Between watching the Spotlight Movie last night, spending the last two hours delving into trauma-informed care publications for an article I’m working on, and witnessing the damaging failures of the mental health system at work this week…I’m overwhelmed.
I’m frustrated that obvious connections between a person’s experiences and physical and mental health are not being made. I’m tired of hearing about people’s treatment plans instead of their struggles, and what led up to them.
I feel helpless watching people fall through cracks because they don’t fit criteria for help they desperately need–be it help with obtaining medical/mental health treatment, housing or other vital needs.
I’m tired of hearing that there is no hope for someone because his/her issues are “behavioral”, and not “real”, only encouraging individuals to continue on with reckless behaviors, sometimes involving attempts at taking their own lives, because they don’t know how else to be heard or seen.
I witnessed a psychiatrist ask a patient with an extensive history of sexual traumas if (s)he “disassociates”. She had no idea what he meant. She had never before heard the term, despite being in and out of treatment since a very young age.
Isn’t being able to identify that kind of behavior the key to changing negative and non-effective coping strategies? Doesn’t that just make sense? How has this person been “in the system” for nearly 15 yrs and it take having an almost fatal psychotic break before she is diagnosed with PTSD?? Why did she leave his office with more medication, and not a recommendation for her therapist to help educate her on what exactly PTSD is and how she can move forward in recovering?
What is it going to take?
I’m not burn-out, I’m pissed off.
The only good thing about feeling this way is it motivates me. It reminds me of the importance of creating the Trigger Points community and the conversations we have had and continue to have; the importance of sharing knowledge and stories; the power in empowering one another.
This frustrated energy is the fuel I need to continue working in a broken system, in hopes of making even miniscule changes. It’s motivation to step out of my comfort zone and present the Trigger Points anthology to the people that will benefit from hearing the stories, and understand the value of bringing the topic of parenting as a survivor to the surface.
These are seeds. Seeds we are planting to break cycles and help create a wave of cultural change. It’s an uphill battle with cultural and systemic barriers in every direction, but it’s worth it. Actually, it’s vital.
People deserve better. We deserve better.
The next generation will be better.