what I’d like to say to you:
Getting professional help, medication, therapy, anything (for a mental illness in this case, though this applies to other things as well), is a PRIVILEGE.
Some people can’t afford it. That’s just a fact.
Even if some people can afford it, they can’t go.
I can’t do this because my mom’s therapist constantly encouraged her to do the things that were most damaging to my family and this was a constant shadow over my entire time in high school.
I can’t do this because my mom’s solution to our tense relationship was for me to go to therapy and I had to barter attending quaker meeting with her in order to avoid it.
I can’t do this because my mom tried to turn my fucking physical into a therapy session with my doctor because I wasn’t talking to her enough (happily, doctor realized I was unhappy and let me escape)
I can’t do this because I survive on scripts. The thought of going somewhere where there is no script, no expected way for me to act is paralysing.
I can’t do this because the one time I did go to therapy (about my relationship with my mother, of course), I was put with a female therapist because it was a “women’s issue”
I can’t do this because coming out and being out is my choice and using a service that will unknowingly hurt me if i’m not out removes that choice
I can’t do this because I’ve heard so many horror stories of therapists not supporting trans people and I know how easy it is to ignore, disregard, and misrepresent a non-binary identity that “looks cis” because I do it to myself all the time.
I can’t do this because my dad has taught me that mental illness is for Other People and that admitting I have one is a sign of weakness.
I can’t do this because I’m scared of being weak.
Over a year ago, I had a friend force me to talk about why I didn’t do therapy. It was a conversation I didn’t want to be in and they kept pushing the topic.. I wasn’t able to express myself because it was in-person conversation and I can really only sort out thoughts like this is writing (communication and expression is something I really need to work out). I responded by becoming a horribly abusive, manipulative person, which started a two-week cycle of us constantly abusing and manipulating each other. We are no longer friends (and parted on surprisingly friendly terms, all things considered), but that triggered a year long burn out, which was then triggered again and again by different shit every time I started to rise out of it. Going to therapy made it worse, simply because it was an hour every week where I got misgendered and wasn’t actually able to talk about things that were bothering me (because so much of my problematic relationship with my mother is tied up in my being trans…we don’t talk about the asexuality…at all…ever).
I have pushed through it and have learned so much, but it took every ounce of stregnth I had and I am going to be recovering for a while.
As long as you talk as if getting professional help is something people OWE to their friends, I feel unsafe. It is a trigger. It is a baseless judgement of me (I know I am not always a good person, my inability to go to therapy has nothing to do with that though), and it is a terrifying amount of pressure to put on someone you may call a friend.
If this is how you think, you are not my friend.
(note to anyone who now wants to tell me about how helpful therapy/medication etc. is: I know, please don’t tell me. I am taking care of myself and doing what I can do in the moment. Mental illess works differently for everyone and I’d appreciate you respect that instead of urging me to do something that clearly makes me incredibly uncomfortable)