When I was living with my aunt & uncle in Tennessee, I was seeing a therapist for 'anger issues'. Things had gotten nasty in my aunt's house - but looking back, I don't think it was anything too unusual. I was 13 going on 100, feeling like no one wanted me around, and filled with angst.
My therapist almost had me removed from my aunt's home & committed to a youth facility. I didn't even know about it until after I had been rushed onto a plane and sent to live with my sister Jody here in Vegas. I couldn't even go back to Tennessee til I was 18 because there was basically a warrant out with the Department of Mental Health or something like that. Part of the committal was for my own safety - the therapist saw me the day after my aunt hit me upside the head with a cast iron saucepan, the day after I'd revealed to my aunt that I'd lost my virginity. Part of it was because of the drinking & suspected drug use.
Another part of it I didn't find out until years later. My aunt and uncle had been speaking to some of the members of their church - many of whom were Middle Eastern and North African. They had suggested they see a certain gynecologist, one who still performed female circumcisions and cliterodectomies. Of course, it was all to provide relief from nymphomania and sexual hyperactivity. My aunt had discussed this 'treatment option' with my therapist, unbeknownst to me. My therapist didn't say anything to me about it, probably because she figured she would have been reading about a family being murdered in their sleep by a 13-year old madwoman.
Yeah, even in the 80s, that kind of sexist Victorian mindset still existed - and it was my aunt, a female relative, who was spear-heading the decision to have it done to me. Apparently, the attitude that sexual pleasure is unhealthy for girls still exists today. I don't just get white-middle-class-righteous anger when I hear about that kind of thing. I get defensive whenever I hear about FGM, or that pediatric urologist doing what he's doing. I feel personally threatened by it. It horrifies me on an inner level when I hear about little girls having done to them what I managed to escape. I don't know what kind of set-up my aunt & uncle would have arranged that would have led me to letting some doctor perform some kind of random surgery on me. From what I understand, a lot of what would happen is that the girl would be told she would be getting her tonsils or appendix removed & the cliterodectomy would be done at the same time. At 13, though, I was wary and uncomfortable around medical staff. Even dentists. I was extremely suspicious. My aunt probably would have had to slip me a mickey at dinner or something & I'd have woken up in the hospital, clit-less.
Now I'm like, fuck it, give me the knock-out juice, mainly because I'm a pharm-head, but back then, just two years after being hit by the car & all the crap I went through in the hospital and during my long, drawn-out recovery - it would have been impossible to convince me that I was sick or needed some body part removed (it would have been doubly hard because while living with my aunt & uncle, I didn't get check-ups. I think I saw the dentist once with them, and spent a few hours in an ER getting an earring removed from inside my infected ear lobe). That and I knew where my clit was and what it was for. I wasn't some 5-year old who had just discovered the joys of running around nude or something. I was sexually educated and I would have definitely missed it if I woke up without it (Hel's bells, masturbation was one of my few extracurricular activities while I was in the hospital after my car accident. Stolen orgasms kept me sane, and it was fun fucking with the nurses who would come running when the heart & blood pressure monitors would all go off).
What still bothers me about it is how everything was done behind my back. My aunt & uncle, the people at their church, the doctor, the therapist - even though she was my advocate - all kept me out of the loop over the entire thing. No one sat me down to talk to me about it. No one ever sat me down and talked to me about my behavior even. Other than the therapist, no one wanted to know why I was angry and violent and destructive. My aunt & uncle just assumed that removing the most obvious organ of my physical sexuality would somehow turn me into a meek, well-behaved obedient little girl. Their church members passed judgment on me without even knowing anything about me - determined that I was too free, too outspoken, too wild for a proper girl. There was no consultation with me and the surgeon - he would just be doing something that was apparently routine to him. Bits & pieces of it all just filtered down to me over the years, passed from one family member to another, until I got the whole story.