Perspective through the eyes of another.

At the end of April I wrote this post, Today I’m Not Pretty where I told you all that I was going to be seeing a new Psychotherapist to help me with my PTSD/emotional issues from the car accident .
I will refer to her as PT from now on because it’s too long to type her proper title and I openly admit to being lazy.
So while I was excited at the prospect of getting “help” from a new source I had a challenge to face, the PT’s office is 20 minutes drive from our house. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem for me, nowadays driving is a source of anxiety for me. Other cars on busy roads just seem to be inches from hitting me, I’m always white knuckling it and don’t drive anymore than necessary.
I made it there with 3 brief stops to get my wits together, do breathing exercises and remain calm.
I am sure that many people have met with PT’s in their lives, I personally have only had 2 other PT’s to draw experience from. The first lady (years ago) I met and didn’t return after a few sessions, she was intent on replaying my life from childhood as if that would help me cope with a new baby. The 2nd I saw from May – January of this year and he was good at teaching me calming techniques for PTSD related anxiety but I felt after that much time I should have improved at least somewhat.
So I was nervous, I was trying not to get my hopes up too high. In the past year and 3 months of this recovery I have had my hopes dashed repeatedly and each time it sent me on a spiral downward. I live each day now with lowered expectations of myself so I applied that to this experience.
Having low expectations I expected to have to go over the accident and all the testing/therapies I’ve had to date. What I was met with was a warm, inviting woman who did in fact ask some history related questions but she had different questions that I hadn’t been asked. Questions about my daily living, direct questions about things that I hadn’t realized. Such as the fact that I can’t compute a monthly calender, I use my iPhone calender instead because I get lost looking at the whole month.
Through talking with her I realized that before the accident I didn’t have the flair for writing, it was a task to be performed within my corporate job. I wrote policies and procedures but didn’t feel inclined to be creative or open.
At the end of the session the PT said something amazing, something which suddenly made me feel like I wasn’t crazy after all…OK I don’t mean that I’m not wicked-cool-crazy; I mean that I’m not certifiable crazy.
She feels that I have an undiagnosed brain injury and that it’s not all PTSD.
This was an amazing moment, I had thought for a long time this was the case but there hadn’t been one qualified individual who said it out loud. She feels that nobody has done enough secondary questioning to really get a feel for how my brain has changed.
She explained to me that part of my exhaustion was the simple fact that my brain cannot process the information.
Knowing this I can now see how I’ve beaten myself up for my inabilities…thinking that I was failing and now there’s a chance that it’s not my efforts, it’s an actual injury. I’m humbled by the fact that I immediately blamed myself, that I didn’t advocate for my belief that I have an inability.
It sounds strange but it’s a relief that I might have a brain injury….I am praying that I can get an answer on this soon so I can get into the appropriate therapy for it.
I have set up quite a few appointments with the PT over the next few months and I look forward to seeing her more to see what else there is to learn about myself.
Growth people….growth which I hope to happen will come through someone else’s perspective.

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17 Responses

  1. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to finally find out that you are not a hypochondriac or just absolutely crazy?? I have been suffering immeasurably with neck and back pain. I started to think I was just crazy and had a low pain tolerance…blah blah blah. FINALLY, I went to my doctor and they took xrays and like you said…WHOA!! My spine is pretty messed up. A relief to know yes, but now what?? All the best to ya!

  2. Hmmm…so I am thinking this PT is a God send. So thankful for you. If that accident is what has you writing so incredibly, then that is one way God took something bad, and is making it into something powerful.

  3. I'll be honest, Julie. I thought that you did have a brain injury as a result of the accident. I have read your descriptions of your symptoms/conditions post accident and they all rang a bell. I worked in brain injury rehabilitation for four years while in college. It was the first think I thought of when I read some of your posts. But, I thought that you had already been diagnosed with it. Your PT is spot on. I'm curious as to how this plays out from here on. Please keep us posted.

  4. Oh my goodness, this is such good news! I am so glad she was warm and welcoming, and had some scientific knowledge to go along with it. I can't wait to see what doors this opens up for you.

  5. Wow. Yeah, I can soooo see how that would feel like a relief! It is so much easier to deal with shit when you know the true cause. Any other way is a waste of your time, not to mention your energy.And thank you for today's comment. It was kind, thoughtful, and helpful.

  6. @Kristin H. Thank you for saying this, I have been told I'm post-concussive but up until now everyone has said it will improve. It's not. The focus has been on the PTSD which PT thinks I have but it didn't explain everything.

  7. I can understand why hearing that there possibly is a pinpointed reason for your feelings makes you feel relieved. I'm glad that you were able to find someone who has opened up a whole new way of thinking about and dealing with your exhaustion, etc..

  8. I am so glad you found someone who listened to you and you are feeling validated, you knew there was something else. Lots of luck, you must feel so much relief!!!

  9. Wow, Julie…amazing. And how wonderful to feel that someone is understanding you and listening to you, not just going through the motions in your sessions.Fingers crossed for you that this helps!

  10. Julie, I have no idea about your skill at writing before ..Oh I knew you could write I don't mean it that way – but every time I read this blog I'm totally blown away at how well you express yourself. Your writing kiss ass (oops can i say that here?).Perhaps what happened, while closing some doors has opened up abilities in other things. I have read professional writers who don't write half as well as you do. This is true in both your reflective entries as well as your creative writing entries.

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