Dear Doctors and Dentists;
I appreciate that you are busy people with a busy schedule and you have devised a way of doing things that works for you and you may even feel is wise and prudent.
Human beings are not blocks of wood.
You can’t just apply one technique across everyone.
When a woman tells you she has been sexually abused and has concerns about the treatment you are about to carry out, she is trying to let you know that she is fearful of a PTSD episode being triggered. She is asking you to consider that. Her humiliation in having to tell a complete stranger of one of the worst events in her life is only counterbalanced by her desperate need to avoid anything that forces her to relieve it for days possibly weeks to come.
Please hear her.
Please don’t tell her that “it will only take a minute,” as if the trauma of a rape is measured in the length of time it takes to commit it. You are a stranger, maybe even a male, and you are about to have access to a part of her that someone else violated. Whether your “treatment” requires a minute or an hour, the impact is the same.
Don’t pretend you understand and don’t assume you get it. You don’t. You can’t unless you have been in her shoes.
There may not be an option to do a general anaesthetic but there are many ways you can be more caring and careful in what you say and do. Women don’t get a prescribed sentence for the damage done, after which they are set free. It is a life long battle, and her ability to cope, to live her life with dignity and hope often depends on the actions of the people around her. You now have the option of being part of the problem, or part of the solution.
Let me simplify.
Are you an asshole or a human being?
From a Mother of a Courageous Daughter.