Dear High School Guidance Counselor #2,
When I called you about 5 years after graduating, thank you for picking up. I was scared and said something like “I’m so tired that I’m afraid that if I was crossing the street and a bus was coming, I just wouldn’t get out of the way.”
And thank you for suggesting I go to the psych ward. You mentioned going in after a tragic event and enjoying the drugs they gave. I remember the honesty in your recollection, it fills me with love for you. So, I went. It was ok. As trans icon Miss Major would say “I’m still fucking here.”
But I didn’t take the drugs. I went in because I was exhausted from all the revelations re figuring out being multiple, more than one person in this body. I mentioned it to a psych nurse. She said, “don’t take anything they give you, in my experience nothing they can give you helps.” That honestly also left a big impression on me, on us. Enough to withstand tsks from the other nurses. I’ve taken some things since then but not much. I sometimes wonder if I should be taking more. And I’ve met a lot of other multiples who are taking different psych meds that they find beneficial. But anyway. Thank you. Thanks for picking up. You contributed to saving my life. I wasn’t a danger to myself, but I felt in so much danger and being in a place that was structured and safe for a week, even if it was stigmatizing in other ways, helped me.
One thing that SUCKED was I checked TWICE to see if they took my insurance, they said absolutely. Yet for a one week stay, I received a bill for $3,000. I called to inquire: what the fuck? “We take your insurance, but the resident psychiatrist did not.” WHAT A RACKET. The Psychiatrist. In the Psych ward. Who you have to talk to if you want to leave. Anyway, not your fault, just venting.
I really want to catch up sometime. I have had the urge a few times a year for a long time. So here [contact info] same number. I live in California now. But if you still live in DC, I’d really love to go to the zoo with you sometime when I’m back there.
I was so scared then! It’s hard to go back in time and reassure past selves that they made it over that steep trench of uncertainty. It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s gonna be ok. What I was experiencing then was kind of shock at realizing my own multiplicity, being many people in a body, and it’s now a pretty mundane and also wonderful aspect of my life, and all of us here in our body call ourselves [system name] and we get along really well, and we’ve done some activism and community-building to help and connect with others like us too and that’s been really nice. Will send you some links but morethanone.info is pretty good. Excited for you to meet everyone actually, because some of them remember high school which includes remembering you, too.
We have had a lot of good life since then. It’s hard to look at that time even 9 years later. So, I’m glad you picked up the phone and looked at it with me then. I think I need to spend more time with that year of my life.
We also identify as nonbinary, collectively. Please use they/them pronouns to refer to us, and don’t call us our old name. It’s ok if you make a mistake, I just want you to have time in advance to internalize the concepts a bit so when I need to correct you it’s not news.
Oh my god you must’ve hated the Trump era. We did too.
Sorry it’s been so long. But also, oppression sucks so I forgive myself. Heh.
Eliza et al.