It must be okay, he’s a doctor

by: Eric

_

Boys will be boys.  I’d already had a broken elbow when I was in kindergarten.  Being a father myself, I know that accidents happen and they usually result in the inevitable trip to the emergency room.

But this time, it was really serious.  I was carrying empty bottles to the place where they got recycled.  I’m sure I was not paying attention when I tripped on the curb and fell to the pavement, my right wrist slamming into the broken bottle that had fallen from my hand.

I was bleeding quite seriously.  I ran into the closest store where the owner wrapped up my wrist in a towel and we waited for the ambulance.  The next half-hour or so was a blur; I lost a lot of blood but I was conscious and remember the ambulance ride to the hospital.

I was eight.

*

I laid in the emergency room, with one of those curtain things drawn around my bed.  Somewhere in the distance I could hear my mother crying.  Then I was left alone for a while, until a man appeared and walked over to the left side of my bed, closing the curtain behind him.  He had a long white coat on, and a stethoscope around his neck, just like a doctor on TV.  He asked me a question in a thick accent and I had no idea what he was saying, so I just shrugged.

He undid my pants and started fondling me.  I remember telling him I cut my wrist, as if to point him in the right direction.  He said something back to me but again I didn’t understand.  I figured, well he’s a doctor, he must know what he’s doing.

I don’t remember how long this went on.  I do know that his hand was warm and he was touching me all over down there. Mostly I could see his dark face standing over me, that was the image burned into my mind.

*

I had surgery later that day that saved my hand, thanks to the skill of a kind woman doctor who talked to me and my parents and put us at ease.  I stayed in the hospital for three days.

The “other” doctor came back to my room, once again I saw that face standing over me, but this time my memory didn’t register what happened.  I also remember my family coming to see me, aunts and uncles too.  I didn’t tell anyone what happened with the doctor, though by this time I pretty much realized he was doing something he shouldn’t have been.

*

I’d love to tell you that that was the end of it, that my life went on normally, happily ever after, yadda yadda.  My nightmare is not knowing how many other kids he did this too, and the guilt of not having said something to someone, anyone, about what he was doing.  As an adult I became promiscuous with both sexes, ruined two marriages and many relationships.  I’m now getting the help I need for sexual addiction.

Say something.  Please.

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6 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  1. Emily #
    1

    Dear Eric,

    Thank you for being brave enough to tell your story. I know that guilt is a terrible burden, but I hope you know that it’s ok that you didn’t talk right away. Sometimes talking about it is the single hardest thing.

    Thank you for your strength,

    Emily

  2. Natasha #
    2

    Eric,

    I am so sorry for what happened to you. I know how horrible the guilt and shame can be. I was also attacked later in my life and never spoke out because I was convinced it was my fault. My attacker stole laptops and valuable jewelry from my friends and while I knew who did it I never told anyone because I was too ashamed of what I let happen to me. Years later I have been learning slowly that the problems and the way that I have let people treat me and my body were because of what happened. Speaking out is the hardest thing to do because it forces you to face the shame head on. I believe that speaking out and telling your story is the first step in letting that guilt and shame go so you can become a whole person again. I admire your strength to seek treatment and tell your story. Know that someone believes in you, is rooting for your recovery, and shares your pain. You are not alone.

    Keep fighting,
    Natasha

  3. Jennifer S. #
    3

    Thank you for sharing… you may not have said anything then, but you are now. And what you have said inspires others to open up about the trauam they have been through. You are very brave. I hope that knowing your story inspires others helps to ease the guilt you are feeling… Thank you.

  4. niki #
    4

    yes, thank you for sharing. i am female, and i had to report a physician for conduct such as this on myself. it was and still is pretty traumatic to think about.

  5. Arlene #
    5

    I know the guilt and the second guessing. That, from the survivor side of me, has to be said.
    Now from the support person side of me:
    Honey, you were 8. You were a child, and you were victimized. You were in a place where people were supposed to be helping you, not harming you.
    It is important that you realize that it was this doctor, not you, who was in the wrong. He made the choice to abuse you, and any other children he might have harmed. But none of that is your responsibility.

  6. Debby #
    6

    Dear Eric,

    Like the others have said, it was brave of you to tell your story. There is an eight-year-old boy inside of you that needs to know it was not his fault. Please embrace that little boy and allow him to understand that. You might write him a letter or a card …
    The doctor who molested you (I believe in calling it what it was) was WRONG! He victimized you. He took advantage of an eight-year-old boy … YOU. You did not do anything to bring it on. You did not do anything wrong by being in the hospital, by lying on that hospital bed, by being behind the curtain … you were eight-years-old … not an adult able to give consent.
    Eric, by speaking up – and continuing to speak up – you take his power away from you. Secrets have no power when they are placed in the light.
    Bless you …
    Debby



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