about tee kaa
hey there, tee kaa here.
For anyone who has ever said "tell me about yourself, tee." this is for you:
this is my true self.
see, I usually go with my professional self when sharing: "my name is tee. i studied social work in college and was active on campus. I worked as a research assistant, developed and operated a student worker program on the east side of aurora, il, and I am currently employed as a youth substance use prevention specialist in chicago, il. My current employment have many deliverable's that keep me active in the schools and communities within my service area. I collaborate mostly with middle school students, and occasionally high school students as well.
and, what have you learned about tee? That I have a decent LinkedIn account. you're welcome.
my true self that I do not think quickly enough to share includes my struggles, my triumphs and everything in between.
I am a survivor of abuse and other traumas; a person in recovery from suicidal ideations (SI), an eating disorder (ED), self injurious behaviors (SH), and obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD); and a person living with dissociative identity disorder (DID).
eating disorder: I have always believed that my eating disorder started in high school after a period of depression that caused my appetite to plummet. When I was seeking treatment for my self injurious behaviors, I was transferred to the eating disorder program and told I had one, of course I was in denial. I quickly learned though that I indeed was were I belonged. I had an overwhelming fear of gaining weight. I associated my heavier weight with the abuse I endured. Over the last decade I have gained a tremendous amount of insight on my eating disorder. Turns out it started much earlier with a different range of behaviors. I am also excited to share the components of the journey of my eating disorder recovery, and to hear about y'alls
Self injurious behaviors: Similarly, I have always believed I knew the "start date" of my engagement in self injurious behaviors. I remember specifically using a sharp to harm myself with the intent to kill myself my freshman year of high school. I did not complete the act of suicide that day, instead I found what would very quickly become my best friend. The sharp of choice quickly became my obsession, for any and all emotions outside of a numb state of being. During the same decade and some change of gaining insight of my eating disorder, I gained even more insight on my self injurious behaviors. Likewise, I also learned that my self harm started many years before I believed it manifested itself in different behaviors than the ones I identified as the behaviors that started this addiction. I am also excited to share my experience within this journey of my recovery, and to hear about y'alls.
obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD): My OCPD symptoms emerged while I was in college after a near death car accident that happened during my sophomore year. However, I was not diagnosed until my first year of graduate school. This diagnosis came after a mental breakdown, or "spiritual awakening," for the other Brene Brown fans out there; after a triggering and life altering altercation with a roommate; and after a inpatient stay at a mental health hospital under the care of my psychiatrist. Looking back, I am thankful for this stay because it gave him the opportunity to observe my behaviors and thought processes that led to this diagnosis. OCPD is the personality disorder that is characterized by extreme perfectionism, order and neatness. OCPD can often display and be misdiagnosed for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or borderline personality disorder (BPD). OCPD is different from OCD because of several components including the idea that those with OCPD do not have a sense that their behavior is obsessive, distressful or abnormal, where as people with OCD often do. There is also not a direct threat to failure, where as not completing the obsessive task or ritual will cause harm to their family. People with OCPD do not act on behaviors out of fear, rather out of the lack of comprehending that there is any other way to do the task. As with any personality disorder, OCPD causes barriers to creating meaningful interpersonal relationships. People with OCPD often have difficulty working in groups or making "work friends" due to their severe need to impose their own standards on their outside environment. These high standards are often perceived by others as impossible expectation causing high stress among, where as in reality, the high standards are due to not comprehending another way to complete the task(s) at hand. I look forward to sharing my personal experience, struggles, and recovery in regards to my diagnosis of OCPD, and meet others with this diagnosis!
dissociative identity disorder (DID): simply explained DID is a severe
form of dissociation, a mental process which produces a lack of
connection in a person's thoughts, memories, emotions, actions or
sense of self. And that is the only thing simple about DID. Because
of the complexity of DID my diagnosis of DID is complex. With these
complexities, I will spare the personal details in this "bio" and save
them for later. I will share more to help y'all understand the diagnosis,
and why this diagnosis was given to me.
Commonly known as the most severe form of dissociation, a diagnosis
is determined if there is at minimum two distinct parts or personality
types in one body. As of late I share my body with 19 other personalities.
These personalities range in ages and gender and all hold their own
traumas. DID is a possible effect of childhood trauma, where the
trauma(s)are so overwhelming that the main identity literally separates
in order to live through the trauma and/or continue to live and thrive.
(pretty cool, right?)
Look out for a future blog titled "Life DID me differently"
where I am going to explain DID in greater details!
Tee Kaa is a true master of human empathy. More importantly, she is an exceptional friend—committed, considerate, and kind. Tee is the first to be there for others in their times of need and is a force of healing and growth in the lives of all those lucky enough to have her in their circles. Tee’s personal journey toward wellness is a testament to her strength as an individual and her remarkable ability to lead by example, inspiring others to put in the work necessary to fight the hard battles and curate the best versions of themselves. The talks, tools, and love shared on her website and at her events are an invaluable resource to others, no matter where they are in their journey.
- Reilly K.
Tee & I met a few years ago, and since day one, she has always been super supportive. If I’m having a rough day, she is able to give me feedback - (if I’m looking for it) or simply just be a listening ear.
One of the best parts about being friends with Tee, is that I don’t have to ever worry about being judged. She has always been, and continues to be, so encouraging. She reminds me that it is okay to feel what I feel, which is extremely helpful & makes a big difference.
Plus, every time we interact (either in person, on the phone etc.) she always manages to help me smile. I am truly grateful to have a friend like Tee in my life!
I've known Tee for a number of years. I met her at Aurora University through a mutual friend. When I first met her, I never thought that I would meet someone who loves coffee more than I do. Seriously she has a coffee station at her place! Once I got to know her I knew she would be a important person in my life. Not only is she a lovely friend but she is strong, determined and the most non judgmental mentor that I have met. She's is a prime example of what a social worker should be. She's advocated for others and taken leadership positions. Tee excels in it all. Throughout the years I've seen her battle through multiple personal hardships and every time she springs back up and grows stronger. When she's faced with hardship she's found a way to push through and bring her humor into it. If you need someone to guide you in your struggles and need someone with a great sense of humor and wit then you definitely need to have Tee by your side.
Tee has been a friend that it didn’t seem to take long to be comfortable with. I suppose when you meet people in your most vulnerable times, there isn’t anything to "hide" and learning of each other in a judgment free zone helps. Tee takes it above the group atmosphere, and cares deeply on an individual level. Even if she has something in the forefront of her life, she still checks in. Has words of wisdom or a fun Winston story. The thing is learning friendships go both ways, this is something that was always lacking in my life. With Tee, it’s unconditional... and what I hold myself in judgment for, she finds grace, encourages and accepts. Even though she is years younger than me, she inspires me like a big sister would.
- E. C.