Wednesday emails 

Hi Bea,

I finished the letter to my doctor. I ended up writing two. I don’t know which one to send. I still really just don’t want to deal with it. I guess I just wanted to know what you think– which one. 

The school meeting was okay. Nothing major, and I managed to keep my mouth shut. 🙂

I’ve been writing and thinking about parts, and may have something to,send you later, but right now I’m still thinking and digesting and trying to make sense of it. Anyway. Here’s the letters. 

Dear Doctor S,

Thank you for calling to check on me. I’m sorry I didn’t pick up the phone, or return your calls, I just wasn’t ready to talk about what happened last week. I’m really embarrassed over my reaction and behavior during the exam. I’d like to explain what happened and why I reacted in the way I did. I would prefer if we can keep this between us; this isn’t information I want in my medical history. 

I was sexually abused by a family friend for a good portion of my childhood. Pelvic exams are always hard for me, but I’ve always been quite good at holding things together, at sort of dissociating away my uncomfortable feelings, and not letting anyone know I’m less than okay. Last week, however, was different. I wasn’t aware that the student you had with you was male, until the two of you walked into the exam room. By then, it felt like it was too late to say anything, and I really thought I could just get through it, like I always do. When you asked if he could perform part of the exam— and it is good that you asked– I couldn’t say no, because I was afraid of making him feel bad, or appearing to be mean. I was already triggered, at that point, but I still really thought I could hold it together. 

When he touched me, that just sent me back to that very scary trauma place. It was too big of a trigger for me to dissociate away, and I fell apart. I’m glad you asked him to leave, and I’m glad you covered me up. I feel so embarrassed for how I reacted. I hate that all I could do was cry, and feel frozen. I know you were trying to talk to me, ask me questions and I hate that I couldn’t answer them. I wasn’t really in the present then, I was back in a place and time where I wasn’t safe, and bad things happened.

I know I need to come back in, and finish the exam. I feel very apprehensive about that. I don’t want to put myself in another situation where I’m triggered and scared. I also don’t want to put myself in a situation where I need to be able to come to the doctor and feel like I can’t. I’m working through what happened with my therapist, and I will schedule something as soon as I feel okay about it again

~Alice  

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Dear Doctor S, 

Thank you for calling to check on me. I’m sorry I didn’t pick up the phone, or return your calls, I just wasn’t ready to talk about what happened last week. I’m really embarrassed over my reaction and behavior during the exam. I’d like to explain what happened and why I reacted in the way I did. I would prefer if we can keep this between us; this isn’t information I want in my medical history. 

I have a history of trauma, and a diagnosis of PTSD. Pelvic exams are always hard for me, but I’ve always been quite good at holding things together, at sort of dissociating away my uncomfortable feelings, and not letting anyone know I’m less than okay. Having a male doctor present and performing part of the exam really triggered me. 

I know I need to come back in and finish the exam; I’m working through this with my therapist and will schedule something as soon as I feel less triggered when thinking about coming back. 

~Alice

(Bea) I think both letters are good. I guess it depends on how much you want to reveal–do you want the doctor to be more a part of your “inner circle” who knows what happened, or do you want to set a boundary about how much you’re going to discuss it with her? The second one definitely does that, where the first one exposes much more.  

I don’t know. They both feel like too much, or not enough. Maybe I feel like I have to explain, like I owe everyone their an explanation for my (what I think of as bad or maybe inappropriate) behavior. I don’t know. Ugh. I don’t want to add to people who know. I just don’t. But I suppose she must know something, anyway. So. Ugh. 

The response you get from her will probably vary accordingly. Your decision definitely depends on what you know of her and how you want to handle yourself moving forward with her–really up to you!

I’m afraid if I give less information, then her response will obviously be….I don’t know, maybe less personal or something. And even though I don’t really want to discuss it with her, my feelings will be hurt if her response feels cold to me. I don’t know. But I don’t want to talk about anything with her. I don’t really talk to anyone but you. So I don’t know. This is hard. I feel like no matter what I need to tell her that I barely talk to my therapist about things face to face, that I write more than talk, and I really can’t talk about this. I hate this. I really, really hate this. It’s too hard. It’s too much to figure out what is okay for people to know and what isn’t. It is like being in first grade again and wanting to tell but not wanting to tell. It feels bad. I just can’t explain it. But I need to do something soon, I know. 
I feel so alone right now. I know you’re here, but I’m almost afraid to feel it. It’s like hubby isn’t really here…but he never is really. And Kay left. And my mom just…I don’t know. I feel like I never should have trusted that things were different. I really needed her, and she couldn’t be there. I’m scared. I don’t like feeling like I have no one. 

I don’t want to stop and think, or feel right now because as soon as I do, I’m scared and sad and feeling like something really really bad is going to happen. It’s not just the visit with my doctor, or anything else that has happened. I don’t have words for it, there’s nothing actually bad happening. I know this. I just…I don’t know. Something feels wrong. Really wrong. I don’t know. I keep crying. Just random tears, crying when nothing is happening. It’s terrible. I just feel really, really sad. 

I took the chart of parts you gave me….I sort of…I don’t know…..like fit the little girl, the teen, the perfect part into the chart. I’m just not sure about how I reorganized if yet. I need to think about it more. I’m just having trouble thinking. I haven’t been very…present, grounded this week. I don’t want to think. Thinking hurts. 

Hi Alice, 

I’m here and very much “normal” Bea (oxymoron!) at the moment. I wonder why this week has been hard–I wonder if it is because of your mom going back to her old self–and that’s probably just a temporary part of her healing.

Or maybe writing the letter has stirred up exactly what you described–the first grader who wanted to tell. Who was very alone.

I’m glad we’re meeting tomorrow.  

I have someone coming in now, but wanted to respond. Maybe we can get the letter situation resolved tomorrow-that will feel good and scary both, I’m sure.

Bea

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6 thoughts on “Wednesday emails 

  1. All of your fears are valid, and I read your other post already so I know you sent it and she responded. But I am glad you took this time to think about the letter, and am very proud of you for going through with the communication. It wasn’t easy to face, but you did.

    Like

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