I have had a couple of weeks to process and I believe I can write out some of what I need to about my meltdown in the doctor’s office. I want to make this short and direct – I hope I can! (Heads-up, I did not make it short.) We are supposed to go to a fall festival type of thing tonight and in a way by writing this, I am preparing myself for any other people I may encounter from my past.
That is what triggered my meltdown a few weeks ago - a person from my past.
I was already very vulnerable and anxious having to go to see the “woman doctor” along with my diagnostic mammogram. Can you tell I do not like using technical names for those types of doctors; I also have issues with the names of body parts. I make up names that are evasive such as the main woman part is called an “area.” It covers it as a whole so that way I do not have to think about it. Just another quirk I am sharing.
When my aunt and I arrived, I saw a guy that I knew.
I quickly hid and tried to not to be overcome with panic. I stayed focused on getting upstairs to my appointment and ignored all that I was feeling. In reality, I pushed it down and forced myself to pretend as if it did not happen. I went through 20 minutes of different ultrasounds and “look sees.” After that was finished, the doctor told me to come over and meet him to discuss what to do next. Long story short, the people at the counter messed up and I ended up waiting for over 30 minutes. I told them that I was going to miss my other appointment for the mammogram and they told me not to worry.
Ok, I was just “looked” at and had SEVERAL sensory and social things that I was trying to process.
Then, I had to wait; waiting causes me to go into severe anxiety and can lead to panic. Thankfully, my aunt was with me and helped to ease that a bit. I started to become very anxious about missing my mammogram appointment because it was now getting very late. I did not know when they stopped doing them and I did not know when the radiologist was to leave. All of this was pounding through my mind when the guy from my past and his pregnant wife came into the waiting area. Apparently, they had seen my aunt several times while I was in the back because my aunt said, “Hey, are you guys following me or what?”
They proceeded to have a short conversation and laughs, while I sat there like a deer in headlights.
I could tell that he remembered me, his look made it clear. However, I had no idea what he was thinking or what his expression meant. I described it to David and he said it could have been remorse. I do not know. After they left, I looked at my aunt told her that he was mean to me in junior high and high school. I think I have written about it somewhere on here, but I cannot recall where now. In junior high, I was on the dance team and was at every basketball game.
He was one of the “popular’ basketball players.
Though I would say he was an average player. Of course, popularity was not about that. One evening for some reason, he took an interest in talking to me. He was injured I believe. I was not sure what to think, but I was excited because he noticed me. He had another friend who was in my homeroom who messed with me all the time. He would pretend to like me and get me to do things for him like sharpen his pencil. Or if he needed paper or pencils he asked me for them being nice then, afterwards he would call me ugly or stupid. I felt like if this guy noticed me than possibly his friend would be nicer. Not so. That night this particular fellow said something to the affect, (I cannot recall now because I am in a hurry) “You know you are not so bad, if you didn’t have that birthmark I would go out with you.”
It ranks up there on my top 10 devastating nights of my life.
I shutdown and some other things that I cannot go into at the moment happened to me that night. Needless to say, I cried for days and had severe social anxiety going to back to school the next day. Not to mention it just confirmed my fears that I was a grotesque human being that no one should have to look at – EVER! There were several other encounters during that time, but nothing as damaging as that one – that I can recall. I think I have blocked some events during that time because there are some things that are blurry.
I usually know when I have blocked things because I normally have an excellent memory.
The next round, when we were in high school this guy and I were in the same U.S. History class and were seated next to each other. Throughout the year he made sexual innuendos that I did not understand, I would ask my friends what they meant after class. This made for some great “Angel” jokes with my friends as well. “How can you be so ignorant?” I don’t know. He would also say things about me doing sexual things to him. I did not know what he was talking about most of the time. Finally, one day instead of just shaking my head or pretending as if I knew and ignoring him, I asked, “What is that?”
He got a strange look on his face.
I looked at him and asked again telling him that I did not know what he was talking about. He laughed in disbelief and realized that I really had no clue. He made some remark about thinking that I knew all of that kind of stuff. That comment was made because there were several rumors about me being a slut. I believe these rumors were started by girls who hated me (I still have no idea why.) and ex-friends that I had no idea why they no longer liked me. My abusive boyfriend at the time also spread horrible tales. He would make up things about me, telling girls that he wanted to hook up with what a “whore” I was to manipulate them. I have no idea why this tactic worked, but it did work very well for him.
Even though he knew that, I was grounded to my house most of the time.
I was also not allowed to go out to do things very often because I had to watch my sisters and help with the house. I definitely did not have people over unless they were my two different friends I had during that time. No boys were allowed in the house! After a while, I really questioned whether I was a slut or not. What was a slut? My mom assumed that I was sleeping around when I was not and she called me that a couple of times too. It was all a very confusing time. My dad was telling me that it was unbiblical to have premarital sex and if you did then you were a whore.
It is just a mess of emotions there.
So… back to the doctor’s office. I had a flood of these emotions, but did not know what they were or what I was feeling. When I told my aunt what he had done she said, “Oh, not him he is such a sweetheart. He wouldn’t do that now.” That caused me to doubt what I was feeling and question whether what he did was wrong or not. It made me feel like I should not be upset about any of it. I was called in to see the doctor at this point. We talked, he was upset that I waited so long and did not charge me for that visit. When I went to pay the rest of my balance from the last visit, they said I owed over $1300.00.
I shutdown completely.
I lost my words, my hands were moving, my head was spinning, and all I could get out was, “I cannot pay that. I cannot pay that. Oh, god I have not even had my mammogram. Oh, my god.” I tried to calm down, but I could not. The women felt horrible for me and were trying to be comforting, but I could not hear their words. I was trying so hard to stop myself from crying and trying to breathe calmly so that I would not hyperventilate. One of the women went to talk to the office manager – I tried to call David because I did not think I could get the mammogram.
He did not pick up the phone; the tears came in a flood.
I went to the bathroom to try to calm down and tried to call him again to find out what to do. I could not get a hold of him and the tears would not stop. I went back to the desk and they told me that they would give me a discount and the total got down to a little over $1000. They said they would work with me on making payments and as long as I kept them up there would be no problems. At that time, David called me back. I was crying and trying to be calm, but I could not. He told me that I had to get the mammogram it was not an option and that we would work out the money later.
I felt sorry for the women in there.
I did not mean to do that. I tried very hard not to. I knew that my emotions and anxieties were off the charts. Still I was unable to control them and I was unable to think rationally. I almost walked out without getting the mammogram. That is exactly what I would have done had David not called me back because I could not think straight. Anything to do with doctors, money, and me causes me to freak out. I have tremendous guilt when I have to go to the doctor. That is another whole post.
Part of the reason I reacted this way was because I saw the guy who said those things to me.
It triggered all of my junior high and high school traumas. I did not realize it until the weekend after. On that following Saturday, I was researching whether what he did was bullying, harassment, or if I was overreacting. Short version, it let me into a PTSD episode so bad that I was sobbing uncontrollably at my desk. Joshua was asking me for something, but I could not answer him. I heard him, but I could not talk. I was back in the gymnasium so many years ago, during that basketball game, sitting next to that guy, reliving the entire scene and the events that happened afterwards.
I could not move I could not talk – I only had tears flooding down my face.
David came in, looked at me, and walked away to go take care of Joshua. It took me about 20 minutes to come out of it. The good news is that I was able to talk about it. I was able to acknowledge that what was done to me was wrong and that I did not deserve it. I am still a little shaky with all of it. I did go through a lot of other trauma during those six years of my life as well. I am sure that it is bubbling on the surface of my brain. I feel good about this though. My state of mind is in a much better place to deal with these things properly.
I share all of this for myself.
I also share so people can understand that bullying and harassment can leave severe scars. I have other factors that play into this being an Aspie, but any sort of bullying and harassment can harm any individual. I am almost 40 years old and something that happened to me when I was around 12 or 13 years-old molded several things in my mind and caused me to even question my character. It is not ok. I needed to know that it was WRONG! I needed a person to confide in. I needed to know that it was not my fault. I needed to know that I was not alone. I needed someone to tell me that I mattered. I needed to know that it was not acceptable to be spoken to in such ways. I am going to stop now because this is longer than I wanted. I will probably write more in the future, but for now, I am preparing for a fun night with the kids!
There are resources that I want to share, but I am afraid I have run out of time. I will soon!
(Sorry if this was an abrupt ending I had to go. )