September 27, 2019
Only enough for 7 sessions - many more needed
I am asking for additional financial assistance because I originally miscalculated the amount I would need for my trauma therapy.
This is because for the past year my ability to think clearly and logically has been impaired, such as doing mathematical calculations, following recipes or directions and timing, as well as my memory recall for names, places and things. These are normal brain reactions to complex trauma, depression and anxiety.
I am right in the middle of my therapy and feel like I can’t stop now.
Your donation will be greatly appreciated. I will respond with thanks via the GoFundMe site so please check your Junk folders etc. for an e-mail from GoFundMe/me. Also, please feel free to share this with whomever you choose.
My trauma therapy began several months ago. While my therapy has been emotionally difficult, it has allowed me to slowly peel back the layers to uncover my trauma memories and begin to deal with them with a knowledgeable and kind therapist. I am so grateful for your help in getting me started.
I have learnt that I cannot give myself a timeline for healing. It cannot happen once a week. It is daily work that requires my concentration, courage and connection to myself. The work I must do is more frequent and deeper than I originally thought. It touches all aspects of my life and is not relegated to my therapy sessions alone. I wrote in one of my updates that my therapist has told me that I have complex trauma issues but that I can heal with the work we are doing. It takes unhurried time.
As a result, my funds are getting low and I am reaching out for your financial support again so that I can continue to do the work to heal.
I have learnt that traumas are made up of emotions from events that can feel so physically and/or emotionally unsafe, that one literally locks those emotions away to protect themselves. Traumas can be emotional, verbal, physical, sexual. They can occur in many situations – work, family, friends, lovers, strangers and at any age. Locking away our emotions is a way we humans have of taking care of ourselves so that we can continue each day. We often do not realize we have experienced trauma or have these feelings locked away.
But these emotions that we so carefully lock away do not always stay locked away. And that is what happened to me last year. As I wrote in my first post, I began to have nightmares and memories that were frightening, confusing and emotionally painful to experience. I didn’t understand them and could not figure them out. They were terrifying.
Through the trauma-specific therapy I am doing, I am beginning to ‘connect the dots’, my therapist tells me, and I believe him as I have begun to understand how these traumas have affected me over the past 59 years. As we explore a specific trauma, I am able to feel the anger, the fear, the shame and or the humiliation that I felt at that time in my life. That is when the emotional pain comes to the forefront and also afterwards, as I process the emotions and work we have done that day. Overtime, the triggers I experience in certain situations will dissipate or lessen. That is the healing I am working towards.
Several people have asked me if I think the therapy is helping me. YES, a thousand times, yes. Yes, the therapy is emotionally painful and it is frightening but I can feel the mind numbing depression I have felt for twelve years slowly lessening. I reach for my courage many times a day and hold fast to my little pearls of healing.
Your support will mean I can continue the therapy I need to do to continue the healing I am working so hard for. Thank you for reading my update about my situation and my need for additional funding.
I didn’t think it could happen to me. I never thought I would not be able to to work; would have to use my savings to live on until they ran out; would stop enjoying life, music, work, family, friends…everything that meant something to me.
My name is Crystal King and in 2008, my life completely changed.
I was sitting at my work desk one day, when I began to sob and couldn’t stop. I left the office that day and my life has not been the same since. Up until that moment, I had managed low depression for over twenty years.
The breakdown in my mental health that began on that day has now continued without respite for over ten years.
For the first two years, I spent most of my time in bed crying for hours. I became incapable of taking care of day-to-day tasks and eventually, my sister Mia moved in to help; she prepared meals, made sure I showered and kept me company. It was very difficult for her to see me so depressed each and every day. I began to isolate myself and spent most of my time in my apartment. I managed to get to my weekly appointments with my psychiatrist and I began the long journey of trying different anti-depressants to eliminate or lessen the depression.
Over the past 10 years, I have tried over 30 medications in different combinations and doses; each trial period taking between 6 to 10 weeks before a dosage might help, then another 4 weeks to taper off of it when it didn’t, only to try another medication. Unfortunately, none of the medications ever made a lasting difference and my condition never improved.
Eventually, I was diagnosed with Treatment-Resistant Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I was at the end of my savings, remained too ill to work, and was running out of financial options. I applied to receive long term disability through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). I was accepted as a recipient, and was and still am very grateful for the monthly income I receive from ODSP, as well as the additional help from my family over these past 10 years.
I now live in the quiet town of Picton (near Kingston) where I see my psychiatrist every six weeks, and my mental health counsellor every week. We have continued to try different medications and remain hopeful that something will eventually make a difference. I have tried to stop thinking that one day I will be back to what I used to be like, instead, hoping that I will one day be able to cope with what my life is now.
I have never stopped searching for a solution to my depression and anxiety. I have gone through over 20 rounds of ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) treatment at CAMH; I continue to read up on and research new treatments; I have participated in different forms of solo and group therapy, continued medication trials and I have learned about and now practice mindfulness meditation and EFT (Tapping).
I do everything my care team asks me to do no matter how difficult it may be for me. When a person lives with a deep depression, going outside, having a shower, or eating a healthy meal feels overwhelming. It may be hard to believe but it feels impossible to face each day and do these things. Depression is not only deep sadness; it affects ones self esteem, ability to experience joy or pleasure in things one used to do, often brings on anxiety and often people isolate themselves.
In June 2018, memories of traumatic moments began coming to me in the form of night terrors. Now they come every night, and I wake each morning shaking, nauseous, anxious and terrified of facing the emotional pain of each day. The result has nearly broken me.
The traumas were buried deep inside me until last June and I know now are part of the root cause of what has settled deep within me, the treatment-resistant depression and severe anxiety that medication and talk therapy alone will not help and that has lasted for over 10 years.
Over time, the depression and anxiety have come to affect my self-worth, my joie de vivre, my creativity, my ability to set personal boundaries, work at any type of job, take care of my basic needs, and even enjoy time with my family and friends regardless of their support and love.
The next step in my journey is a treatment called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) coupled with specialized trauma psychotherapy. It is the cost of this treatment that I need financial help with.
A very brief description of EMDR is that it allows a persons traumatic memories to be re-formed to instead become a memory of something that they survived and are now strong with, allowing them to move on feeling empowered, instead of victimized.
EMDR and associated trauma therapy is used successfully in treatment for people who suffer from trauma and PTSD. It has been used in the U.S. for several years and is considered relatively new in Canada with not many therapists offering the specialized therapy work. As it is a therapeutic treatment, it is not covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) or ODSP (similar in that psychologists are not covered).
The toll of my illness on my family and friends is heavy. They live with a mother, daughter, sister, niece and friend who has changed dramatically over the last 10 years; I have become socially anxious, had suicidal ideations, am emotionally fragile and become withdrawn.
Each member of my family and my friends have all helped me in many ways. They visit and call, text and e-mail and generally try to stay in touch so I know I can lean on them when I have needed to.
Financially, my older sister Holly has helped me many times with lump sums for things like car repairs (when I was still driving), a winter coat and boots, - things that I cannot afford with my limited income. As well, she and all other family members help me each month to make ends meet; they also send me some extra close to the end of the month if I don’t have enough to get by; and they also help cover things like the cost of a new medication that isn’t covered, hoping that it might be the one to work. They have always been there to try and help ease the anxiety that living below the poverty line brings on. I am so grateful.
Now I am faced with a treatment that my medical care team have all agreed I need to do but is too costly for me or my family to cover.
This is why I need your help. The treatments are $140 per week and at this point, it could be that I may need to attend the sessions weekly for up to a year. With funding, I expect to be able to begin the therapy within the next couple of months. The amount I need to raise to have weekly sessions is $7,200.
With this treatment, I, and my care team (psychiatrist, mental health counsellor and family practitioner) are hoping that I will be able to move beyond and put to rest the symptoms of trauma that I have been experiencing, including a lessening of my depression and anxiety.
I try to remind myself that I am more than what my depression and trauma is. It’s difficult to continue believing this after so many years of being trapped in the search for my mental health recovery.
I hope to be able to once again be able to dream of a future for myself and have the coping abilities to achieve some of them.
I want to wake up, be able to face the day without crippling depression and anxiety. To be able to laugh again, to garden, to create art, to listen to music and maybe even find some kind of part-time work to do.
Your donation will mean the world to me, literally. My world will open up from the isolated existence I now have, to one with more meaning. Thank you for learning about my situation and my need for funding.
- Deborah C Hoffman
- Brad Hadfield
- Mary Layton
- Mike Guetta