Leading to the First Session
So, in May 2014 I moved my ass across the country. There was a reason behind it but it’s kind of irrelevant. I had to move so I did. From the most southern state to one up north. A new home. A new neighborhood. A new school. I was 21. This is relevant because in previous blogs you will read I have been dealing with my issues since I was 9, that’s 12 years of bottling everything up.
That summer I went to D.C. & Vegas. First time going to both places. It was fun, but after vacation time and after school started back up for fall semester I started to get very lonely and homesick. I missed my mom, my old life, my friends. Now, both the depression and anxiety, that had been mostly under control for at least a year or two, were back.
[CW/TW: confronting abuser] Let’s back up. Just months before my big move I confronted my abuser on Facebook. I confronted him about what he did to me for so many years and he did not have a response. He read my fucking message and did not apologize for taking away my innocence and stealing so many days of my youth in which I spent crying and cutting myself because of how deeply he traumatized me. He did not acknowledge me at all. It was eating my alive. He ignored me. Completely. And here I was again dealing with all the shit while he was living his life in peace.
During this time I had so many questions. And without the distractions of hanging out with family and friends, I had too much time on my hands and I found myself thinking and thinking and overthinking my abuse, my life, my pain.
Then I read an article that detailed a sexual assault similar to mine and I lost it. I knew needed to get help immediately because I was miserable. I had never felt this way. Reading that article—it was a moment of realization, like holding up a mirror and seeing my abuse for what it was. It was the final straw. I needed help. Real help. But still, I didn’t actively seek the help I desperately needed. After so many years I didn’t know how or where to start.
Weeks later I got an email about my university hosting a free (this is important because I don’t have health insurance) mental health screening so I went and gave it a shot. And that’s how I eventually ended up at my first therapy session.
Assessment: What To Expect
The initial paperwork was just a screening. How are you feeling today? Have you been tired lately? How about sad? If you checked off enough boxes you had to have an assessment done by a therapist. So I was definitely in a bad place and I checked off nearly everything negative on the questionnaire. I was seen the same afternoon. This assessment lasted an hour and it consisted of a TON of personal questions that made me uncomfortable. Some of the answers I had never even said aloud. I was not prepared and ended up crying so much, I panicked and sugar coated many of my answers and symptoms in fear of being seen as crazy. I know it doesn’t make sense because she was a professional BUT I AM TELLING YOU I PANICKED.
If you are thinking of therapy, mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to talk about your symptoms with 1000000% transparency. Take your time if you need to. Don’t talk about things you’re uncomfortable with, but don’t undermine the severity of your problems. Our therapists, doctors, and caregivers cannot and will not understand our symptoms if we are not honest. I truly fucked that part up and it came back to bite me in the ass.
Discussing our mental health is something very delicate and requires so much strength. Yes, I learned so much throughout my treatment plan but because I wasn’t prepared to be that strong and transparent I didn’t receive a treatment plan that was truly tailored for me and ended up only “fixing” me temporarily.
Click here for Treatment Plan: Talk Therapy *will link soon
Click here for Self-Care