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#465901 - 05/28/14 03:43 PM accessing healthcare for survivors
coming2terms Offline

Registered: 05/27/14
Posts: 3

Firstly; am new to this site and would like to thank all the survivors here for your courage in sharing your experiences and the loving support you offer one another.

Am looking for suggestions in how to get through an upcoming surgery without the ptsd-like symptoms I experienced last time.

A little of my story:

I was sexually abused by an older sister when i was four. At the time i really looked up to her; thought it was some neat new game we were playing. I remember her screams as my father beat her when he found out. The exact details are a little sketchy but i remember feeling bad that i couldn't 'perform' for her. After the beating we never played that game again, but it was the beginning of about 10 years of constant physical, emotional and psychological abuse as she likely projected her anger and shame onto me.
I grew up in the sixties; my pre-school years were spent almost exclusively in the society of women as stay at home moms were quite common. It was also a time when little boys didn't need swimsuits but girls were well covered. I remember feeling alone and exposed to the wrath of my sister and her female friends; many times they would cruelly laugh at my genitalia. Mom left me on my own; never protected me from the abuse i was suffering. My grade three teacher would come into the washroom with all the boys and stand there and watch us urinate; we had no choice. It was so we wouldn't fool around supposedly.
The abuse didn't stop until I grew larger than the sister and stood my ground; telling her if she touched me again i would be the one delivering the beating.
Ended up in a marriage to an abusive wife where she more than once threatened to kill me in my sleep, was hit many times, had a gun pointed at me; you name it.
I don't hate women; but i certainly don't trust them as a gender either. Feminism has seen the rise of male hate as socially acceptable; watching that episode of the view where sharon osbourne laughs at the genital mutilation of a man sickened me. For me the worst part of it was that the female audience laughed right along like it was ok and funny.

Nurses are something like 96% female; my worst fear is being naked and vulnerable in front of women so this is like a worst case scenario for me. The whole "nurturing" image women like to project is crap; i know what they are truly capable of. I have always choked at the irony as being a male i am an abuser; a rapist, while women are always the victims. After my last surgery I spiraled into a deep depression with what i see now as ptsd symptoms. Went to get a vasectomy from my urlogist; wasn't told beforehand that there would be two female nurses assisting. 'Took it like a man' and didn't say anything - what likely most men would do. Went in for a knee surgery and was told to remove everything and put on a gown. Asked if i could leave my underwear on - got a funny look from the nurse who had to ask someone else if it was ok. I am in a much better place now. Just realizing why I have always had body issues, anxiety, dissociation, anger, shame etc, has been a relief.

I have in my immediate and in-law family 3 RN's, 2 LPN's an orderly and a plastic surgeon. I distinctly remember two of the RN's (mother/daughter) commenting years ago that when news broke of a philipino man having his genitals severed by his wife that it was his fault somehow. They were visibly angry. Ironically one of them worked on a urology floor which was pretty much male patients. Somehow women can justify mutilating a man for adultery. They are seen as gender 'neutral', like somehow they can switch off their own bias and behaviours. Look what happened with the female guards sexually abusing the young men at the juvenile detention centers.

Anyways, this is why i don't trust women. I have a feeling that many of the the men who avoid healthcare are like me. Years ago when I was having prostate pain my first reaction was to get life insurance. I didn't seek medical attention until it got so painful that i was almost throwing up and had no choice. For those women who somehow view men as foolish for not getting medical help - maybe they should take a long look at themselves in the mirror to see a large part of the problem.

Anyways, if anyone has suggestions on how to handle this dilemma i would appreciate it.

#466893 - 06/22/14 06:44 PM Re: accessing healthcare for survivors [Re: coming2terms]
SubtleStuff Offline

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 396
Loc: North America
Hi Coming2terms,

I think you have a right to get your safety needs met. If you can find a sympathetic doctor who is willing to support you and to whom you can express yourself that might be helpful. If you have a therapist you might want to get him to vouch for you and support you.

I've gone into many massage therapy sessions fully clothed and refusing to disrobe any less than I was comfortable. Fortunately the female therapist was supportive of me in this. There were times early on when I could not see a female health support person at all. I think it's important to respect that and communicate your wishes as much as possible. Male nurses are amazingly good people.

I don't think that a request for a male nurse given in a context where there is a clear understanding that you have been abused by women would be out of line at all. Again, I think getting the support of a professional to back up your request would go a long way to helping you secure it.

You have a right to feel comfortable. It's crucial to healing. Good doctors know this. You may have to shop around a bit to find the right people to support you, but you are worth it and your body will thank you for your concern for your own well being!

Best of luck. I hope it goes well. Keep us posted.


My Story

#466912 - 06/23/14 10:50 AM Re: accessing healthcare for survivors [Re: coming2terms]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 541
Loc: NY

After my kids were born, I noticed that when I took them to the doctor, there was an unusual amount of anxiety in my own body.

Considering what would make me feel safe, so that my kids would be safe, it occurred to me that at a young age, what I may have wanted was a doctor to whom I could reach out and say something about what was happening at home.

It's hard to believe that after so many years this would become clearer.

There have been moments in my present healthcare, when I decided to mention that there were issues in my growing up that were making me nervous. It took some courage, but it was often enough to let people know that I was aware of my own reactions. Speaking this way helped me relax a lot. It took a painful situation back into the normal range.

Glad to hear you are sharing this. Please take your time, most of all with yourself. I think we all need space to feel whatever it is we need to feel.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#466921 - 06/23/14 03:38 PM Re: accessing healthcare for survivors [Re: coming2terms]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1132
Loc: michigan
hey C2T
I want to say first off that I am soooo where you are. I have avoided any number of medical issues for many years that it is catching up to me now. I would hobble on a bad knee rather than have surgery, the prostate thing I am wrestling with right now. I have learned to do self cath so that I wouldn't have to think about surgery.but all that being said, I think that what the others have said is true. you have a right to feel safe while undergoing any procedure. the problem is there are not enough male nurses to accommodate us. I had to go to the sleep lab and sleep there, I asked for a male tech and they honored my request! I felt proud of myself for asking but oddly shamed to feel that need. another time recently I was going to have a scope in my throat it was sooo triggering I was so scared that they were almost to the point of not being able to do it because of the stress ( blood pressure etc) so I told them the deal about the multiple abusers etc and that the thought of gagging on that scope was making me crazy. they actually all worked together with the male doc they hid away most of all that would trigger then took me into the room the doc was very understanding and no one said anything negative just let me go out before they began to do anything. there were still females all around but it was so much better. just tell what is hurting you man, it can make a positive difference.

btw. I am still to scared to do surgery unless there was NO other choice. and pain unfortunately and even fever so far has not been enough... maybe one day

Edited by newground (06/23/14 03:40 PM)
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney


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