Last year, when I was relocated to this town, I was still terrified. I had been free for five months. I could barely speak to strangers, but being silent much of the time did not stop me from accessing resources for myself and the children immediately.
After I set up the children with everything, I got myself a regular doctor and began therapy outside of victim’s support groups. This involved psychological testing, and I took two long tests that were supposed to assess my mental health, or the absence of it.
The therapist and the interning psychologist tested me, gathered my background information, and then went over the results with me. I was crazy. I was, since birth, mentally ill. I needed intensive dialectic therapy to gain normalcy.
I asked them why all the facts of my background were wrong. Why the diagnosis was worded in such a way, that my life was a “claim” and not a verifiable and documented history with a legal trail? No problem, they said. It does not change anything, you need help.
I asked how I was able to hold a job, and excel at each position, since the age of eleven, if I were so mentally ill? Many people maintain well, your manifestation is mild, they told me. You still need therapy, you are fragile. Your life history shows how mentally ill you are.
I cried. I went home and I wrote a rebuttal to this diagnosis that got my personal history twisted beyond recognition, and made me out a liar. It took me three months to stop feeling depressed by it, and another three to shake it off and stop worrying about it at all.
Yesterday my new therapist went over those test results, and that false history with her supervisor. They threw out the history, it was so mangled, and the test results actually do not show mental illness at all. Just PTSD. Of course. They want the rebuttal I wrote initially, to correct the file with.
I am lucky. It took a year to get the correct diagnosis, and less than six months for my son to be diagnosed with the same. Some people are misdiagnosed for years and years, and not treated for what ails them.