Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Outpatient Experience

Okay... so someone asked me on my tumblr why my experience in outpatient was so bad and of course I write out this long, intense, emotional response and tumblr eats it!! 

So I'm going to respond here and then I'll also post this on my tumblr.

Yes, them trying to take dance away from me was a part of it... but it was SO much more than just that. And also, I wasn't the only one who had issues with this program. The therapist I saw when I was 19 said she had a number of girls coming in and saying the same things about the program and who had had very bad experiences there.

  • They didn't emotionally prepare me to gain weight. I didn't see the therapist regularly and when I did see her she overanalyzed everything and basically put words in my mouth. Then she was apparently leaving (which they knew before I even got there) so I was going to have to switch to someone else and basically start all over... not that we really accomplished anything anyway.
  • The nutritionist was just plain RUDE. I went in really trying to work with the team, I agreed to gain weight. I was underweight, yes... but not to the point where I needed any kind of tube or anything... they were way too focused on me gaining weight and not at all focused on me as a person or how I was feeling. They wanted me to gain too much too fast, and like I said... I wasn't emotionally ready NOR was I told what to expect physically when gaining weight and recovering from anorexia. I was eating pretty much 24/7 and they wanted me to eat even more. It was hard for me because I just didn't even know what to eat at that point... I'm super picky to begin with (not at all ED related) but no one believed me. Nothing I ever did was good enough for them. My mom tried to help me out and give me suggestions I felt m ore okay with but the nutritionist told her not to go about it the way she was... which in all honesty, I would have been able to eat more if she hadn't told my mom to shut up. My mom had the right idea about how to get me to eat more and feel more okay with it.
  • I wasn't treated like a person at all. She treated me like I was an idiot and didn't know anything. They took my voice away. I went in and I was underweight, I didn't know why... I had been trying to maintain my weight and eating more... but I was still loosing, I didn't know what was going on, I was scared. Nothing felt real... and when I did try to talk to them about something... they didn't give a shit. I AM a picky eater- but they didn't believe me. Then- they tried to tell me I couldn't dance... dance was and IS the only reason I'm alive right now... and they wanted to take that from me. I got back to a healthy weight and of course you don't IMMEDIATELY get  your period back... but they wanted me to keep gaining...  knew my body just wasn't ready for my period yet... but they pretty much just wanted me to keep gaining until it came back.
The bottom line is still that they took my voice away and I was literally traumatized from the situation. It's why I have such a hard time going to see a therapist now and that was what... 5 years ago? I can't even begin to explain to you what it feels like to be in that kind of a situation and so vulnerable and so afraid and suddenly have no voice. Everything I said was invalidated. It made me feel stupid, worthless, unimportant. Is that really how you want to make someone feel when you're supposed to be helping them recover from anorexia?

Since then, I haven't been able to speak up like I used to. I used to say what was on my mind all the time without a second thought. But now, it's almost as if I have a minor case of social anxiety... I'm always afraid to say something... what if I say the wrong thing? What if no one cares? No one will care. I should just keep it to myself. Nothing I say means anything anyway. 

That's how I think now- because of that program. And I'm just now (again- 5 years later) beginning to open up to people. And I am SO lucky that I have such supportive people in my life who really do care and value what I say and who respect me as a human and who respect my feelings. When my opinions are invalidated- I feel invalidated. I feel worthless. 

Nothing I said mattered, my opinions where unimportant, my feelings where irrelevant, my ideas and efforts weren't good enough, apparently everything I knew about my body or bodies in general was wrong... therefore- I didn't matter, I wasn't important, I was irrelevant, I wasn't good enough, I was stupid, I was nothing.  

I know I wrote more... but I can't even really think of it now after having to do this twice...

1 comment:

  1. so many facilities work like this and it's so awful, emotional preparation to gain weight is ignored so much, they work on the mentality that you need to; do it and then talk about it/work through it and, well, we are not going to take you seriously until you have gained the weight and are 'therefore then thinking rationally'
    I am glad you had a therapist who saw where you were coming from,
    I'm so sorry I've not gotten to your blog in so long lovely, I will do so more now,
    Love you,