Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 - 7:29 pm.
My birthday is tomorrow. I wasn't going to involve other people in it, but I ended up inviting my closest friends to join me for drinks last night. Besides Andrew, there were five much-loved individuals, which is plenty for a party, if you ask me.
Two signs that showed that I invited the right people:
1. Most gifts I got are Bowie-related.
2. My friend Eric got me (besides a Bowie calendar) a t-shirt with the colors of the bisexual flag. I opened this gift at the table, while having our drinks, and I realized I was already out to everyone around me so I had nothing to explain. It was the greatest feeling.
The night went on for longer than I expected, as I chose a place that only served drinks, and eventually food was needed. Still, that first stop was good! I got two drinks for free, which makes this the craziest birthday I've ever had, I guess. Then we went to a nice pub near the Psych Department, *the* pub of the Department, really, because it's just around the corner (the place we went to for drinks was a block away). This pub used to be a church. It is quite nice and cozy when it's not crowded, and that was the case last night.
So yes, good birthday so far, and the actual day hasn't even started. Plus, it's snowing tonight! Tomorrow I turn 34 (Christ), and it'll be just Andrew and me. We have a few activities to choose from to spend the day.
Now, rewind to Tuesday:
I had my pap smear. I will not even mention the clenching that goes on down there just at the thought of it. But sex has gotten better for me since my last test, three years ago, and the NHS nurses are simply the best, so I was not that worried.
Good thing: It didn't quite hurt. It was uncomfortable, but I wouldn't say I was in pain.
Very bad thing: I dissociated from my body? I believed I wasn't hurting because I'd learned to relax, but it turns out my muscles were too tight to let anything inside of me. By her third attempt to open me, the nurse said she was going to stop because she was afraid she was hurting me. She was very sweet and soothing, she was concerned about me, which I appreciated so much.
Still, I begged her to do it, she had my consent to push. It was not going to be any easier if I left and came back some other day, and clearly me having control over my genitals was just an illusion.
She did her best, but she warned me I may have to return for a second pap smear. She couldn't see my cervix, and she barely got a sample. Throughout the ordeal, she was just amazing to me, even apologetic, specially with the perspective of me going through this again. She wasn't sure about letting me go, and said I should speak to someone about this. She was very British so I knew she wasn't going to say it spontaneously, so I asked her if mine was an abnormal reaction to the test. We all know the answer. Of course it is.
Andrew was amazing, too. He came with me to the test, waited for me, and then took me for a nice meal. We went for pizza and I almost burst into tears there, but I managed to steer clear from that. He said he googled how to support someone going for a pap smear, but didn't find anything. He did all the right things on his own. He was just *there* for me, ever since I told him I had to make the appointment.
Now, what happened that night might be worth of being on the pages of an advanced clinical psychology textbook. I was living my own life, just snuggling up in bed ready to fall asleep, and I BURST INTO TEARS. Caps warranted. I sobbed uncontrollably, I couldn't stop. I was gasping loudly, and Andrew just held me in his arms and I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried. There was absolutely nothing in my mind nor in my heart that connected to the harrowing pain my crying seemed to convey. I wasn't feeling anything, I wasn't thinking anything, and yet I was howling the way you howl in the face of devastation.
Don't think me naïve, I was once a therapist and I've seen my share of victims of sexual abuse. It's just that my mind is blank, so I can't tell for sure. My muscles are clenching again.