feel better knowing that I can justifiably label my assault as rape. I am on the way to becoming a better person. It's time for me to start letting go and releasing the fat suit that hides me away.