It's That Time of Year Again...
Though I am not going to post details here, in this post, I do want to add a trigger warning here, because I am going to post a little bit of my story here, and a link to my full story, which also has a trigger warning.
I have to go to my gynecologist for my annual exam. That means a pelvic, breast exam, and pap smear. It’s something all women have to go through once a year from the time they’re in their late teens or early twenties or when they become sexually active. (Though the younger you start, even if they don’t do a full gynecologic exam when you’re younger, the better, you’ll build a relationship and feel more comfortable when the time comes.) It’s uncomfortable for most women, but for me, and plenty of others, it’s more than just uncomfortable, it’s an experience that triggers anxiety, panic, and flashbacks.
Five and a half years ago, I was raped (My full story is here). For me, it’s not so much the pelvic that triggers me, though it certainly causes me anxiety, it’s the breast exam. My perpetrator bit my left breast so hard it was black and blue for a week, before it even started healing. I couldn’t lay on my left side without crying. So when my gynecologist checks my left breast to make sure there’s no lumps or anything off about it, it instantly brings tears to my eyes, and I generally cry throughout the rest of my exam.
On top of the anxiety I already feel going to the gynecologist, I have to go to a new one this year. I recently moved, and the woman I was seeing left the practice. I was prepared to drive 2 hours away to get my annual, but instead I had to look for a new doctor, which in and of itself gives me anxiety, GAH. Tomorrow isn’t going to be fun.