Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The other shoe

Yesterday I was sitting in a staff meeting, excruciatingly anxious. Knot in my stomach, just waiting for someone to tell me what I had done wrong.

And it hit me: I haven't done anything wrong, and they're not going to tell me I've done anything wrong. But I'm so used to hearing that I've done everything wrong -- from the evil psychologists at The Bad Place, Dean Evillene, Miss Thing, Ms. Fascist at The Other Bad Place -- that I've got mild PTSD. Even though my professors and my fellow students adore me, I'm still convinced that all I can do is screw up and alienate people. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop -- and there is no other shoe.

Or as Dr. R put it this morning, "You are sensitized." He's seen real PTSD, of course, and doesn't think I quite qualify for the diagnosis. I told him that after I sat in on one of the therapy groups and the program director, who runs the group, thanked me for my contributions, I said to Melanie, "You should find out if she meant I really made a good contribution or if she was just being polite." She looked at me strangely and said, gently, "I think she meant it."

Dr. R said, "You have to be careful. Because this could seem paranoid." I hate it when he's that right and says it so concisely.

But: I woke up this morning feeling great. Showered, got dressed, no problem. Went to see Dr. R, had a good session. Because I'm finally in a place where they're not going to arbitrarily tell me how horrible I am.

I had an interesting conversation with two fellow students in a class we find boring, redundant, and pointless. (I won't go into why, but everyone I've talked to about this class finds it boring, redundant, and pointless.) We've been working closely together on the boring, redundant, pointless assignment, and she's found me very helpful. She's not Jewish, is seriously dating a Jewish guy, and is thinking about converting -- with my rabbi. The best part is, she independently rejected the Christian doctrine of damnation for all who do not accept JC as their personal savior before she thought about becoming Jewish.

Is it weird to think, "So that's why I had to take this boring, redundant, and pointless class -- because maybe she'll need just a tiny bit of support and kiruv, and I can supply that?" I'm already planning to take her to Ruchama's for Shabbos lunch and playing with the kids. And we discussed Hebrew names -- she's leaning toward Ruth and/or Rachel.

The afternoon was busy; I tried to do some homework, then had to run to the university medical center to get a referral so I can continue seeing Dr. R. They weighed me -- yikes! -- and took my blood pressure, which was higher than usual, although not high. (I walked seven blocks very quickly to get there, and my pulse was pretty normal, and my temperature low, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.)

But then I had to sit through another Health Care Policy class. And that class makes me very anxious. Because I've been struggling with health insurance for about 15 years. Paying COBRA fees. Paying too much out of pocket. Being denied coverage I was promised when I signed up. I think about my health insurance at least 10 times a month, and sitting through two hours of class on the same topic was very stressful.

I survived, somehow. I always do.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to end your post! You should be proud of how you've come through the last year. Glad you are feeling better and hope it's smooth sailing from here. Chag Sameach!