I recently have had two situations where I started thinking that in some freaky sick way it is fortunate that I was abused and have endured mental issues as it has made me more understanding when it comes to these issues.
Firstly, I received a facebook message from my friend who is a doctor; she’d had a married male patient come come to the clinic crying as his wife was divorcing him, and during the same appointment he disclosed to her that he’d been sexually abused as a child. He’d been distraught, and my friend who’d had very little experience in these situations turned to me asking me whether what she’d done would be something I’d find helpful, and also, what I think helped me so she could better help her patient.
I felt honored to have become an someone whose opinion she could seek – no amount of medical school or training can give you the sympathy and the tools for dealing with a survivor of sexual abuse, and as I was the only one with similar experiences she knew, she decided to contact me.
I don’t know how helpful my comments were to her, but I am honored she’d even ask.
Secondly, I encountered an event where my very close friend suddenly got very distraught and after days of taking care of her and all sorts of stuff, she was admitted to hospital with acute psychosis. Again, had I been a “normal” person with little or no experience of mental health issues, I might have been quite shocked, but in that situation my number one priority was to make sure she was okay.
She is now getting better with a lot of professional help, and some things I blame myself for, such as not realizing how serious the situation was and for not taking her straight to the hospital, but I guess no one can be ready for these kinds of issues…
I now think that I guess I could one day be of help to others due to my own survival, my own experiences and battles, and the fact that I’m not shocked by much at all. I see people as people, and I don’t change the way I see someone just because of a mental health problem. I already have encountered too much prejudice, people pulling away or getting shocked and not wanting to be near me, to last a lifetime, so I am not about to do that to someone I care about!
Maybe one day this blog can also serve as a reference point to supporters of survivors, professionals seeking answers, and people wanting to know how survivors really feel inside.