The first time I saw a therapist it was under duress.
I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school.
I ate an average of maybe four times a week. Sometimes less. My grades slipped whole letters, going from the normal A’s to C’s and even a D (unheard of for me).
This all followed on the tail of Uniballer dumping me for Texas mere weeks before. Part of it was the stupid emo-teenage loss of a boy.
The other part was the loss of a best friend.
And even bigger: no one gave a shit. No one noticed me falling apart. Not my parents, my teachers, not even my other best friend, Germany.
It was Katherine who brought it to the attention of my mother. Mom took a mental step back and realized just how much weight I’d lost. She called my favorite teacher (the subject was German) and asked how I was doing.
It looked bad.
She tried to talk to my father about the idea of me talking to a professional. He balked, as he doesn’t “believe in psychology” and said I just needed to suck it up. In a rare moment, my mom put her foot down.
The therapist’s name was Joy. I rolled my eyes when she told me. I didn’t want to talk at first. The voices (I wasn’t aware of what the DID was at this point) told me not to trust anyone with feelings or secrets.
Slowly she got me to open up a bit. I told her about the betrayal of my ex and friends. Joy was the first person I confided in about my attraction to Katherine, which terrified me as I was so sure I was straight. Being seventeen, I still blindly thought love had to be firmly defined.
Then we got on an even bigger subject. My father. I went on about his emotional distance, his firm rules, his apathy. I talked about how he reminded me constantly that I had to move out and go to college.
“This is all because he loves you. He loves you so much. I think you’re just having trouble seeing it.”
The internal whiplash was physically painful. The voices swirled and buzzed in anger.
I stopped seeing her pretty soon after that (I had turned eighteen, so it was my choice).
It was Katherine who got me to start eating more regularly.
And it was a long time before I tried to trust a therapist again.