Peeling Off An Old Label
Yesterday, (I’m pretty sure that was yesterday…) our husband took us back to see the psychiatrist again. A different K went this time than had gone last time; I think that’s because our doctor specifically requested that K come, instead of Switch Kellie, and somehow our mind just unconsciously pushes a button of some sort and we are another K, with different thoughts and emotions. (I didn’t realize this was abnormal until I was about 30 years old.) Now, sitting here drinking my coffee, and wishing that I had a cigarette, even though I no longer smoke, I wonder if I’m the K that went to see the shrink or if that was someone else. I’m not sure because when I think back to the appointment, I can recall parts of it, large chunks actually, but it’s all a bit blurry, like I’ve smeared Vaseline onto the camera lens. Did that happen to me or what is someone else, someone whose consciousness I sometimes share? I remember one part very well, and this is important too–the psychiatrist told K that she doesn’t believe she’s schizophrenic. This is HUGE.
K was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 27, and every doctor since then has just agreed with the diagnosis (and usually tacked on a new label to go along with it, labels such as BDD and GAD) rather than trying to dig a little deeper and see if perhaps she didn’t have something DIFFERENT. So. This is life-altering news. Everything that K believes herself to be is false. All these years, she’s been living with the stigma, and with the shame, and with the despair which stemmed from this diagnosis, and now we find out that the diagnosis is (most likely) WRONG. K is simultaneously thrilled and terrified. Thrilled to find out that she probably does NOT have schizophrenia, yet terrified of what she really DOES have, and also afraid that one of the K’s IS schizophrenic. More labels… Take one off and put another one on in its place. Sigh. K didn’t mention to her mother what the doctor had said about doubting the presence of schizophrenia, and I can’t remember if she told her husband or not….that information is no longer with us. I hope that she told him, he needs to know what the current status of his wife is. Plus, it’d just be nice to know once and for all what the hell is really wrong with K! We’ve been drug through the mud and given the run-around so many times over the decades…. K no longer has any faith in doctors. This “new” doctor-who, it turns out, has been treating us for 2 years!-seems very willing to help K, and she makes K feel comfortable and perhaps even safe. That’s what the shrink told us yesterday; that her office is a safe haven for K, and that when she’s there, she doesn’t have to be afraid.
The shrink, Dr. H, talked with us for a while about different ways we can go about treating K. I asked her if she’d had any experience with mapping therapy (wherein the different personalities are charted) and she admitted that she had never done such therapy. She did NOT say that she was opposed to it. She also didn’t say that she believed integration was the best route to take, and I feel that’s important. (Integration is organization of different aspects of the personality into a hierarchical system of functions, or one, unified personality) We, the K’s, are afraid of integration. The Smart One is all for it-she just wants to be “normal” and be able to live a productive life and perhaps have a successful career in the arts. The Good Daughter would like very much to feel more connected with her environment, with her mother, with her husband. She’s in favor of integrating all the different aspects of K into one being, assuming that being would be a positive addition to the world around her. Some of the K’s (like The Little Girl) are dead-set against integration, for this state of feeling split apart, of feeling shattered, this is all we’ve ever known and while it may not always be pleasant or convenient or logical, we‘re used to it-it is who and what we are. (I think…)
The best part of the therapy session was when Dr H told us that she’d like to use the old diaries that we found, that she believed we could learn a lot about K and her different personalities from these books. (see post “The Discovered Diaries”, 1/9/12) K was elated that the doctor recognized the importance of the diaries. They could change my life as we know it. I just knew it, I knew when I found those diaries and read them, I KNEW they were important to K’s recovery. This could change everything. We’re all on the edge of our seats. What’s going to happen to us? What will become of the K’s? Who will come out to meet the doctor, and who will stay hidden? Who will we ultimately become?!? (panic attack coming on-I have to go take a pill now)