Terms and ConditionsPosted: February 12, 2013
[Content notice: Systemic economic oppression, health system abuses]
When I was applying for scholarships, I regularly got the advice from teachers and from websites: Don’t tell a sob story. Nobody wants a sob story. If you have a negative story, spin it into something positive.
Every opportunity for help seems to follow this attitude: We will only help you if you show the right attitude. Say the right words. Be uplifting and inspirational. Be functional enough you can impress us with arbitrary performance numbers and a long list of accomplishments. Otherwise, you don’t deserve help.
The end result is that those who have been through maybe a little pain, just enough to see the darkness but never really get sucked in by it, those are the ones who get help. The ones floating above the surface, the ones whose heads are out of the water because their feet are planted on the masses trying not to drown.
Meanwhile, thanks to shitty insurance the only therapists I can see are interns that cycle out every few months, making long-term treatment with a single person impossible. They also “don’t want to deal with repressed memories” or any of that, because “according to studies” this doesn’t lead to improvement in functioning. SPOILER ALERT: The studies only track functioning in the short-term, don’t address how things usually get worse before they get better when treating PTSD, and are being pushed as the new standard for PTSD treatment because it’s cheaper for insurers. Not because it’s good health policy.
Because of all this I still feel pressure to be a Good Survivor, one who doesn’t dare show the pain they’re in, who has nothing but stories of triumph over pain. When, deep down, what I really need is someone to be there for me like didn’t happen as a child: To hold me, to let me cry, to show me the world can be stable and safe, to love me no matter what. But all services offered to adults are conditional. There is no such thing as unconditional love in the adult world. Not in a capitalist world, not in an exploitative world, not in an “I’ve got mine so I don’t care about yours” world, not in a world that fetishizes bootstraps, not in a world where “community” means a bunch of strangers who live in the same building and never talk to each other.