I’ve not ever read Proust in its entirety, because what am I, an eternal being who exists outside of linear time? But, thanks to Wikipedia and university survey courses, I am familiar with its basic themes of memory and it’s frustrating insufficiency.
Anyways, when not pondering madeleines, I am often confronted by how resilient the mind is in protecting us from the horrors of the world. Memory is a very funny thing. As good a reason as any to maintain diaries or engage in hagiography, is that you’d be surprised at what you forget if you don’t write it down.
A doctor asked me to get a pelvic ultrasound. I surprised myself by saying absolutely not unless it’s an emergency life or death situation, I am not doing that. And she, in sincere surprise, asked me why not.
And, because I guess therapy works, I recalled a pelvic ultrasound from maybe 10-12 years ago. I’d been referred in to a specialist as there was concern about a uterine cyst. This doctor, a gentleman over 50 in the kindly white patrician archetype, who I did not know know, proceeds to tell me this won’t hurt a bit.
But it does hurt. I am screaming bloody murder. It hurts so much I cannot stop. He tells me he will call security unless I quiet down. I cannot and I am in tears hysterically trying to convey the pain to him. I pass out.
I had utterly suppressed the memory till today. It happened to coincide with my husband mentioning a think piece in New York Magazine about women who empathized with the Clare Danes character from Fleishman Is In Trouble. There is a profoundly violating scene around reproductive health and consent that culminates in dark emotional trauma.
And of course, because it’s happening to a striving insecure aspirant white bitch, it totally doesn’t count right? The internet is not sympathetic to whining Clare Danes types. Fucking Karens. It’s super cringe to consider where the system hurts you, because, you dumb bitch, you benefit more than anyone else except the men.
So I guess I am not surprised I had banished the experience of something bad happening to me at a doctors office, but you know, it was not so bad that I am allowed to complain about it. And that is how the patriarchy perpetuates itself. Shut up you are rich. Look at the skulls upon which your empire is built you witch.
What I’m saying is that maybe you need to remember who it is that benefits from you not remembering the pain. Who benefits from forgetting? And trust me they are very scared when you realize that you remember. Even the rich striving white bitches have scares from this system.
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