God’s house is closed for business

Restaurant's "Sorry we're Closed" sign

Today I became angry at my psychiatrist. This is a new experience for me. I am angry at Doc, and can hardly see straight.  It all began when Doc asked me how I was doing today. I had a hard time articulating that I was having a hard time because it was *that* day, the day the unthinkable happened 4 years ago. When I finally told him what day it was he started using the R word over and over again. I finally just became angry at him, and asked him to stop. Doc then started talking about that’s what happened to me (the R word), and I cut him off because I did not want to hear it. Then he pointed out that it still upsets me. We have a genius on our hands peeps!

Then, somehow, we started talking about my dissociation. I don’t recall how we got on that topic.

Based on what I shared about my dissociation Doc then announced to me that he was changing my diagnosis to “dissociative disorder not otherwise specified.” Then he started asking me questions where he was addressing “all the parts of me!” That just scared me, and threw me. I didn’t understand why he was doing that. To me, it sounded like he thought I might have DID, and I asked him if he thought I had that. He said he didn’t know yet, but that it didn’t matter. Whatever I had I had, it was just a label. Easy for him to say. I kept asking what all this meant-the diagnosis change, asking questions of all the parts of me. Finally he just got exasperated with my questions, and said that it doesn’t matter because the diagnosis does not change the core of me. Still, though, it mattered to me.

Just like that, with a flick of the pen, I went from being diagnosed with PTSD to having that revised to a diagnosis of dissociative disorder not otherwise specified, with a possible revision later.

The session ended, and I was mad and upset. I’m sure it was obvious, but he just said, “I’ll see you on Thursday.” Okay. Glad to not make you late for lunch. (Our session ended at noon.)

I left his office in tears, and noticed the cute little Lutheran church right across the street from his office. I wanted, more than anything, to sit in a quiet church. I pulled open the door, or rather, I tried to pull open the door. But, it was locked. The church was closed in the middle of the day. Perhaps I’m naive, but I thought churches were at least open during the day for people to go in and pray, if they so choose. Maybe not? I don’t know where I got this idea, but I was incorrect in this presumption.

It also felt incredibly lonely in the world at that moment. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day, but there I was trying to pry open the door to a closed church with snot all over my face from crying, a very fine moment for me, indeed.

So, I made myself go to this art sculpture park that was nearby. It was weird. I tried to like it, but I couldn’t conjure a like for it.

Then I called a work friend to ask her about an assignment she was covering for me since I was off today. She told me it was taken care of, and there was nothing to worry about. I then thanked her for being nice to me, and started to cry. Poor thing, that really threw her.

Right now, I just can’t think of what I talked about with Doc. It scares me, and I am so mad at him for just side-swiping me with this information.

Oh, yeah, and God, I’d like to address you as well while I’m at it … how do you feel about the closed churches during the day? Surely that does not please you. I don’t get it. Your house should be open for business, at least at noon on a Tuesday.

(Photo credit: Nick Papakyriazis)

11 thoughts on “God’s house is closed for business

  1. My mom’s church has to remain locked because there is such a high crime rate in our area. It’s sad when God’s House has to protect itself from criminals.
    Your doc sounds like an jerk. It sounds like he was deliberately trying to push your buttons. I had a ‘friend’ do that awhile back..kept repeating something as if to try to engage my anger. It worked. I hung up…we’re not friends anymore. Glad that your friend has your back at work.

  2. Dissociation is a symptom of PTSD. When I had DID, it was because I didn’t have any other skills to cope with being overwhelmed. It was a learned way to cope with my being molested as a little girl. When I was diagnosed with DID as an adult, I was taught healthier ways to cope, and became stronger by using them. Over time the DID went away. From my experience everyone who has DID has PTSD. But not eveyone with PTSD has DID. There is hope. I promise. (Hug)

  3. I find his actions really irresponsible. it’s like you are a piece of paper to be filed in the right slot, a case study not a person. I would consider changing or even treating yourself.

  4. I know how daunting this all is. But the diagnosis doesn’t change who you are and what you are struggling with: you are still you, the one who picks herself up every day and does what she can to help herself. But I also know how much of a difference a diagnosis makes. To how we feel, what we think of ourselves and so on. He was insensitive, I think, to spring something like this on you, on a day where you were already very vulnerable. If you ever need someone to go through some of this with you know how to reach me. Here for you xx

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  6. I have DDNOS, and can’t find anyone else who has it, so if you think you do, welcome. I know that’s a little selfish. No one has diagnosed me with it though as my T doesn’t believe in labels. I have parts, but they’re not as separate as for DID. I also struggle with other types of dissociation, and a lot of what you describe is similar for me.

    DID actually develops following abuse to very young children, before the personality is set. If you’re not recovering from child abuse, then you’re pretty safe assuming you don’t have that. Though I don’t know your story that well of course.

    I think your doc was insensitive. Personally I hate labels, diagnoses and the medical approach, so I’m biased for sure. However I also know you’ve generally had a good relationship with this guy so hope you can raise your issue next time you see him and work it out with him.

  7. I’m sorry you had such a hard time at the Doc’s. They say the same to me about my diagnosis, so I’m unsure as to my full diagnosis at present, if it changes and when it changes etc etc .. I just leave them to it and try to get through each day as it comes. Hope you’re feeling better! xx

  8. In my opinion there is not much difference between DD-NOS and DID. I agree with your Doc that the label doesn’t matter, although I wish he would have elaborated on that more so you weren’t so frustrated! In my opinion, this is why the label doesn’t matter:

    The DID diagnosis in itself is a barely functional skeleton of DID. It only touches the tip of the iceberg. So even the criteria in the DSM-IV-TR doesn’t really give you a clear picture of what DID is. As a result, many psychology and psychiatry professionals don’t even understand the diagnosis.

    DD-NOS is thrown in there for professionals who aren’t sure where in the continuum of dissociative disorders you land. But with such poorly constructed definitions, it’s no wonder there is so much uncertainty among professionals!

    In my opinion the labels really are a waste of time. I know you are looking for some validation to your dissociative experiences, but I’m afraid the way that DD-NOS and DID criteria are currently written, won’t provide what you are looking for.

    One thing the DSM-IV-TR won’t tell you, is that every DID System is different. None of us are exactly the same! For example, I recently read an article about different types of parts in a system that were “common” and I couldn’t relate to a few of these “common” parts (twins who are opposites of each other, parts with disabilities, inanimate objects, animals, etc. — I don’t have any parts like these yet they are labeled as “common”??). It doesn’t mean I’m not DID.

    You are doing some incredible work on your identity and trauma healing. It’s hard and it will bring up strong emotions. Keep writing, and thanks for this courageous post.

    -Nel

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