Friday, May 18, 2012

Visible mental illness


*@*&*^%$%-IN HELL!

This car accident and fall out from that has got me all messed up. It has my post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) flaring up.

I was in my early twenties when I got that diagnosis. I even argued with the doctor who label me with it. I have come to a peace with it over the years.

I tend to deal with trauma's by dissociating. Walling them off and watching them from a distance. I am very emotionally detached due to this, so I tend to be very very calm in crisis situations. I don't process stuff like other people.  I have done that all my life. I was finally diagnosed with a dissociative disorder in my mid-twenties.

Add all that to the existing seasonal affect disorder (SAD) and the neurotic depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)and I have a full bowl of psychiatric alphabet soup.

I am messed up.

To say the least.

As a child many years prior to seeking therapy I stumbled upon the unhealthy coping skill of self injury. Also known as self inflicted violence (SIV). Injuring myself kept me alive and safe until I was ready to enter therapy and heal. It took many years to learn healthy coping skills.

I will never be "normal". I am mentally ill. I have learned to function and exist in this head space. For the most part no one can tell I am mentally ill, its not something I wear on my sleeve. Most people pass off my oddness as just the" eccentric nuttiness of P."

The self inflicted violence however...I DO WEAR on my to speak.

(again warning to vulnerable readers: graphic photos of scars to follow)

This is my arm. You are looking at self inflicted third degree burn scars. That isn't something that I can hide/brush off as "nothing" they are very visible.

I do not hide my scars, I wear short sleeves. I also have worked many years as a advocate for men and women who self injure. I use my writing skill to reach out to others, to educate medical professionals who treat self injurers. Heck I am the author of the the only book on this planet to help parents who self injure, to educate their children about it.

I have been fighting for the SI community to be treated with dignity and respect since my 20's. I rarely turn down an offer to talk about SIV and to explain it to those who ask.

but you know what?

That is on my terms. I have control of when and where I disclose the information.

This bleeping car accident has upset my mental balance. It has my PTSD acting up. I am on high alert and every little noise has me jumping. I am on adrenaline overload and stressed.

Going back to the accident....My personal space had just been violated by a car. My body had just been violently tossed about and injured by another person's actions....the paramedic's approach me. I am forced to explain my scars to them.

At the urgent care, AGAIN I am forced to explain my scars against my will. Maybe I didn't feel like sharing all that info with 5 different people today. I am feeling vulnerable enough as it is.

I had to explain again just today about my scars. It left me with a sour feeling in my gut.

Years ago I mounted a welsh pony that reared up and flipped over backwards on me and injured my pelvis.
The ER doctor looked at my scars and then had the gall to ask me..."Is this injury self inflicted?"

"Yeah, Doc, I tossed the pony up in the air and then threw my self under her."

That is why I work  to educate the medical providers. So others don't have to be treated with disrespect and belittlement.

but today, this week, right now, I just want to be a frightened, injured car crash victim, who is treated with dignity, respect and compassion. I don't want to be the teacher/ advocate. I don't want my mental illness to be visible and talked about. I don't want to have to FIGHT for my right to be seen as a human being.

I didn't hurt myself this time. Someone else hurt me. Its upsetting to have to prove that every time I seek treatment.

(ps...yeah I know I said I was going to be quiet and let my arm heal up...but I needed to write today. Writing is a good coping skill for me. It was either write or go stuff myself with Chinese food, and this was healthier...and cheaper)

No comments:

Post a Comment