Suzanne 4-14-15

It was getting hard for Suzanne to find a therapist to work with. She had a very hard time coming to therapy, even when she wanted to. If she could keep the motivation going, if she could get up, get dressed and drive to the appointment, well, then, Suzanne, reasoned, she wouldn’t really need therapy! She had stopped showing up for so many of Carson’s therapists, Suzanne almost gave up hope of being given another chance. But there was another chance, and Suzanne started to see another Carson therapist.

Suzanne had had severe lead poisoning as a child. She stopped the endless humiliations of school by dropping out as soon as she could. She avoided being near her mother, who was often passed out drunk, or throwing things. Suzanne was pregnant at sixteen and seventeen. At eighteen, the Department of Children and Families had both of her kids. Suzanne was most often drunk after that.

It’s been a year now that Suzanne has been sober. She thinks about her babies when she is sober, and the voices in her head never shut up about them. They don’t sound like her talking to herself. They sound like angry men’s voices. It made Suzanne not want to come out of her apartment.
Her Carson therapist went with her down the hall to the psychiatrist. Even though the medications make things feel fuzzy, the voices stopped once Suzanne began the medication. But Suzanne felt lost. There was nothing to do with her life but walk to the store. She told her therapist that someone had stolen her identity, so when she wanted to volunteer, her background check would show that there were outstanding warrants for her arrest. She’d told this to her other people at other places, but no one had believed her.

“I know it’s hard to believe a person who hears voices,” she said, “but you should.”

Her therapist introduced her to Carson’s Community Based Flexible Support program. A worker helped Suzanne sort out her medical insurance, find a local doctor, get her some physical therapy that helped with the lifelong effects of lead poisoning. But best of all, the Carson worker helped her sort out the identity theft issue.

Yesterday, Suzanne went to the animal shelter, where she had been turned away before. She showed them the letter she now has that explains that she does not have a criminal record. They told her to come back on Monday to start the process of becoming a volunteer.

Suzanne left a message on her therapist’s voicemail.
“I’ve been crying all afternoon from happiness. I never thought I could do anything good with my life. I’m just so happy!”

By JAC Patrissi