Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking Inside My Head #1

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.


Lynda said...

Fantastic! I'm so glad you are getting good help.

Kate said...

I am so damned proud of you! What a huge step, this is just the beginning babe.. YAY!


Hippygal said...

I am so proud of you, I did counseling from when I got raped and for the first time in 24 years I can say it is behind me. {{HUGS}}

Jo said...

Oh Jules, what a girl you are. You know I think you are amazing, and now I think you are brave, wicked, gutsy and an inspiration on top of that!


Chris H said...

good work mate, it is so important for you to do this, for you and your future happiness.

AlleyCat said...

Well Done. ((hugs))

Jayne said...

Well done hon *big cuddle* :-)

kathrynoh said...

I reckon it'd be surprising the number of times women are in situations they don't see as rape but really should be seen that way.

Get all the help you need -- it's so important not just for yourself (although that's definitely reason enough) but also for your kids having a happy and healthy mum who knows how to look after herself.

LaLa said...

Jules my love, you don't need to become a better person, you just need to admit to yourself that what those arsewipes did to you was rape.

Sounds like this counsellor is just what life has prescribed for you :)

And yes, you are one of my besties too. xx

rand(om) bites said...

Jules, it's great to read that you are seeing someone who can be objective and is qualified to help you with all this. Things can only get better from here. Thinking of ya!

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel with PTSD i suffer from it as does my dad. My dads case is much worse than mine, his is from the vietnam war so today is not a good day in our house!! ANZAC day that is...

Hope once you start working through things it helps you more!!!

Ms Smack said...

You are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing something so personal. I know you'll make great progress and begin to understand alot of things more clearly.

Truly, I adore you.

Steph said...

You are a fucking champion and will be more than fine.

Heart you much <3

Cazzie!!! said...

It makes me so pleased with you that you have began your journey of healing with therapy. The road may be bumpy at times, but I hope it is mostly smooth riding from here on. You GO girl :) I am here to read and here to respond anytime :)