Caution Mature Content******************************************Caution Mature Content
The hospital. The doctor’s office. Backrooms, exam rooms, being alone with doctors, asked to lay down. The sexual assault and then the many medical appointments that followed did not coexist peacefully.
Upon telling my two ‘big brother’ friends what had occurred, they insisted I go to the police. It felt very out of my control and on the second day I did. A trip to the ER followed. The rape test. I saved my clothes to give to the detectives. I remember having to change into a gown, lying still on a birthing bed, my legs spread apart as the nurse did it all over again. She had to touch me everywhere he had. Everywhere. And I had to let her. I could tell her to stop, but then the exam would be incomplete. She took DNA samples from under my fingernails, up and down my arms, my throat, lips. It took hours. I just wrapped my arms around my stomach and stared at the wall toning out the crisis counselor who was ‘there for me’. She called me a few times in the months that followed to check up on me but I always told her I was fine. I didn’t live there anymore anyway.
The next appointment I had was in January. I’d hurt my toe country swing dancing two months prior and the pain hadn’t gone. It wasn’t too bad. The doctor seemed surprised when I told him I was a theatre major because I was so quiet and reserved. He seemed to sense something was off with me and upon asking if he should stop teasing I just nodded.
I had to get an xray of course but ended up laying down on the table. It was practically the same position as the hospital...
Then the testing began. I was honestly scared. I wasn’t sure if there had somehow been a way for me to become pregnant. Was that why my stomach had become worse? I could have passed out for a bit while I was with him. He could have done so much to me in the two hours that though I remember even now so clearly, could have been mixed into a blur easily. However a baby would have shown up in a CT scan especially after two months. It was a relief.
I had to get used to laying down for doctors to do what they needed again. It didn’t used to be a problem. An ultra sound, a HIDA scan.
I was worried about the scopes and being put under anesthesia. I’ve heard the stories of doctors raping people and other such things. All went well however.
Then there was the EKG to check my heart. That took me by surprise as a male nurse had me lay down and without a thought stuck wires to my breasts and under my shirt to my bra line. I was very tense during it all, trying my hardest to relax as he instructed me.
Since the police and working with a detective I was able to sign a paper saying I didn’t have to go to court, yet I receive updates on the meetings. I never wanted to hurt him. I never wanted anything to happen to him. I fear for him, that I’ve ruined his life. It frustrates me that I don’t know where he is, what’s happening to him.
I had my first panic attack several days after the incident. I’d blocked his number of course, yet unblocked it to see if I could retrieve his texts. He’d texted me that night and I’d stopped breathing.
I still get panic attacks at night, being alone in my bed in the dark. They range from not being able to sleep because I’m remembering to curling up in a tight ball unable to breathe because I can feel it as if he’s touching me again. I feel terrible on the few nights I end up texting or calling a friend to help me through it. I’ve lost friends that way, yet I can’t blame them. There are things that trigger flashbacks. It frustrates me that my body and mind takes this so hard even now over nine months later when people have gone through so much worse and hardly bat an eye.
I’ve worked through counseling, I’m dating again, slowly my life is returning to a form of normal that I must now accept. Because this is never truly going to go away. This is my trauma that haunts me as others have their own.
I want to share this out in the open. What I’ve gone through, knowing that so many others have gone through the same and worse. Know that you’re not alone. Know that everyone gets through things differently and everyone has different reactions to things. Know that the third ‘f’ is usually forgotten: Fight, Flight and (freeze). Know that it wasn’t and is not your fault. I’m still trying to convince myself. Most importantly know that someone will love you when the time is right. Someone who will be willing to face your past with you as it portrays in the present and future. Stay strong, amazing.