I’ve had to undergo lots of medical testing lately to get ready for my weight loss surgery. I’m pretty whiny and anxious when it comes to medical people touching and examining my body, but I’ve managed to keep a stiff upper lip and be pretty okay with everything. …until Monday. I had to have my annual PAP smear. I’ve only ever had one physician do my PAP smears (as I did not start going for them in my mid 30’s), but this doctor was not available until December and I had to have it done before my surgery which I am hoping to have done in November. And my annual visits with my doctor have never been difficult. Always right in and out with lots of talking and explanations. So, I was assigned to have my appointment with a physician’s assistant. I was a little anxious, but not in an outlandish way. I even managed to arrive at my appointment all happy and joked around with the receptionist and the nurse. Then I changed into my gown and sat on the examining table waiting. Still no more than a little anxious. A woman came in and introduced herself, saying she was a nurse practioner. I figured the physician’s assistant must not be in today, and shrugged it off. I really was not phased as I did not know either person. So, it comes time for the fun stuff. She says I’m going ti feel her hand on my thigh and the speculum being inserted. I feel that. OT hurt a little, but no big deal. Then she stops talking, and I’m sure I feel her doing the swabby thing because that always hurts me more. Some tears spring to my eyes, but I’m still okay, because it’s almost over. Well, no. She took the speculum out, and started all over again, pushing really hard. This time it really hurts and I say ow. She apologizes, and stops talking again. I feeling things in and out of me and really start sobbing. The lady is no longer talking. I’m in severe pain. I’m almost gone from the room. Visions of my mother hurting me flit by me. I’m sobbing like a little kid being hurt, even though I know that’s not the case. Finally, after like the 6th try, she says, well, I can’t find your cervix. I’m going to go get help. And who does she come back with? The freaking physician’s assistant I was supposed to see in the first place. Now there are two people looking at my lady parts. The PA does the whole PAP smear in like 10 seconds. Then, I am done. I keep wiping my parts as I am getting dressed because everything feels incredibly oozy. Then I leave and go yo the bathroom, where I wipe again and again. It’s not the lube they use…this stuff is actually coming from my body. I start understanding that things are bruised and raw and I have awful cramps. I get in the car and cry for 10 minutes and then call my wife who is incensed that this happened. By the time I get home, I can barely sit and when I pee, the urine hitting parts makes me want to scream. Two days later, it’s not much better. I called the doctor. She says it should subside on it’s own, physically. Meanwhile, I’m having lots of flashbacks of being hurt. I had therapy today. MT says that the flashbacks are to be expected. And we talked about what I could do differently the next time…like tell the person to keep talking and to ask for somebody different after the first or 2nd failed attempt. We also talked with my little girl parts about how that was a necessary exam, and that while I got hurt, I am still safe and I am still taking care of all my little parts. We talked about how maybe I did not speak up soon enough, and how even adults can get very scared. We talked about the adult me being in charge. Then I spent some time crying very hard about the whole experience and about the flashbacks and about what happened to me when I was younger. Then I spent time being mad about what happened to me as a child to put me into a place where I was having flashbacks. I love when MT helps me talk to those younger parts of me. It helps all of me feel so cared about. I know when she helps me to find the words to say to the younger parts, she is also saying them to the adult me. You are safe here. That’s the biggest one. I am safe in her room. I am safe with MT. I also love when I’m crying and talking about the stuff that happens to me and she says, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Usually, I get really mad at people who say that because they did not do it, but when MT says it, I know she really means it.