Medical Non-consentual medical exams and fetishization of trauma


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I was diagnosed with PTSD several years ago, and have tried numerous therapists and other things to no avail, I believe because my experience is not very common.

When I was a very young child, around 5 years old, I was made to have numerous unwanted physical exams while naked or in a thin paper gown that only covered so much. I recall that there were no real medical reasons for the invasive nature of these protocols, no attempt to soothe me, or take me somewhere else, except that I was told to get used to it. I cannot recall in vivid detail what happened in these exams, except they left me humiliated and violated, and I had no say in any of it. For the record, one of my parents is dead and the other has been absent for most of my life, handing me off to my grandparents as an infant, I never received any proper care from my mother or father, so my mother would only appear when a consent form needed to be signed.

As I said, I am unable to remember what happened, but I began acting out sexually at age 5 or 6, including masturbation, however, these feelings were only elicited by medical environments, and they were incredibly distressing and upsetting. I would panic, scream, cry, and beg anyone in my family to keep me away from doctors or nurses. I can recall a couple other times during childhood when I was panicking because I was terrified of the medical environment, and was restrained and forcibly injected with needles.

I did not develop properly sexually, and despite being in my 20's, cannot even insert a tampon. I was molested by a classmate around the time I turned 14, and this experience brought out the same feelings I encountered in medical environments: fear, shame, and panic. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that whatever happened to me as a child was not something I felt comfortable or safe with, and it did violate me in ways that have permanently altered me.

Later on in my life, a doctor touched me innapropriately at the waist, while I was visibly shaking and trying to jerk away from him. Throughout my life, I have had no say in what medical staff have done to me, and I feel like I have 0 control, they hold all the power. They have laughed in my face while I was triggered, shaking, and begging to have my blood pressure medication because I was so upset and scared. They denied me of it, and continued to laugh.

I have to avoid medical environments as much as possible, because rarely will they agree to do things on my terms, or respect my consent that I do not want certain things, or need work arounds. However, I think what is worse than the visceral fear and the fight, flight, or freeze response, is that I have to see some sort of medical content to get aroused. No therapist I have ever seen is able to comprehend how it is nearly impossible for me to get aroused in a normal way, without this fetishization, and how my entire childhood development focused around this. I have tried, for months at a time, to stay away from that sort of content, but it resulted in me being unable to have any sort of sexual feeling at all.

Despite having lots of other trauma in my life, including a violent sexual assault, an attemped assault which thankfully did not escalate too far, abusive men grooming me as a teenager, familial abuse, this has deeply impacted me the most and I cannot find much literature out there on how unwanted medical procedures or contact can lead to PTSD especially if it developed during childhood.

I am aware that doctors are not always trying to violate me, but this rationalization does nothing to control my body's response, the fear, the shame, and the arousal. No amount of thinking my way out of it has given me any relief. Not having vivid memories because I was so young makes me doubt myself too, but the effects are very devastating.


The not having specific memories really does help to build this self doubt. But I hope you are able to work that through because reading your post: there is so much evidence there to help you over come that doubt.
Whatever happened, it was traumatic for you. You are left with these traumatic feelings. And like you say, your body is in this fear state.

I hope you can find a therapist, as a lot of what you write, even if people's traumas start differently: the effects are similar.

And also understandable that there is now a sexual link between arousal and this trauma. Reenactment. Creating similar feelings. Understandable, and common. Whilst people's traumas on here are different, if you read threads you'll see the themes emerging where we have done this (link sexual activity to trauma).

There are ways through.
I personally don't think you need a therapist that has dealt with childhood medical trauma to help you through, as the symptoms are what they are with trauma.
Do you like reading? As maybe there are some books to help you make sense of things too?
And this site is fantastic.

I hope you find a way to help make peace with what happened to you. And that you can hold it differently and with less pain moving forward. It is possible.


I can relate to some of what you wrote.

I have tried, for months at a time, to stay away from that sort of content, but it resulted in me being unable to have any sort of sexual feeling at all.
Fairly common for survivors of sexual abuse and assault to have abuse fantasies. There’s a book that helped me deal with abuse fantasies, it’s called “The Sexual Healing Journey,” by Wendy Maltz. The process was kind of long and complicated for me and involved a caring T who could reparent me, and I developed lots of transference toward her, which was hard to accept, but it has made a significant difference in my life.
They have laughed in my face while I was triggered, shaking, and begging
I believe you. I have had oppressive medical staff. I had a doctor shouting at me and shaming me when I was crying and begging her to stop. I’m sorry you experienced the worst side of people who were supposed to be helping you.
a doctor touched me innapropriately
This happened to me too when I was a teenager. I think it led to a lot of my doctor fetishization.
I cannot recall in vivid detail what happened in these exams, except they left me humiliated and violated,
I had something similar, but just one experience when I was very young—a confusing and invasive procedure that was not explained to me and no comfort offered.

Similarly I developed fetishization of medical treatment as one of my main abuse fantasies. Similarly I didn’t know why I felt like I had been traumatized. For me, I’m in my 40s and I didn’t realize until I was 39 that my dad had sexually abused me when I was a baby. As that came to light and I got away from him and began recovery, then I understood more clearly why I felt so victimized and without a sense of self for so long. I processed the medical stuff along with all the other stuff that happened.

I don’t have abuse fantasies or medical fetishization anymore. I can go to the doctor now and discern if it’s someone I can trust or someone to avoid. I’m in my fifth year of recovery.

It can definitely get better. It’s not easy. I recommend journaling and having a therapist you can trust to talk about everything. It’s a lot to unpack. Best of luck as you embark on your own journey of recovering your self. Hope you keep writing about it, your story might be what inspires someone else to face their own past some day.