This is gonna be a weird one kids, strap in cause were going on an existential ride in to the caverns of my mind! Put your hands up! DO IT! PUT YOUR GOD DAMN HANDS UP!
I’ve probably needed to see a therapist since I was 10 or 11 years old, I was in anger management and the like before then. I can’t remember exactly why they put me in the class, but I agreed to do it so I could get out my regular class (I was an honor student at the time, I didn’t actually need to be in class) one of the things I remember vividly is the counselor that was in charge of helping us with our anger happened to get in to a car accident (I believe) and passed away. They replaced her with a very nice woman, but when you got a class full of kids who were just learning how to deal with their emotions it wasn’t really an easy transition; but the lady helped us with our grief and we finished the rest of the year feeling really sad but having not gone any further with our emotional development.
I want to say this was probably 4th or 5th grade so I’d had to of been between 9 and 10 years old (I was always a year younger because my birthday is in the fall). After this I went to middle school and started puberty and we all ready talked about what a fucking mess that was for me.
Highschool got fairly close to getting me therapy but always was one step behind me; I was really good at faking it, just enough that I always seemed like I was on the mend.
I wont start from the beginning, that’s for my biography (Blood and Khaki pants coming out whenever everyone I know is dead and can’t learn the truth about what kind of monster I really am) but the first step was deciding to write poetry and asking a very wonderful teacher to read it and tell me what she thought. What she thought was that I was reaching out for help and called the police on me. The biggest reason for her suspicion is because after I gave her the poem for review I got sick the next day (and was home and it was very awkward for everyone involved I’ll tell you what). I- however- was not reaching out for help though I obviously needed it, but it still forced me to have to explain to my parents the context of the poem and why she would think what she thought.
I told them I was okay, I wasn’t.
Later that year I was recommended for what we in the school called the “5150 Meeting”, 5150 of course police code for person in mental distress. Basically the school believed I was in losing my mind and distracting the students too much and wanted to see if I was emotionally able to continue with public education.
Now mind you, the school had every reason to worry! I was a classic case of acting out for attention, from anyone, good or bad. I had spent so many years as a loser, as number 2 and because my young stupid pubescent mind wasn’t working right, I rationalized that I was never going to make in academics and that was becoming abundantly clear. So, I might as well just have a good time, right?
Let’s muddle that all up with the fact that I’ve been having a mental crisis since I was 10 years old and you’ve got a fucking powder keg. Thank god I was also terrified of disappointing people, thank FUCKING GOD I had anxiety! Because that kept me from doing a lot of really stupid things.
The biggest issue was stigma and I had all ready had so many labels thrown on me from a very young age I didn’t want “Psycho” on top of it. Because that’s what they called the two kids from my school who ended up institutionalized (I dated both of them- you’re starting to understand) and that is exactly what would have ended up to me had I opened up as much I really needed to. (DO NOT LET MY EXPERIENCES STOP YOU FROM SEEKING HELP, DOCTORS ARE AND FAMILY ARE THERE TO HELP!)
So this brings me to the Little Therapist that lives in my brain.
I have never told a single person about this and now I’m telling the internet- I mean that’s the way it goes now a days innit?
Anyway I figure this is actually a calming technique I’ve bastardized and turned in to something crazy, but from a young age I’ve spoken to myself as my own therapist. Now you’re thinking “Jess remember what they say about talking to yourself, it’s fine as long as you don’t respond! *nervous chuckle*” No, not like that, I’m not hearing voices and I don’t have any personality disorders that allow me to live along with another personality.
It’s more like a skit, improv but with the actual issues I’m trying to work through.
Is it healthier than actually speaking to a therapist? No, oh god no, not at all. But what it allows me to do is break down my day and ask myself the questions I forget to ask myself during the day when I don’t have time. “Well how did you feel about that?”, “Why did you do that?”, “What was going on when it happened?”, “Who was there when you felt that way?”, “How long have you felt this way”.
Sometimes the answers are the same, sometimes its the same conversation over and over again for weeks. Sometimes I don’t need to break my day down, sometimes my day goes just fine and I was present and accounted for the whole time.
This will continue to work for me until I get the balls to do the one thing I’m always yelling at other people to do.
But as you kids can tell this isn’t a can of worms, this is a can of snakes disguised as a can of mixed nuts.
This is Nicolas Cage disguised as John Travolta and John Travolta disguised as Nicolas Cage.
I’m sure by this point you’re all worried for my mental state and I wouldn’t be surprised, but I’ll let you know that I am still in the best place (no foolin) I’ve ever been in, in my life. That my wish to speak with a therapist is only to further my emotional education and to make sure that I go in to my thirties and forties and beyond prepared better than I was for my teens and my twenties.
My fear is devolution, losing the progress I’ve made myself just by relieving those memories outloud. I know- how that sounds, but that’s what anxious minds do.
Even writing this down is hard enough could you imagine me telling me a doctor “Yes instead of getting help I just talked to myself!” with a giant smile? Yeah kids, Mrs. Jess still has some work to do before she can do that.
Thanks for reading.