So here is the part of the discussion I had to edit out of the first post. I was not going to post this part of the session because I felt that it was too much to admit to and it is very private. Obviously, a lot of my sessions are private, and have been edited for my blog. This part of the session is the most honest I’ve been about my anxiety so here it goes…. But before I just into it….
“When I called you Wednesday night, you were crying.”
“I was scared.” I said blankly. “I was afraid.”
“Afraid of what?” He asked.
“I don’t know. I was alone. and I didn’t know what to do.” I explained the events of Wednesday to him. I relived the torture and pain all over again. I told him about the phone call to my mom and sister and how I kept apologizing to them over the phone.
“What were you ‘sorry’ for?” Dr. Gajera asked.
“Everything.” I replied. “I was sorry for calling them crying. I was sorry for not being able to hold my shit together. I was sorry for being weak and vulnerable.” I stopped for a moment. I was afraid of being judged by him. I was afraid that he’d lock me up in a hospital. But I had to let it out. “I’m afraid of being Robin Williams.” There it was.
My readers know that I started this blog as an outlet for myself and to document my experience with Zoloft. My readers also know that I started this after Robin Williams was found dead after battling Depression and substance abuse. When I heard the news, I was on the bus coming home and I had felt so much sadness. Depression was starting to kill everyone who was silently suffering. After starting my blog, my purpose seemed to become bigger. I wanted others who were suffering in silence to know that they weren’t alone. I wanted to start a discussion.
“i have read articles of people killing themselves after suffering for so long. And I have read articles of people dying from different causes, drug related, suicide, even homicide.’ I said. “Some people lived with family, and some lived alone and weren’t found for days or weeks. I live alone.” I explained. “If I die, how will my family find out and how long will it take for someone to find me and contact them?‘
“Are you afraid of hurting yourself?” Dr. Gajera asked.
“No. I would never hurt myself. Or, at least that’s my answer now.” I confessed. “I don’t have thoughts of hurting myself. I have thoughts that someone may kill me. There are times where I think that I may accidentally overdose on my meds. Or that my heart will just get tired.” I said. “But who will be there to find me? Who would contact my family? Who would take care of my cat?”
“You don’t think that your friend Christina would look for you?” Dr. Gajera asked.
“No. In my experience with Christina, if I don’t answer a text or a phone call for a couple of days she waits for me to reach out to her. But lately, she hasn’t been trying to jump at the chance to spend time with me. She has her own things to deal with.”
“So if you are afraid to die alone, why are you still in Jersey and not with your family?” I have sat for days, weeks, months and years trying to figure out the reason why I haven’t just packed my things to move to Florida.
“Besides from the fact that its Florida and I am black.” I quipped. “I can’t bring SugarPie with me. That seems like a small problem, but I am so in love with my kitten. I’ve had him since he was a baby. He really is all that I have. He is my child and my family everyday. I can’t just leave him.” I said. “Then I don’t know how it will be portrayed with me moving to Florida.”
“Portrayed?” He looked confused. “Portrayed, as in how?”
“When I moved in with my sister during her last pregnancy to help her out. Some family members told me that she complained that I wasn’t helping her and was just living off of her. So when she moved, the family members I have in Jersey was reluctant to help me out when I had nowhere to go.”
I often neglect mentioning this for the sake of peace with my sister. Regardless of anything that has happened between us, she is still my sister. She is still the one person who knows me better than anyone. Denisha is still the person who calls me every year on May 29th at 11:58 pm to make sure that she is the first to say Happy Birthday on May 30th. She is the one person who calls be before the ball drops on New Years Eve just to make sure we spend the New Year together. ‘
But to say that I wasn’t hurt, lies!!! The fact that my family didn’t bother to help me, hurt me more than being told that my sister said crap about me.
“The family that you have in New Jersey? Do you have family in Jersey?” Dr. Gajera asked.
“I do. but we aren’t close at all.” I replied.” I was only ever close to my sister, mom and my brother Leeman.” I said. “I was close to my cousin Jazzy and her kids, but they are in Texas now. Jazzy’s mom still lives in Jersey City, but I haven’t spoken to her since 2012. I miss her, but I will never admit to it.”
“Why don’t you two speak?”
“It’s a long story.” I said.
“All of your stories are long.” Dr. Gajera said. “Don’t worry, if we go over tonight I’m charging and extra $20.” We laughed. “That should add to some of your bills.”
“I’m so glad I don’t pay you and my insurance company does.” I smiled.
“So what happened between you and your aunt?’
“When I had nowhere to go, she said that I couldn’t stay with her. That was fine with me, because I really didn’t want to stay with her. I wanted to find my own place.. But her son, Kyle called me one night while I was staying at some shitty motel. He was mad about some drama that his wife had started on Facebook.”
“Kyle cheated on his wife with his ex-girlfriend. His ex-girlfriend and I are friends, I consider her to be like a big sister to me. But Kyle, fucked up and got her pregnant. Kyle’s wife was posting on Facebook that she wanted to take the girlfriend to court for custody to raise her child.” Thinking about the bullshit made me a little mad. Dr. Gajera looked a little shocked as well. “So when she posted that on Facebook, I responded to her and it wasn’t nice. Kyle called me to defend his wife, even though he said that he at first had no idea that his wife posted her intentions on Facebook.”
“He didn’t know?”
“It was bullshit. Kyle is full of shit. Nothing about him is real.” I snapped. “But he told me that his mother didn’t want me to stay with her because she was afraid of me. He told me that she was not comfortable with my lifestyle or choices.” I took a moment. “She helped raise me. I have had nothing but love, and admiration for that woman. So it did hurt me and so I stopped calling her.” I said. ‘The same with my father’s family. I stopped calling them.”
“Do they live in Jersey too?”
“My father lives 20 blocks away from me. His mother lives four blocks away from him.” I said. “They were offended by some truth that I had written on my blog.” I said. “One of my aunts threatened to kill me and my mother.” I laughed. “I never felt that the ‘love’ she had for me was genuine, so when she wrote a long ass letter to me on Facebook threatening to have her sons and my uncle, find me and kill me and kill my mother, I wasn’t shocked. But then a week later, she wrote a letter apologizing. I blocked her and I never spoke to any of them again.” His face was in absolute terror.
“Wow” He said.
“I just felt that I had to try too hard for them to accept me. I would go to the house and spend time with my grandmother and help her out. Then I would get a tongue-lashing for being gay and told stories about how my mother was a whore and a prostitute. That my mom broke up my fathers’ marriage. How my father was forced into drugs because my mother made him do drugs.”
I was told so many horrible things about my mom and how my sister and I were not supposed to be here. I had gotten tired of it. I stopped going to see them. I never had a real relationship with my dad. When people asks me about my dad, I tell them that he died from a drug overdose in Journal Square a couple of years ago. I’ve seen him in public from time to time. Last time I seen him, it was Saturday. I was outside of the bar with Khris and his friends during the LGBT festival. I have no idea why he was there. I really don’t care. He saw me, we said nothing to each other. When I see my dad in public, it is like seeing a ghost. I have persuaded myself into believing that he is dead, so when I see him i get spooked until I realize that I’ve been lying about his death.
“Why would you lie about your father being dead?”
“It is easier to deal with.” I confessed. “It is hard to believe that someone who helped give me life, and took most of my childhood away from me doesn’t love me. So I killed him off.” I smiled. “Now we are even!” I said. Dr. Gajera seemed puzzled by my logic. It isn’t the best logic and it isn’t nice. Different people cope differently.
“Okay. Let’s get back to your fear of dying alone in your apartment.” Dr. Gajera said shifting a little in his chair. “Do you not want to move to Florida just because of the things that were said?”
“No. I refuse to put my life in someone else s hands again.” I said, “I don’t know how long it will take me to find a job out there and to be stable.If I go out there and I fail while staying with family, that can translate into so much more.”
“Like you went out there to live off of your family again.” He said.
“Exactly! If I stay here and struggle until I make it. Or if I fail on my own terms, I did it on my own.” i said. “If I fail, I am okay with knowing that I did it while putting in a lot of hard work.”
“I understand.” He said. “When you called your mom during your panic attack, were you afraid of dying?”
“Yes and I had finally had enough.” I said. “When it happened, I had felt hopeless and trapped.”
“Because you couldn’t stop it from happening?”
“Because I couldn’t control anything. I had lost control of my body and my thoughts. I had felt like I was being forced into experiencing this.” I said trying to explain how I felt. “It is just so hard explaining exactly what was going through my head, I remember thinking about Robin Williams while I was having the attack. I was wondering how long it must have taken him to get to that point of ending it. If he had felt trapped in his body or in his mind.”
Somewhere between thinking about Robin Williams, I thought about others. Heath Ledger, Phillip Seymour Huffman, Michael Jackson. How long did it take for depression to take over their lives? How long did it take them to turn to drugs? I often wonder if Michael Jackson wanted to die to be free of the scrutiny of the media. I wonder if I would become a victim of depression and my anxiety.
“And you broke down..”
“Yes, and if I were to be a victim of my own issues. The last voices I wanted to hear were the voices of my family. So I called my mom!” I said. “At that point. I was a baby who wanted his mommy.”
“Do you think that it hurt them to hear you like that?” He asked.
“I know that it did. Because I wasn’t able to convince them that I would be okay.” I said. “My mom felt powerless over the phone.”