I woke today with a busy schedule ahead of me. I have been dealing with a lot lately, particularly a very chronically sick child. It was also the day I was going to slip in taking care of myself by getting an x-ray of my hip that I injured 2 months ago and have been dealing with chronic pain ever since.
I wasn’t seeing my normal orthopedic doctor because I needed to get in quickly as I don’t have many self care openings in my schedule these days. In retrospect, I should have caught the red flag of this particular doctor having multiple openings for a next day appointment at one of the top orthopedic practices in town.
Nope. I jumped out of bed to get to the appointment early in the hopes they would take me early so I wouldn’t miss my therapy appointment afterward.
Of course, I sat in the waiting room past my appointment time before the front desk even called me up to fill out additional paperwork. So much for arriving 20 minutes early.
You know those doctors always have more important schedules than the people, so let’s make sure that is reinforced.
As I am finally walking back to meet the doctor, who incidentally wasn’t seeing any patients but me, I noticed in the paperwork they handed me to give the doctor that it has all the prescriptions listed that I have filled at my local drug store. On it, a long list of many types of psychiatric medications.
Great. I am going to get labeled a psych patient and treated poorly, as I have been through that scenario more than a few times.
The doctor pops in and spends 95% of the appointment time talking about himself, his health, the death of his brother, his age, how he doesn’t suntan anymore, what he watched on tv last night, his experience with his last colonoscopy, the cost of medications he takes, and how he treats his his rosacea.
I am feeling really grounded, but taken aback by this strange doctor showing no interest in me, and the clock ticking in my head for my next appointment.
I do my best several times to bring up the pain I am feeling on my side.
Finally, the doctor comes toward me to examine me. He starts touching me and says over and over as he moves his hands around my body “does this hurt?” When he found where it hurt he pushed in really hard and I almost jumped off the table. He says he knew that was where the pain was coming from. It was high up on my left side.
I continue to feel grounded but focused on trying to accurately answer this man’s questions about my pain as he touches me. I am so focused on trying to accurately answer him I don’t realize he is now touching me in my vaginal area and talking about bones in the pelvic area—that have nothing to do with why I am there.
I hear a couple of voices in my head calling me stupid because I don’t realize this man is touching my vaginal area for no reason and talking about how my pelvis bones touch each other.
In a slowed reaction, I realize the voices are right and this man is touching me inappropriately. And I do nothing about it.
I don’t stop him or tell him to stop.
It’s as if it is not happening to me, but I can hear this man’s words and feel his touch that it is happening.
Fortunately, the man seemed spooked for some reason and jumped up to go get an anatomical dummy to show me the bones in the pelvic area, which again had nothing to do with why I was there.
I couldn’t hear him so well any more as my internal world was starting to come undone.
I knew I had to get to my car before I acknowledged to myself what had just happened, so as soon as he asked me if I had any other issues I wanted to discuss, I said “nope” and raced out of there.
I tried my best to drive to my therapist’s office without coming completely undone. I made it there and then felt dead.
I let it happen again. My therapist probably doesn’t even believe me. How can these things keep happening to me?
I lost hours of time in my therapist’s parking lot as I switched between parts trying to process what had happened. I fought tooth and nail to not let other parts cut open my throat. The rage inside me is at its worst when this idea is present.
I am extremely angry at myself this happened to me today as I was just speaking about how this happened to me with another doctor some years ago, and I thought I had grown so it wouldn’t happen again.
My therapist asked me if I wanted to file a complaint. I didn’t. I know full well that my list of psych meds alone discredits anything I might have to say happened to me, which is probably why he targeted me to begin with.
I told 3 people today this happened to me. That is progress, but still I am awash in confusion how I keep letting this happen to me. Where are those strong parts of me when this happens?
Will it ever stop?