When I started this blog, I had the intention of posting often. I have figured out today that that just isn’t possible for me at the moment. Posts will come as I feel like I am able to do them.
I saw a new psychiatrist yesterday. I’ve seen many over the years, the first at 13, and I have hated them all. Yesterday though, yesterday was a good experience. I felt listened to, I didn’t feel rushed, I felt respected for my knowledge and I felt like there wasn’t a stigma cloud sitting over us in that small office. I told her upfront what my past diagnosis’ were. I told her what I thought was going on and what I was noticing. I told her that in the past I know professionals have feared giving the label because of what comes with it. I explained that holding back information from me would not help me to any degree, and that I’d appreciate her being upfront and truthful.
We spent an hour together. I answered the questions that I have so many times before. I thought I’d cry, but I didn’t. I’m not sure how I was feeling to be honest. She pulled out the DSM to explain some things to me and so we could look together. At the end, I heard what I knew I would hear, but I felt okay with it, I think.
I was in a decent mood the rest of the day. It has been sometime since I’ve had a “good day”. I don’t know what it was. Perhaps it was that whole “this is a real thing. this is not just me. this is not just all in my head. I have a name for it.” I don’t know why that matters so much to me, but it does. Without the name, I feel like I’m just running around in my own shit-show with no way to explain. I knew, however, that come evening when my husband came home, I’d have a harder time.
Well the first time I was diagnosed and had to tell my partner, she left. Not that I expect this of my husband, but it was traumatizing to say the least and so there will be that part of me that fears the abandonment happening again. It’s not like I haven’t spoken to him about it before. I informed him, vaguely, that I had previously been diagnosed but at some time after felt like maybe I no longer fit criteria. I had not, however, told him that I felt like I met it again (though I am sure in some aspect he took notice). When he got home he sat down with me almost immediately I got a flighty feeling in my chest. I told myself quickly that I would say nothing. I had put the paperwork on the coffee table in case he wanted to look at it. But he didn’t. He looked at me and referred to a text I had sent him earlier that day when I stated that I wanted to talk to him about diagnosis so that he was informed. From the look on my face he asked me if I had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I shook my head no.
Then I did something I wasn’t expecting and I told him I was afraid. He hit the nail on the head after that and I nodded to confirm. He was surprised, he wasn’t judgmental, which gave me relief of course. I asked if he had ever looked it up, and he said he had not as he just went off of what I told him. I explained that my fear came from the reaction people have when they read about it. I asked him to not tell his parents. I asked him not to tell anyone. Why? Because I know stigma exists. I know it is alive and creeping around and terrible. And I don’t need it touching me.
That conversation died from there and we ate dinner and spoke of other things like the dogs and our days. I felt better with everything laid out. I realized that I, at that moment, wasn’t hiding anything, and that felt good. It also felt terrifying.
To be vulnerable is difficult.