Instead of burning under the fires of negativity, I’ll mention one of the small positives of this week:
I managed to get down to the Accessibility Support Center at my college to ask how to register. My boyfriend had to come with me of course, but I made it. I asked the woman what I would need to do in order to register for services from the center. She seemed nice and very receptive. She said the first step would be to attend one of the orientations that gives us a small overview of the services and a tour of the HUB station (that’s where the support/tutor services are).
The second step, the one I dreaded the most, was to then bring in documentation. She said it could be an IEP, a 504, family doctor records, anything like that. I knew it was coming and the anxiety still took over.
She set me up for an orientation on the 31st at 9:30 in the morning. That day I also have to be at my psych appointment at 11 am. She said it would be finished before then certainly. Then I have to drive back to the school for class at 12:40. That’s a busy day.
I walked from the center rather disappointed. An IEP? A 504? Two things you usually get when you get diagnosed with something as a child? You know, like ADHD?
Unfortunately for me, when I wasn’t talking, when I refused to interact with children, they send me to a counselor who concluded I was “shy” and would “grow out of it”. I couldn’t even get an ADHD diagnosis for fucks sake.
If I would have known the system, I would have opened my mouth and expressed everything I felt. Instead I sat there, said not a word to the counselor woman, and still somehow got a certificate of completion for it. How does that even work?
At this point this blog has become one large contradiction. I speak so often about how diagnosis doesn’t matter, how it doesn’t define you, how I feel it’s much less damaging to consider “symptoms” as “experiences”, and yet I’m here kicking myself over the fact that I’ve never gotten a sincere diagnosis past “social anxiety”. If you ask me, it makes me look like one of those preachers who reiterate the Bible, then go out and murder people.
I still believe in experiences over symptoms. I still believe in “this is how I am” over “this is what I have”.
I also know the world is a business and a label maker. And I’m going to milk every last drop of it, because if there are ways to get help out there for school, for housing, for finances, for whatever the case may be at any point in my life, than I think I deserve that.
When she said “family doctor” I cringed. Because I have no doctor any longer. Because I have no health insurance. My doctors never had any part of my mental health record anyway. Fucks sake.
The anxiety part of all of this is that I will be walking into that orientation at 9:30 without a complete record confirming what I experience and be surrounded by people who do. People with perhaps more severe mental/physical struggles than my own. It’s like I’m sitting myself down in a wheel chair with full knowledge that both my legs work, and signing up for a wheel chair basketball team with people who actually have lost function of their legs.
It’s another way for my brain to invalidate my own experiences.
I think my main issue is that I’m very confused. Ever since I started this job it’s made me take a different look at behavior and experiences in different people and in myself. It’s made me realize I have so much more to work on than I thought. It makes doing janitor work ten times more appealing than it had before, and even then it had looked appealing.
Depending on what happens with full evaluations and a complete diagnosis, I may or may not continue working here. I love their concept, I love the “fight the system . . . but it’s really about the people” vibe that they give off. I want to always stay in contact with them and maybe even attend the groups. But working is something I’m not sure I’m ready for yet. I should have learned this lesson after my third job in four months.
Functioning and adulting isn’t easy for anyone, I’m aware of that as well.
Today I went into a hardware supply store and a Rite Aid, in the company of my mother. Both stores are pretty quiet and large and don’t have many crowds.
Three more days until the orientation.