RETRAUMATIZATION

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Childhood sexual abuse revisited in a flash. Raw, descriptive, honest; such is my life. Be forewarned.

I get out of the tub noticing an unusual circular pattern of brownish-black spots the size of coffee grounds in the area where the middle portion of my body had rested. I begin to feel sick, panicky, start to shake and almost sob. I get my glasses, turn on the brightest light,  then rush to the drawer for a magnifying glass. I’m back to age ten, Chet.

Do they have bodies? Legs? I’m sick.

Calling my GYN, barely able to speak I cry shakily, “Something’s coming out of me. I don’t know what it is. I have to see my doctor right away!”

She speaks to someone in the office, perhaps my doctor, then asks, “Can you come now?”

“I have to get dressed, but yes. I’ll scape some of it up and bring it,” I respond shakily.

Using a kitchen spatula and a Tupperware container, I scape some of it up, terrified it will get on my hands, snap the lid tight and put it in a paper bag. I quickly down a good dose of Xanax to quell my anxiety which has burst through the stratosphere. I contracted crabs off a toilet seat? It wasn’t from sex, that much I know. Something had crawled up in me and was laying eggs.

The Xanax takes effect as I drive to the city suburbs, and the adrenaline eats up so much of it, I am focused enough to drive safely. The nurse meets me and takes me back to a private area so she can talk to me. I work hard to fight off the nausea…breatheRemember to breathe

After explaining to her what I thought it was, she responds kindly, “No, it can’t be that, it looks like dried blood, maybe from fibroids.”

My terror ratchets down a few decibels; fibroids, an infection, or cancer (my thought, not hers), but not bugs. Cultures were taken. A sonogram, internal and external. I still don’t know exactly what’s going on inside of me, but I know it isn’t bugs, with the female egg layer residing internally, ready to spawn thousands of eggs, or rip out of my gut like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens.

To explain my terror, I told my doctor I’d been watching too many Alien movies. I didn’t tell her I had flashed back to my ten year old self. I’d itched for weeks thinking I’d die from some disease. My teenage brother had attacked me over a two year period. And he must have been sexually active with those his own age during that same time to have passed on the infection.

I found them finally, just a little girl all alone, and tweezed as many off as I could, putting them in a cup of hot water.  Fifty years later I’m brought back there again, feeling the terror, horror, and utter betrayal, along with fears of an ultimate, immediate, petrifying death. It takes a few days to calm down from such retraumatization. 

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20 thoughts on “RETRAUMATIZATION

  1. I’m so sorry. It’s so unfair, all that you suffered and to have it all right there again, feeling like it’s just happening…it’s just not fair. I just hate that this happened to you– all of it. Sending lots of hugs and support. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m thankful to have a place where I can share the reality of my life, and be understood. It’s quite a gift and has been sorely lacking, taking a long, long time to find such a place, and a hard road to travel alone.
      But now I can talk about the truth, as if I’d broken an arm. (I did that too)
      Any child should be able to talk about such deep deep wounding just like other sicknesses or accidents. Even more so…

      Like

    1. Yes, I suppose it’s because it all went inside and stayed unprocessed.
      My grandson was able to process the trauma of the car accident. http://wp.me/s4Qpte-taboo
      Any triggering event or something similar like a fender bender or the sounds of broken glass, won’t retraumatize him or bring him right back to the original traumatic crash. He was able to talk about it over and over, until the thoughts injuring his brain dissipated like a fizzed out sparkler.
      For so many of my memories, that didn’t happen. No wonder I live ‘on the edge,’ preferring the safety and beauty of my home rather than the buzz of the outside world, cities, traffic or too many of anything I like people one or two at a time.
      Ahh, peace.

      Like

  2. You know, of course, that when I press “like,” I don’t like that you had this experience, not the recent one and certainly not the original one when you were a little ten-year-old girl. I pressed “like” to signify my concern and also my appreciation for your honesty and for how far you have come.

    I hope it turns out to be fibroids, which shouldn’t be too big a deal. Mostly I hope that you are able to soothe yourself and the frightened child within. Hugs to you, Q.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, that ‘like’ is a tricky button. I want others to know I’m listening, but don’t like that have pain.
      I am soothed. Thank you… I couldn’t put my terror into words until I did move past it all. But it took a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well yeah, nasty. That mother fucker. It brings him back so close and all that was, the paralyzing terror. Yet the man, living somewhere in Texas, is a person I feel sorry for. Haven’t heard from him in years, nor has anyone else, nor do I want to. He is dangerous. But I do feel sorry for all that my mother gave birth to. She did not have the time to nurture each child as they needed and deserved. That doesn’t make it right, but what a mess the parents made.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you’re feeling better now. That was incredibly traumatic. Brave to share your experience, and helpful to us to remind us that when things like that happen we shouldn’t we ashamed or suffer in silence. You have a good perspective on it though, I wish I could have that

        Like

        1. For all that you are going through, I sense a very solid, smart, rational and caring core. It’s just getting all those electrons back in place…
          and for you, traveling the road of putting him on the stand is doing that for you, whether the court sides in your favor or not.
          You are standing up to evil in the way you choose and need to. Bravo!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, your encouragement means a lot. I’m in a numb state at the moment, the calm before the storm I suppose. Reading your story is very inspiring, seeing all you’ve accomplished, all you’ve experienced. And you seem to be reflective, found an inner peace. A place of self acceptance and certainly great strength. I hope I can get to at least half of that point

            Like

  3. I find myself holding my breath for you. I hope it does not end up being a big medical problem!

    Yes, that retraumatization is powerful! You have good wisdom in accepting it for what it is and giving yourself a break to process it.

    Like

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