Those of you who have been reading here for awhile will know what I’m talking about, and some of you are going to learn a whole lot about me today. 🙂
FIRST — I want to say… this month is the 15-year anniversary for the beginning of my very first online therapeutic site for dissociative trauma survivors — AbuseConsultants — a website offering online counseling, email consultations, phone sessions, and Skype sessions. That was probably one of the first online therapeutic resources for survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder. AbuseConsultants had gobs of information, pages of survivor art and survivor poetry, and all kinds of good stuff. It was the early days of online counseling, back when people were afraid of doing much of anything online. There certainly weren’t very many online mental health professionals back then — we were the mavericks challenging the old ways of doing things. I had already been working extensively with trauma and dissociation for about 15 years before that, so I wasn’t worried about being able to recognize dissociative issues from a distance. And with all that confidence, AbuseConsultants opened its doors in April 2001 — 15 years ago this month, and wow, things have really changed since then.
First of all, it’s not weird to see online therapy anymore. It’s not weird to see people offering Skype sessions, or phone sessions, or distance therapy. Our world has become more accustomed to that idea. And thank goodness! Because there certainly are not enough good DID therapists in the world, that’s for sure.
Life has changed lots for me too. When AbuseConsultants was active, I lived in the Dallas, Texas area. I had a beautiful little comfy office, in addition to keeping busy with online counseling, email consultations, and phone sessions. At a later date, I added a therapeutic group support forum, SurvivorForum, and kept super busy with that for 5 or 6 years. Yep, I was working with dissociative folks in my office, over the phone / emails, and also with a 24/7 online group. Talk about BUSY!!
And then came 2011, when life completely changed for me.
What happened? Where did you go, Kathy? What have you been doing?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that….
Well, to condense very briefly, all within a matter of a few months in the beginning of 2011, everything flipped.
My husband had a sudden, and unexpected complete life threatening medical emergency that took me right out of work and into full-time medical assistance for an extended period of time. (He’s fine now, but it was quite scary for awhile).
And the building where I had my office was sold to some other company, so all of us who rented office space from there were given notice to move out as the entire building was becoming something else. Sad day, as that was such a comfortable little office…
And then another family member was having a sudden life threatening medical crisis, and needed immediate full-time care and assistance… which was the final blow to my days in Texas.
I was completely exhausted and worn down from complicated messes that were everywhere, on every level of my life (those are giant topics of their own, for another day…), but you know… when there is a life-threatening medical crisis, there is no time to wait. Or to rest.
And in yet another big rush, I boxed up a few things, put a few things in storage, sold a whole bunch of stuff, donated a whole bunch of stuff, tossed out a whole bunch of stuff….
Packed a few suitcases.
Got on a plane.
Flew for hours.
And landed in Australia.
Yep. From Dallas to Australia.
(Actually, that first flight originally left from Dallas, went to Baltimore, then to Washington DC, then back over to San Francisco, across to Seoul South Korea, then down to Sydney, but who’s worried about details…. It was just a LOT of flying hours!)
Land of the kangaroos, koala bears, and crocodiles. And kookaburras and kelpies.
This is where I am.
Nearly five years later, I’m down here in beautiful Australia. You might have guessed that by looking at some of the pictures and video’s I’ve posted, full of pretty flowers, weird trees, beach scenes, kookaburras, etc. If you did guess Australia, you were right! And now that you know, you’ll certainly be able to see Australia in lots of the pictures and video’s. Enjoy!
My years here have been a time of refreshment. Of healing. Of peace and quiet. Of complicated life messes, as per usual. But the beauty of this country has been enormously good for my very worn down and exhausted heart and soul. I didn’t expect to be here this long, but life did what life does, and here I still sit.
At least it’s beautiful here. And the Aussie folks have been wonderful to me, even though they think I am the one with the funny accent. Ha!
So why am I telling you all of this?
Because now…. this is where YOU come in. 🙂
I’ve made a few casual comments here and there about it, so today is a bigger, more official statement.
I’m getting ready to come back to work. Yep, that’s right. I’m coming back and doing it again.
My five year break has left me much more rested, much more centered, much more at peace, and ready to go. I was pretty darn exhausted back in 2011. A good, long rest was waaaaaaaay overdue.
(Did y’all know that while you all are a beautiful group of people, you are each very complex and complicated, and it’s very very exhausting to work with multiples all the time, every day, for years and years at a time?? I mean no offense, but you know… I was TIRED!!)
So yes, it’s been enormously helpful for me to have some down time to focus on puppies, and rain forests, and beaches, and gardening, and pretty flowers, and healthy cooking, and physical exercise. I’ve lost some weight, and I sleep a lot better now. I didn’t get to pack my piano in my suitcase for the plane — I really miss my music! — but I have plans for that too. Life won’t be complete until I’m back at the piano again.
The awesome beauty of nature has been my place of peace and solace. It’s just filled my soul and brought health and wellness back to me. I’ll have to go on and on about that another time, later.
Now that I’m feeling better, it’s time to dig back into work.
I’m already working with a professional Blogging Coach to help me address issues various technical and administrative issues here on the blog. I’m learning all kinds of new options that you will see put into action over the next chunk of time. I’m working at it as quickly as I can assemble the information, so yes, you will most definitely see things changing bit by bit around here.
I’m soon to hire a new Web Techie person, because let’s face it. Technology is STILL allergic to me, and I am STILL hopeless at doing much of anything more than just typing. So when that techie savvy web-smart person gets to work for me, who knows what all will look different!
But I will still be here.
AND…. in honor of AbuseConsultant’s humble beginnings in April 2001, I want to offer to do some phone consultations again.
What? It’s been a long time coming, Kathy — did you really just say that???
Yes, I did.
I’m opening up my schedule, for at least a short while, to do to phone consultations again.
I’m not offering to be an ongoing therapist — you will need to find / keep your local therapist. But if you have questions to ask, or you need a second opinion on a blockage that you’re struggling with, or if you have been reading the blog for awhile, and you have your own personal questions you want to ask me….. this is your chance.
Yes, I’m interested in doing consultations.
I’ll soon write an official page that will explain all the details about having a phone session with me, so all the boring, but required information will be available there. You know, stuff like how to schedule, what are the costs, how to pay, etc. All that super fun exciting stuff will get it’s very own page. 🙂
I can say now, that of course, I am not set up to take any insurance payments whatsoever as I am providing this service from Australia. If you can convince your insurance company to pay me, then major kudo’s to you! Chances are they won’t, so likely you’ll need to use PayPal to make an appointment happen.
I can answer questions, your questions, in a consultation. I’m good at asking questions, and I figure I can be good at answering questions too.
Here I am, and I have a phone that works.
How about those apples?!! 🙂
I bet you didn’t expect to hear THAT today. 🙂
Anyway…. that’s a lot of news to share. I think I’ll leave it here, at this point, and let y’all have a little think.
THANK YOU, all of you, for staying with me, and for reading here during all these years that I have been tucked away, recuperating from all the overwhelm of a complicated life and exhausting workload. It’s good good good to practice good self care, so when I say to you — Be Kind To Yourself !!! — you’ll know that I am coming from a place where I’ve had to do that too.
There’s always more to say, but that can wait for later.
Please do take care, and maybe just maybe I’ll be talking to you soon.
Copyright © 2008-2017 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation