Medical History

My stepmother has been finding things to get rid of since my father passed. Last weekend she led me to a filing cabinet in her garage, and inside was a file with my name on it. Not one for my brother, just me.

Inside were notes I had written for friends, lists of my friends and their phone numbers, and medical evaluations written about me. I have read through three of them so far- evals written just after I turned fourteen. I am going backwards, and I hope to find some good stuff from when I was twelve and committed to a hospital.

I had called that hospital upon reaching adulthood and requested the file but it was no longer in existence. A legal rep for the entity informed me that all patient files had been destroyed.

So far I have found some interesting things. I was recommended to be placed in foster care and given intense therapy instead of going back home after I completed my survival course for troubled kids. My father’s parenting style was not working for me and was affecting my health, and I was considered to be isolated- which again is about my father’s parenting style.

I am hoping my proof of virginity is in here. Not because I need it, but because it is so fucked up that I had such a test done at age twelve that it seems unreal and I want to see it, even if in billing format.

Maybe I was predisposed to PTSD.

4 thoughts on “Medical History

  1. It must have been strange to find that file that your Dad was keeping. It is too bad that your records have been destroyed, but that is standard for such a facility. I used to work at a residential treatment center and we were required only required to keep the records on site for three years and then in storage for a few more and then we had to destroy them. I think part of the rationale is simply the burden of keeping so many records, but also that any delinquencies as a minor are supposed to be erased after a certain amount of time has passed.

    It is unfortunate that they failed to diagnose you back then. It probably would have changed a lot of outcomes for you if you had this information back then. How do you think things would have been different?

    It is not uncommon to misdiagnose adolescents. There is so much going on with them emotionally and physically. Going back, you can identify that this was autism because you now know to look for it, but it is not so easy for them to determine from multiple possibilities. It is possible that your high functioning led them away from autism as a diagnosis, or that they attributed some of your symptoms and behaviors to other things.

    What happened after you finished your treatment? Did you go into foster care, or back with one of your parents? If it was clear that home environment with Dad was damaging to you, was there any attempt at family therapy with Dad?

    Most importantly, I am curious to know who asked for the virginity test and why? It sounds like they didn’t believe you and then “tested” you against your will. So messed up, for so many reasons. I have read about these tests in a couple of other blogs, but those were in other parts of the world. It shouldn’t happen anywhere. I feel angry and sad that someone put you through that.

    • In all fairness they felt the virginity test was warranted because they were concerned I was being abused. I don’t think I would have chosen to put my child through the test, but that was how they figured out if I was experiencing reality or not (Lying, as my father’s notes put it). I was not. I found a doctor’s note that said something to the effect that I was deep in fantasy because of the isolation I was experiencing. I had sort of broken with reality and was not sure what was real anymore, perhaps something to do with the dissociation. My father demanded the test. I was removed from the hospital and driven to the test by my stepmother and then returned. I do not know if my mother was aware that I had this test at all, there was no paperwork on it in the file. There were notes that my mother had not forced the test with my doctor and that my father was angry about that, as I had refused it. I have no recollection of that doctor visit, even. I do not recall maybe a fifth of what was stated in these evaluations. There was an example given of the interviewing doctor asking me if I did heroin and me carefully examining my arms before replying in the negative. When the doctor asked me why I did that I had no explanation. Obviously mainveining is not the only method of use, but as a child I would not have known that.

      I did not finish treatment. They pulled me out after 30 days evaluation and refused to pay for more. It is pretty spendy, I know. But I also know the money was there, too. It was my father’s decision to stop treatment and not place me into residential as was recommended. So I went home with him for a hellish nine months of mental illness while in his house and under his authority. I ran away I think three times, two I remember. After an awful lot of drama and anguish on all sides I was sent to my mother’s house. This coincided with my father and stepmother finding my cigarettes, which I believed for years to be the cause of my banishment- because they did not speak to me. I received a photo copied letter each year from my father. The same letter, explaining (I have not re-read it yet, so this is from memory) that I needed to do xyz to be part of the family. That move back to my mother’s was in the month where the county and the professionals were recommending and assuming I would be able to get into foster care for the intensive out patient treatment I needed.

      I was kidnapped five months later. I don’t remember how long I knew him before. I don’t remember how I met him. I must have run away again and known him before the drive to Canada.

      Basically what the notes in the file say overall is that I did well in a professional environment and was worsened out of it. The medical personnel blame my parents. I don’t know if my parents would be blamed in today’s climate. Probably not.

      Asperger’s and HF autism was not diagnosed when I was a child, at all. It simply did not exist. Had I been diagnosed I think my life would have been different. I would have been able to identify quicker who I was and what I needed, and I would perhaps have been given tools with which to navigate the neurotypical world instead of flailing around trying to avoid being bullied.

      I do remember my father being in session with me, but it was perhaps more of a mediation attempt than a therapy. His notes in the file state that the fault lies with me (can’t blame him there) and that I need to change (would have if I could have!) rather than be coddled by professionals.

      I think what disturbs me most is that I was denied care. I have never denied care for my children and I do not plan to. I am not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be. I generally take the doctor’s advice and sometimes I seek a second opinion if the first seems drastic. Any sacrifice seems worth a child, in my opinion.

      • I am glad you are in therapy now and seem to be making progress. I understand your anger at being denied care. I wonder if your father felt he was being blamed by the professionals there and felt resentful enough to not want to pay for further treatment? It sounds like he was trying to take a tough love approach with you. The same letter every year! I do believe that children should feel loved and part of a family unconditionally regardless of their issues or behavior.

      • My mother actually used that program, Tough Love. My father utilized it naturally but my mother bought the book… My progress lately is insane. I feel like I did as a kid without the sadness. I feel put back together, for the first time maybe ever.

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