What I learned in my very first therapy appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday:
1. I’m not *really* infertile, since I’m only 33 and could still change my mind/abandon my convictions on IVF. So I shouldn’t let the infertility get to me.
2. I have to stop blaming my hearing loss for making me feel isolated and socially invisible. It’s not my hearing loss; it’s me – I have an obviously hostile personality and so people understandably don’t want to have to deal with me. It’s my fault, it’s all my fault. Hearing loss can’t be blamed for anything.
To complicate matters, I have been having extremely bad pelvic pain/PMS cramps for two and a half weeks with no sign of my cycle in sight. Severe pain. Headaches. I can’t help the number of problems I have, and I don’t shove them in everyone’s faces (this blog is the only place I talk about them all!), but I thought doctors would understand and be sympathetic to my exhaustion from trying to treat so many untreatable problems.
I really thought the psychiatrist would help me work through my depression, teach me new coping skills to help prevent the major panic attacks I have in crowded social situations, and help me deal with grief from infertility. Instead, I felt blamed, diminished, and generally dismissed.
I know I can be intense, that my personality turns some people off – but – is this really a good way to start a first therapy session?
After the appointment, I had a huge, backsliding meltdown of depression. Am I really as horrible as I’d been thinking? If I’m really just angry and “hostile” (her words), what good am I doing by being around people at all? Do I deserve to be invisible and infertile because I’m not a womanly paragon of sweet meekness? Must I turn into someone else entirely to ever feel any kind of healing, any kind of visibility? She just told me that I shouldn’t feel invisible, because it’s my fault! That I shouldn’t be upset about infertility, because that’s basically my fault, too, for having religious convictions that prevent me from using IVF!
I don’t even know how to respond to this….no one reading this can answer the question, of course, but I wonder if she’s right and this is just the “hard work” of therapy, or if she’s been too brutal and I should find another therapist.