Why must I exchange vulnerability for access to care?

The exchange of vulnerability that I have to endure due to the current structure of the medical system is trauma inducing for me; every single time.

Every resource I need access to requires me to exchange vulnerable pieces of information in hopes of receiving the help that I have been begging the last year and a half to have access to might be what is hiding on the other side of this practitioner.

Its a referral gauntlet, an endless exchange of dignity for access to services.

As I alone, literally, dove into what my diagnosis meant for me and navigated my rights to choose the care I want to receive. I faced so many challenges and systematic obstacles to care. I fought them every way I knew how. Then when I was put down for fighting for my life I learned new ways to fight harder, louder and with more courage.

I had put the need to heal ahead of my former need to please everyone else first. I didn’t care what people thought of me anymore; I found the determination I needed when my health threatened my life.

I did the best, most self-defining, awakening work from the rock bottom of my “highly functioning” life.

I still have to exchange myself in unimaginable ways to obtain access to the care that I need to put my life back together to achieve full time health.

The emotional impact of needing this exchange has been devastating to my self worth- it was the high functioning part of me that actually saved my life.

It was my practiced ability to make sense of the nonsense and bring logic to the table as an option that many don’t even consider an option anymore that actually saved my life. Many people get caught up in the irony of ego and systematic structures rules for the sake of rules and traumatic intake processes for the sake of gaining access.

In the face of all of that I bring logic. Structured, fully processed logic as a personality trait and a trained trauma response all in one.

I can imagine what prostitution feels like, as I can liken the emotional process of giving over intimate pieces of yourself in exchange for something you absolutely need to survive.

Helplessness is the underlying feeling.

I have to give over every piece of me, endure emotionally invasive conversations that devastate me to the point of inducing my complex ptsd.

I am left alone after each encounter to pick up the pieces and reconcile the cost benefit of the exchange; which always feels like I get the short end of the stick when I spend the days after the appointments in a CPTSD fawning/ processing zone out from the adrenal crash coming down from the stress of the traumatizing interaction in my damaged adrenal processes.

What happens during these very vulnerable interactions is that I am forced to condense my very complex conditions into a 15 minute appointment that is mostly taken up with the practitioners questions. I leave feeling unheard, unseen and unable to access the abundance of care I need; due to structural reasons or staffing or wait times etc.

I have been a product of a series of unfortunate events, made more complex by the circumstances I endured rather that enhanced on the other side of the spectrum with the advantage of having parents who are healed or at least had found love for themselves as a baseline.

Following these very intense and often harmful conversations there is always a physical exam of some sort, and due to the nature of my pain and the condition of my body- it is often a thorough examination of my whole physical body including the inside of my vagina with poking and prodding at pain points in my uterus and around my ovaries from the inside of me; as they go through their trained modalities of intake for me to gain access to their care.

I exchange telling my trauma stories and full access to my body in exchange for access to care; then am left to process that emotional piece as well as the endurance of a breach of physical and emotional boundaries while I sit and wait for more access to the same kind of care often because the person I just saw needs to pass me along because I am so “complex”… so I get to wait for a specialist.

Or if I am really lucky, they do decide to take me on as a patient as part of my network of practitioners… So in order to follow this path with this specific practitioner I have do further exchange dignity for help. There is testing that they want done, or additional things that they would like from me to aide them in assisting me. It is its own form of torture and it becomes really challenging for me.

It initiates a trauma response for me on some level, every single time.

I exchange access to my whole being- emotionally and physically for access to care that I need to help myself save my life.

Talk about vulnerability.

This is the reality for people facing chronic illness. This is my reality as I attempt to gain access to medical support.

We exchange vulnerability for access, and get abused by the process along the way.

-B. 💋

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