I’m now somewhere in my 30s and I’m out again now, without a point of contact. I’ve seen maybe 7 psychologists, a social worker, a housing support officer, a psychotherapist and representatives from at least 2 charities in an attempt to figure out my conditions, to figure out people and to figure out myself. All I really wanted was to be happy and to be able to do what I want for myself.
I’m certainly getting there- I can cook, organise paperwork, do internet banking, plan journeys and assemble furniture. Just about. I couldn’t do any of those a few years ago, and it’s been tuition from the NHS that has allowed these developments. But what I need, I don’t really have.
The professionals I’ve mentioned in the opening para gave me a block of time each- a series of appointments which were not open-ended. The social worker was supposed to offer me continuous support, but all she did was ask me how I’m feeling, argue with me about my condition and tell me how unimportant I was compared to her other clients. I kicked off big-time. It took about 6 months of inactivity before I blew.
Since then things got much better- the NHS realised I didn’t take any shit and started offering me the support I really needed from professionals who knew how to help me. But each professional I saw only for a short period of time- maybe 6 or 8 sessions over a couple of months’ period before my time was up. There was always- ALWAYS- a waiting list. I’d benefit from one person being in my life who is not a relative, not a friend, not a colleague, but something else. Someone I can see, say, fortnightly to say “recently, I’ve been dealing with A, B and C. What should I do?”
I’d also find that whilst I’d be seeing these professionals, I wouldn’t get much opportunity to face my basic fear- women. We’d spend the sessions talking about how to meet these women as opposed to what I could do to move things on with a woman I was already seeing (because I wasn’t at that time). Yet each time I stop seeing said professional, I met someone the moment the sessions ended. Hence, if I had a weekly contact- someone with the skill to properly tell me and could see me on a continuous basis- they’d be ready for when that opportunity rises. But as I’ve found in the past, the way to make that opportunity arise is to step forward and talk to strangers.
I’ve proved to myself I can do that with astounding results. I just need to do it again. But it would be nice to have someone to turn to, instead of the yawning cosmos of the World Wide Web.