I walked into my women’s wellness appointment today feeling anxious. When I checked in, the receptionist asked me when my last wellness exam was. “December of 2015,” I replied. She said, “Oh, well you only have to get them every 3 years…..did you need anything else done today?” I looked at her, confused. “Well the whole reason I am here is because my doctor won’t renew my birth control prescription until I have an exam.” The reception assured me that Planned Parenthood would likely renew it without the exam and to wait until the nurse came and got me.
I was sitting in the waiting room, watching a mother take selfies with her daughter who was probably 8 years old. I didn’t realize Planned Parenthood was a prime selfie location 🤔 When I was finally called back, the nurse asked me if we were doing a full exam. I told her that I wasn’t sure if I needed to or not, but that I really just needed more birth control. She proceeded to ask me a series of questions.
During the questioning process, I found myself get distracted by the anatomically correct informational posters. I wonder if he knew what he was doing to me when we were kids, I thought.
First question: “Have you been feeling down or lost interest in things you once enjoyed?” I don’t even know how to answer that… “No…” I can’t tell her that I’m chronically suicidal.
A few more questions: “Have you ever been forced or participated in a sexual act that made you feel uncomfortable?” I stared blankly at the nurse… “In the past or currently?” The nurse wasn’t sure so she said how about ever? The images of him hurting that little girl flashed through my mind…. and the image of the 19 year old me being raped by my 46 year old co-worker…. “Yes, but not recently.” In this moment, it feels recent though.
Several more questions later: “Any recreational drug or alcohol use?” “No.” The nurse looked shocked. “You don’t ever drink sometimes?” With a smirk on my face, “No, I’m almost 5 years sober…. nothing good happens when I drink.” The nurse praised me.
And that was that. I got a new prescription for birth control and I didn’t even have to take my pants off! No one asked for more information regarding my “uncomfortable” sexual experiences. I was relieved.
Therapy was productive. I recounted the blindfolding experience with my shrink and cried. I couldn’t help it – the experience for me was so terrifying that I am still crying about it 2 days later when I talk about it. It is so scary when you’re trying to tell yourself that it’s ok but your body is in a complete state of panic. I am working on reframing the experience in my mind though. All-in-all, it’s been a good day 💜
PS: this is not a picture of me 😉