Alex's Mental Health Treatment

Alex's Mental Health Treatment

From Alex Boedecker

I'm raising money for mental health treatment that is geared to my unique struggles revolving around years of trauma and dissociative identity disorder (DID). This money will allow me to continue the care.

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Dear Everyone, 

For some of you we haven’t spoken in, and others may know my situation well. Either way, I don’t think anyone truly understands my situation and the life I’ve been living for going on 22 years. I don’t think it’s been anyone’s business to know but now I need help, and I cannot continue to keep it all to myself.  20 years who as many of you know, I was adopted from which was always intended to be this experience. My single mom was finally flying to another country to adopt this child she dreamed of having. Life was blissful for my mom and I and our little-knit family. Once those two years of pure bliss passed a dark storm began brewing, and no one knew what was coming to hit. I don’t think I’ll hold back on any details in this story or else the ending just won’t make sense. At the age of 7, I attempted to end my life to “go back to heaven to meet my parents.” School became increasingly more difficult because learning didn’t stick in my brain. I’d watch children around me having sleep over’s, laughing, with loving supportive families, and I remember feeling none of those things. I felt lonely, confused, homicidal, and suicidal and I didn’t understand the words for what my brain was suggesting I do. It became clear that I needed professional help after I was a risk to the animals, myself, and the people in my home. The search began to find professional treatment for my mom and me to understand what was “wrong” with her kid. I was diagnosed with RAD (reactive attachment disorder) which is common in international adoptions. I’ll attach a link to more about RAD:

I began therapy and was hospitalized many times for unsafe behaviors. I fell back in school due to my emotions taking over. In middle school, I attempted to suicide and ended up in a hospital program again. I remember watching my mom drop me off at this hospital with all these other young children and thinking “finally I’m going to get help.” Life went on, and issues continue with little to no improvements that allowed me a freedom to be a child. Soon after my biggest fan, my nana passed away, and I felt empty without her. My family community dissolved after her death and I began just accepting this was how I was always going to feel. I was always going to walk around not wanting to live, not being able to connect and feel like I was in this daze. No matter what I threw myself into friends, learning, sports, therapy, I wasn’t living just going through the motions year after year. Somehow I managed to finish high school, and I entered what I guess we call the adult world. It hit me like a ton of bricks no longer having the support of teachers, peers around every day even if we weren’t connected and I flopped under pressure. Throughout the last five years, I’ve accomplished more than I thought I’d be able to in some ways. Up until a few months ago I was managing and finishing my BA in psychology, had a wonderful relationship with my best friend, and began transitioning from Elisabeth to Alex.

Two years ago for the grace of God I meant Dr. Jill Hanson who is a specialist in trauma/adoption. It felt like I had a terminal illness and they found a cure when I started working with her. Therapy before never hit home with my heart Jill showed me that there was someone else on this planet who understood how to help me.

Dr. Hanson doesn’t accept insurance because she’s a very established and desired doctor in her specialty. Because her regular cost of $150 was too high, she was kind enough to lower her price for me. Bottom line the combination of my life story and all the years of hurt came to the front with the ultimate storm. I’ve been walking around with many diagnoses, and usually, labels don’t matter, but in my case they do because what I’ve been walking around with is something that cannot be brushed off and learned to cope with without the proper treatment. I have what they call Dissociative Identity Disorder with psychotic tendencies. I’m going to attach a link to explain this further:

This disorder presents itself differently in everyone who has it but the best way to describe how I’ve been walking around for the last month is that I’m living in two different worlds. I will be doing something and suddenly its two days later, and that’s not an exaggeration. I have “personalities” inside me that tell me to do things I don’t want to and sometimes they’re helpful. The only reason I’m able to write this letter is for them. My core self (Alex) is not able to do a lot of things that average performing people can. I think it’s tough to wrap your head around if you’ve never felt it for yourself. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. I’ve hurt myself and never felt the pain or knew I was doing it and I dissociate, and I’m missing out on days of my life.

Dr. Jill Hanson has been the only true lifeline through this experience, and this is where the help I need comes in. Dr. Hanson has agreed to lower her out of pocket costs even lower than $125 by some. The treatment we’d do together would be for 3-8 weeks of intensive care. We’ll meet for 2-5 hrs a session twice a week to finally uncover my core self and regain a sense of self. Trauma work takes a LONG time because unlike some issues it’s about gaining trust, becoming ready to heal, and even it takes time to get worse before it gets better. At the moment I’m the worst I can be, and this letter is my final hope to live a life outside of a hospital. I want more for myself, and I want the opportunity to be a young adult. I missed out of my childhood because of this, and I will fight hard to not lose out of my life. Dr. Hanson has worked with individual cases like me for 30 plus years. Not all cases are, but it’s become clear I need this treatment. We’ve explored for the two years worth of therapists who take state insurance, and I’ve met for over 13 different therapists within insurance over the last year. I’ve spent countless hours inside emergencies rooms and wards. The issue is the hospital stays, and meeting therapists who don’t have the skills will NEVER heal the core issues I’ve been living with. I’m exhausted and scared for my life most days because time is flying by and things are not improving with the efforts I’ve tried.

I’m writing not to only share my inner world with you but to ask for any help to afford this intensive treatment. Jill and I have built a trusting and safe relationship for the last two years and I know it sounds “luxuries” to see someone who doesn’t accept insurance but I assure you there’s nothing “luxury” about needing this treatment. I’m lucky and honored to have found this doctor but asking for help like this is the single hardest and most vulnerable thing I’ll do. I’ve spent myself pushing myself to work odd jobs and by taking a loan out to afford the two years $12,000 with my help. Now that I’m at this acute point and needing these longer intensive hours I’m at a loss. Like I said trauma therapy is a process and I don’t care about the money I’ve put forth myself up until now because it’s saved my life. I’m able to write this letter because I’ve managed to save myself. I’m looking into taking another loan out to afford more treatment now that I’ve almost paid off the first loan. The rest of my life has to be put on hold until I’m stable enough to face it again. This situation isn’t something I push through, saddle up, or continue to live how I was.

I know that this letter won’t solve all my problems but for better or worse if you got this letter, you’re my family and connections throughout life. And there’s not many of you but I hope that counts for something. And if you’re willing to help with treatment and I’m willing to sign with you and repaying back schedule once I’m back on my feet. I indeed am not looking for a and would want to work towards paying this forward. Please feel free to contact me with questions and I’ll do anything within my mental power to get the help I need for treatment.

Thank you for reading and for any help that comes from this letter. Truly.

-Alexander Boedecker

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