Thank you so much to those who created the "sticky" threads in this group; I feel so much better after reading them. All of my "symptoms" are easily explained as a combination of jet lag, anxiety and guilt.
Before I go into my scary and dumb story (wow, there are so many of us!), I'll say that I told my wife the truth as soon as I got home from Paris, and I haven't picked up a drink since my nightmare last Sunday. At least now I feel like I'm starting a "new life" on the right foot. I really do have a great wife.
I wish I had known about the strip clubs in Pigalle (north side of Paris). I'll spare most of the details, but they are a dangerous place to go alone, especially if you're already drunk. To keep the story short, I'll leave out the scams and get right to the point. I was in the place alone and lost consciousness after about an hour of drinking (possibly drugged with something else). In everything I can remember, the dancer kept her Daisy Duke shorts on (she said it was important to her). After what seemed like a few hours (I don't know why) she suddenly gave me a very vicious and painful hickey on my arm, saying "This is for your wife to see!". But what happened next is what terrifies me. I was totally blacked-out, and I screamed hard enough to break the blood vessel in my eye. But I don't know made me scream. I just remember what the bouncer said right after that scream: "You came here to get f---ed, now you're f---ed!" (laughter).
The most obvious explanation is that I screamed because the hickey really hurt, and the bouncer was talking about my marriage when he said "...you're f---ed". But my paranoia made me think that I somehow insulted the dancer, was deliberately infected with HIV by the bouncer, and I just can't remember the infected needle because it's too awful to think of. Fortunately I know I'm prone to paranoia, so I discount these crazy scenarios my mind comes up with.
I was incredibly lucky to walk all the way home to my hotel, south of the Eiffel Tower, without being mugged. I am incredibly lucky to have a wife that understands and has forgiven me (as long as I stop drinking, which is what made me do such a stupid thing in the first place). Now I'm going to set aside my obviously paranoid and anxious thoughts, and just set a Google calendar reminder to get tested in 6 weeks. I think being a binge-drinker would have killed me sooner than HIV. I'm glad I got this wake-up call, even if my worst fears do come true and the test is positive.
Sweating + fatigue + weight loss = jet lag and anxiety. This is my new mantra.
I remember why I screamed now. I'm 90% sure I was assaulted anally, I think with an object. I can't believe I'm being so calm about it, but I'm glad at least that I remember now. I've been trying to get an appointment with a psychologist. There's nobody else I can discuss this with now.
I had diarrhea this morning, but with my history of anxiety I know it's an anxiety symptom. Right now self-knowledge is my best friend.
Thanks joggen. Clearly my biggest problem is alcoholism; I'm glad to be back in AA again. I'll report back in 3-4 weeks with the results of my first HIV test, which I'm fairly confident will be negative.
Again, thank you all so much for the information here.
I was taken aback by your comment "Anxiety is making you change your story", but I just realized something. If I had really been attacked anally, I would have had some kind of soreness the next day. Right?
The mind has the power to heal, and the power to create demons where none existed.
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