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September 02, 2014 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Why won't anyone take me seriously?

Question:

My name is AJ and I am a 25 year-old woman. I have been in therapy for over 7 years. I have had an abusive past - both sexually and physically. Both of my brothers abused me, and partly because of my parents being divorced, nobody did anything about it. It started when I was 4 and ended when I was 13. Anyways, nobody will believe me (at least they don't act like it). I have tried to kill myself numerous times and have an active plan at the moment. The problem is my therapist doesn't take my suicidal thoughts seriously. I have gotten to the point of not telling her how badly I am feeling, because when she doesn't take me seriously, I feel even worse. And to complicate things even more, I met another woman and had my first lesbian experience. I fell in love with her. We were together for 5 years, but I have only spoken to her twice in the past 14 months. I still want to be with her, but I know because of her circumstances (with her children and ex), it isn't possible right now. I think my confusion about my sexual orientation only adds to my suicide plans.

I don't know what to do. Every time I mention going into the hospital, my parents get upset. My mental problems have gotten so severe, that I'm on disability for depression.

Is it me or should I search out someone who can help me want to live? Right now I have nothing to live for. Or should I stick with her (I trust her more than anyone else right now and I'm afraid of starting with someone new) or do I just quit therapy and see what happens?

Any response would be greatly appreciated!

AJ, 25-year-old woman

Answer:

Hi A.J.,

I will be answering your letter line-by-line... It's more like a conversation that way.

A.J.

My name is AJ and I am a 25 year-old woman. I have been in therapy for over 7 years. I have had an abusive past - both sexually and physically. Both of my brothers abused me, and partly because of my parents being divorced, nobody did anything about it.

Tony

What does your parent's divorce have to do with them doing nothing about it!? They are both still equally responsible parents of all three children involved!

A.J.

It started when I was 4 and ended when I was 13. Anyways, nobody will believe me (at least they don't act like it).

Tony

Whether people believe you and whether they "act like it" are two completely different things. If people say that they believe you and you believe these words as they say them, then they do. If they then treat you inappropriately that's another problem, but it' doesn't "mean" that they didn't believe you in the first place...

A.J.

I have tried to kill myself numerous times and have an active plan at the moment.

Tony

Then you MUST call your therapist NOW! (... And I wonder why, when you have such a serious problem, you are writing to someone who might not respond at all or who might take weeks to respond!... It seems to me that doing this isn't taking YOURSELF seriously enough...!)

A.J.

The problem is my therapist doesn't take my suicidal thoughts seriously.

Tony

If the therapist really doesn't doesn't take your suicidal thoughts seriously and you do, then get another therapist! (But be SURE that you know she doesn't believe you... and talk it over with her first too.)

A.J.

I have gotten to the point of not telling her how badly I am feeling, because when she doesn't take me seriously, I feel even worse.

Tony

Tell your therapist all of this. Show her this letter, with my response too.....

A.J.

And to complicate things even more, I met another woman and had my first lesbian experience.

Tony

I can see that this would add some "complication" to your life, but wouldn't it also add a lot of good things as well.... love, affection, etc.?

A.J.

I fell in love with her. We were together for 5 years, but I have only spoken to her twice in the past 14 months. I still want to be with her, but I know because of her circumstances (with her children and ex), it isn't possible right now. I think my confusion about my sexual orientation only adds to my suicide plans.

Tony

You don't say why you are confused about your sexual orientation. If you've had heterosexual sex in the past and have wanted both women and men and enjoyed both sexually, then that would make you "bi-sexual," right?

A.J.

I don't know what to do. Every time I mention going into the hospital, my parents get upset.

Tony

So is "going into the hospital" what you want or think that you need? (And do you decide whether people believe you or take you seriously enough based on whether they support hospitalization?)

A.J.

My mental problems have gotten so severe, that I'm on disability for depression.

Tony

Considering this and everything you say in this letter, any professional would take you very seriously - but the question of whether you are sent to a hospital or not is often very complicated and many different professionals are often involved (your therapist, the staff at the hospital, insurance company representatives, etc...).

A.J.

Is it me or should I search out someone who can help me want to live?

Tony

You absolutely should search out various people who want you to live! And they don't all have to be family members or therapists either. Are you in a support group? I'd strongly suggest it, along with therapy.

A.J.

Right now I have nothing to live for. Or should I stick with her (I trust her more than anyone else right now and I'm afraid of starting with someone new) or do I just quit therapy and see what happens?

Tony

Since you trust her, there might be a lot for both you and her to learn from directly discussing what you've said in this letter with her. And if she's been good for you in the past she will probably continue to be good for you through this and into the future. But if you are seriously considering suicide that is an emergency - and YOU should handle it as such! Call the therapist and if you still fear for your life after you talk to her again, call a clinic or the mental health association or the therapist's supervisor or whoever you need to call! Just keep using your energy to protect yourself! (Obviously, you can only be wrong about this once...!)

Do whatever it takes to LIVE!!! -- Then think about all these other things such as who your therapist will be, how to deal with the past abuse, how to deal with your mother and your work, etc....

A.J.

Any response would be greatly appreciated!

Tony

And thank you for writing too, even though I'd think that a better idea in this situation would be to call someone local for much more immediate help!

Tony Schirtzinger, ACSW, Therapist

This question was answered by Tony Schirtzinger.

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