I’m not happy with myself. I have been up to my old tricks again. Testing people, tempting them to see what they are made of, jumping to conclusions, taking offense.
Got a phone call the other day from the psychologist my doctor referred me to for my post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was wanting to do EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) with me. EMDR is a type of treatment that has a fair bit of success with PTSD cases. It can give fast relief from trauma symptoms for some people. She made an appointment to see me today for a two hour session of EMDR.
I got the impression the therapist was not planning to do long term therapy with me. She will be claiming her fees from the money awarded to me for treatment by the victims of crime compensation tribunal and I suspect she was assuming there would be very limited funds available for my treatment so she was aiming for fast results.
I am a good writer though. I wrote a very moving victim statement so I was awarded a grand total of 4,968.60 for psychological treatment. I have had some treatment already but there is still 3,640.00 sitting in an account waiting for someone to treat me and claim it all for doing so.
She asked me to bring in the documentation telling her how to go about claiming her fees from the interstate VOC tribunal. I took in all the documentation including the letter telling me how much money had been awarded to me for future treatment. I wanted to see what she would do.
I dropped the documentation off two days before the appointment so she would have time to read it all before I saw her today.
It was, sadly, no surprise to me when she spent the whole two hours taking my case history today instead of performing the EMDR. She told me she would be claiming it as two separate sessions of one hour each as they would only pay her for one hour if she claimed for only one session. She then tried to make a pile of appointments for me months in advance. I only accepted three appointments. She gave me a blank exercise book worth about 45 cents. She called it my homework manual and will, no doubt, charge the tribunal a substantial fee for the “manual”.
She even hinted at refunding me some of the money. She said if I don’t feel better after a week doing the exercises she has asked me to do she will refund half the money the tribunal pays her. That was when she said she was charging them for two sessions. I said that was between her and them and had nothing to do with me.
It was not a good start but I stuck to my resolve. I told her everything up to and including my deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets. I told her about this site, about my belief God talks to me, the lot.
She screwed up big time when she told me my earliest memories are false. She said she is an expert witness who currently travels the country giving evidence in court about what children are capable of remembering. She said either my memories are false or I was not the age I recall being when those things happened.
This is ALWAYS what happens when I try to get therapy! They screw up and I go away without getting the help I need. There is no way I would tell someone that I am more of an expert on their memories than they are! The last thing I need is to go for therapy and come away doubting myself even more than I did when I went there.
My first instinct was to call and cancel all the appointments and ask my doctor for another referral but I know me. I cannot relax with someone I don’t know so I will only set about finding the holes and weaknesses in the next persons facade too.
If I wait for the perfect person to accept treatment I will never get the help I need. She does not have to be perfect to be able to help me. I have to remember that and stop having such great expectations.
The plan now is to make sure she knows what I expect from her. I expect that money to last long enough to effect some serious results. I want results although I know I can’t expect miracles. I also intend to inform her she may be the expert on the memory capabilities of the average child but that does not make her the expert on MY memories! We are not in court – nobody is being charged – if I remember it then that is the same thing as if it flaming well happened the way I remember it. The consequences to me, the effects on my life, those are what count here and they are the same as if it happened the way I remember it happening!
She said anything I think I remember prior to age five is likely to be a planted memory – someone told me and I have created a memory from it. She says if it is a real memory then I would have to be at least five when it happened.
Nobody told me my uncle forced me to perform oral sex on him! Nobody could have, or would have, ever told me that! Nobody but he and I were there and there is no way he would have told me “I did this and this and this to you and you felt that and that and that while I was doing it.” She may be right. Maybe I was older than two or three but I was definitely younger than five because my mother said we moved out of the house where it happened when I was four or five.
I have memories – two of them – of the time when I was living with my grandmother and I was two when mum took me away from there. I have no memory of the things my grandmother and the others I was living with remember about that time. They have no memory of the two things I remember apart from the fact that I did play with the toy in question and I did go somewhere that fits my description of the place where the second memory occurred. I went there just once and, until I told them about the memory, they had forgotten I ever went there at all. Neither memory is of any significance to those who were there at the time – they like to talk about other things that happened in those days so it is highly unlikely those two memories were planted in me.
Pity the poor witness in court who comes up against the “fact” that any memory that is formed prior to age two is definitely false and memories formed between two and five are probably false!
I could never prove my memories are truth. Maybe I was exposed to porn and that is where the memory of my uncle came from the defence would argue – no wonder so many paedophiles roam society free as birds!
Oh well. I have decided to seek help and follow through on it this time. I will not be deterred by the fact that the therapist is human and has faults. I will do the exercises she has given me to do, I will keep the next three appointments, I will give this a fair chance to work. If I feel I am not getting value for money I will not give up – I will try someone else.
I guess I should warn her I will seek help elsewhere and will contest any bullsh*t charges she makes against the account if it turns out I need the money for further therapy. I shouldn’t HAVE to warn her but I will. People have a tendency to see what they want to see in me. She is likely to be thinking I’m not concerned with the amount she charges the VOC account and I am just handing her easy money. She is unlikely to expect me to keep the “manual” and be able to provide the VOC with the evidence it needs to claim money back from her if need be.
I don’t want to make trouble for her and I am not planning to but I am not about to let her suck all the money from that account and leave me still in need of help! I may seem stupid for being so open and honest but stupid is an act that makes people let down their guard. You find out a lot about people when they are not on guard.
For now I am going to assume she has my well-being at heart because she may. She may have every intention of giving me the best treatment she can give me now that she is aware I can afford for her to take all the time it needs. If I assume she is out to sucker me there is no chance she will be able to help me so I am putting that suspicion out of my mind. If I am feeling suckered after the next three times I see her I will reassess the situation but, until then, I will assume the best!
I also need to co-operate. The best treatment in the world will do me no good at all if I do not play my part. She cannot help me if I will not help myself. That means I have to do as I am told and that’s the bit that really sucks! I really do want HER to do all the work! She’s getting the cash so why can’t she do like the surgeons do and cut all the crap out of my psyche hehehe. I wish, I wish, oh how I wish this could be easy and she could do all the work but I know that’s not how it goes. I have to do my bit – I am the only one who can.
She has asked me to do deep breathing at least twice a day and given me some upper body relaxation exercises to do. I have to tense various muscles as tight as I can for a few seconds then relax them. These exercises are designed to tackle the pain and tension I have in my neck and shoulders. Ever since the attack I have not been able to get rid of the tension and it is now causing pain.
She has also asked me to sit in the morning sunshine for twenty minutes every day if possible. She says latest research suggests there is something in the morning sunshine that helps depression. She says if there is no morning sunshine afternoon sun will be better than none.
The good news is she did not ask me to do any exercise hehehe. I told her I won’t do it – I am not motivated enough to go that far. She is pushing it to get me to do these three things as it is LOL.
I have this image in my mind of going back to her next week – sunburned, with all the muscles in my neck and shoulders sprained and suffering dizzy spells from all the unaccustomed oxygen. How’s that for pessimism hehehe. Then again, perhaps it is actually optimism, I would have to do as I am asked for that scenario to occur.