Day 91: Force Fed and New Bout of Pain
I think I have transitioned from the plateau of respite back to the path of healing work. It was a wonderful break and I feel really good that it happened.
I have three topics to write about today: (1) new bout of pain; (2) being force fed as a child; and, (3) shared ObGyn medical appointments.
(1) New Bout of Pain
Starting about mid morning today I began to have that familiar abdominal pain. As the day progressed, the rib muscle cramps joined in, and now I have a migraine as well. As I was leaving work I felt intense anxiety. When I was pulling out of the parking lot I realized my end-of-the-day errand might be instigating the symptoms. First thing this morning I called my ObGyn's office to let them know I received the coverage letter from my insurance. They asked me to drop the letter off with them. I decided I would also drop off my letter to the doctor I wrote after the gynecologic appointment.
I hadn't dropped off the letter yet, or been willing to mail it since the day of the appointment. I have felt hesitant because it exposes more issues than I revealed during or before the appointment (namely the worry I had about experiencing arousal). I don't have any idea how she might interpret that information, what judgments she might form. It was so scary and difficult to establish with her, I don't want to do anything to mess it up.
So, I believe the symptoms might be a consequence of the anxiety I am feeling around her reaction to the letter. Funny enough, I'm worried I won't hear anything from her and I will be left to wonder what the letter meant to her. I can't stand the idea of just hanging until I see her next, which will probably be a couple months.
(2) being force fed as a child
This is the topic I had intended to write about today. I felt so well the last few days I figured I could dig into another unpleasant memory. I don't know if this is a good idea in light of how I'm feeling right now, but I'm going to write about it anyway because it's on my mind.
My parents were of the mind that you eat the food you're given. You don't waste food or show a lack of appreciation for the meal someone has prepared for you. These values aren't unusual. But, they took them to an extreme. I have written about this topic before. I was forced to eat things I am allergic to until I was 16 years old. But, it occurred to me in the last few days that their method of enforcement (physical violence) means what I experienced was force feeding. Sure, it wasn't a tube down my throat, but it was a fist around my throat. Eat this or you won't be able to breathe.
I get extremely upset with my husband when he tries to force our children to eat something they don't want. I understand a little better right now why my feelings around this issue are so intense. I can't quite feel the emotions tied to these memories from my childhood. This issue goes all the way back to when I was 4 months old and my mom insisted on feeding me foods that made me throw up, declaring my vomiting to be an act of defiance.
I'm thinking about starting a list of issues that seem to be tied to bottled up emotions. I'm not sure how such a list might be useful, but somehow my instinct says to create the list anyway. I know I have a pattern of naming problems, holding them up for a moment, and then stuffing them back deep inside, beneath the armor.
(3) shared ObGyn medical appointments
My final topic is an idea that will not stop bouncing around in my head. I have been involved in a project for the last six months or so related to using shared medical appointments to help patients with weight loss and to prevent them from developing diabetes. A few weeks ago a colleague asked to add to the program the use of shared medical appointments for ObGyn care (particularly for Ob care). The idea is to prevent pregnancy complications through these group appointments. Shared medical appointments improve patient education and compliance. So, it makes sense.
When this conversation was happening this week I felt my anxiety start to ramp up through the ceiling. I literally had to hold tightly onto my chair in order to stay seated and not leave the room. I had thoughts of how I would deal with being in clinic for these sessions, considering my still-not-quite-resolved fear of gynecologists, and I had thoughts of how this approach might be highly beneficial for SA survivors, if done correctly.
My brain seems to be somewhat transfixed on the idea that shared appointments in collaboration between a therapist and an ObGyn could provide survivors with a venue like we have here in Pandy's, a group of other survivors to lean into, to share ideas with, to draw courage from.
But, the rebellious part of my brain reminds me that I don't want to go after some cause just because I have this history. I have no desire to save the world. Besides, I don't need another thing on my plate. And, I don't know if I could handle all of the ways this would trigger me.
But . . . then again . . . for that reason . . .
OK, I'm not going to continue thinking about this right now. <harrumph>