Slightly Broken: Attempting Self-Referral

I’ve been intent on referring myself onto some more specialist therapy for dealing with sexual abuse. It’s a tough thing to talk myself into, and I’ve found it impressively easy to prevaricate about. The prospect of having to tell someone that I want to self-refer is not especially appealing but I did get myself to ring up last week.

That was last Thursday. It took about two hours to get through without just hitting voice mail. That sort of made it worse; I definitely didn’t want to leave a message – I had a weird fear of rambling at this machine… I don’t know. Too public feeling perhaps. I tried another number for the other office within my county only to find that it was strictly for city cases – despite being geographically closer to the city office than the county one. Sigh. I work in the public sector so I do completely understand how the boundaries are drawn up, and why. But as a consumer or service user it was surprisingly disheartening. They were very apologetic and gave me the number I already had again.

I guess that was good practice for saying “hello, I’d like to self-refer” and I got through eventually.

Unfortunately there was no one there to take my referral and the person who answered could only take a message and get them to call me back. Well… It’s been a week and I’ve had no call. So now i’m back in prevaricate mode, combined with a background tension of anticipating a phone call – at any time!

Realistically people are busy, and I’ve no doubt that a third sector organisation like ISAS (Incest and Sex Abuse Survivors) are probably, and depressingly, swamped with work. I still feel somewhat hurt that I haven’t received a return call and am further discouraged from calling them again. But this is just self-defeating nonsense – I can now pretend to justify not calling because they were supposed to ring me. Silly. On the other hand, i’m on a train right now and that’s not a public phone call I want to have.

On the plus side I learned, or at least confirmed something I believed: the person who took my message was male and I felt this awful internal shrinking away – I’m going to want a female counsellor. That’s useful to know.

Maybe I’ll call tomorrow…

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