I saw a new doctor last week; to have a nerve induction study. It’s to rule out a nerve autoimmune disease.
They strapped electrodes to my feet and legs and zapped me. It’s not as fun as it sounds. And to top it off, the doctor and his assistant come back after 10 minutes outside the door and he tells me: “I want you to know that I KNOW your pain is real”. (I had a mask on so they could only see my eyes or they would have been able to read the expression on my face which essentially said “no shit Sherlock”.
He went on to say that I needed treatment from a neurologist and a psychiatrist to treat my pain (that’s not in my head) and to help me with CBT- (hint-therapy) but he doesn’t know me and doesn’t know I’m a therapist.
He doesn’t know that I’ve been to therapy this year talking about two deaths of clients (past client and present client), trauma in my family, death of a friend. He doesn’t know I practice a lot of self care, I read, I shoot, I talk about my worries, i get my toenails done, I meet up with friends, I practice a great deal of skills that I teach my own clients. He doesn’t know I work, and I’m highly efficient at my job, and he doesn’t know I detach when I leave work.
He doesn’t know I haven’t weighed myself in years, I try to notice my thoughts and don’t buy into judgements about my weight, age, and hair even though I live in this society/culture which only values women for their appearance. He doesn’t know I’m intelligent and a high functioning adult.
I have one more appointment with this doctor this week to test the nerves in my upper body-but NO my pain is not in my head. Thanks for giving me your opinion after meeting me ONCE, for ten minutes, and not asking me any questions about my health. When I do an assessment with a potential client, I spend up to three hours interviewing them and then up to two more hours writing up my recommendations. Pardon me if I don’t appreciate your ten minute assessment of my whole life.
Thanks for listening to my rant. I think it helped.
Last week I spent about three hours with a client that finally shared with me that her partner assaulted her the night before our session.
She gave all kinds of reasons why he did it; she did something wrong, he said he was sorry, she didn’t want people to talk about her, she didn’t want him to get in trouble, she didn’t want her family to beat him up, she’s not the kind of person to call the police, and she can take care of herself.
It’s so difficult for someone in an abusive relationship to speak up! They blame themselves or think they deserve to be treated the way they are.
My neighbor’s daughter was murdered by her ex boyfriend. It’s so tragic and terrible.
A little more than a year ago, I worried my daughter’s life was in danger from her husband; when she told me (finally) what was going on-I (with help from others) packed her up and moved her out of harms way in a few hours.
The time that women (usually a victim is a woman but not always) are trying to leave a relationship is the most dangerous and the time when that person is at high risk of being hurt or killed.
I am enclosing a link to a domestic violence website and a PDF of the cycle. Please speak up and get help. There are so many resources out there for you.
Domestic violence cycle
It’s getting close to the New Year and I want to leave you with a few thoughts consistent with my last post.
In treatment with my clients lately I’ve been focusing on helping people increase their awareness of shame and how to combat it. Shame keeps us stuck, it keeps us from reaching out, it tells us we are not enough, we are not important. Shame is paralyzing and keeps us isolated.
Many people deal with depression and suicide thoughts and feel ashamed because they think that there is something wrong with them, they think this is something they deserve, they are suffering in silence and it is not necessary. According to the National Institute for Mental Health shares statistics that 17.3 million adults had at least one major depressive episode (2017-data courtesy of SAMHSA). Depression is no respecter of persons; these numbers indicate anyone is vulnerable to develop depression whether it is situational or genetic factors.
Situational depression can affect people through illness, marital change, employment change, or death of a loved one; even a move away from loved ones could affect developing depression. In addition trauma can affect a development of depression too.
There isn’t a reason to be ashamed for having depression or suicide thoughts. These things affect many people.
I suggest listening to Brene Brown on YouTube; she has a couple of really excellent TEDtalks about shame and vulnerability. These are also very popular, getting millions of views. She emphasizes the way to overcome or silence shame is to be vulnerable. As a therapist I see this meaning: talk to someone about your struggles. Find social support somewhere that you can speak openly about your struggles and discover that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
PLEASE REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING- it works.