Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Calm

First, thank you for all the comments. Each and every one of them touched me in some way and made an impact on me.

For the comments of bravery, wow, never even occured to me that I was being brave.

For the comments about having a new found respect for me. Again, totally unexpected. I was really afraid the comments would be of sadness and sorrow and a, "poor is her," attitude. That I would be seen as a victim and that was absolutely what I did not, nor do I want/need. So, thank you. Thank you so very, very much for those words.

For the comments that my post could help someone else. Again, it honestly never even occured to me. However, if my story helped or does help someone else, then that made it all worth it.

For the comments about the rapes defining me. Of course the events have made me who I am and shaped me. The events effect me in some way everyday. Where I live: always on the top floor and only in small apartment complexes. I want to know my neighbors and I want to see who is coming and going. (As much as a person can.)
Where I walk: only in well-lit areas that I am familiar with and I walk directly in the middle of the parking lot or street.
When I am in my car: how I get in and out of my car; in one swift motion and I lock my doors as soon as I am inside.
When I pass a stranger: I always make eye contact and smile at them and/or say, 'hello.'
Who I let into my space (apartment, car): no one. Very, rarely, do I let anyone into my personal space. I am not going to allow a stranger, or for that matter someone I know fairly well, into my apartment. Actually, more specifically, my bedroom or my bed. If I have ended a relationship I want to have a safe place to go back to.
Dance clubs: I only go to gay dance clubs. I don't want to be harrassed and I don't want your groove thing grooveing against mine. I just want to be able to dance and enjoy myself without a hassel.

I absolutely feel calm today. If you would have asked me before the post if I was a calm person I would have answered, yes. However, I am so alright with the world right now. Calm. Inner calm. Inner peace. I know that sounds hokey, but that's the only way I know how to describe how I feel right now. Calm. I am exhaling. Deeply and truly exhaling. Cleansed. I don't feel like I have a secret or like I'm hiding something. Free. I feel free.

I am have also never seen myself so clearly. Me, myself, I, the person looking back at me in the mirror. Self-esteem is not something I am lacking in. Self-image is pretty damn clear to me. However, I see me. I see myself clearly.

As I mentioned in the post, that is the most I have ever written or talked about what happened at one time. Mostly because I was always interrupted when trying to tell someone. Or someone would immediatly tell me their story and so mine lost relevance to me. If someone can't take the time to listen to me when I am trying to open up, then I am not going to bother continuing. If you interrupt me, I shut down. I close myself off and I shut down. Simple as that. That, obviously, was the first time I wasn't interrupted and I could say everything I wanted and needed to say. I hope, if you take nothing else from my post, that you remember to simply listen to someone when they try to tell you their story.

As soon as I wrote it all out and posted it I felt really, really good. Then after I shut my computer down and went back out into my living room, fear set in. What would you think? What would you say? How would you react? I wanted to get up and delete the post, but I made a rule for myself when I started this blog; complete and total honesty (not that I know how to be any other way) and whatever I write stays. No matter what. No matter how much I want to change something or take it down, it stays. It was honest and true of how I was feeling at that moment, so it stays.

One of the biggest things that came out of sharing, and maybe (probably) it's too early for this, but I compulsively read my story. After I posted it I read it over several time and several more times yesterday. Over and over and over again, I read what I had written. Sure with each new read I found new typos, but I've never owned my story. I've never owned my past. I've never owned what happened. It happened, but I couldn't and didn't want to deal with it immediately afterward. Every time I tried to talk about it I was interrupted. And it's not like I sit around my place and try to think about it on any kind of regular basis. Tuesday night I finally owned it. I wrote it. I read it over and over again, I owned it. It's not everyone's story, it is my life.

I was also asked, or it was said that I should, talk about the rape exam. I'm still not comfortable with that. However, part of what I find wrong with the exam is, I was violated by a man and a man was now going to examine me.
I was told to pull out my pubic hair. I had to pull out, comb, and cut my pubic hair (to collect for processing and to show the difference between being pulled out and falling out naturaly. For lack of a better word, to show how violent the rape was and to see if it was rape vs consentual sex) with a male doctor watching me. He (the doctor) was between my legs watching me pull out my pubic hair. That is the most painful memory I have about the exam. When I started to cry this caused the doctor to become aggitated and leave the room. It seems to me, only common sense really, that a female doctor, or two nurses (female) should conduct the exam.

Also, a week or so later I went to my family doctor for a follow-up exam. I had told the nurse why I was there. However, she felt the need to lecture me on STD's and the importance of practicing safe sex. I cut her off and explained, once again, that I had been raped. Did she really think this was the time to lecture me? She did not apologize for her mistake.
Then the doctor came in. He hadn't taken the time to look at my chart either, he also gave me a lecture about safe sex. Once again, I cut him off and told him to look at my chart. It's crap like that that makes me mad. It wasn't necessary, it could have been avoided.

Again, I know all of this is only a little over 24 hours later, but this is honestly how I am feeling 24 hours later. Last night I was utterly exhausted. Emotionally exhausted. I just wanted to go home and reflect. Unfortunately that wasn't possible. Instead I got home around midnight and collapsed into bed. I wish I could have taken today off to sit at home and reflect. But alas, I can't do that either.

For those of you who have your own stories to tell, please, always feel free to contact me and I will always be a willing, and quiet, ear. For those of you who have already contacted me, thank you for your words and for sharing your story with me. I assure you your story will be safe.
partygirl99@gmail

7 comments:

TrappedInColorado said...

I can only assume that the reason why only female doctors/nurses do not do rape exams is due to availability. In ERs it's whoever is free that gets the next case. Too bad it can't be different. However, for a male doctor to act like you described... unacceptable and inexcusable.

Peace

puerileuwaite said...

Fuckers.

I could go on and on about my loathing for the medical industry in general. But I won't. Okay, because you twisted my arm, maybe just a little.

Way too many bad apples spoiling the proverbial barrel.

Suffice it to say, this is one field where screening for personality flaws, such as LACK OF EMPATHY, should be mandatory.

I realize that medical personnel are supposed to project Vulcan-like calmness, logic and impartiality. But way too many of these assholes use that as "Carte Blanche" for rudeness, neglect and an overall lack of commitment to their chosen profession.

That's right, they CHOSE it. So if patients tend to annoy them, then get the FUCK out. Go work with animals, or better yet (since I AM an animal lover [never convicted, though] and I don't want them to receive shitty medical care either), work with inanimate objects that you can't hurt with your ignorance (lab work, for instance ... in that environment, competence is the only major prerequisite).

Now, I realize that the health care system is a joke, and that it is an absolute nightmare for medical practitioners from a business perspective. I also understand that it a is HIGH pressure and severe-consequence-laden (malpractice concerns, lives are on the line, et.al.) field of work.

Also, there is the wide spectrum of personality types that must be dealt with.

Some of us (I'm putting you in this category, PG ;-) )ARE sane* (* I, however, am NOT in this category ;-( ), rational** (** nor this one) folks - ones who sparingly use the system, or have serious, long-term illneses that require continuous treatment.

But there are way too many hypochrondriacs and attention seeking morons in general out there who attempt to live out their lives in medical facilities. I'm sure that these drains-on-society-in-general have a cumulative effect on the dispositions of medical staff over time, but - sorry - it shouldn't bleed over into their treatment of the rest of us.

This is why you will NEVER see me in a doctor's office, unless death is at my door.

Talk about a profession in serious need of an ethics infusion.

I am disgusted that they did not provide a female practicioner for your exam. I am sorry. That is inexcusable. I hope it is not common practice, because if it is, then THAT needs to change.

For those competant and caring medical practicioners out there, keep on keepin' on. This rant was not about you. I am fairly certain that you are suffering from these poseurs*** (*** I'm sure that I botched the spelling, but am too lazy to look it up at this point) along with the rest of us.

Please excuse the loooooong comment. Whew! I think I may have healed something inside with that release. Evil demons, come out!

ptg said...

Thanks again PG for letting me know I'm not alone.

GirlGoyle said...

Blogging has a way of being liberating and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than going to the shrink. Glad the calm has come over you.

Party Girl said...

Trapped: Oh, I'm sure this is the case, but I think two nurses can/could perform the exam with no problem.

puerileuwaite: Oooooooohhhhhhh, I like you. You're a keeper to the PG family. *group hug*
Here's the thing I didn't post.

My mom worked at the clinic, my family doctor, that clinic? Yeah, she worked there. They knew me. It was supposed to be a, 'safe,' place for me.
Open the fucking chart!

ptg: I'm glad I can be here for you. I'm glad if my words helped in some way. Again, that thought never even occured to me that I could help someone. Truly, I have no words.
Thank you for sharing what you shared.
Thank you for your courage, bravery, for taking a breath, for taking a stand, for being strong, to opening the door everyday and facing the world.
Truly.

GG: No shit. That's all I got. No shit.

better yet, no fucking shit.

Egan said...

I'm speechless yet again. You're to be admired for your candor. Keep it up, you're doing us all a tremendous service by sharing your personal story. Thanks.

Neil said...

Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Not only did we get to know you better, but I'm sure you're helping many others.