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  1. #1
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Default Severely Shy, Overly Body Conscious

    For someone like me who can be utterly oblivious to the outer world/immediate surroundings and frequently lost up in my head, I find that I'm sometimes almost paralyzingly body conscious.

    Let me give an example.

    Ladies, the dreaded Pap Smear. I had one scheduled for today and I had to reschedule it due to sudden circumstances, but I noticed the week before the test that I was silently freaking out. And I don't mean just a little bit. Exposure on that level causes me to almost go into a panic attack. My ENFP twin doesn't have this problem. She minds the physical discomfort of the test. I mind the intrusion.

    I had no idea I would be so upset and panicked by the idea of such a routine annoyance. I've always been very uptight about how I look. I've suffered a great deal of persecution for things I can't change or help. I fully trust another woman doing something like a Pap Smear, but I still can't shake the paralyzing fear. Like I have to be perfect or I can't have anybody that close to me. That sort of proximity to me, and I'm literally quivering and fighting the powerful urge to run away.

    I can't have this sort of severe overawareness preventing me from doing what needs to be done. I usually don't let it stop me, but I'm concerned by my reaction. When I was a teenager, I would put off these tests because the very idea of taking my clothes off and being poked at by a relative stranger would leave me shaking and filled with panic, almost to the point of tears. I have a history of sexual abuse/rape that has deeply maimed my psyche.
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    Dramatic>Sensitive>Serious

  2. #2
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    So you have had them before and the sensation still bothers you to the same extent?

    Have you ever experienced positive physicality with a SO or good friend - not even sex necessarily, just positive reinforcement from someone whose opinion mattered?

    I edited out personal accounts involving myself because I don't know if they'll help at all.

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I don't have a history of abuse but I used to feel similarly before the shame-killing and body-affirming experience of giving birth- but I still feel that way to a certain extent. I've found getting my gynecological care from midwives instead of OB-GYNs (even the female OB-GYNs I've seen have been pretty clinical) helps somewhat, but it doesn't alleviate all of the anxiety. I'm just never going to be comfortable in stirrups with my lower half exposed. But at least the midwives make an effort to get to know me and treat me like a human and a woman instead of like a patient.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  4. #4
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
    So you have had them before and the sensation still bothers you to the same extent?
    Yes. I still go into low-level panic no matter what.

    Have you ever experienced positive physicality with a SO or good friend - not even sex necessarily, just positive reinforcement from someone whose opinion mattered?
    No. Not with a man, I haven't. I have a history that reads really badly. I have girlfriends (even my twin sister) that I try to emulate, like my ENTJ best friend who isn't afraid of anything of a physical nature, or my ESFP best friend who's merely just "Dude, I hate this..." and is also not intimidated. Even my twin shrugs it off and I've taken a lot of cues and patterned myself after her generally fearless Ne nature, but in crunch time, I still feel tears coming on and the same panic I used to feel. I remember a really nice female doctor of mine years ago having to PRY my legs apart. She was very patient.

    I edited out personal accounts involving myself because I don't know if they'll help at all, even though certain parts of what ye speak of sound remarkably similar to what I have experienced.
    I suspect that I'm not alone. I found myself truly surprised to be dealing with this mess again. I thought I'd moved past it.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  5. #5
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Sorry to hear that, Domino. I can relate, somewhat, I'm not going to go into details but situations like these almost feel like violation.
    Thank you, dear Sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't have a history of abuse but I used to feel similarly before the shame-killing and body-affirming experience of giving birth- but I still feel that way to a certain extent.
    Ok, you'd just made me laugh there. You're a bad person. lol


    I've found getting my gynecological care from midwives instead of OB-GYNs (even the female OB-GYNs I've seen have been pretty clinical) helps somewhat, but it doesn't alleviate all of the anxiety. I'm just never going to be comfortable in stirrups with my lower half exposed. But at least the midwives make an effort to get to know me and treat me like a human and a woman instead of like a patient.
    I never considered using a midwife. My ESFP bff Shorty uses one. And it makes a difference?
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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    AIS Holland code
    Researcher: VDI-P
    Dramatic>Sensitive>Serious

  6. #6
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    YES, I freak out even if it's a woman doing it, but I think the difference is I keep the worry to myself and freak out on the inside. I also freak out, "What if they find something? Oh, no, they cannot find anything! I'm healthy!" And then, "What will happen???" See, it was my first time getting one, and I didn't know what to expect.

    My doctor was really lovely, though. Whew. I wore a really long skirt down to my ankles, and I think she could tell I was nervous as hell even though I didn't say anything. So she told me to lie down, and told me I could keep my skirt on, just take the undies off, and she didn't look intrusively, so I relaxed!!! And I hardly felt anything...

    However, ever since I came to Germany, I've been putting it off. I wonder if doctors here would be so understanding, and so I'm not doing what I should be doing, which is bad. I mean being a loyal woman who's married, I have a low risk for anything, but still you hear all the time about perfectly healthy women getting cancer.

    I hope I find a kind, compassionate doctor like that who I can trust.

    Domino, I'm so sorry about everything, but if it helps, here:

  7. #7
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    IMO, it makes a HUGE difference. I love midwives. It's just a completely different philosophy of care. A lot of people think they only do maternal care but they also do well-woman. It's a great option whether you've had babies or not, or plan to have babies or not. For maternal care they typically only see low-risk patients, but if you don't need a specialist for anything out of the ordinary gynecologically, I don't think your other health concerns would rule it out unless they affect your GYN experience specifically.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    LL, I hear things like home birth and midwifery are very mainstream in Germany. I suspect you will be able to find someone who can provide personal, comfortable care to you there.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #9
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    LL, I know! It's like this major freak out that I can't rationalize away. "Be a big girl". "There's nothing to worry about." "Nobody's judging you." "You're getting worked up over a minor annoyance." Even the receptionist at the doctors' office who scheduled the appt. was like "Oh MAN, I know, I put that test off as long as I can. I hate it" (and then she told me a funny story about tricking her college-bound son into a compulsory prostate exam).

    It's not just an "Oh, man..." moment for me though. I don't mind the discomfort (even though once I was literally climbing up the table in pain). It's the naked thing. I still can't believe I'm having so much trouble with that.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  10. #10
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    For someone like me who can be utterly oblivious to the outer world/immediate surroundings and frequently lost up in my head, I find that I'm sometimes almost paralyzingly body conscious.

    Let me give an example.

    Ladies, the dreaded Pap Smear. I had one scheduled for today and I had to reschedule it due to sudden circumstances, but I noticed the week before the test that I was silently freaking out. And I don't mean just a little bit. Exposure on that level causes me to almost go into a panic attack. My ENFP twin doesn't have this problem. She minds the physical discomfort of the test. I mind the intrusion.

    I had no idea I would be so upset and panicked by the idea of such a routine annoyance. I've always been very uptight about how I look. I've suffered a great deal of persecution for things I can't change or help. I fully trust another woman doing something like a Pap Smear, but I still can't shake the paralyzing fear. Like I have to be perfect or I can't have anybody that close to me. That sort of proximity to me, and I'm literally quivering and fighting the powerful urge to run away.

    I can't have this sort of severe overawareness preventing me from doing what needs to be done. I usually don't let it stop me, but I'm concerned by my reaction. When I was a teenager, I would put off these tests because the very idea of taking my clothes off and being poked at by a relative stranger would leave me shaking and filled with panic, almost to the point of tears. I have a history of sexual abuse/rape that has deeply maimed my psyche.
    i can't stand it either. they have to tell me repeatedly to relax because as you know...nothings getting in when you're all tensed up! haha yeah...i hate it...it's way intrusive and i don't have any history that would make it be hard for me. it just is.

    i should add tho...that i do just take a deep breath and deal with it....because you have to...and i try to be a "big girl" about it but i still feel like....mommy...why are they making me do this...and...all upset and confused about it like a child...it's weird....that's more dramatic perhaps than necessary...just speaking of that internalized feeling about it.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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