The Sharp Edge of Rage

Today was fairly decent, until I left for my therapy session.  I spent a good portion of the day doing measurements and using calculators on the Internet to work on actually bringing 2 of my clothing designs closer to actually being made into a real outfit.

See, I’ve always been able to envision the clothing I want to wear.  I spent decades dreaming about designing my own wardrobe.  But, I hadn’t actually spent the time and energy to listen to my mother and grandmother when they first tried to teach me how to sew.  I can sew a seam (but not always “straight”), but that’s pretty much about it.  Basically, it’s just another outlet for my art, and while I still have Mom around perhaps I can actually learn what she’s trying to teach this time around.

But, that’s a subplot.  The main portion of the day was lost to resentment and rage.

No, this time I wasn’t anything to do with my ex.  I have far more issues than just with him.  One of those issues is that I have had to spend a good portion of my life fighting with a number of different professionals.  I’ve had to fight with individuals in the health industry (doctors, nurses, therapists, dieticians, physical therapists, the list goes on), business “customer service” and with individuals in the IT industry.

My initial response, if the person I’m speaking to is being useless (claiming they can do nothing for me, while not giving me any other possible options to solve the issue), lying to me straight out (yes, I have been directly and with intent lied to by individuals in technical support, because they think they can get away with it because I’m female….I can’t possibly have any technical knowledge), or worse being obstructive, is to attempt to deal with the person in a polite yet firm fashion.  More often than not, the average customer service person has no control, and rarely has options.  So, when you have to be your own advocate you need to know what is reasonable to request, and what is not.  And dealing with these people in a polite and courteous way gets you far more likely to eventually get to a solution.

But, like a child, there are only so many times I’m willing to give someone a chance to do what they are supposed to do.  My patience is limited.

This is still the situation with the neuropsychologist.  The medical insurance I have required me to go through an initial assessment with this other company before I can have the more in-depth testing by the doctor to whom I was originally referred.  Because I research my own health – physical and mental – I sometimes have to deal with people who become defensive because I have more information from peer-reviewed journals than they have (because they don’t have the time to keep up, or because they aren’t a specialist in dealing with my specific issues).  The issue is this other company is primarily serves the poor.  And the specialties at this company are more likely to be addiction issues, traumatic brain injury from physical abuse or other issues that the “powers that be” consider to be the stereotypical issues of this financial class.

As long as I specifically focused on the mental and emotional abuse as the cause for my cognitive difficulties, this other company was supportive.  However, as I’ve stated before on this blog, there is an additional dimension to my issue – the chronic pain.  This company only does limited testing, not in-depth testing.  For the more in-depth, I have to go to the specialist.

There is a particular reason I feel the in-depth testing is necessary. The testing this company did connected the cognitive difficulties I am experiencing with my depression and anxiety, and claimed that any other cognitive issue not related to those issues were simply a factor of getting older.  If that hypothesis was correct, as the depression and anxiety issues start to progress to a more healthy balance, the cognitive difficulties should similarly progress towards regaining at least a part of my cognitive abilities.

Sadly, since the testing, while I have been making progress on my depression and anxiety, the cognitive issues are actually getting worse.  I’m losing large chunks of my vocabulary (trust me, I spend far more time Googling the word I can’t think of for this blog than I actually spend writing the blog).  And as I have said before, I actually have to use child-focused websites to even work through simple geometric computations (things I learned in 7th and 8th grade).  Hell, I have to use a calculator to do simple addition and subtraction.

Well, on April 21st, I gave this other company the information they needed (and the permission to share information with the neuropsychologist specialist).  I was told that  it would be faxed to the specialist no later than the next morning. I waited a week and a half to check in on whether the specialist’s office received the referral.  They hadn’t, so I called the other company and spoke to the person who was supposed to fax the referral and the report.  She claimed it had been completed on the 21st, and she would do it again.  This time I gave her the phone number for the specialist’s office, so she could check if she had the right fax number.  I called the specialist’s office, while I was driving to my therapy appointment.  Sadly, I found that yet again, the specialist’s office had not received my referral.

This time they offered to contact this other company directly to find out what the problem was with getting the information over to the specialist.  I should, hopefully, receive a call tomorrow scheduling me with the specialist.

Once I got off the phone, I still had half of the drive yet to complete.  So, i got to sit and stew about the situation.  This experience is not new to me.  I’ve had a number of different medical offices conveniently “lose” my information, my permission paperwork, or claim they’ve done something that they clearly have not.

Sadly, that rage was near explosive level when I sat down with my therapist.  So, unfortunately, this therapy session was basically ONLY about this issue and my rage.  Since we have discussed the failure of the health industry when dealing with me (or, really, any OTHER fat person), she understood that while I was trying to attribute the issue to ignorance, what it FELT like was retribution and malice.

Retribution because I’m not satisfied with the limited level of testing they have access to.  When I started asking for the referral to the specialist, the postdoc I was dealing with became very defensive.  I can understand it.  He’s human, and I was challenging his level of experience.  But even he admitted that dealing with someone with abuse issues AND chronic pain is outside of his normal practice. If anything, I am challenging the validity of the limited tests for someone like myself – not his assessment.

It has taken me over 6 hours to come down from that rage, and deal with the other side of it (i.e. once the adrenaline surge for the rage is complete, there is also an adrenaline crash which often presents as depression).

This is exactly the kind of chaotic emotional experience I locked away when I was younger.  Spending that kind of time dealing with a “simple emotion” always seemed useless.  So, if I didn’t allow myself the surge, I wouldn’t have the crash.

That kind of suppression has it’s own consequences. So, here I am at 47, learning how to deal with it without repressing or suppressing it.

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