There’s yet to be a scientific consensus on the frequency of alien abduction. But there’s already data indicating that the frequency of reports of alien abduction – as evidenced by the number of confirmed cases of Post-Alien Abduction Stress Disorder (PAASD) – is not orders of magnitude off the frequency of being hit by lightning, which worldwide is well over 215,000 per year. Some of these are no doubt the product of #Me-Too-ism, and so may be more wishful thinking than a genuine belief. But for the past few years what’s been dominating the seminar circuit for professionals specializing in PAASD has been whether therapists should Start by Believing, even though they probably don’t.
Why is it such a difficult question? Because unlike with sexual assault, there’s no one in a position to say the alleged victim is lying. And so there’s no reason to suspend judgment. And besides, whether it happened or not, she believes it did.
The therapist might think it’s unhealthy to believe one’s been abducted and sexually examined by aliens. But if so, isn’t it equally unhealthy to believe one’s been sexually assaulted by a man? Well, you might say, not if she had been sexually assaulted by a man. In fact it would be unhealthy for her to try to suppress the experience. But then surely the same can be said if she had been abducted and sexually examined by aliens. She’s been victimized once. To doubt her is just to victimize her a second time.
I know whereof I speak. Because I’d had a prostatectomy, the aliens kept me for over a week trying to figure me out. I couldn’t turn my head, but just before they released me I’m sure I caught one of them in the corner of my eye writing something down in his notebook with a shrug that seemed to say, “Damned if I know!”
I say ‘his’ notebook, but of course I can’t be sure of that. I certainly have no more reason to say ‘her’ notebook. And to refer to whichever he or she was as an it just seems … Well, I can’t say dehumanizing, but you know what I mean.
Anyhow, I’m posting this blog in the hope that other PAASD-sufferers will feel free to share their experiences, as I’ve just done, without fear of being disbelieved or ridiculed. I’m not sure if they’ve deciphered our language. But if they have, they’re probably as disgusted as they are baffled by how insensitive human beings can be to each other. Being the victim of PAASD-mocking has certainly made me more appreciative of the Start by Believing campaign.