I am in a major rage this morning so I don’t know what is going to make sense in this post and what is not.

In my previous post – you know that I had my PTSD triggered by my own VA doctor.  You also know that I have been crawling up the chain-of-command speaking to those in a position of authority about the need for true sensitive practices in our Military Sexual Trauma patients.

This morning I got a phone call from the next level.  We spoke for probably 45 minutes to an hour.  I smoked four cigarettes.  I got nowhere.

I am quite sure that my agitation was showing by the time that I reminded him that, according to DOD numbers, 1 in 3 women in the military has experienced MST.  That is 1/3 of our population.  If 1/3 of a population suffers from a “disease” then the people taking care of that population better damn well know how to treat that “disease.” 

I am pissed.  Mostly because the “career” experiences of this person in relationship to their job was so very important that they spent an awful lot of time talking about it.  I sure did want this individual’s resume in detail.  This person also made sure to give me important definitions regarding the differences between “sympathy” and “empathy.”  WOW…I didn’t know that.  Apparently, only people with friggin PHD’s know that and all of us little underlings had best not be getting uppity.

Final determination – I should have done a better job communicating with the provider and I should go to this provider and explain to them in detail what they could have done better.

Final interpretation – I, AS THE PATIENT, FAILED.  Hey – where have I heard that before…Oh, I know… “If he RAPED you – you should have given it up easier.”  That’s right…let’s blame the victim here.  That is the best course of action to take is to make it the patient’s fault.  Never mind the fact that this patient/employee has put her personal self out there to try to HELP the situation. 

I don’t want anyone to get into trouble – I really just want to help.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have the opportunity to speak to a real, live survivor who can articulate and advocate for you as the provider AND on behalf of your patients.  GEE – does that mean that someone around here actually wants to help make sure that the patient is getting the best possible care?  You mean maybe certain people who think that they are gods will need to step down from their ivory towers and admit that they can learn something from a community college graduate.  Heaven forbid…not that…anything but that!

But don’t worry, this person stated that they weren’t “defending the provider” and that it would seem that something went wrong.  Well, thank you very much for that statement. 

It’s not about ME…it is about US.  It is about the US as patients and it is about the US as healthcare providers.  WE must find ways to work together within the systems that are in place to make sure that needs are being met. 

Maybe it is just that “overdeveloped sense of justice” that exists for me that says that IF someone has information that can help me to do better – be better – at my life’s work then I am going to take them up on that.  It reminds me of the time that I was drawing blood and a patient said to me, “great stick – but it was uncomfortable when you pulled out the needle because of the pressure on the gauze.” 

Did she hurt my feelings because of that?  Heck no.  I thanked her and to this day I never put pressure on the gauze when I remove the needle.  We have to learn from each other as human beings.  Yet, to learn from one another, we have to respect one another and see each person as an equal.  

You know, that would do away with the whole problem.  If we could just learn to respect one another we wouldn’t even be having this conversation to begin with.




3 Responses to “Rage”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    “This may be a person who’s gone through something very traumatic…[who needs] some really safe technique….Because otherwise you’re going to have a certain segment of patients that are going to walk away feeling as though they’ve been absued all over agin, quietly abused, just walking away and seeking another health care practitioner, just going through the cycle, again and again and again, and maybe not understanding why, maybe not knowing how to say it, how to voice that, just keep going through that whole cycle over and over again. There’s a huge populace out there that just needs that extra gentle care. It’s because of that, maybe the whole populace need to be treated the same way. – a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse –



  2. bookwitchery Says:

    I am not in a good headspace to reply to this coherently right now, but I did want to just say, I hear you, I understand. Things like this just make me so, so angry.

    I have a friend, a male friend, who was abused in horrible ways by this woman he knew from a young age. When she showed up again in his life as an adult, he was so brainwashed by this woman into being obedient that she began hurting him again. When he finally got up enough courage to call the police, the detective who was sent out to take his statement told him that he was “making up” this woman and these new experiences to help him get over what happened to him as a child.
    Excuse me? How does that work again? He “allows” himself to be raped and tortured as an adult to help him GET OVER something that happened to him as a child?

    The people who are in a position to be dealing with people who have PTSD have a responsibility to LEARN how to deal with and treat PTSD. Police deal with trauma all the time, one would think they would have a little more education, or at least some people skills. By the same token…VA people are dealing with people in the military, by definition, and military veterans are much more likely as a population to have some form of PTSD, whether it be MST or battle related or whatever. How can the caregivers NOT take responsibility to know how to deal with PTSD and MST?

    I’d say more….but it would probably just send me further into a rage.

    Good for you, though, good for you, for continuing to press the issue.

    • enemyinthewire Says:

      It is always good to hear from you! You are right – no one should do it better than the VA. It seems that we always spend way to much time blaming the victim instead of learning to understand how it happens and why we survivors become the way we are.

      The more we get it out there the more we are fighting against those preconceived notions that people have. Unfortunately, ignorance is the worst possible thing that those who are supposed to be helping can suffer from.

      Hang in there! Thanks for reading and commenting. We are all in this together…we are all here for one another.



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