I called the hotline again. These calls vary from thirty minutes to an hour. I hoped Tanya would pick up, but it never is her. I wish I told this complete stranger, a volunteer, that I loved her. She did more for me in an hour than eleven years of therapy. I saw over a dozen psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. I don't dare discredit those eleven years for they prepared me for that talk. It gave me the words to what I experienced.
I call that hotline daily -if not twice on any given day. It's never the same person. I act as though I am giving a progress report. There's the inevitable summary at first, and then there follows the silent tears . . . sometimes they're not so silent.
After I hang up, my teeth gnash together because I know I won't find a cure. These sessions of crying make sleeping afterwards near impossible. I roll around. A shrill cry escapes my throat. I mute it with blankets. It is the frustration that neurologists won't see me because I am an adult. It is the agonizingly slow process of finding phone numbers, calling only to reach voice mail -and the WAITING that kills me. My hopes rise only to fall, shattering with each failure: "No, we only treat children."
I vow to call experts -tomorrow and the next day until I can get someone. Someone that will inform me there is help. That my insurance will cover it. Someone who can tell me I am not crazy; anyone that can offer a solution. My father amongst other loved ones cry. I need a solution because I am too uncomfortable to reassure them with a hug that I will be okay.
I don't feel okay. Eighteen years without a diagnosis, eighteen years of knowing something is WRONG but not having a word for it. I internalized it early on: I am bad, I am lazy, I am broken, and I will forever be inadequate. Now, at twenty years of age I have the words -but I need more than that. I need a plan. Calling experts, I hope to get a consultation. I make plans go to the library for books on what I have. I fight by day so that I can call that hotline by night with progress. And I will cry until I can let go of twenty years of hurt, sadness, frustration, and rage so that I can one day forgive myself.
I was born this way.