WHAT I WROTE IN MY JOURNAL AFTER MY VERY FIRST PAP SMEAR

***This list contains somewhat graphic content***
  1. When I woke up this morning, I told myself I would be brave.
  2. I kept it together all the way to the doctor's office and into the exam room and into the itchy gown they gave me.
  3. When the doctor squished my breasts then asked if I had any questions, I said no because I didn't know what to ask him.
  4. Then he jammed that thing inside me, and it hurt worse than any pain I've ever felt.
  5. I yelled that it hurt but he didn't take it out. He just kept saying it wouldn't if I would just relax, but I couldn't.
  6. The nurse wouldn't look me in the eyes. All I could do was cry.
  7. I couldn't tell you when he took it out of me, but once he did, he asked me questions that I don't remember.
  8. I answered his questions between sniffles. I apologized for crying. I was embarrassed.
  9. He had no problem looking me in the eyes as he took off his gloves and said, "Sorry we had to pick on you today, but you did well."
  10. He patted me on the back and left the room. His nurse followed him, her eyes on the floor.
  11. I put my clothes back on and tried to pull myself together as much as I could.
  12. I went into the bathroom, and it hurt when I peed. There was blood when I wiped.
  13. I told my mom how much it hurt and asked her if it was supposed to and she said no.
  14. But when I tried to ask her more, all she would say was "It's just something that women have to do."
  15. I just don't think it was supposed to happen like that.
  16. ...
  17. I think about that day a lot, and I never really know what to think.
  18. Could he have been gentler? Would it have been better with a female doctor? Or was it just me? Was I really not relaxed enough? Was it because I was a virgin?
  19. Am I just not woman enough?
  20. My mom told me, "It's just something that women have to do." But I still don't think it was supposed to happen like that.