I am not going to write this blog in order of time, whatever pops into my head when I have a spare half hour, I’m writing it! The memories and experiences are very clear in my mind.
Here is an experience I will share that sometimes makes me frustrated a lot and as the years have gone on, I laugh but still think ‘What the fuck?’
June 2004, It was over a course of six months I spent weekly sessions with a therapist that the local GP sent me too. By this stage I was petrified , I could not go outside the door, I wouldn’t dare as I was having attacks out of the blue numerous times per day and just couldn’t handle it all. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, my life felt surreal, nothing or no one could reach me and the physical symptoms were too demanding.
But Ok, fair enough this may be the ticket. So I lay in my fathers car, blanket covering my whole body and head until we got to the clinic.. How mad is that?? I did not want to see the outside world , I didn’t want it to see me. It wasn’t me as far as I was concerned.
But, after a few stops, bottles of water poured over my head, I got there.
I would have loved to have heard the receptionists mind when looking at a 6’2 guy standing in the doorway soaking wet in the middle of summer. With a half opened bottle of water in one hand and a blanket in the other……
Now I don’t know what the general practice is for therapists but I think this therapist took one look at me and thought he was going to humour it out of me and also tried to bully it out of me (I don’t mean actually bully) , kind of a ‘man up! Your a healthy young man, come on!!’…… ‘Not going to work sorry mate, I think I’m dying or losing the plot and your giving it the ‘man up!!’
Some of it was funny, I’d get ‘Hey handsome , been out the weekend getting some ladies?’ Or ‘take a night off, go on a night out and let the ladies drool over you brother’
I’m no Brad Pitt by any stretch of the imagination, but I could see what the point of it was. Helping me, then working on confidence, smiles and I was a teenager (19)!!! Not how life should be ey? But it was.
Unfortunately , it didn’t help, it helps now but at the time I didn’t buy it at all.
But the thing I was asked every time as I left the office and ultimately lead me not to bother again was this;
How was your upbringing? Bullied? Your parents treat you well??? EVERY WEEK!! just waiting for me to cry and tell him that I had a bad upbringing , I was bullied and yes, my parents abused me.
Well I’ll tell you what I told him;
My upbringing was good, we didn’t have much but I wanted for nothing, I was a shy lad at school who just got on with it and loved to kick a football during my breaks. As for my parents, they are the best and have never ever abused me mentally or physically.
On the sixth and last occasion , I lost my temper and asked ‘do you want me to lie to you ?!’ ‘This is bollocks’
The reply was, ‘ well, there has got to be a trigger…’ I need to find it’
I said ‘How can you find something that has never existed?’
‘There’s something that has triggered it, I need you to be truthful and not scared…’
Ok , I walked out…….
Two minutes later, I walked back in. This time with my father, we walked in, did not sit down and before the therapist could say anything I asked my father ‘ have you or mam ever abused me as a child?’ I hated asking him, he was not pleased at all.
His response , ‘ could you leave please?’ I left,
Half of an hour later my father came out of the room with leaflets and a load of info on panic attacks.
Here you go , we will have a go at this ourselves. To be fair they have been my rocks, I owe them (my parents and family) everything!! I am forever in their debt. I know they will never fully understand it, but I’m sure if you spoke with my parents whilst having an attack, they’d talk sense.
I don’t know why, I will never understand it fully , but unless they found a trigger, they couldn’t work with you at that place… If I’d have lied, I would have received full treatment and care, but then have my parents love for me tarnished by a lie?? So that I could be ‘cured’ Fuck off!!!
I presume it is not that way in clinics around the world. As I have read of wonderful things doctors , therapists etc do for sufferers (thousands) , but this one. Waw!!!
As I keep saying, if the therapist had only talked sense, had a sense of humour and explained all of the leaflets my father got on week 6!! Talk!!!!!!!!! It would have helped far more. This one just had a plan, get a trigger , fill me full of info and then say that there’s a huge difference in me as the weeks got on…. Yeah, if only you could see my thoughts pal.
Instead it caused a big fuss and the embarrassment of me daring to ask my father that question. That was awful, looking into his eyes andasking……
I know there will always be a trigger , but mine seem to be a lot of things… Watching something bad on the news, heights, crowded spaces etc. It hasn’t got to be extreme has it?
We are all different and we all look at life and events in it differently at times.
So talk about it…. Find a common ground and see where you end up when your done 🙂
Take care , wherever you may be in the world.