I am an admin for a FB group called Adult Children of Hoarders. I posted this today and thought it might be good to write into my blog as well. I have not posted much here in a very long time. This is rather important to me because I want to avoid becoming my hoarder mother and want to enjoy my life which is a good one. Odd that I just typed that phrase. The first thing I said to my mother upon discovering she had died was "You could have had a good life." Mental illness prevents us from having a good life.
You may know enough about me to understand that I'm all about describing that pink elephant and tossing the closet bones on the floor next to that elephant. Keeping secrets, pretending something isn't happening, all those silly games have never worked for me. Putting cards on the table, showing your hand and playing the full deck is the only way to win the game. That is why some may chastise me for being harsh. To that I say, not gonna pretend what is is not.
Now healthcare, especially mental healthcare in the USA fully sucks. I can't even begin to go into the frustration I have with my beloved stupid country, but needless to say there are millions of Americans walking around needing a little help with their mental health. Just a segue, there are very few in network psychiatrists / psychologists in my area (capital city of my state) and even those are not accepting new patients. My healthcare doesn't pay very much anyway. So because I NEED to break this cycle, I paid out of pocket; $420 for the initial consultation; all so that I can get some meds. Then when I went to the pharmacy, my insurance would only cover the name brand medication to which my share is $150 for 30 pills. I got the generic and paid $46 out of pocket. All I have to say about this is I'm so damned lucky that my husband has an excellent job and "good" healthcare with that job.
I've been on the meds for four days now. The biggest thing I notice? I am not perpetually exhausted. I am not needing to crash at 3 or 4 pm. I'm not brain foggy. My distractions are not controlling or overwhelming. I am able to pull myself back onto task. I put all the things I need to do on a sheet of paper. It is a full piece of paper. I wanted to get those tasks out of my brain. I am so tired of my brain spinning all the things I should easily be accomplishing but am not doing. Getting each item out of my brain and on paper seems to be allowing me to not spin those things and ramping up the anxiety. Seeing the "to do" list is not anxiety inducing for me; having them churn in my brain is because I worry that I will forget them.
When talking to the doc about my family. The relationship between my two dysfunctional parents and how it has affected my full sisters and our relationships: well that is a sentence fragment that I don't know how to finish. My siblings and I were definitely traumatized by the actions of our mentally ill mother and abused dysfunctional father. My mother was not mentally well as a child and young woman; revelations that have come closer to the surface since her death. People won't talk about this stuff when it could matter and only speak up when it is too late. I was luckier than my sisters because my mom managed to appear to hold it together for the first five years of my life when I was an only child. She then had postpartum depression with my middle sister and full on inability to function with my two toddler siblings. She slept her life away and her behavior went off the rails. The doctor even said well your mom was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, right? I laughed and told him he was the expert, but IMHO oh YES she was BPD.
At the end of our session, I asked him how effed up crazy am I? He said, while your sisters experienced the worst of your mother's mental illness, you were still significantly traumatized. He said, unlike most people with this background, I came away strong, independent, assertive and advocate for myself. He said many people in my situation become perpetual victims. He did say that therapy to work on my negative hardness on myself may be beneficial.
So there is me. This is one of your admins. I'm not looking for sympathy at all because I do not need it. I share this with you because we ALL need to see our situation in other people so we can have a place to begin healing. Finding the original Children of Hoarder's yahoo forum over a decade ago, working on the COH, Inc board and with the NOLA summits has only made this shitty situation better for me. I still get 'aha' moments and insight from this group. You all help me and we all help each other.