1) To therapists
I made literally maybe 300 calls total to individual therapists in 2012 alone, after I fired Maria. One of my former therapists said to call Maria and see if she could refer me to anyone. I did call her, and she was rude to me and said she knew no one. I sure had no intentions of going back to her manipulation and control. But where could I go? There seemed to be none around.
I called MEDA, and quickly realized that they don’t serve poor people. Seriously. Nor men. Only those that are rich enough to attend their gala dinners, their rich fundraisers, big money. Not me. Not anyone in the Welfare system. They had no listings of therapists who took both Medicare and Medicaid. I also tried the “groups” they recommended only to find you had to have a therapist to join, not only that, the cost was insane!
I remember I also tried the national number, NEDA. They, too, had no listings. Oh, they did. A three hour drive away. Or Connecticut. Finally, I phoned again and said, “Do you have any concept of the geography around here? I know these states are small but Connecticut is not next door. Nor is the far western end of Massachusetts.” That’s like sending someone in Houston to Oklahoma City. I guess they had no concept of what life in poverty is like.
I called all the listings I could muster up that I found in Psychology Today. Absolutely none said “Yes.” I tried the local community mental health centers. Edinburg had only three therapists altogether. They had lost their funding. The one they offered I had met with once and it was clear she was lazy, knew nothing about ED, and didn’t give a shit so long as she got paid. I think the only reason she accepted me was cuz she’d heard I tend not to miss an appointment. Many of these agencies are fee-for-service, not salaried, meaning it’s to a therapist’s financial advantage to have clients who show up.
I called a social worker number, but they had no listings for people who were poor like me. At least the lady talked to me. I had so little conversation in my life so talking to her for a few minutes on the phone was a relief to me.
I tried all the local hospitals, or most of them. Called their outpatient clinics. No. No no no. Every time. I found a place in Brookline that finally accepted me after “losing” my name on the waiting list. I called and they were apologetic and got me in right away. But the woman, though well intentioned, clearly knew nothing about ED. She tried, though. I’ll give her credit for professionalism. But it was like pulling teeth trying to explain to her what life was really like for me. She wasn’t at all disrespectful, though. The commute there was an awful nightmare and after three sessions, I realized I was wasting my time and quit.
I tried another community center, this one close to my home. I couldn’t believe that therapist. She told me flat out she knew nothing of ED. So why the heck was I going? It was a waste of time, because really, all she did was to repeat back to me everything I said. Finally, I got tired of that baloney and quit.
At one point, I saw some publicity about a therapist who practiced not far from my home. I could walk there on a nice day even though it was a bit far. Immediately, I knew this woman was dishonest. She claimed she was a therapist but had no training, no degree, but apparently pulls the wool over enough people’s eyes to get by as “therapist.” I wouldn’t have minded seeing her but what guarantee did I have that she’d be ethical? If I was gonna see a non-professional, at least they should be upfront that they aren’t a therapist.
Then, I found someone whom another therapist referred me to, telling me he was a miracle worker. I thought, “Good, now I can get out of this situation at Riverside.” I was so glad he accepted me. I refused to tell him much over the phone and told myself at least I had an appointment.
I never once questioned what was right standing there in front of me. Why did this man call me “Honey” from the very start? He was lewd, abrasive, and hardly professional. I am not going to go into details but after three sessions with this perv I was awfully glad I got away. Don’t go to him, his name is David Alpert.
He was smart, though. It’s just that his “other” intentions weren’t so great. He’d have been decent if only he cleaned up his act. And he shouldn’t have lied, claiming he was an “energy therapist” cux what he did with me sure wasn’t energy therapy! I was embarrassed seeing him, was embarrassed, really, about his sloppiness, his slovenly appearance, his rudeness, and inappropriately treating me like a sex object. After he got done with me I felt suicidal but not for long.
Dr. Pearson should have reported him. No, she didn’t even believe me and yelled at me for firing too many therapists. Seriously. That was criminal neglect on her part.
2) Residential treatment
Oh wow what a joke. I called everywhere and no one took my insurance. Care/caid sure was the pits. Many of these places were, oh, posh I guess. Then, I decided I’d call each and every one and offer them $40 a day. They were cracking up and many never called back. Mostly, they charge $500 to $1,0oo a day. None offered scholarships. I’d heard of Project Heal but their wait list was closed.
3) Inpatient at Walden
I had no desire to go back to Walden cuz I disagreed with the way they did “treatment” and also because they didn’t treat binge eating there. If you said you suffered from binge eating and sincerely asked for help, you got ignored and were force fed no matter what. They blamed me, of course. They all do that if you happen to disagree with them. No matter if I was underweight or not, binge eating was ignored and not treated. No way was I going back there if they refused to acknowledge the serious danger of binge eating. They do treat it in a separate “program” they have but my insurance didn’t pay for any of that. The inpatient staff were shockingly ignorant of binge eating. I was amazed. Why had they been hired if they had no knowledge of what I suffered from? I’d get these blank, stupid stares. “I don’t know,” was the reply frequently. I’d get a more helpful response from a fellow sufferer than I ever got from staff.
I was stuck, really. But what I didn’t realize then, and I know now, is that treatment had harmed me already so much, why did I want to go back to them? Why was I STILL expecting help from those therapists when they clearly had no answers and mostly were rude and disrespectful?
Guess what I hear all the time with those kids. You mention a particular hospital or treatment center and guess what the reaction is. “I love that place.” Well? Isn’t that the problem?
Quit loving your hospitals and know what happens? You get better. That’s right, stop going to them cuz all the want is to take your insurance money and keep you sick. If you “love” a hospital you’ll get sick just to get admitted. It’s so sad to see the ole revolving door. In, out, in, out. Do you really think that’s getting somewhere? They’ll lie plenty, but behind your back, you wouldn’t believe what those assholes say.h
There’s no love there. Absolutely none. It took me three decades to learn that, three decades stolen from my life.
All I want to do is to help others get free from the treatment trap. All I want is to see others succeed and tell the fuckers off. Please, let your success be your revenge. They’ll hate it plenty but I will rejoice in your freedom.