Trauma Counseling Begins

Considering I’ve isolated for the past year (and most of 2020) with minimal human interaction, I didn’t expect that I would talk so much at my first counseling appointment. The session was the initial intake via video with the VA psychologist. My morning wasn’t going so well, as I wasn’t feeling great physically or emotionally. I’m glad she could witness me in my own element, feeling like my authentic, shitty self. Had I gone into the mental health office, my composure would have been different. I’d have to get dressed, make an attempt to look my best, drive through traffic, then forget what I was going there to talk about. It’s a cold, clinical atmosphere that feels like an alien world. I recall the offices being small and stuffy, which isn’t exactly conducive to healing or comfort. Being in my own place of comfort allows me to be myself completely. 

Once I leave the house, most of those emotions get bottled up, so I’m thinking video is a better alternative for me for many reasons. While I never actually fake my happiness, sadness or emotions, I have a good tendency to mask them from the world – just like everyone else does. Even in counseling in the past, I had difficulty expressing how I felt or opening up completely. I can write my feelings very clearly right here for the general public and strangers to see. But verbally, I sink when I’m unsure of something, like explaining how I feel. My mission is to get better, feel better, be better; but if I can’t open up to someone trying to help me, it’s not going to work. 

This particular VA psychologist deals with trauma, and there are several traumatic events I have never fully processed. During our video session, I had an overwhelming urge to spill everything that came to mind, my brain working fives times faster than my mouth. Strangely, I also found myself saying things I have never said out loud or knew how to say – things that I wasn’t sure I am ready to talk about. These are things that have ultimately affected many areas of my entire life. Maybe this means I’m ready to talk, even about things I never thought existed or would ever surface. 

One thing I relayed to the psychologist was how I want to trust the VA medical community, but the experience with my negligent primary care physician was traumatizing. I told her I felt this woman shouldn’t be alone in a room with anyone and shouldn’t even be working with veterans. It brought me back to times when I was helpless, when the people that were supposed to help me didn’t and treated me horribly, kicking me while I was down or bullying me. Without knowing, I suppose I carry some PTSD from these incidents, and this doctor triggered it.

And because of this doctor’s negligence and lack of compassion, I’m dealing with issues that should have answers by now. I reiterated that I wanted to report her but was only given a form to change my provider with one line barely enough to write a full sentence as to why the veteran requests the change. Nothing more, so this woman continues collecting a federal paycheck and benefits while being a negligent doctor and treating ill veterans like inmates. What concerns me more is the possibility she’s going to hurt someone that won’t or can’t speak up or that she will drive someone to hurt themselves. (I have always cared more about these things than my own well-being – another of my issues.) Or the VA will simply ignore it, transfer her, or otherwise do nothing. I made it clear not only did these incidents upset me, but nothing was done about it, except that I have a new doctor. 

The same way I blurted out to the psychologist, I found myself doing in other situations (mainly within the medical community, since that is most of my human interaction.) It’s a product of being isolated – an elation of finally being able to speak to a human face-to-face, a rush of anxiety. It’s also a product of finally being able to have someone listen, a rush of hope or excitement. 

As of this writing, I cannot remember the last time I felt joy. And I definitely do not remember the last time I felt joy while sober. 

In Self Therapy & Evaluating Depression, I described how depression feels on a scale. When I wrote it on June 30, it was the last time I felt above the depression threshold.  

 

 

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