This is the first of several posts describing the events surrounding my sexual assault by a female doctor. I feel at this time writing serves as my outlet to utilize my voice, not for the sake of pity, but because living as a survivor who has been institutionally silenced becomes suffocating.
There are many ways I have healed in these past two years. If you want a glimpse into this, read my previous post here.
I feel privileged that you would read this. May you be able to hold all the love and evil in the universe together, without forcing yourself to make sense of it, and then let it go. If my post stirs something up for you personally, I hope that you are able to feel what you need to feel, sitting with these emotions, yet with extreme compassion and love towards yourself. I stand in solidarity with you.
I remember walking out of the room, down the hallway, and to the check-out lady to pay for my appointment. I was in a daze and just wanted to get out of the office.
As I walked down the hall I distinctly remember thinking 3 things:
- “This is not the first time she’s done that before.”
- “Was I supposed to know that was going to happen before I walked in there today?”
- “Why do I have to pay for this appointment?”
I paid anyway, and I got in my car and sat for 2 minutes, catching my breath. I still needed to walk into the pharmacy attached to the doctor’s office to pick up my supplements. But it was hard to make myself go in. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to walk into that building ever again.
I drove home in a daze, but stopping at Aldi to get groceries first. Before I got out of the car, I slammed my fists onto the steering wheel three times and just burst into tears.
Somehow I went about my day. I talked to my counselor on the phone, and I couldn’t really get the words out. I was still trying to figure out what had happened to me.
I stopped eating and I wasn’t sleeping. I called a few trusted friends and told them what happened.
I told the wife of the family I was living with at the time, in case I seemed more withdrawn, sad, or overwhelmed.
Per my counselor’s suggestion, the next morning I drafted a letter to my clinic; the head doctor and the human resources personnel. It is understated to say that it’s difficult to draft an objective letter when your brain still feels hijacked, yet you know that your potential in being believed is all wrapped up in this letter.
As I wrote the letter the questions that plagued me, and I imagine so many other women across the country, were:
“Why try so hard, when the likelihood of being believed is so slim anyway?”
“Doesn’t the medical establishment just protect their own?”