Welcome to Pandora's Aquarium, a rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivor message board and chat room.
If you've been a victim of any type of sexual violence, you belong here. What you see below represents just a fraction of the resources and survivor support available. Register now to join our community and take full advantage of what this online support group has to offer you as you heal and recover, or sign in to remove this message.
You are not alone, we can support you as you heal, and you've made an important step toward recovery by reaching out. If you are unable to register or have any questions, please contact the staff or view our home page.
I now understand my father's fear of my going to the doctor, and injuries that could be treated at home, were. Looking back, as a child, I was never left alone with medical people. When my father was present, he had no fear that I would speak honestly. When my mother went, she had "strict" instructions to never leave me alone. I didn't understand why then; I do now.
To minimize visits to doctors, I was held responsible for my illnesses and injuries. Complaints of pain or illness were subject to punishment. I was verbally threatened with the evils that doctors would do to me. I was taught to treat wounds, and did so for the entire family. There were always medical supplies, on a shelf in cardboard boxes. One was labeled "INTERNAL," and the other "EXTERNAL." We had forceps, scalpels, tweezers, all medical quality. There were always a gallon bottle of Green Soap (the betadine equivalent for the day), bottles of peroxide and alcohol. It was made clear that infections were a waste of money.
I was so afraid of my father, that I once stepped on a hard-tooth rake; the tines buried into my heel. I pulled it out, and told no one. It's almost funny now that my mother was a nurse.
I became symptomatic of gastrointestinal distress of unknown etiology at thirteen. I had upper and lower GIs, which revealed growths in my intestine. I needed an endoscopy. I had no idea what that meant. My mother was present. Cold, slightly drugged and almost naked under a sheet on a gurney, the doctor and his gaggle of medical students all came in the room; there were about a dozen young men. I was terrified, but remained silent, as did my mother.
My anus had never been violated up to that point. It was so painful, and I was so ashamed. Not only did the procedure take so much longer because everyone got to have a look at my polyps, but come time for removing one of them, the doctor lost his grip on it, and had to go fishing for it for the pathology of the thing. Far be it from doctor god to admit he lost one, especially in front of all of his demigods. My mother stood there, silent, all the time patting my wrist, telling me to stay still, it's not that bad.
I needed a knee surgery when I was fourteen. My father fought the need, telling me that I was weak, and the doctor just wanted money. My patella was dislocated, so he really had no choice. My punishment was his refusing adequate post-op pain medication, citing possible addiction. All I was to receive was Tylenol 3, oral tablets. When I woke up after surgery, I woke in severe pain, and imagined men with sledge hammers going at my leg. It was an accurate mental picture, and it remains with me.
I was in the hospital for a week, no one visited. I was in so much pain that I think I can safely assume it was deemed safe to leave me alone. I had never told anyone about home, so he took the risk, I guess. I was duly "punished." My first period started that week, and the nurse was kind about it. I knew about periods, but never thought I would have one, being puninshed by god for how bad I was. I was miserable about that, too.
When I was almost eighteen, I had just been advised that I was hired for my first job, a secret from my parents, and it was part of my plan for escape. My head was full of plans of escape, and on the way to pick up my mother from work, I ran a stop sign on a route I had traveled hundreds of times. My mother had been deemed incapable of driving herself, so dad would drop her off at work, and I was to pick her up each day.
Vehicles were heavier then, and I was in a 1/4-ton pickup that had no seat belts. It had been raining, I was broadsided at about 50 mph, hit liquid mud and a telephone pole. The mud probably saved my life; I was buried up to my chest in it. I had my first skull film, and there was an anomaly that appeared like a tumor in the middle of my head. I was admitted, and the definitive test was to be accomplished by injecting dye into the base of my spinal cord, and taking films.
I was strapped into a cold metal chair, similar to an electric chair. Every point was restrained with straps. I couldn't move. The doctor tried to get into the spine with his needle, THIRTY-SIX times. I was begging him to stop. He was cussing, at me, and the nurses were crying. Mom was in the hallway, listening to it all, and did nothing. Nurses did not challenge doctors, if they wanted to keep their jobs. I now believe that f***** was drunk. No dye was injected, and I ended up at Mayo Clinic for another week of intense, invasive tests. Both parents were with me.
Something more minor happened there, but I don't feel like writing about it.
I didn't have a brain tumor, but a condition called empty sella syndrome. I would suffer no ill effects from it.
When I was thirty-one, I needed a hysterectomy from all the abuse. I had been in pain for years, I pushed her, and the doctor finally agreed to have a look. She ended up removing everything. She told me that all of my internal organs were adhered in improper ways, and she now understood.
I woke up in a semi-private room, in extreme pain. I kept telling the nurses that I was not okay. They ignored me. I was thirst and hungry, and tried the red jello on the tray. I promptly vomited it and water up. A nurse removed my gown, left the curtain open, and the other patient's male visitor just glared at me as he passed me, naked and covered in red vomit.
After the nurse cleaned me up, I was able to dial the operator, asked for administration, and told them I wanted a private room. They said they would try to book one after I was admitted. I told them what happened, and passed out. I woke in a very nice private room, and out of major pain. I asked why the medicine was now working. It was explained that the IV had been occluded, and no medicine had been getting through.
So, hospitals, doctors and nurses all scare the hell out of me. Male doctors are the worst, probably because of what I feel like was a gang anal rape. There's so much *crap* to deal with from the past, not to mention trying to remain functional to keep a roof over my head, I have never addressed this fear of medical treatment in counseling. BIG mistake. I need to start.