I think that I have two types of gag reflex. One is from senses inside my mouth and the other is from things I see that repulse me, more like repulses my stomach. So the one is more centered in my mouth and the other is more centered in my stomach.
I used to have a really frozen gag reflex when it came to my stomach. I would intellectually understand that something I heard or seen was making me feel gaggy, but my body was frozen and I would have no response. I would often say gag or gag me, because I would feel something was awful, but my body response was not there.
On the other hand, I had a very strong gag reflex from something in my mouth, so dentists and hygienists and even toothbrushes and often food and pills would give me a gag response. I think that this is a common aftereffect for survivors of child sexual abuse.
As a young child there were lots of foods that gagged me, they always seemed to involved textures or wetness. I hated wet bread or pancakes or anything like that. Likewise I was never a fan of gravy. I can’t remember the last time that I ate gravy, it’s definitely been more than a decade.
A year ago, or so, I started actually getting a gag response in my stomach from things that I would see that would revolt me. I now call this my unfrozen gag reflex.
Now sometimes I feel it in both my mouth and my stomach at the same time. Often this happens while watching Dancing with the Stars, when there is a particularly disgusting person, to me, doing the dancing or they are just doing it so repulsively. Particularly when they try to do the hip thrusts during the Latin dances. I guess that is a part of being a survivor as well.
Last night I was watching the last season of The Good Wife and in the last episode there was a big open mouth kiss that really disgusted and gagged me, like four gags in a row of a reaction. I keep telling myself that this is progress in healing from child sexual abuse. It sure doesn’t feel that way.