I started psychotherapy with the psychologist a month ago and have been squeezing in an appointment once a week. Luckily, I’ve got decent health insurance through work, and I fit the appointment in on my lunch break (good thing because summer is busy with the kids off school).
I got a referral to see the psychologist from my family doctor; I was having such a hard time at work – and still am – so I thought I’d at least try going to some kind of therapy. At my regular doctor’s appointment, I was terrified to say anything about my transableism. I’ve never told anyone except my ex, and that didn’t go particularly well. So I didn’t end up mentioning anything about it – I just told her that I was struggling with severe chronic anxiety. She prescribed me Ativan and put me on the referral list for the psychologist.
My psychologist didn’t even know what BIID/transableism was when I told her about it at our first meeting. I had a really hard time opening up about it, too, but I can’t keep it in any longer. It’s getting harder and harder to function on a daily basis. The thought of my leg is taking over my head all the time now, and I’m noticing myself snapping at my wife more and more and not concentrating at work. I forgot my daughter’s basketball game on Tuesday! The last thing I want is for this condition to affect my relationship with my kids…
So – to the psychologist. She’s been trying to be helpful, but she’s obviously read how it used to be called apotemnophilia, which basically means it was classified as a sexual perversion. I keep telling her that there’s nothing sexual about it for me. I know some other people in the online group are attracted to amputees and there are others who get aroused by their desire to be transabled. But a lot of us don’t – there’s nothing sexual about it for us. I’ll continue educating her about transableism and BIID, but I don’t know if these sessions are really useful for me at this point.
Pretending has been the only thing that’s really helped, but I’d hoped that therapy would give me a way to deal with it better or even get rid of it entirely. Similar thing for the meds – I was hesitant to start them because of side effects, but I thought they’d dull the roar, or at least help me with the anxiety and depression. I should have known it was wishful thinking – therapy and meds haven’t worked for anyone I’ve read about in the medical/psychological research or in the online groups. There’s no other treatment that I’ve found yet, nothing except actually getting rid of the leg through surgery. I feel like I’m sinking.
Drawing helps me process things, and I drew this comic after seeing my family doctor to try to deal with attempting to tell her about my transableism.