I’ve always known it’s hard for survivors of abuse to see doctors. Some of the exams may throw a survivor into flashbacks of abuse. Just being there is a loss of control and that can feel scary to many survivors. But I had another insight this week....
I had to see the doctor. Nothing wrong, just a regular check up. So why couldn’t I sleep the night before? Why this sense of panic even though I like this doctor? Even after the visit, I couldn’t figure it out though I was of course calmer.
Then it hit me. A flash of memory of picking up on my mother’s fears about what the doctor might find, might notice, might realize when he examined me. The sense of terrible consequences if he did notice something wrong. The pressure to act as if everything was wonderful.
Mind you, things are pretty good now and I am healthy. There isn’t anything to hide. Which is what made the emotions so odd. And what finally made me realize I was having an emotional flashback. Not a memory of the experience but rather feeling the emotions all over again.
I suspect this isn’t uncommon. If we were abused as kids, there would have been adults who were worried about what the doctor might notice or suspect. There would have been pressure to say that everything was wonderful. There might have been threats about what would happen if we didn’t. And we may have emotional flashbacks to those feelings when we have to see a doctor.
I’m not sure why I didn’t make the connection before. Maybe because I don’t go to the doctor all that often. Or maybe because other reasons for the anxiety in the past were more obvious. At any rate, once I recognized the cause, any residual emotional flashback disappeared and I suspect doctor’s visits in the future will be much easier. So I share this with all of you in case any of you might have similar emotional flashbacks when you have to see a doctor.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),
PS Motherwintermoon, In her blog posted also about the issue of dealing with health care professionals. http://romancingthecrone.wordpress.com/2007/10/05/systemic-healing/#comments
Enola wrote about it, too. http://enola-survivor.blogspot.com/
Please check out both blogs.