So recently I had an assessment with a psychologist working on behalf of Oregon’s Dept. of Human Services. It was a vocational assessment, but I’m hoping to get the help I need. So I spilled everything. I told him how much the thing with Jack bothered me, how I’d spent so many years of my life and the bulk of my creative output trying to sort this all out in my head, and I’ve been a nervous wreck since about a year before all that happened.
Whether what happened was an actual paranormal experience or a nervous breakdown caused by psychotic depression, I may never know for sure. All I know is that there is a grave in France that corresponds all too well with what I thought I remembered that day 6 years ago.
Anyway, I don’t know what the final verdict is on my condition. What I do know is he nixed PTSD for the childhood stuff on some bullshit technicality that it wasn’t “one particular episode” but a domino effect that I’m still trying to recover from as an adult.
He also said he didn’t think I had ADHD based on the skills assessment. Nonverbal IQ of 110 (high-average range), verbal IQ of 127 (superior range) for a combined score of about 116. Slightly slow processing speed but no intellectual impairment to speak of. I still feel frustratingly stupid when I try to do math but apparently I completed or attempted problems at a slightly higher level than the average adult.
Most tellingly, he reported to me exactly what far too many doctors have already told me. I have traits of a lot of different conditions but no one condition stands out. I have always been completely inscrutable to psychiatry and usually anything in the way of medicine that treats one side of the issue aggravates another problem. Treating everything pharmaceutically involves being on so much medication that I can’t live independently.
I value my independence and I’m going to try to manage my condition as well as I possibly can without medication. For several years of my adult life I was very successfully balancing my work and life and paying for all my own expenses out of pocket so I know I’m capable of doing so when my condition is under control; a bad combination of factors caused me to decompensate and revert back to the emotional state I was in as a young child. I had almost built everything back up again several times but each time I had the supports knocked out from under me when I was still too weak to stand on my own. It’s hard, doing your damnedest to get better when you’re perpetually worried about losing your home or taking too long to recover. I’ve been on thin ice for so long it’s hard to cope with.
I’m trying to muster the residual agency within me and at least get started taking care of the trauma. I’ve heard very good things about EMDR and recently I was pleased to find out that I had been referred for this treatment. EMDR is a weird hybrid treatment for trauma and difficult memories that has shown great promise. It boasts effectiveness rates in the ballpark of 60% without medication. I’m impressed with the stats and hope it lives up to the hype.
I’m not going to bring up the thing about Jack though. Not right away. I need to work through stuff from this life before I even think about digging out past life baggage first of all; second I always felt weird and awkward about asking for those memories of Jack’s life to be treated like a legit trauma. To me they were as real as any memory from the last 34 years but I have a lot of shame for feeling that way. I’m going to ease into the subject and not press the issue if it’s not treated like something serious, though it will leave me wondering how I will find any way of coping with the things I saw, the emotions I experienced. Nothing in my current life has ever brought me close to those levels of terror. I can liken it only to that feeling of shock when you feel your car start to hydroplane on the freeway, only more intense and stretched out over minutes or hours instead of a brief instant. That’s burned into me, that feeling. I’d never had a single panic attack in all my life until those memories of Jack’s life broke.
I want my life back. My friends, my family, and my care team all say I have a brilliant mind. With my abilities and education, I should be earning $40K and living a comfortable middle class life; why can’t I? Why have I never been able to get it together?
I don’t feel brilliant. I don’t see brilliance in myself. I just see a perpetual loser who’s never been much good at anything but writing silly stories that nobody reads.
I’m going to possibly update more as I sort through the rubble of the first 34 years of my current life. I think healing might be a good focus for this blog. I so desperately need it, I need to not feel like my life is going to be cut short any day all the time, or like I’m surrounded by danger, terrified of open spaces, overwhelmed by human contact. I want to finally be able to use this supposed brilliance everyone says I possess.