Wait, you’re bleeding?! (Hospital Stupidity and Trigger Warning)

Okay, so, I have been wanting to write all week. I am sick however and have expended my writing energy in other ways such as whining and sleeping when no one was looking. Very productive if they fix what ails you. The whining I tried to do only to myself and M, because hey what are best friends for if not a whinge every so often? Plus I think he would worry if I didn’t whine about stuff just a little.

I ended up in the ER because my uterus is trying to work. This would be fine if it wasn’t shooting clots out like a machine gun that are the size of my fists side by side. That’s a very large clot and my vagina wasn’t made for those. I am in more pain than I want to handle, but I am handling it in my way. So I went to the favored ER that has never been bad.

It was as bad as UNMH the local travesty of medical studies. The nurse in intake didn’t even ask me what medications I take, which is a big no no. They presumed I was taking the medications I took last time I was there, almost a year ago. She laughed at my list of diagnosis, which I gave the short list of the ones that matter. This should’ve clued me in that they have hired idiots. I found out after we were there, we being M the carer, that there was a recent scandal with a drunk nurse. Wondering if she was the one doing intake though she seemed sober if incompetent.

So, I am left to wait for three hours before intake, in which time my legs turn a very nice shade of blue which gets me in the back before Mr. I broke my ankle, see it’s dangling by a thread and creepy lady that wanted to touch me after she coughed. I almost hit her, but M the Carer is good at what she does and interceded and moved me out of range of creepy. I was already considering a sequel to the horror script I wrote about mental health hospitals (currently being cast at Pendant Audio.com if you want to act in it). I am afraid a fiction could not out weight the reality.

Once I get in the back it’s three hours before anyone even says boo, and they demand a urine sample. It is presumed that I can do this, and I manage. This is where I discover that the hospital is not ADA compliant (though I already saw manifest wrongs and horror but more on that later). The bathroom could not fit a manual wheelchair into it and close the door. The door is also heavy. My carer helped me manage the situation, and the staff were off put that she used gloves to do so. Since sanity and sanitizing stuffs are bad here. Keep in mind at this point I was already imagining Dr.Zombie and his chorus of Brain Devouring Nurses.

I question the futility of a pee sample that is the color of cranberry juice, but we deal with it anyway. An hour later Nurse Pain returns. She looks at my sample and says, “Wait you’re bleeding?!” This is when I mimic Spock’s eyebrow raise and my carer and I say in unison, “Well yeah, that’s what she’s here for abnormal vaginal bleeding.” So, I end up chugging a 20 oz soda, because that’s healthy and I couldn’t stomach anything else they had on hand in mass quantities. A catheter later and hey my pee sample has barely any blood in it and that was probably still external since I had flooded the world with red. So usable urine sample.

The thing was, during this cath process the nurse was upset with me for not crying out, grimacing, yelling, or generally acting like she expects. It was painful but she decided I wasn’t in pain if I wasn’t doing the usual dance and scream she is used to with her typical patients. I have never been typical and I even stated when asked by my carer, who I felt was translating body language very clearly, “Why bother? I hurt now, I will hurt later, if I waste that energy then I can’t deal with being here.” It’s truth. It obviously disturbs Nurse Pain.

So it’s back to waiting, Nurse Pain decides she had best get the doctor because I obviously wasn’t making it up. Then she tells us the doctor has left the site. Well, it turns out this ER has ONE doctor on call. One. Not two. Not three. One. Who has LEFT. This is when I start considering abusing my power of phone and mp3 player that takes voice notes. Yep. I started recording things, and we took pictures of things.

Things we took pictures of include the wall made out of mold. Not joking, they put me in a moldy wall room. The bloody pen that is on top of the sharps container, instead of inside it or in another biohazard containment. I think there were others. There’s yet more however. Nurse Pain wasn’t the only in ER bungler, aside from Nurse Giggles.

Now lets talk about Nurse Nasty. Nasty is a male, who doesn’t change his gloves or wash his hands between patients. M the Carer and I are watching him, he doesn’t close curtains so we can see proceedures, he shouts out what is wrong with people. I see him as a walking germ factory. He comes in to take my vitals and I say “Sure, but can you wash your hands?” His expression is the one I call dumb shock. I can’t really read much more past my question liquifiying his brain with it’s sheer fantasticness. So as his brain melts he agrees to do so, overlooks the sink and clean gloves in my room, walks out and ne’er returns. I never once had my vital signs checked while I was there, and I did pass a few monster clots.

Other things of grossness, they didn’t want me to use the absorbant pad things. Those pads are there for me and you. They didn’t understand the idea of wiping myself clean so I could put on my clothes and leave their atrocity. I mean hospital. Now, eight hours have passed before Doctor McLeavy decides to do his job at least with me. I get it, he’s the only one there and the place is packed, dirty, and did I say inefficient yet because wow. So he takes a look and says, “Well there’s a lot of active bleeding, you really should get this checked out.” Since you know, I called my doctor during the weekend and left a voice mail, called again first thing and was told she would call me, called a third time found out she had not been given the voice mail since she answered herself and was sent to the ER. I am obviously incompetent and unable to concieve of the idea that this is an issue. I resist the urge to kick the doctor in the head, because that might end up with Nurse Pain and Nasty returning to rescue Doctor McLeavy.

So, that was my … Monday. Monday… evil monday. I think it would’ve been more productive had I just done what was planned. Which was done today. My carer and I also spent extra money on things that absorb gushing amounts of blood while I called the health department, the hospital’s patient relations people and tried to get an appointment with a female gynecologist since when I specify that due to PTSD this is a requirement as McLeavy already triggered my PTSD. McLeavy asks if I am sure I cannot take birthcontrol because that might fix the issue. Or it could you know, make me so sick I end up in hospital anyway.

Now I run into Dr.Receptionist.

Dr.Receptionist tells me at 9 am she will call me right back. She tells me at noon when I return to calling her that she is working on finding an opening before September. She’s getting downright bitchy. I am working on not telling her to shove her head into her uterus and see if that makes her have any abnormal bleeding, because she seems to think she is qualified to doctor me over the phone.

Third call, fifteen minutes before five, she calls and still has not figured out a way for me to have the accessible room (of which there is only one). She has not found a female doctor with an opening because “we only have two.” Instead of asking them if they would accomodate me. She even tells me, “This would be so much easier if you would just take the next availible instead of insisting on the wheelchair room and a woman.” Little does she know, when she calls me tomorrow I am recording the call. She is going to face the burning rain of hellfire that I am sending the way of the hospital via every legal channel. I may sue once I get a diagnosis. Dr.Receptionist prattles on about how I am just being difficult for a while, and then says, “You know since you are 25 I wouldn’t worry about waiting until September.” Mind you no appointment has been scheduled, she continues. “No one gets cancer at 25, you are just too young.” I did respond now, though not as fluidly as I wanted, It was more of a growl that probably was picked up in the phone, then, “Really? Since you know my medical history so well and every risk factor I have that is above normal you can just decree this cancer?” I wish I had said, “Oh when did you examine me, when did you go to medical school, did you take tissue samples or even a pap? I don’t recall having any of that done since the ER refused as that’s not their job.”

So tomorrow this continues. Of course I left out some tales of woe such as Nosferatu Sucks at Drawing Blood and a few more but you get the drift.

I do have this to say, Hospital Internal Affairs, when I told them I had proof jumped to. They were already but they managed to jump faster and higher. In fact the woman told me she admired my not leaving. When I told her there was no nurse call button and pointed out that I cannot walk out of my room to fetch a nurse so if my carer had left like the office was pressuring her to do so (incorrectly but we got through to the right people to get that fixed) I would not have had anything done yet. I probably would still be there growing cobwebs, well the IA person expressed her utter horror and mentioned that I could sue them and if I did she doubted they could fight. The fact is, when she said that she added legal liability to the hospital. I just need to get this problem fixed before I decide just how much to make them pay.

I am still haunted by Nurse Nasty. How many people got sicker because of him? How many people will handle the tools he used and put back? I wish he’d given his name but he did not. I did describe him and I know what vehicle he drives since he had a purple biker jacket and a shiny helmet. There was only one motor cycle in the parking area for the employees and I took a look. So that cuts down suspects greatly. I am going out of the system to find a doctor next, because I need a specialist and I am discovering that in the year since I started seeing only my pain specialist … well… Lovelace Women’s Hospital and Lovelace aka ALBUQUERQUE HEALTH PARTNERS has fallen into crapville. Though I could add a fictional twist, this is no laughing matter for dancing zombies but is a serious breech of all sorts of ethics and fun stuff. I think I will be fine, given that this has happened before and yet I also know that when they told me I needed a hysterectomy at 16 but they insisted on waiting incase I wanted children, that need likely hasn’t gone away. I still don’t have or want kids and this is one of the worst times I have bled like this. Not as bad as the time I ruined an entire mattress because I couldn’t get up, the wheelchair is making a difference but my pain level is far too high, and with my PTSD triggered there are other complications. Plus my cramps are so bad I can’t pee. I told my carer I may have to go back to the ER tomorrow if I still haven’t gone. I will update when I have the energy. I wanted to write this out so that you all know, and the details are there.

Nymph and Sprite are also helping as much as they can, neither is pressuring me for snuggling but if I let them they are like velcro. Nymph even let me trim her claws for the first time today and didn’t even try and run. Once it was done she just sat beside me and looked a little sad until I petted her. I know my health is in that dangerous spot between Oh Crap and Uh Oh, so I will try to stay towards the oh crap side on the woopspometer.

Oh and the names of the Guilty HIPAA and health code and common sense violating zombie medical staff have been altered to protect the names of said Guilty parties until I sue their pants off or do something else equally deserving with spite and fury.

When the Doctor is Afraid

Ah the joys of seeing Specialists. My dermatologist today was afraid to treat me. It took me a while to realize what he had done. “Everything looks normal.” Patches of flesh, pustules, moles that look like the poster children for little melanoma and the remnants of the allergic reaction to Sunblock… all are normal?

He barely skimmed my chart, he didn’t want to touch me or look at me. Instead he said, “In Six months, when the insurance covers another visit come back and see the new dermatological plastic surgeon. He can take care of those moles.” Moles he had declared normal.

I did get a new prescription to try for the Hidradenitis Supprativa. A topical antibiotic and an oral antibiotic. I am about to take the first dose. I had to drain the blisters first. It wasn’t until I was leaving the hospital pharmacy that I snapped onto the problem. It took the strangest behavior I have seen at a hospital for me to click that the entire experience belonged in the Twlight Zone.

I was the invisible doorstop, a woman tried to shoved past me with a cigarette in hand and I blocked her. I didn’t have to move an inch to perform the act, I just had the entire width of the chair. I can’t suck it in, and as I choked on the smoke of her freshly lighted cigarette I let myself snarl. “Put that damned cigarette out. Are you insane? Taking a lighted cigarette into the hospital could be considered assault.” I didn’t have to think about my words, I just let them flow freely as my mind snapped the puzzle pieces into place.

The world had gone mad! The madwoman did thank me for stopping her. She stubbed the cigarette into her hand and continued her journey inside. I shuddered while seeing the odd spiderweb connections between her obvious challenges and the doctor.

I have three rare skin conditions, additional sensitivities, and other conditions that are also genetic and rare which can change how my skin reacts. I understand the doctor not wanting to treat me. I just wish he had been more direct about it. I am not afraid about the moles he left alone, but, I do find it odd he insists I see a plastic surgeon turned dermatologist. I will obediently have the mole cut off by the better man, but, what if he has the same hesitant fear?

I have run into this a few times. This is the cause of my high Doctor Turn Over Rate. They quit working and usually I fire them. They either run out of coping ability, they run out of knowledge, and they stop working. This one at least offered some suggestions but all were redundant, stymied by my allergies. He didn’t even try.

It is disappointing but I have my vanity for a bit longer. After the appointment my Person and I went to see why his check was short and as a result I wound up getting to eat a bit of fast food (yay Del Taco being Gluten Free) and a pair of clip on earrings to supplement my new ear needs. The dermatologist seemed competent but more comfortable with the able bodied woman or man who doesn’t know much about their flesh. He spent most of the appointment condescending about how Moles don’t exist. I let him, and when given the option of having him cut my head-mole down a peg or waiting six months to have it done right? I chose to wait.

What can we do when our doctors fail us in this manner? Sometimes we have to let them fail. He gave up the option of learning, of trying, and now if my head-mole turns out to be an extensive tumor as the one on my face was, the glory of removing a rare and still unnamed type of tissue is not his. It goes to the next doctor. That is a bit of comfort, as not every doctor is emotionally qualified to take on the harder cases.

He only failed me by not being upfront with his comfort level. When a doctor is afraid, it’s okay to let them go. I forget this at times. I forget that a doctor passing up the golden opportunity of treating me can be a good thing. If your doctor is too afraid, they will make more errors. They will take longer to find answers. I know, as you journey from doctor to doctor hunting for answers this feels painful. It is still better to let some doctors pass and to have other doctors treat you. I would rather have a wait of six months than permanent scarring with recurrent surgery because my doctor did not make the right choice.

For the comments section, feel free to add your own experiences with doctors who are afraid and doctors who fail.

Medicalization of Humanity

I have spent my life being a patient. Most people do to an extent but a lot of non disabled people do not wind up in a doctor’s office monthly. Those that do are usually seeing a psychologist. I have been talking to my biological mother again, because she needs my help. In exchange for helping her with training her dog to be a Service Dog I asked for payment in therapy. Not literally, but, figuratively.

I think she was startled but, I am wounded emotionally. I am so angry at her, and I need to forgive her. I can’t do that without working out some of the issues and I want a mother. Some of the things that have angered me include over medicalization of my emotions. Being human has never been an option for me, despite the obvious inability to escape it.

From reading my blog you know already I have a history of abuse and chronic illness. You might have also noted an undercurrent of loathing for labels, though I am working to embrace mine. Some labels cannot be avoided. After becoming an adult I went and paid for a psychoanalyst to evaluate me. I wanted to know if, without my mother’s influencing them with her fears, I was really as insane as everyone told me.

I did this because I didn’t feel crazy. I felt depressed, but, not crazy. I did not think I was becoming a sociopath like my father. I put effort into fighting that, and won. What I did, to help prevent influence in this doctor’s office by my past was withhold information. It took several calls to find a doctor willing to work with zero patient history, but, the woman who did the test with me understood my need to find the truth.

In my childhood I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar, Depression, and a slew of other labels that never quite fit, including Multiple Personality Disorder. Most of these get renamed with each DSM, and with number V coming out (I don’t know my roman numerals and I am not looking up the translation, it is either four or five), I am again feeling pensive.

Part of it is the sudden ability to cry. For the first 23 and a half years of my life I could not cry without bleeding. I cannot seem to suppress my tears anymore. Again, some of this is because of effort though the effort sends me receding into myself at times. With that test, I was freed from the stigma of most of the labels I had received.

Those that stuck are depression, lower case because it is something that is perfectly natural considering my family history and personal history. It also is not something I will ever treat with pills again. Another is obsessive compulsive disorder. I need the world to be in order, and this comes from my past. Anything out of place could cause a beating. My disability has helped me with this. I cannot order the world, and I am healing because of it. I had no way of cleaning my room for years, it was horrible.

The test also helped hint at something else, I am Autistic. I have Aspergers. I haven’t told many people, just my Person and my mother. Now the world knows. I feared the Stigma of Autism. My best friend (All my friends are my best friends) Maxis is autistic and helped me to realize that my Autism just lets me be me. It has made things more difficult in some ways but I have adapted, and am extremely high functioning and no one can tell. My labels are not readily visible.

I also am an adult with Attention Deficit Disorder. I adapted as a child, after taking Ritalin. The Ritalin made what turns out to be a side effect of the autism, my extreme sound sensitivity, worse. I couldn’t stop screaming, all my pain was there, and of course I turned out to be allergic to it. My mother pulled me off of the drug despite my institutionalization. I recollect hearing her voice through a closed door, I was curled up in a corner in the Time Out room, being punished for not brushing my hair. My mother had come to visit and I had cried telling her how loud everything was, and hearing her tell the staff off for drugging me was the best sound out of all of them.

I am still sound sensitive. I can hear the sounds most people tune out. When a computer is turned on, each second I hear the scraping of the needle in the hard drive. it is deafening. I have five running right now, and have adapted to the cacophony of my world by adding more stimulus. I have yet to find true silence, even with a power outage but that is the best peace ever. Still, having mental distractions helps me cope.

I find it a bit ironic that being nearly deaf in one ear has not decreased my ability to be overstimulated by sound. Overloading is so far what works best. The great part about hearing everything is hearing my cats purr, when no one else can. Sometimes that sound is the best in the world. My nerves have always been just as sensitive, my skin feels too much and that can cause even the touch of William’s paw to have me crying out.

Still, in my life more damage has been done by mental health practitioners. I have been supposed to find a therapist for almost a year. First, I used the excuse of insurance, which did not cover without a copay. Then when that was fixed, I used the excuse of truth. I do not want a Therapist. I really hate them, and do not trust them. I am aware of my need now, to find one. I need someone to work with, so that I can help myself and my mother.

I remember my first Therapist. Her name was Candy, and my father upon finding this out asked if my Mother was taking us to see a stripper. He thought it was funny, I thought it meant that the doctor tore up paper. Instead, she told my mother that she could change my father. She told me and my sister, we all shared the sessions, how women must learn to cook and my bruises and burns, were just the signs that I was going to be a great wife.

I never believed her. My sister did, and when I told her at night that I thought that Candy was insane, she told me that she is a doctor, so therefore I must be wrong. I kept it to myself but at the age of four I just told her things I thought she wanted to hear. My father was sent to a mental hospital after attacking a man, or something like that a year later, and my mother did not let him back in, despite Candy telling her we would all go to hell. I think the woman let her religious tenancies effect her job.

The next therapist I saw was the one who had me put on my first Antidepressant. I was almost eight, and Doctor Baca decided I was depressed. Likely he was right but he never let me address why. He wasn’t a listener but talked about how I needed to try harder in school, how I needed to bathe more, how I needed to do things to be popular. If I got a word in edgewise he used it to shame me. I had begun to develop breasts, and upon relating the nickname I had at school, because my bra broke in Phys Ed, he agreed. I was slut shamed. The Nickname is not related here as it reveals the name that I have shed, but it contained the word whore.

The list of bad therapists goes on and on. No person is perfect but even the best amid them just wanted to label me. Many tried dangerous tactics and all of them post Doctor Baca insisted on medications. I took so many pills, and many had adverse effects including causing me to gain 100lbs in a month, but, the pills were more important than the girl. Each doctor took any crying as a sign not of emotional release but of depression. If I was happy at all it was a manic, if I was angry it meant I was psychotic. I lost touch with emotion itself.

My response was to try and kill myself, though, I couldn’t figure out how and asked my mother to help. The first time wasn’t the cause of my institutionalization, though the threat was leveled. I just didn’t comprehend it. The suicidal ideation passed and yet my brain warred to follow the rules that were leveled at it. My needs were far from met, and my Autism being undiagnosed meant I had no help. I was adrift, and lost.

The worst weekend of my childhood came then. I was beaten to the point of nearly dying, and denied medical treatment. There is much more to that story but it will not be blogged about, my fear of being attacked over it is too strong. My entire life was changed at that moment however. That is the hinge of life for me. That too, is when my personality changed the first time. The direct result of head trauma. That is the weekend where the first breaks in my back were had, my Xrays showing as an adult that when I was about eight I had four vertebrae break in my back, two in my neck. They healed well enough thankfully but I was in agony, I was alone, and I knew that I should not trust anyone ever again.

I was also threatened with food. My father had decided I was fat. I wasn’t yet, I was perfectly healthy, but he decided I should stop eating. He also instructed me to cut myself, though I did not manage that one. I did manage the eating disorder. He had told me too, if I did eat he would know and would beat my mother to death. I had to protect her. She always has needed my protection. So I gave up food. It was not hard, due to the pain.

Pain is the best appetite suppressant I know of. It kills the urge to eat in me, and is the reason for many people becoming malnourished with access to food. I lied to my mother the first few days and told her I wasn’t hungry, but, then she told me my refusal to eat hurt her. If I didn’t eat she’d surely die. Catch 22. No matter my choice she would die. I decided to eat, then, I would just throw up after dinner. Then my “daddy” couldn’t kill her and she wouldn’t know so she wouldn’t die.

This worked for a while, and my stomach stopped hurting and my skin even healed from some of it’s symptoms of allergy. I was however, bulimic by the diagnostic standard. No one asked why I was bulimic at the tender age of eight. My family didn’t figure it out very quickly, but, eventually they did. I am sure I had a decline in health. My memory was very foggy, and I had begun to have bursts of rage. Perhaps this came from the head injury, the painful seizures that I had started to have, hiding everything, or the burden of the household falling to an eight year old girl. It could even be the bulimia, the overdosing of drugs by my doctors, or, all of the untreated genetic ailments.

My stepfather had begun molesting my older sister, he was too afraid of me to hurt me, so I shaved my head. We discovered then how misshapen my skull is. My skin had begun to split on my breasts, and I thought if I was a boy then I would always be safe. I was of course unaware of the stigmas that were to come, but, I thought being male would make it all better. So, I tried to cut my breasts off. I failed, and for that I am grateful now. I am not sure what the therapists told my mother about all of this, but, from my perspective no one took into account that something might be wrong physically or that the abuse took a toll.

I was taken to a hospital, dumped off, and my mind and body were invaded. I do not know why these doctors thought a physical examination was necessary my first night there, but, they gave me a complete physical, including a pap smear. There was no explanation, but, I lashed out. My first night there was spent in the padded room of solitary confinement.

Diagnosis were tossed at me like darts at a board, seeing if one could fit close enough. Most of the girls there were suicidal, all of them had been molested or raped. Each of them had been battered, and all of the children were in pain. The staff were not all kind. One of the male staff would hit me, but I never said a word. He told me if I did, he’d see to it that I did not get to see my mother ever again.

My hair is also complex. Only half of it is curly, and this is all in the under hair. I had to bathe twice a day there to pass their cleanliness challenge, because of the Hidradenitis Suppertiva causing excessive sweat. I was allergic to the shampoo and cried each time I bathed. They gave me more antidepressants.

I mentioned once, how much my body hurt to the doctors there. I was quickly learning though, that all they wanted was for me to suddenly become a normal child. I wasn’t sure what that meant but noted what the children who got to go home endured. They could not yell, they could not scream, they ate every meal but not seconds, and they were nice all the time, if the adults were looking. I began to master the system. This meant no crying, so I got even better at being a machine. I let my world fall into their system of order.

I did go home, but, I couldn’t keep up the act of perfection. So, the cycle hit over and over again. I still couldn’t eat but was gaining weight. I was shamed for it. I was stuck then in either my mother’s clothes or sweat pants. Time passed and I was a teenager. My first period came on the eve of another hospitalization. I thought I was dying. The inability for people to discuss this function without clinical talk or shame had cost me knowing that this was going to happen. It didn’t help that my mother had told me all about how evil my Uncle Verne is. Verne is a rapist, a pedophile, and of course he would surely be out to get my mother’s children.

She had me stay with my grandmother while she made arrangements to have her crazy and devalued daughter locked away. My uncle called. Grandma had left me alone, despite my mother’s very valid fear that I would kill myself. I was considering it staring into her medicine cabinet when the phone rang. This was before caller ID hit that small town. I thought it was my mother. I thought maybe she had realized that the kids at school were mean, my hands hurt, and so did my stomach and I just couldn’t live like that. It was a strange voice. His voice was raspy, cold, and hearing me he sounded suddenly excited. I talked with him for a while, until I realized who he was. We didn’t trade names but when he called me by mine, I asked if he was my uncle.

There it was again, that duality, I was told by my mother that upon pain being dealt my way, I must never be rude on the phone. I was also told I must never let my uncle know where we were, who we were or to hurt me. I was terrified. Then, I felt warmth running down my legs. I remember what I said, “I am sorry Mr. Uncle Verne, I have to go now. I will tell my Grandma you called.” I hung up and went and sat in the tub crying because I was bleeding.

I thought that I was going to die, which, saved me from my suicidal thoughts. It was partly there because so often I was asked if I wanted to die. The idea wasn’t original to me, though I may have wound up having it anyway. I am not blaming the doctors, as without them I still would have died, I am merely questioning their methods. For every emotion there was a label, a drug, and a punishment.

For my fear of my period I was told I was a misogynist. I hadn’t even known what that was, but, upon being told I hate women, I thought it apt. At that time I wasn’t aware that self hatred is not the same, and the over labeling and medicalization was helping me to dehumanize. I was instead a child trying to make people love me. At this time my memories of my Sensei had been suppressed, and yet the mark of them remained, I was subconsciously seeking that same love.

The rest if my timeline, up until the Ranch, mentioned in earlier posts, is a blur, a mix of self hatred, cruelty, and a few bright moments when I went off the medication without telling people. Not all of my memories were destroyed by the meds, and the medicine did help me learn to control my flashbacks. I was so lonely however, unable to make contact with myself, isolated, and then something amazing happened. My freshman year of Highschool, I became the Valentines Princess. In my school this was on par with the popularity contests of Home Coming Queen or Princess and Prom Queen. My classmates elected me, and openly made this truth known, because of the simple fact that the most popular girl in school was pregnant and did not know who the father was. The pregnancy was not the issue, many other girls were pregnant too, it was the culture of this town. If you were not sexually active you were not acceptable. It was that she had cheated. Perhaps it was a form of slut shaming, but I was only aware of the fact that I had won. I had been chosen to represent the beauty of my class, a symbol of the perfection of love.

These memories are so crisp, as is the memory of my sudden happiness ending, realizing I had to tell my mother that I had won and needed a dress. There was no way I could take the title. I went to tell the coordinator, another student in my class and she found me first. She had already talked to the other wealthy students, and they were going to pool their allowances to buy me a dress, a trip to the salon to style my hair and they were going to have my hair done. They also were going to give me a free ticket to the Dance. At this point, my mother had left my Step Father, and money was so tight we could barely afford food. When I told her however, I expected anger and was given joy. She was happy for me.

We went through the rituals of beauty, I even shaved my legs, ignoring the pain that caused. We had my hair done, and, when I walked out with my Tiara in place, taking the arm of the boy I thought was the most handsome in school, ignoring his displeasure at being my escort, I stared out at the people in my school and was given a moment of joy. No one booed. I had expected that, after all every day I was on the outside. I kept the roses the principle bought each of the Valentines Court members for years, only shedding them when I no longer needed the reminder of my value, for I am worth more than roses and a popularity contest.

When I told my therapist about the feelings I had had, he told me I was becoming a narcissist. He berated me for every single feeling, and I went back on the meds. I was so certain he was right, and that my mother was too. The messages given to me during these visits to the psychologist were all so negative. Tomorrow I am calling and making appointments again. I am an adult now, perhaps, this will free me from some of the pain I feel. Perhaps I will find one who is willing to work with me on how to emotionally survive my physical pain. If I am offered medication my first visit, I will not return to that doctor.

I am still fighting for my humanity. I grew up meeting and failing expectations, never making my own. I am an adult now, and my own expectations are met. Yet when I cry, even at the end of a sad movie, I question, evaluate, and judge myself. My crying is the hardest, it is the most difficult for me to allow. I have come to embrace Happiness, anger, jealousy, but sorrow is the biggest terror. Even in the media we face the words of stigma. Pharmaceutical companies, doctors ignoring the validity of emotion, deranged fathers, and depressed mothers (Feel free to rearrange, relabel, or adjust these two for your own needs) all collude against humanity.

This is not the only way that people are dehumanized just one example of it. There is something in the air, something in the water, or perhaps just a tradition diluted with time that has caused dehumanization to become far too common. Civil Rights are torn away from people based on their supposed inhumanity, the disabled are not granted access because we surely aren’t human. I tried so very hard to shed my humanity, yet without it I cannot sing, I cannot write, and I cannot breathe.

I am afraid of psychologists. What if they refuse to not try and force me to take drugs? What if it turns out in the future I was wrong and needed the antidepressants? The consequences of these choices are the real fear. I fear too, that my next psychologist will refuse to see my pain as real. The wheelchair is not enough for some people, or it is too much. I will be writing a how to article on shopping for psychologists, after I am done, detailing my method. I will share it here.

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