Monday, March 19, 2007

"The Psychological Testing Appointment"

As I left the Consultation appointment, TGD explained that the next session was going to be comprised of an "Evaluation." This was gonna be interesting. What I heard TGD say was I was going to be tested to see just how crazy I was. That's fine. I was probably in good hands. What TGD actually said was that there were certain questions she needed to ask. Basically she was taking down my history so we could "assess" my problems and make "treatment" recommendations.

Too bad treatment recommendations weren't available for the cast of characters in my family who were crazier than I was. Why weren't they here, worrying about their mental health? Well, most of them were dead and the rest lived as though they were had died. Seeing nothing, feeling nothing, and doing nothing was my family's MO, at least where I was concerned.

Was she ready for the truth? Or better yet, was I ready for the truth?

The first questions were no brainers. What medication was I on and what was the dosage? Any physical problems? Who were my primary care physicians? Normal questions any health care professionals would ask.
Results from this go-round produced the fact I was "under medicated" for my depression. After discussing some viable alternatives for medication, TGD wrote a prescription that would help and take me out of this fugue I seemed to be experiencing and would help in the on going sessions. The good news was that something was available to help while in therapy, and the bad news was that it would take a few weeks to enter my system. I could deal with that.

The second tier of questions got a little closer to home.
Excessive fear of people or events? Whack a mole on that one.
Sense of hopelessness, depression or despair? Only every day.
Sexual problems? Not a one, since I didn't have a sex life.
Insomnia or other sleep disorders? Only at night.
Of course I answered politely with no sarcasm. I wasn't going to give her any ammunition she could use against me.

On and on it continued. As I answered she took notes.

A couple of questions stopped me in my tracks- Do you hear voices?
I wanted to ask if she meant inside or outside voices and if the dog's voices counted. But you don't fool around with someone who can actually put you away.

But secretly, I really wanted to be put away. To be put someplace safe, and taken care of, where decisions were made for me, and where I wasn't floundering about like a fish just caught and thrown on the deck of a boat.
Out of my element. That's what it was. But where was my element?

The next test threw me. She asked me to count backwards from 100 using the number 7.
Couldn't she have picked 10?? 7??? WTF?? Great, this is where TGD not only finds out I'm crazy, but that I have the IQ of a lemon. I wanted to ask for pen and paper but I knew that wouldn't work, so I did my best. I think I got to 61 or 62 whatever.

Then the killer question- In general, what was my upbringing like?

Wow. How do I summarize my crazy life where I was the only one who didn't fit in? Ever. Anywhere. The other family members seemed to go on about their bizarre business with no self assessment and at times, no conscience. Wearing blinders seemed to help them through life. You know the kind- the type horses wear so they only have straight on vision with no peripheral vision to sidetrack them or spook them. Where were my pair of blinders? Why could I see everything, and everyone and feel everything around me, but no one could see or hear me?

Another killer question-Was I sexually abused?

Sure, I had been sexually abused, but that was different. I had that part all figured out. That was a separate issue.

Who has the problem here? Me or my family who supposedly really knew me. It wasn't even a case of marching to a different drummer.
I never heard the drums.
How do I tell TGD that I always felt as if I was always be walking a tight rope high above a crowd without a net, perched precariously and always ready to fall. How would that go over with TGD?

Why was being here with TGD for only the second time such a painful raw experience?

As I started to formulate some sort of response, the tears started and they couldn't stop.

Through the sobbing I heard TGD softy say, "WE, together, can unravel these pieces of your life, put them back together, and then put them on a shelf where they belong, where you can look at them when you choose, and where they can't hurt you any longer."

She had me.


Blogger Jerri said...

And you've got me. Lock, stock and barrel.

This is brilliant, Suzy. Brilliant. Can't come up with another word for it. F'n brilliant.

Whack THAT mole, my love.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh Suzy, you have me too. I mean, you had me at hello already but this is ridiculous.

I am so moved I don't know what to say. This is so incredible--and how you are able to still inject the humor is beyond me. As Jerri said, f'in brilliant.

Thank god you are writing this--for you, sure, but also for US!!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Terry Whitaker said...

Oh suzy, we are all so lucky to know you and to take part of this journey with you.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Oh happy for you. This is really beautiful writing and I am so glad you are letting us share your journey.

Glad you were brave enough to shed those tears.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

You literally had me laughing (counting backwards by 7's) and crying (at your tears) at the same time. Our journeys have so many parallels. I am in awe of the way you are writing yours. I can hardly wait to read more. You are amazing!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

F'ing brilliant for SURE! Love your self-deprecating humor, as well as your observations of others. Go, girl, GO!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Prema said...

You have an amazing way of weaving wit and pain, to produce laughter and tears simultaneously. The writing is that kind of opening. So damn funny, bend over funny, and so particularly painful. That equals a kind of brilliance.

And I love that you're posting more often because I can't wait that long to hear the next section (no pressure! Ha).

Blessings, my dear.

6:54 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

You are so very brave!!! Good work.

5:01 PM  
Blogger grammer said...

Suzy, you're showing me how it's done. F'ing brilliant, and f'ing brave. Not just the writing, but living the story in the first place. What an honor and a gift it is to have met you, and to be reading this incredible story. Thank you thank you - for humor, insight, hard questions, and moving through. xo t

10:06 PM  
Blogger grammer said...

p.s. the IQ of a lemon? you slay me. xo

10:06 PM  
Blogger kario said...

I love how you illustrate the difficulty of establishing trust with your doctor - such a hard thing to do for people who have been betrayed over and over again.

Love the writing, Suzy!

9:57 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Suzy, this is as brave as it gets. Just writing it the way it is. You're the real thing, my dear friend, the reason I read and the reason I write. For the truth of it. And you are as honest as they come.

11:36 PM  

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