March 9, 2016: Second session with Haley. Photo by Kat

Eighteen years ago, when I had my first “nervous breakdown”—the words I use to describe my falling apart over recovered memories of sexual abuse—I knew that I needed to find help and I needed to find help fast.

I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t perform simple tasks like cook dinner or take care of three small babies in our 850-square-foot house, and I couldn’t spell words. While I realized that the first two were pretty common problems when dealing with depression, I also realized that the third made me certifiable.

There was only one panic attack that I remember and all I can recall about that panic attack was the following order of events:

  1. Mr. Rogers came on whatever television show Ken and I were watching.
  2. I wigged out, for lack of better wording.
  3. Orange juice for diabetic shock (even though I didn’t have diabetes) was mentioned.
  4. The ambulance came and carted me away.

Once I arrived somehow to the emergency room, the only thing I remember is that the doctor asked me and Ken (without any sort of blood test) if I had a thyroid problem. Boy, could I tell him some stories. Except, because I wasn’t speaking, all I managed to reply was, “Y-E-S. Y-E-S.”

I was given a prescription for Zoloft or some other anxiety medicine, which I did not fulfill. As I’ve mentioned before, I also sought help from the church. That was a dismal failure. I finally sought counseling from a woman I did not know.

I do not remember much from those few sessions. All I know is that I did not jump off the nearest bridge, I began speaking again, and I decided to bury my memories once again.

Fast forward eighteen years to my second “nervous breakdown” which began a month before Thanksgiving. I sought help from another member of the clergy, but the poor man did not feel qualified to help me (which I understood). Therefore, I went to a woman in Anacortes for a one-hour counseling session; called another woman from Mount Vernon and set up an appointment, which I ended up cancelling because it just didn’t feel right; and had two separate sessions with another woman in Bellingham who specializes in childhood sexual abuse. To say the least, it was a very exhausting (and expensive) holiday season.

Finally, I made the decision to go to Haley. I’ve talked about her countless times throughout this blog already. My biggest reason for going to see her is, I have blubbered in that woman’s office more times than I can count, especially when I tried to stop all chemotherapy treatment. She pretty much knows me inside and out.

I don’t know how long it will take for me to get over all of this crap or if a person ever really fully recovers from such a traumatic thing as sexual abuse. All I know is, I’m sure going to give it a valiant try. And keep waiting for God to show me what He’s got in store for me next.