TRIGGER WARNING SENSITIVE MATERIAL
Today I said goodbye to my Psychiatrist of five years. The five years since I was diagnosed since with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a paedophile ring organised by my parents in Ireland in the 1960/70’s.
He has moved his Practice out of area and I am no longer able to see him. I am bereft. He has been on this journey with me since I had my breakdown when the memories started resurfacing commencing with the start of the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse into Child Abuse here in Australia in 2012. Cardinal George Pell was being interviewed on the 7.30 pm Television program and he concluded his interview by saying that “the Catholic Church was not the only cab off the rank”. I went into shock. My family did not know what was wrong with me. I was totally unresponsive. Could not talk or respond to their questions. I just vomited repeatedly. Not knowing what to do my husband after some hours of trying to communicate with me decided to take me to Emergency where I was diagnosed as being in shock. He related what we were doing at the time and no connection was made. It was too out of the blue. Just bizarre.
I stayed in that catatonic state for three weeks, incommunicado, unable to talk, eat, sleep or walk. Eventually, a Psychiatrist got me speak to her and all I could say was, “I was sorry, I didn’t mean it”. It took weeks to get that put into context. She coaxed more information from me and gradually built up a picture of a small abused child who blamed herself for her abuse by a Priest who told her she was to blame for what was happening to her. Little did we know at the time that that was only the tip of the iceberg. Fourteen more years of abuse was to follow by numerous men and priests all in what should have been the safety of my own home under the protection of my parents let alone organised by them. I stayed in that hospital for five months before discharge and being well enough to go home.
In the hospital, I started Psychotherapy using a method called EMDR which reprocesses the traumatic events into manageable memories. It is extremely effective. The diagnosis of Complex PTSD means I have very suicidal and have tried six times to take my own life ending up in ICU. I self-harm frequently as a form of punishment as I am so riddled with guilt and shame for what happened to me. Psychotherapy and medications are helping enormously with my recovery but I have a long way to go before I am fully healed. I am fighting hard for my survival and my family is my greatest ally.
I have encountered the most wonderful professionals on my journey and saying goodbye to my Psychiatrist today was heartbreaking. I have been through the process of choosing a new one who I have been referred to and he has come highly recommended as he specialises in PTSD and severe trauma. I hate the thought of starting all over again with a new clinician. Building up trust again. What if he does not believe my story ? I am full of what if’s? It’s agonising. Half my support network has just been cut in half and there is nothing I can do about it except go along and meet this new Psychiatrist and see how we go. I am not looking forward to it. Thank goodness I have my Psychotherapist as a backup. You tell these people you inner most secrets and then they just up and leave you. It’s hard not to feel angry despite the logical side of me knowing that he is moving because his Practice needed to move. It was nothing personal. PTSD plays funny games with your mind and it can be hard to keep a rational perspective on a situation. I am seeing my Psychotherapist tomorrow morning and I think the timing is perfect as I need someone to bring me into line and put everything in it’s proper box. If I ever need professional help and family support it’s right now.