Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The "V Word"

I have previously mentioned, in a round about way, that a man I briefly dated earlier this year hurt me. It is difficult to talk about, so I have taken to referring to it with euphemisms when I talk to my friends about it. We call what happened "the incident". Even saying he hurt me is a sort of euphemism as well, because it makes it sound like he just hurt my feelings. While "the incident" did hurt my feelings, he also physically injured me. Some of the results of "the incident", like the bruises, have faded, but I was continuing to have some problems resulting from the physical injury.

I was hoping that the symptoms I was experiencing would just go away, but they became worse over time. So, I decided I should go to the doctor. I have been avoiding going to see my doc for the last few months about this because I really just did not want to tell her what happened. I feel so humiliated when I talk about it. While I am certain my doc was doing her best to be compassionate and supportive, saying things like, "Oh honey, did he hurt you?" and the look on her face didn't really help. It just made me feel powerless and small and vulnerable. Like a victim. I absolutely HATE that word. Shortly after "the incident" I was talking to a friend about how I was feeling and she said "it's not unusual for victims of assault to feel that way". I felt like she slapped me. It is an awful word. I think I need a euphemism for it too...the v word.

I have been thinking about this. Why do I feel so humiliated to talk about what happened? I actually put off seeking medical care because I didn't want to tell someone else about it. What is up with that? I just keep coming back to what always comes up in my mind when I think about it. "Why did I let him do that to me?" Or "How could I let him do that to me?". Maybe I am projecting my thoughts on others by assuming they are thinking the same thing..."how could you let him do that to you?" It's weird though, because it is not as if I "let" him do anything...he was significantly taller and much stronger than me. Nothing I said or did stopped him...but I did try...I didn't just "let him" do it. But some how I still think "how could I let him?". Maybe it is easier to think I just didn't do enough to stop him rather than think that I couldn't stop him...that I really am a victim. I don't know.

By the way, my doc ordered some tests, some medication, and sent me to physical therapy. It seems to be helping...I wish I went sooner.