General Malaise

There are two issues at the heart of everything this week. Since Monday, I’ve been in a pretty straightforward state of depersonalization. Simply observing myself move through life and watching everything as though it belongs to someone else. Everything about me feels foreign to me. I blink and it’s 3pm and again and it’s 10pm and then I wake up the next day.

I know exactly what triggered me although the nuances escape me. It’s almost Dave’s birthday. The one boss I have, who treats my like a little sister, is so committed to my growth. He’s feeling underappreciated at work, a fact only I’m really privy to. So I suggest for his birthday that everyone write a nice note about what they appreciate about him. We get a journal and people write their messages. BUT THEN, human resources gets involved and says that Owner2 is going to be super mad if we celebrate Dave in this way. And it’s kind of true. Owner2 is a narcissistic, hypocrital, sensitive idiot who believes he is always right and ‘welcomes criticism’ but never changes. I hate everything about him. He reminds me of my brother. So I stand up to fight. It’s not owner2’s birthday. In fact, Owner2 took a three month vacation over his birthday… So it’s not like he was able to be here for us to celebrate him. ALSO, HES AN ASSHOLE. And so now knowing Dave as well as I do, this will backfire because we have to address all of his BIRTHDAY letters as “DEAR COMPANY”, TO BOTH OF THEM. It’s going to make him feel not good at all and fuck… fuck fuck fuck. I’m so tired of having to put other people’s feelings first. Of managing the feelings of thirty year old men who can’t figure their shit out. This reeked of every birthday I had where my brother also got a gift. Where every celebration about me also had him doing something special. It rocked me. And I have not recovered.

**trigger warning – sexual assault**

And then, on Tuesday, I went to see Dr. R again. My naturopath. I love Dr. R. Last week I told her about the sexual assault… I need a pap and I haven’t been able to face the idea of being penetrated since my assault. And she told me I drive the bus and we will find a way to communicate and that I can bring someone with me if I want – my husband, Lu, my therapist. And I wish she never suggested the last one. First of all I’m immensely grateful for her being so open and understanding and willing to open up her practice and just a whole bunch of other things.

But today I realized I’m punishing myself for wanting to have A there. It feels COMPLETELY unreasonable to want that. I need a pap, I have a family history of uterine cancer, it’s already been three years since my last one, there is a certain level of urgency attached to this. But I can’t ask A to be there and I don’t want anyone else and the fucking shame around this is crippling. I get the idea from somewhere that A doesn’t *do* outside of the office counselling stuff. I’d obviously pay her but to me it’s so wrong to ask. I’m making an assumption she would say no but I really do believe it’s something I should be ashamed of. Wanting my counselor there as I get my first pap post sexual assault… it feels like something a mom should do for her daughter and then, more anger and shame. I’m not her daughter, and therefore I feel wrong for asking her or even thinking about it. Thinking about needing something feels wrong. I’m wrong for needing any sort of special accommodations. 

Like, how dare I believe I am deserving of any of these exceptions. I feel like I should go and get the pap and stop being such a big baby about it. That’s how I feel. 

I also realized I’m punishing myself by not asking for help or assistance because I don’t feel I deserve it because I still believe my lying caused this to happen. If I hadn’t lied about it, if I wasn’t inherently bad or awful, if I had just never talked about it, and kept it in and behaved as I should have it wouldn’t have happened and this whole debacle wouldn’t be necessary.

I wish I never told Dr. R what happened and that I had just shut up and got the pap. 

And this is how I’m feeling right now. Totally separate from my body, completely set off by Monday, ashamed for wanting to ask my counselor to come to the doctor’s with me (I’m right, right? That’s super dumb), and guilty and deserving of my assault. I’m sure tomorrow’s session will be super fun. It’s definitely going to be interesting depending on what state I actually arrive in. 

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8 thoughts on “General Malaise

  1. PD, it’s not dumb to want A there. She’s safe. And getting a pap feels very, very unsafe. I doubt T would do it (though I guess I don’t know). I really like Alice’s idea. Maybe that would be something to ask A, as well as the letter you’ve just written, if you think it would be helpful?
    And I have no idea about this… but would it be helpful to have your husband there? xoxo

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  2. you are not inherently bad or awful. you did not deserve to be assaulted. it is ok to ask A to be there. my therapist accompanied me to the clinic when i was raped so that i could get tested for STD’s. Sometimes therapists do that sorta thing. You shouldnt go through the pap alone. hugs you tight. you’ll be ok, xxx

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  3. I agree with all that was said above PD, you have a special and trusting relationship with A…and that pap is a scary and destabalizing event after all you have endured. It is smart to reach out for support…hard to ask for the help…but so smart to do that which is in your best interest. I hope you can share these thougths with A…you both have a special relationship and I imagine that together you will find a good solution that will help you through this. Stay safe

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  4. Can I say something about you wanting A there? I think it’s so normal to want that; she makes you feel safe, she can keep you grounded, she shows care for you. Why wouldn’t you want someone like that with you to support you when you are facing something scary and triggering?

    I freaked out at my last exam, and my doctor never finished the exam. Medically, I really needed to get that exam, but emotionally, I wasn’t sure I could face going back. Bea offered to talk to my doctor, to go with me, to talk to me on the phone, whatever she could do to help me feel safer. Because I had behaved like a little girl in my doctors office a few weeks prior, I felt like it would be very embarrassing to need my therapist with me (I didn’t want my doctor, who is kind and wonderful and really doesn’t seem judgmental, to think I was broken or crazy— yeah, I’m working on that shame piece). Plus, it’s hard for me to accept kindness from or things I perceive as me being too much from anyone. Anyway, Bea ended up texting with me that day, before and during my exam. The texting was something I could accept from her, and it really helped. I wonder if you and A could come up with some way for get to support you through the exam even if it wasn’t having her physically there?

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  5. It is NOT wrong or dumb to need or want special accomodations for a pap. I haven;t been for one in years because my experience has been negative when it comes to needing that. Given your experience, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you would need and want someone you trust there with you when you go for the pap. Don’t beat yourself up for needing help, It’s understandable.

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  6. A lot of emotions at once. It’s not dumb to want A there. You trust her, and this pap is a vulnerable thing especially given the assault. You’re allowed to want her to be there.
    Owner2 does seem like your brother, no wonder why that situation is so hard for you. You had really, really good intentions with your idea. HR and Owner2 just ruined them. And it sucks.
    Let your session happen naturally. A will be there no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. God that owner2 sounds like a horrible person to work for. I hate people like him. I feel you about the pap. Although I’ve never gone for one, and I know I should. I almost went a few weeks ago, but once I got to the doctors office, I told her that I changed my mind. I have this fear about it. I’ve never even been to a gynae, and I know with my history and everything that happened to me, I really should go. I don’t think it’s dumb at all to want your therapist to go with. I doubt mine would. 😦

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  8. Nope, not super dumb to want that. Why wouldn’t you want one of the women you trust most in your life, there with you? Also, 2 of my therapists have offered to go with me to a Pap, so it’s not out the realms of possibility. Sienna has told me in no uncertain terms that one day we are going. 😀 she doesn’t know how wrong she is! ha

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