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Day 211: Decompressing My Doctor Visit and T Session

Posted by intrepidshe , in Crying, Touch, Gynecology, Healing Work 09 July 2014 · 378 views

July 9, 2014 Intrepid Age = 139 Days:
 
I have essentially three chapters of writing tonight: (1) Today's T session; (2) The Doctor Appointment; and, (3) The Well.
 
A therapy session and an unplanned doctor visit in the same day . . . it was intense. But it was good. Not to say I didn't experience fear, sorrow, and pain. However, the fear, sorrow, and pain were appropriate under the circumstances. Every day I feel a little better about having these emotions, less ashamed, less self-loathing.
 
Today's Therapy Session:
 
In my session today my T talked with me about my posting from last night and I also read my posting from last Thursday about extracting another splinter. She was pleased for me about starting to make a new friend. She said I am exhibiting the transition out of the denial stage of grief because I was able to tell my story to this new friend without too much trouble. My T also talked with me about being held by AF. She said it is serving the function of attachment therapy. She described how they will have mothers hold their children, even as old as age 9, and help the child learn to attach to the mother.
 
I said, that does sound like what happens for me with AF. I am learning to feel attachment. We talked about motherhood transference and she said what she has said before, "It's OK as long as you and AF are talking about it." I reaffirmed we have talked about it. And I decided I would tell AF about the conversation with my T, just to make sure we continue to talk about it. I also talked with my T today about crying with AF. She wanted to know why I don't cry in T, but I am able to cry with AF. I explained there isn't time in a T session. It takes two to three hours for me to get through it when I break down. I also said it requires touch. The key for me is that AF can hold me. I said, "You can't do that for me." She agreed.
 
I told AF about this conversation and we both wondered if other survivors have this same need. If they would experience healing more readily or more completely if they could be held by someone safe, like in attachment therapy. We both think so. She was pretty annoyed with the notion that a child can receive attachment therapy but not an adult. I have felt many forms of annoyed about the strictures against an adult holding another adult outside of a spousal type relationship. Now that I have found a safe person, I am thankful it is outside of a spousal relationship. It is far, far better for me that AF and I are friends. There is no confusion about whether her touch and affection is sexual. It is not. I can trust she will never ask that of me. Because of that trust her touch is deeply healing to me and I can be completely vulnerable with her.
 
Today's Doctor Appointment:
 
AF came with me to the appointment, which was shortly after my T session. At the start of the appointment the medical assistant (MA) stepped up to me to measure my waist circumference. I jumped back, even though she said she was going to do that. I wasn't prepared to be touched today. She gathered other information from me and stepped out. I sat leaning my head back against the wall. It was too much to be in an exam room, looking at the white paper on the exam bed, and having been touched unexpectedly. I felt like I was going to fall asleep. The room felt like it was getting smaller and I felt like I was getting hot. AF said, "Hon, open your eyes. You can do it. Come on. Open your eyes and look at me." It was really hard. I wanted to lay on the floor of the exam room. It would be cool, like the bottom of a well (like the well in my dreams). I was so strongly tempted to lay down and let myself fall asleep. But, I heard AF's voice and felt her hand on my back and on my arm. I also heard my Pandy's friends in my pocket, "You can do it." I managed to open my eyes. AF told me to take some deep breaths. I did. "You're doing good. That was very good. Keep breathing, sweetie."
 
The doctor came in then and I was able to focus on her. She immediately apologized for the MA touching me. I said it was OK but she said she was still sorry. She hadn't told the MA about my history. We talked through my labs (all good news!). She then asked if there was anything else I needed. I swallowed and took a breath. "I want to ask about urinary retention."  We had a thorough conversation about my bladder, why I have the stricture, what I've tried in the past to treat it, options available now, etc. She explained for self-catheterization I would have to come in for an appointment and be shown how to do it. She recognized how challenging that would be for me. She agreed, however, that it sounded like a good option for me in light of my history and symptoms. We agreed I would think about it and let her know.
 
I asked AF afterward if she would come with me. She said she would. When we were in the car getting ready to leave she asked me what I was feeling. I said, "Afraid." She asked, "What are you afraid of, hon?" I said, "What comes next." She then asked, "Is that all your feeling?" I said, "I feel sad and angry." She responded that it makes sense for me to feel afraid, sad, and angry. She said those are reasonable responses to what happened to me and what I'm going through. I leaned into her and she hugged me. And then, once again, I cried. I cried about spending many years believing I deserved the pain I experienced from my bladder because I couldn't hold it. I believed that because my parents said it to me so many times. They never believed me about the pain. They made me hold it until I wet my pants or passed out and then they would punish me. I cried as I thought about these things and AF reassured me, telling me, "Let it out. It's OK. You're going to be OK. You're safe. I'm with you."
 
I didn't cry for very long. I was conscious of time and needing to get back to work, especially since AF had a meeting she was supposed to be there for. I said this to her several times, but she dismissed my concern.
 
The Well:
 
After leaving the doctor's office AF took me to a convenience store nearby to get a beverage (probably also to give me more time to transition into my professional self). We sat outside the convenience store for some time talking. I told her about these dreams I have where I am at the bottom of a well. I said there is a good dream and there is a nightmare. In the nightmare I am trying to get out of the well, trying to climb the walls. But the rocks are damp and slippery. I can't get anywhere and there is no one up above to help me. In the good dream the well is a cool, dark place where I can sleep because I'm safe. I said in both cases I don't really have hope. But, I accepted the hopelessness in the good dream and make the most out of my situation. Besides, the abusers are out there. Being in the well is better than being up top.
 
She said, "Well, now we've lowered a ladder and you can climb out when you want. You can go back in when you want. It's up to you." I nodded, seeing what she meant. With the healing process I have learned the abusers aren't up there waiting for me. There are people up there who love me. They are happy to see me and also understand when I need to climb back down into the cool darkness. I really liked that image. I said, "You know, the well is situated in the middle of a green field in a forest." She said, "That's exactly how I have seen it too." (She knew about the well from other things I have said and written.) I did a double-take when she said that. I have never described this place where the well is located. "How did you know that?" She just smiled at me as if to say, "Of course that's where your well would be."
 
She added, "We can build a house when you're ready and you can live in this beautiful field in the forest."
 
I took a deep breath, practically smelling the pine trees. "I would like that very much!" I thought for a moment and added, "We will fill in the well when I don't need it any more and build the house over the spot where it was located." I added, "I think I would like to do something in real life along these lines to mimic this idea." She said she would help me with it. So, at some point, when I feel safe enough to no longer need the well as a hiding place, we will give Little Intrepid a home, where she is warm, loved, and safe. There will be cookies in the oven, milk on the table, and Mamma Intrepid ready to let her up into her lap any time she wants.
 
In fact, maybe we'll keep the well. We'll fill it with clean, clear water. She can draw from it when she wants. She can see the reflection from the sky. The well can continue to be a source of life, but in an entirely new way. Little Intrepid can hope. She doesn't have to accept a life of hopelessness any more.



In response to attachment in therapy. I feel my healing would be more complete if my therapist could hold me as I cried. I love my DH deeply, and he holds me, but he is my husband and the attachment is different. My issue is always when I feel an older person has power over me.

But then my erotic transference has also been bad - so on the flip side- it's probably just as well....

So glad your blood results were good. And yay you for asking about the self catheterisation :). Sorry for all the pain and humiliation you went through as a child. It was not your fault. Fingers crossed on your good progress. I wish you all the love and support in the world. You are a truly courageous woman- an amazing survivor- and a real inspiration :hug:
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intrepidshe
Jul 09 2014 11:45 PM

Mand,

 

I am believing more every day that attachment therapy is applicable to adults and a way should be found to make it available to adults. I understand completely what you say about your DH. It's not the same type of attachment.

 

Is there anyone in your life, a friend, who could do this for you? I have been amazed by both AF and PF's willingness to do this. My friend BAF has also said she would do this. I know many of us would do this for someone. So, I'm thinking there are others out there. There are safe, loving people.

 

I went 46 years before I started to believe this and to see it, then experience it. Maybe, just maybe, I'm not the only one who happens to know several such people.

You are spot on regarding your dream.  A well represents a place to suppress your emotions and depth of your emotions.  It is also a place where hidden abilities and talents are kept.  I like the idea of the ladder being there and that when you no longer need the well building your home over the well.

 

You are the first survivor that I have encountered that has bladder issues due to abuse.  I am very familiar with urethra strictures and the surgeries to remove scar tissue caused by repeated urinary tract and kidney infections.  I leak and I too was punished for bed wetting.  I am sorry you have similar issues.  You are brave to address these with your doctor.

 

Good friends are hard to find and once found are worth keeping.  I am glad you have AF.  She sounds like a keeper to me as you are as well; a keeper.

 

When I was raising my children I hugged them and told them I love them every day.  I did this because it is my true self but also I gave them what I did not receive as a child which is being touched in a loving and caring way.  Now that I am disabled I no longer have anyone to hold me.  My daughter now with her boyfriend does not give me that kind of affection often.

 

It is a very lonely place to crave hugs and signs of affection.  You deserve that and you are engaging in healthy relationships IMO.

 

Keep on taking good care of youhug.gif

:hug: Bella. I'm sorry you no longer receive hugs. Sending you a virtual one.

Intrepid, no, I don't think so.....oh, hang on. Maybe......the friend who recommended me my T. She used to supervise her. She's no longer a therapist herself, but maybe, if I had the courage, I could ask her. I don't see her very often. Only a few times a year. I will think on this. Thank you for the advice.
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intrepidshe
Jul 10 2014 12:07 AM

Bellachai,

 

I'm nodding vigorously in agreement about how odd it is for me to have a stricture from child abuse. It was a combination of things (Bobbie pins inserted in there, plus not being allowed to go to the bathroom when I needed to). It has often been my lot to have a rare condition or problem. I don't know anyone else who bled out after surgery because of violent vomiting that was non-responsive to any treatment. I don't know anyone else who has had three occasions when a car driving the wrong direction in my lane of traffic on the freeway and I happened to change lanes just before cresting the hill and being killed in a head-on collision. I don't know anyone else who saw someone killed by a construction beam sliding from a truck into a car windshield behind the truck. I live a weird life.

 

I'm sad about the lack of affection in your life. It is a difficult issue to deal with. Lonely. Yes. And loneliness is painful. You deserve the hugs and affection you need. I continue to hope for that for you, for your AF to make herself known to you.

Back when I was still in uni, post attacks, my very best friend, still my friend now, and I realised we didn't want relationships, but a club where you could go and hang out with just hugging, nothing else - we totally identified this missing element of comfort in our lives, though we hadn't thought through where that came from.

I think with mothers like ours, that need for hugs, that yearning... I hadn't felt it in a long time, but I'm starting to feel it now. I think you and your T have explained something powerful in me, and probably in many survivors' lives. I've even been trying to imagine a hug to try to get to sleep!

No hug givers on the horizon, but I'm hoping now I'm coming back to life that that'll come with time.

Thanks for sharing this.

:hug:

Q

Intrepid -  I sometimes think I was born lonely, my destiny perhaps.

 

Indeed you have had more than your share of tragedy and pain.  I am sorry for all the pain you endure due to those horrid experiences as well as your CSA.

 

Thank you for wishing me my own AF.  That was sweet.

Intrepid, so much here that is good and hopeful.  So happy for you. :hug:

 

On the attachment therapy issue - and it is extremely noteworthy that every one of us responded to this part of your post, so it's definitely a need - I believe that there are therapists in the USA who conduct certain group therapies where safe hugging plays a very prominent role (Naturally not in my country - sigh)  My initial response to hearing about this sort of thing is always "Ick!" but possibly the intensity of that response should be considered directly proportional to one's unacknowledged need for it :)

 

@ Mand, Q, Bella :hug: :hug:

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intrepidshe
Jul 10 2014 11:19 AM

Back when I was still in uni, post attacks, my very best friend, still my friend now, and I realised we didn't want relationships, but a club where you could go and hang out with just hugging, nothing else - we totally identified this missing element of comfort in our lives, though we hadn't thought through where that came from.
I think with mothers like ours, that need for hugs, that yearning... I hadn't felt it in a long time, but I'm starting to feel it now. I think you and your T have explained something powerful in me, and probably in many survivors' lives. I've even been trying to imagine a hug to try to get to sleep!
No hug givers on the horizon, but I'm hoping now I'm coming back to life that that'll come with time.
Thanks for sharing this.
:hug:
Q


Q,

It does sound like you are coming back to life. I also have been imagining a hug at night when I sleep. I even have a big pillow for that purpose. It has helped me more than I would have guessed before hand. I would have declared such a behavior as preposterous for me before Pandy's. It was the love and support here that opened me up to such a possibility. When I have a difficult night I imagine being comforted and I say the things to Little Intrepid that have been said to me. I am learning how to self soothe.

I asked my T yesterday if the goal is for me to no longer need other people to comfort me, to be able to do this entirely for myself. She basically said that would be going backward. Yes, I need to self soothe, but that includes having people to turn to.
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intrepidshe
Jul 10 2014 11:22 AM

Intrepid -  I sometimes think I was born lonely, my destiny perhaps.
 
Indeed you have had more than your share of tragedy and pain.  I am sorry for all the pain you endure due to those horrid experiences as well as your CSA.
 
Thank you for wishing me my own AF.  That was sweet.


Bella,

You are wonderfully kind person! Thank you!
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intrepidshe
Jul 10 2014 11:27 AM

Intrepid, so much here that is good and hopeful.  So happy for you. :hug:
 
On the attachment therapy issue - and it is extremely noteworthy that every one of us responded to this part of your post, so it's definitely a need - I believe that there are therapists in the USA who conduct certain group therapies where safe hugging plays a very prominent role (Naturally not in my country - sigh)  My initial response to hearing about this sort of thing is always "Ick!" but possibly the intensity of that response should be considered directly proportional to one's unacknowledged need for it :)
 
@ Mand, Q, Bella :hug: :hug:


Allegro,

This prompted me to look into it further and I even found an organization that treats adult attachment disorder using touch therapy. I don't know what it involves. I can't help but want to conduct research to determine if this type of therapy produces better outcomes.

As you pointed out, this is indeed a difficult area of healing for many of us.

I chuckled at what you said at the end about your own reaction to the idea. I have felt the same way most of my life and still do in general. I crave nurturing touch from certain people because I trust them. Otherwise, hands off!
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SilverandBlue
Jul 10 2014 02:36 PM
This was a very helpful post for me. Especially the attachment part! Firstly, I admire you much for how open you are able to be with your doctor, T and friends! I still have those barriers up and rock solid.
But the need for touch, safe, nurturing touch is SO strong. And it's not as though I have a bad mom! My mom is lovely and I know she loves me and shows it. Just not with hugs. T has said she is okay with touching patients if they ask. The only time she hugs me is if I ask. But sometimes I wish I had someone that just knew and would hold me without my even having to ask.
There definitely is a need for attachment therapy for adults! I work with kids, and they're always hugging me so that does help ( innocent little hugs from innocent little people! ) but I need a safe place to land and I still don't have that because I won't ask T for it, or my mom even though they both would!
Great entry, I really enjoy hearing your good progress
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intrepidshe
Jul 10 2014 06:48 PM
SilverandBlue, I hope you do find a way to ask your T. It could be incredibly helpful to you. If it were me I would make a list of the fears I have about asking and whether or not the fears are realistic. What would happen regarding each?

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors (which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them) to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

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The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

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