Yesterday I saw my therapist and we talked about the pap test appointment tomorrow. What’s different about this appointment is:
1) the medical professional will know I’m a survivor.
2) I’m planning to ask if I have scar tissue.
3) I’m planning to ask about all the wierd things I have going on with my vagina.
It feels incredibly vulnerable to do this this way, consciously, asking for the compassionate care I want, especially when I didn’t have any care that I remember for my vagina when I was assaulted as a child.
I have duly printed out my ‘survivor safety lecture’ pap test sheet and marked the appropriate boxes. I also have typed up all my questions, and the rationale behind them on a single sheet of paper so that if I can’t deal with asking verbally, I can just get her to read it.
At my therapists suggestion, I’m going to reserve the right not to go through with the exam if I don’t like the nurse or her responses, so the questions have a dual purpose. I get to see how she handles them. My therapist also offered me an emergency session on Thursday or Friday if I need one, an offer which brings tears to my eyes even now.
It was good to talk it over with my therapist, and more importantly cry it over, cry over the body of the 5 year old girl with the injured vagina, cry over the lifetime lack of anyone to ask questions about my injuries or to care about them. Cry about the shame and fear of judgement / condescension / freak out of a nurse or doctor knowing my history examining me.
So, I’m going to watch some nice, anethesizing tv or read my new book.
On the up side, I’m still meditating 8 minutes per day and still practising either singing or guitar daily. I also started a tai chi class with my wife yesterday. So in general, things are good.
Wish me luck.