- *I was writing a about crying really hard when my son was ill and veered off on a tangent about the other time I’d cried that hard, which was supposed to be a line or two, but the words wouldn’t stop coming so I posted that separately and came back to my original topic today, and, of course, promptly veered off on another tangent.
Side note: I believe now that that psychiatrist [the one who did my intake interview at the treatment facility I went to in 2006] was mean, borderline abusive to me. He was a southern man and I think the idea of a female sex addicted mother was repulsive to him. I was suicidal but didn’t look or act like people do when they’re suicidal. I tried to explain something that happened when I was 9 or 10 with my father and the doctor said that it sounded like I was trying to avoid responsibility for my actions.
But back at the treatment center, I hadn’t spoken to my dad about that phone call ever. So I only had my memories to go on and the doctor believed that my telling of the story was an example of an addict refusing to take responsibility for her actions. He thought I was trying to blame my mother for my bad behavior. When I reiterated that I was only 8 years old, he was nonplussed. Then he segued into questions about my family now. Did I have children. Had they ever seen me or my husband naked, did we sleep together or bathe together, which he said would show evidence, according to the psychiatrist, that my husband and I had covertly abused our children because when they were little they would come into the bathroom when we were undressed.
First of all, that’s bullshit. For covert abuse to occur, there must be an undercurrent of sexual energy that just didn’t exist in our home. I tried to explain that, but the psychiatrist would have none of it. He wrapped up the interview and I was given permission to leave the room. I walked with tears streaming down my face to the dining area and got a glass of water, but it wasn’t lunch time yet. The woman there was SO kind to me – she said that I would get better and that God loved me. She looked at me like I was a worthwhile human being, not a living breathing piece of garbage, which was how I felt the psychiatrist looked at me. She gave me Kleenex.
I sat down at a picnic table in the courtyard and just sat while my eyes ran. No sobs, just tears. It was weird. Then this guy comes rushing up, angry because I’m alone and I’m not supposed to be alone. That broke me. I looked at this man and said, “I had permission. I wasn’t sure where to go but I thought that sitting in the pavilion wouldn’t be a bad place to sit. I wasn’t hiding, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had permission. I broke down then. It seemed to click for the therapist who’d been chastising me and he sat next to me while I cried. I tried to stop but couldn’t. I kept apologizing but he said that it was okay, he was just going to sit with me.
We got a new psychiatrist a few days later as the result of a routine job change and the female psychiatrist took better care of me while I was there.
Later, after I was home and discussing this with my CSAT, he pointed out that I’d been traumatized by this interview, and that I’d done really, really well because I continued to live, especially considering that my former therapist, the priest (he is a psychoanalyst) had been abusing me for years right up to the week I entered treatment. You see there were train tracks very near this treatment facility, and the trains went through on a regular schedule. My back up plan was to just hop the fence and sit on the tracks a few minutes before one of the trains was due.
Looking back, I think almost all of the problems I had during that interview and at other times in treatment was because I had undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. I really wish I could go back and explain this to everyone who treated me so they could apologize for causing me unnecessary pain, but I doubt they’d remember me. I feel sad about that because I am grateful for their help, despite their mistakes. But treatment isn’t set up scientifically. There’s no mechanism in place to objectively check and see how graduates do down the road.
I was a mess when I got to treatment and they gave me a relatively safe place to heal. None of the counselors deliberately abused me – even the psychiatrist. Nobody used me sexually. And I believe that even when therapists make mistakes, as long as they’re honest mistakes, it’s not the end of the world. My former psychoanalyst, the priest, used me for lots of different things, for money, for titillation, for power, and for sex. He made me much, much sicker. My combination of Asperger’s Syndrome and a history of childhood sexual abuse left me unusually vulnerable to his grooming and seduction.
Most of my adult life, I’ve felt like there’s something intrinsically wrong with me. I have too much of The Creep in me. I felt that I’d lost my mother’s respect because I was willing to bad mouth my dad behind his back but not tell him to his face that I hated him. I believed that I was not a person of integrity. But none of that is true. I have integrity. I am a decent person. I have been a good wife and a good mother. Not every minute of every day, but overall, when I am not in an abusive relationship, I thrive.