Thursday, July 28, 2005

And cycle #3 begins. and other thoughts.

U/s this morning. Not fantastic, but not nearly as bad as my cancelled cycle (3 26-27mm cysts). One 16mm cyst on my right ovary + a couple of smaller ones, and a few on the left. Baby Doc (new kid, doing his residency at my clinic) had them draw blood to check my e2 level, and as that was not still high I got to start my injections again tonight. Woo-hoo!

I also had an intake appointment with an accupuncturist today. I figure it can't hurt, right? We went through a very long Q&A session, then she treated me for about half an hour. She also said she'd want to see me right before and right after my next IUI. I'm gonna keep hoping...

While I was waiting for her I was reading a woman's health book that was in the waiting room. There were a couple of sections on amenorrhea. Also food for thought. It mentioned that a lot of women with amenorrhea have deep seated fears of being female or looking too female, that can come from childhood traumas and repressed memories, as well as the body images that are portrayed by the media.

I've always thought that I'm not affected by the supermodels, actresses etc - you know, I'm too strong to be swayed by those images. I know who I am and what I want and I just like the way I look and feel when I'm thin. But one thing that's really stuck with me is I distinctly remember watching Star W@rs "@ttack of the Cl0nes", the battle scene at the end where Nata1ie P0rtman is up on top of the pole and thinking how incredible her abs looked and how much I wanted to look like that. So I lost 15 pounds and did look like that. For a little while anyway. But obviously I'm totally fooling myself that I'm not affected by the images of thin-ness in the media, and the much more child-like body type that is the ideal. I've been completely hating the way I look and feel recently, none of my pants fit anymore, I don't like what I see in the mirror... but I realize that really my body just looks more womanly and less like a teenage girl, and that is NOT a bad thing. I am NOT a teenage girl anymore, so why do I feel the need to look like one? I need to be okay with that. I have to suck it up, go out and buy some new clothes so I don't feel constricted, so that I don't look like my clothes don't fit, and that will probably help.

On the other issue, childhood memories, I was abused in my early teen years. Not seriously, I wasn't raped, but enough that I had intimacy issues for a long time, and it caused some serious strain with my college boyfriend.

This guy, a friend of a family friend, had recently lost his job and needed a place to stay for a little while. We were going back to South Africa to visit our family there over the Christmas holidays, so my parents asked him to house-sit for us. When we got back from our trip, he still didn't have a place to go, so my parents let him stay with us for a while until he got back on his feet. I think they just didn't feel right about kicking him out, they were definitely way too nice. He ended up living in our spare bedroom for over two years!

He was a real wierdo. He used to wear either a towel or a tee-shirt wrapped around his head pretty much all the time because he didn't like his hair. He never had a job, he would go around and look after various people's houses while they were away, but that was about it. He was totally into playing the lottery and doing all those stupid promotions that the radio stations ran. There was one that happened every year, the station would mail 'tickets' to people's houses, and if your number was called you won a prize. He would go to the post office and dig through the trash to collect as many as he could. We did actually win a video camera one year from him doing that. Still have a tape of me and my sis calling into the radio station to claim it.

I'm finding that I'm having a hard time getting to the point. My heart is pounding, my hands are clammy... I've told three people in my life about this. My college bf, M, and my sis, who went through parts of it with me. And I realize now that I haven't told any of them about all of it.

My parents trusted him with us. He would 'babysit' us - although we were old enough to be left alone to a point, I think they liked having an adult there. He would take us swimming, drive us other places... He would also give us back massages. He would have us put on leotards. I don't know how it happened, but after a while he would start not only rubbing us outside, but also going up inside the leotards, rubbing our buttocks and thighs.

Honestly, writing this down, I really can't believe that we thought that was okay. I read it now and I'm completely appalled at how incredibly inappropriate that was. Unfortunately, though, that wasn't the end of it.

I definitely remember not wanting to be around him, but for some reason that is completely unknown to me at this point, we didn't tell our parents. Maybe we just didn't see anything wrong with it?

He would talk to me about growing older and sex and marriage. He told me about how good it felt when you met someone special and were intimate with them. It's all kind of hazy, but I remember him talking about how you could use your tongue, and lick the person all over and how good that felt. I particularly hated being alone with him in the car - he wouldn't talk about that stuff when my sis was around because I was the older one, and she was too young for that kind of talk.

I was most frightened one time when he took me to another place he was house-sitting at (I think my parents had finally kicked him out at this point, but somehow he was still coming by the house and doing things with us). He wanted me to do an Indian 'coming of age' ceremony with him. Something that he had experienced out west when he was living on a reservation for a while, or something like that. It involved a 'special tea', peppermint patties (because of some chemical reaction with the tea), both of us stripping down to our underwear, and sitting on the floor meditating. I was absolutely terrified that he was going to rape me. I went through the motions, doing what he told me to do, drinking the fucking tea and nibbling on the peppermint patty, all the while trying to think of how I could get away if he tried to do something. The 'ceremony' also involved touching. I don't think he actually touched me 'down there', but definitely in the near vicinity. I was giggling, saying I was ticklish. He told me that I had to learn to get over that for when I had a boyfriend and he touched me there. It was, of course, much more of a nervous giggle - what the hell was I supposed to do? Eventually he realized how uncomfortable I was and asked me what was wrong and I told him that I was afraid he was going to try and have sex with me. He said of course not, this was all just part of the 'ceremony'.

After that, I never ever wanted to be alone with him again. I don't think I was but I don't remember how I managed it. And then finally he stopped coming around.

I've seen him a few times since then. I've always just avoided him - he still wears the fucking towel on his head so you can see him from a mile away and duck around the corner. Last time was probably ~10 years ago.

I know that he has house-sat for other people with kids, and I often wonder if they experienced the same things. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should go to the police or something so that he can't do this to anyone else, but it was so long ago I don't know if they'd be able to do anything at this point.

I've still never told my mom. There's nothing that she could do about it now, and I think it would rip her heart out to know that this was going on and she and my dad didn't see it and kept exposing us to it over and over again. And I wonder now why we didn't say anything at the time? I realize now how completely wrong it all was, why could I not see it back then?

I know absolutely that it affected my relationship with my college bf. I managed to work through it with him, and I haven't had the same issues with M. But now I wonder if this is part of what's going on with me now - in some ways I shun my own femaleness because that's what the pervert was after. That plus the media - maybe there is a mind/body connection here, and although I like to think of myself as strong and able to get past all of this, subconciously I'm not okay.

Writing all this down I've remembered so many more things than what I have been telling myself happened. I had forgotten about him talking to me about how men and women can be together, the whole tongue thing, my giggling when he touched me and him telling me I'd need to get over that... Maybe I have repressed it all a lot more than I thought. Is recognizing it enough?


Suz said...

I don't know, Nico, I've never been through any sort of abuse, but I'm not sure that recognizing it may be enough to work through it, although it's certainly a step in the right direction. I'm thinking of you and hoping the best for this cycle.

Molly said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your story -- I know that was tough for you.

I don't know what to tell you regarding confronting the abuse. You seem to have worked through it pretty well on your own, but it really never hurts to talk to someone.

It's hard to decide whether to let bygones be bygones or confront them head-on -- especially when the same person may have done the same thing to other children. Tough one.

Let us know what you decide, and good luck with #3.

thalia said...

Nico, That sounds incredibly traumatic. I don't know enough about this to know what you have to do to deal with these memories. I do know that acknowledging them helps.

Em said...

Thanks for your incredibly honest post. Good luck with this cycle.
Did your cycle get cancelled because the follicles were too big? I am curious because whilst I have been on Clomid, my follicles have been that big and bigger. The sonographer said it's not great if they are too big but didn't really expand on it. I feel like I've wasted my time on the clomid.

reprogirl said...

Wow. That is really powerful. You are courageous to write about this.

As for whether to say anything to anyone about it: I think you're entitled to base that on how you would feel, whether it would be better for you to speak or not speak. You've been hurt enough already.

Dooneybug said...

Wow Nico...that's a lot on your plate. It's good to talk about it and get it out vs. keeping it locked inside. I can say that I do understand about repressing memories because I have gone through a similar situaion. Sometimes I think my weight issues stem from it as well.

Hope the acupuncture appointments help! I have my first one in a couple weeks and I'm excited! Good luck on the next cycle.

I'm here if you ever need to talk!

Susan / holdingpattern said...

Wow, Nico. So powerful, so utterly honest. I am amazed at your courage and your strength to not only make it through such abuse but to be able to write about it so openly. I am so sorry you went through all that.

I hope this cycle is going well for you, and that you're holding up ok.

Anonymous said...

i'm really late on this. just found your site (link from a link from a . . . ) anyway, this post touched me. my husband and i have been in counseling for seven (yah, 7) years for lots of issues, but most of it stems from both of our histories of sexual abuse (awkward sentence, i know.) anyway, if you haven't talked to a professional about what happened to you, and if you can afford to, do it! i totally relate with how you feel like you are strong enough to deal with it, and that recognizing it will make it better (really relate with that one.) but this is big stuff (even if you weren't raped.) anyway, sorry for the unsolicited advice. not trying to be a jerk. just know how it feels, and i hate to see anyone suffer for it.