Sexual abuse survivors & UC - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 09-20-2012, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reflecting on my reasons for preferring to UC and one factor that came to my mind is the fact that I'm a sexual abuse survivor.  I don't like strangers in my personal space, and I know this stems from the sexual abuse.  It's taken me a lot of work to have a normal sex life with my lover, so there's no way I'd be comfortable enough with someone I just met a few months before to be looking, touching and fiddling around with my genitals.  Whenever I watch a birth video in which there's a doctor or midwife in between the woman's legs, watching and assisting the baby coming out, I cringe and feel the urge to vomit.  I know this is definitely a factor when it comes to my preference to UC, but I wonder how big of a role it plays.  I know that I also have a deep trust in my body and intuition, which are huge factors.  I try to imagine what it would be like if I hadn't been sexually abused, what would I choose then.  This is difficult for me, though, since the abuse happened at a very young age so I can't really imagine being another way.  Whenever I imagine a doctor or midwife with me during labor and birth, I keep feeling like all they'd do is meddle, not helping, just making things worse.  Another part of me wonders if I'm just reacting to the stories I've heard, though, and its easy for me to react because of my past.  I don't know, but this is very interesting to me.  Are there any other sexual abuse survivors here that can relate?

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#2 of 18 Old 09-20-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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I refused to have any males at my births besides my husband, possibly for similar reasons. It caused quite a stink when I birthed my first in the hospital, there were none on call so they had to bring in a surgeon female OB to stand by while I pushed. My abuse background was things that happened at ages 15-16 so not as embedded I suppose, my preferences might just be how I am anyway. I was happy to have a midwife for a homebirth who did nothing without my asking her to or her gently asking me if she should. There was no messing around down there unless I asked something specific done and no feeling of authority coming from her. Even a hint of bossiness or insistent routine of vaginal exams, perineal support, etc from a midwife and I won't hire her. UC would be most comfortable to avoid any risk of that, as long as you and the child's dad are comfortable too with the personal responsibilities and risks that come with it.

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#3 of 18 Old 09-21-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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Hi There Linnaea & JamieCatherine,

 

Sure wish I could have spoken with women like you going into birthing!  Sort of a party killing subject KWIM?

Not that it's easy to find UCer's (yet) anyway.  

 

The hypervigilance is quite the double edged sword with all those triggers.  So much trial & error just to get a sense of tolerance levels.

 

Not many self help guides combining the two topics are there?  Wanna write one with me?

 

EMDR, homeopathy, and the PATIENT, steadfast love of a magnificent man, have helped me the most.  But having others to process with may have unlocked issues faster I believe.  What gets you through things?

 

You have enough support for this next birth?

 

Maybe we need a group huh?  Traumatized UCing Party Crashers? Anyone else?

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#4 of 18 Old 09-22-2012, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your story, Jamie.  I might be able to find a truly hands-off midwife, there's so few around here, though, that I don't have high hopes.  That would be the only way I'd feel comfortable with having someone there other than my fiance.  

 

MotheringBliss~thank you for your warmth, I can feel it through your words love.gif I would like a group, your name for it made me giggle.  I think a lot of people can't relate and it would be nice to have the support of women who do.  I haven't done much group work, had a hypnotherapist for awhile who helped tremendously, I mostly do inner work on my own: breathing, reflecting, analyzing myself, breaking down the layers.  My biggest "hang-up" is a deep struggle with vulnerability.  I've chipped away at it, bit by bit, but I still can't stomach having a stranger (no matter how well-meaning they happen to be) looking at or touching anything in the southern region.  PAP smears made me dissociate when I used to get them, I eventually just stopped altogether.  I had a UC last time (went beautifully, gave birth to a healthy baby girl @ 41 weeks), this time around I'm feeling more inclined to having a midwife, but I'm afraid after hearing stories of "medwives".  I'm only 14 weeks, though, so I have some time to adjust and hopefully find a solution that works for me and my fiance.  

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#5 of 18 Old 09-23-2012, 01:08 AM
 
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I should have mentioned sexual trauma years ago here...We're quite a stifled lot.  A group would be amusing, like 4 out of 400 women actually expressing stuff. help.gif 

 

I appreciate your appreciation!  luxlove.gif  Thread killing is mostly what I do here on MDC, maybe because I distract myself from facing trauma damage eh?  Do you find it hard to connect with people IRL & online like I do?  I always feel that others sense the pain I carry and shy away, not wanting their own pain to surface maybe?  

 

Yeah, I've done extensive inner, outer, & reflective work to absurd levels. Yet I still pass out during blood draws and shoot speculums (or anything else for that matter) right back out. (Sorry about that visual)  redface.gif

 

There's a good chance of finding a midwife willing to stand by, not nearly as unheard of these days. 

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#6 of 18 Old 09-23-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Haha, yeah, good point about only a handful of women actually speaking up winky.gif  Maybe we should just stick to this thread as an outlet?

 

Yes, I definitely find it hard to connect with people.  It's difficult for me to relate to people who've "had it easy" and I also don't get much out of sob fests with people who are comfortable sharing their problems.  I think until I move past trying to fit in somehow, I'll probably have an easier time actually fitting in lol.gif   Funny how that works.

 

I wish my body would shoot speculums right back out, that would definitely fit how I feel much better.  I'm just wondering these days how much of my resistance and dislike of doctors and anything medical is because I know most of the time it's not needed or is it because of the sexual abuse?  I'm guessing probably a bit of both.  I researched like crazy when I got pregnant the first time about pregnancy and birth, which led me to see how corrupt and pointless most of the procedures are and how it's a bunch of lies that keep getting passed around like truth.  I couldn't even trust midwives at that point, which I don't know if that's good or bad.  My UC was amazing, I listened to my body and it told me exactly what to do.  But even if I'm 100% healthy going into birth, something might still come up that I need assistance with, am I willing to allow that assistance?   

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#7 of 18 Old 09-24-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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Sob fests! Like in Fight Club biglaugh.gif Now we just need Krav Maga Yoga flash mobs!  Hmmm, maybe not a bad idea....could be intensely therapeutic...

 

Fitting in Right!  Gave up on that years ago, I'm shooting for "single serving" interactions...but even that seems elusive.  Between my compulsive imprinting tendencies and the socially unacceptable things that I somehow always manage to say, women tend to run and never look back.  Won't you be my mommy? treehugger.gif

 

I think shooting speculums (and things) could be quite lucrative in Thailand.  Perhaps I've just had the wrong perspective, and should harness all the interesting body memory reactions.  Although I believe only one industry has a place for them. sick.gif  Guess I'll have to keep searching for my niche.

 

I would imagine, after watching UC awareness rise through the ranks of passionate, visionary mothers, that abuse simply hastened the choice process (for me).  I was in a tailspin of anger & regret after my first midwife assisted homebirth.  They would not open the windows as I needed since I was overheating & hyperventilating (might chill the baby ya know!), so I promptly passed out in the birth tub & had a seizure as she cleared my cervix. Revived with oxygen and put on my back to finish pushing!  Then a new assistant PRESSED on my clitoris during crowning (trying out something she read!)   I was emotionally destroyed for a year and spent hundreds on "holistic" therapy.  I did not know of UC and I suffered yet another "botched" midwife birth until I found Laura Shanley's site. 

 

Everyone involved with the births thought they went beautifully (healthy baby in the end after all)!  Crazy making dizzy.gif

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#8 of 18 Old 09-24-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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I definately think that sexual abuse is a big reason why I want a UC. I used to be completely unable to have a regular vaginal exam with an OB, I would shake and cry and panic and couldnt do it. I have managed to get a little better but its still hard for me to have anyone touching me. With my first baby, I made my OB aware of my history but he was not sympatheic and I have had OB's chastise me for being "over dramatic" and "demanding". During my birth my OB broke my water without my consent, and I had a massive panic attack. I hate hospitals, I feel totally helpless and when it comes to giving birth it makes it much worse because my body is so exposed and vulnerable. I dont want anyone touching me without my consent and my bodily integrity has been disrespected way too many times by doctors.

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#9 of 18 Old 09-24-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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*


Claire, book reading, tree loving, coffee drinking wife to K, and happy SAHM to ds G Feb '09 home birth, dd C ~ free birthed June '11, and now a new lil surprise due October 2012 joy.gif

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#10 of 18 Old 09-24-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Seems like med professionals, often have a "desensitize your patient" mindset, and as a matter of course, push through procedures to make a living.  Everyone's heard the "You may feel a little pinch, cramp, sting or whatever."  Downplaying the momentary discomfort that has triggered a place of eternal agony is seldom acknowledged, quickly justified and dismissed.  We're too sensitive and over reacting....Don't get me started about dentists hopmad.gif.

 

Hi JoyfulMama2be, Thanks for joining us!

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#11 of 18 Old 09-25-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JoyfulMama2be View Post

I definately think that sexual abuse is a big reason why I want a UC. I used to be completely unable to have a regular vaginal exam with an OB, I would shake and cry and panic and couldnt do it. I have managed to get a little better but its still hard for me to have anyone touching me. With my first baby, I made my OB aware of my history but he was not sympatheic and I have had OB's chastise me for being "over dramatic" and "demanding". During my birth my OB broke my water without my consent, and I had a massive panic attack. I hate hospitals, I feel totally helpless and when it comes to giving birth it makes it much worse because my body is so exposed and vulnerable. I dont want anyone touching me without my consent and my bodily integrity has been disrespected way too many times by doctors.

 

Hi joyfulmama2be, thanks for joining us hug2.gif  That's horrible that your doctors have put you down for something you couldn't help irked.gif  They should lose their licenses imo but of course that won't happen.  I also hate hospitals, once I had to spend almost a month in one because of an eating disorder when I was a teenager.  It was basically like being in prison.  Why anyone would want to voluntarily give birth in a sterile, prison-like environment, I have no clue.  It shows you how brain washed our society is.  I also don't trust doctors, most of them don't give a flying f$ck if their patient feels respected or not.  It's like working on an assembly line for them--as long as the final product gets completed successfully in a certain amount of time, who cares how the product feels about it.  I'm sorry you've had so much trauma while dealing with doctors, it sounds like it has made you wiser, though, which is the only silver lining I've found with my own trauma.  

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#12 of 18 Old 09-27-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Care to share any creative outlets Ladies?  Here's inspiration http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3508204/Vampire-Woman-bit-back-with-tatts.html  I prefer sculpture myself....jaw2.gif

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#13 of 18 Old 09-27-2012, 01:52 PM
 
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grouphug.gif I get locked out of my e-mail account and when i get back in i find I'm not the only one!

Mine's an odd one. All i remember is telling my mum, police and i didn't see daddy overnight anymore (they had split up). I was four and as i grew up it wasn't mentioned much apart from once when the idea was planted in my head that i must have made it up. He became my superdad and i was certain he didn't do anything, until he was caught with a huge stash of child porn...

Anyway, long story short, I'm still not sure what if anything actually happened to me, but i have a gut feeling that I've just blocked it out. I'm going to get my old reports etc one day to see if anything stirs my memories, but I've just had my second UC 15 weeks ago and I'm too busy enjoying/struggling with three young kids and an arthritic OH.

Maybe this had a subconscious effect on my decisions but truth be told, i think i would always have UC'd.

Nice to have somewhere you don't have to worry about making the unacquainted uncomfortable.

Hugs from another survivor x

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#14 of 18 Old 09-27-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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L&D units have protocols for sexual abuse survivors including having all female staff.

 

You can dicuss it all with your female OB ahead of time.

 

It is possibale to have respectful and gentle exprience in the hospital setting

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#15 of 18 Old 09-27-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That Vampire Woman scares me, Motheringbliss yikes2.gif A bit too much sensory overload for my delicate palate orngtongue.gif  I'm a writer, if I write something soon that I think you guys might like, I'll post it here.  

 

Thanks for joining us, littlebastet.  You're definitely not the only one.  I also was abused at a very young age and I blocked it out until I was 19 years old...then the memories came in waves and they were very difficult to deal with at first.  If you do go down the road of trying to stir up the memories, I highly recommend getting a solid support system together first in case it turns out to be really difficult for you to cope with.  

 

I just discovered this: http://www.asafepassage.info/childhood-abuse3.shtml#labour

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#16 of 18 Old 09-28-2012, 12:16 AM
 
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Imagine if we were all so bold as that anguished woman.  I would think people would better protect their children from predators, if all of our pain was as visible.  Scary? You Bet!

 

Do any of you harm yourselves?  I used to peel the skin from my fingers in school (I always felt trapped there) and I have trouble remembering to eat (not good nursing a babe) sigh. 

 

Would love to see your writings Linnaea!  A safe passage looks helpful, maybe I'll take the training course.  I've always wanted to help others lighten the effects of trauma.  

 

Here's some nurturing reminders http://www.tabs.org.nz/thewayahead.htm

 

Hi There Orangemoon & Littlebastet partytime.gif Welcome!  

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#17 of 18 Old 10-02-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Thanks :D I have a lovely OH of 5 years who i have absolute trust in, and i know he will be there for me (as i will be for him). For now I'm getting on with my kids early years 7 3 and almost 4 mo.

I used to chew the skin on my knuckles until i could taste that i had broken the skin, and have used a hot sewing needle to create an ankh scar on my forearm. Once i cut my arm with a kitchen knife but i never really settled on a preferred method of punishing myself. Strangely i do forget to eat, though my mum forgets to eat too so it could just be a family thing, luckily my awesome fantastic man reminds me.
 

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#18 of 18 Old 10-02-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes I bite my hand or arm if I'm feeling really stressed, and I stop right before I break the skin. I don't really enjoy it but it is helpful for relieving stress and anger. When I was a teenager I exercised compulsively and restricted my eating. This got worse and worse until I ended up in the hospital for a month. This was the low point of my self-harm. After that I slowly got better and these days I am feeling pretty darn healthy overall.
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