Everyone knows that many abuse victims do BAD things as a result of their pain.
But few notice the GOOD things abuse victims do NOT do as a result of their pain.
–The perpetrator was a teacher, so the victim ends up dropping out of school and never returns.
–The perpetrator was a counselor, so the victim doesn’t feel safe turning to a therapist for help.
–The perpetrator was a masseuse, so the victim never again feels comfortable seeking a massage.
–The perpetrator was associated with athletics, so the victim ends up deprived of pursuing sports as an outlet for relaxation, fitness and social bonding.
–The perpetrator was a religious figure, so the victim ends up deprived of the solace and sense of community that a spiritual life brings.
–The perpetrator was an entertainer, so the victim is deprived of enjoying other TV or media figures or comedians or magicians without being reminded of their own pain.
–The perpetrator shattered a child’s trust, so the victim can’t trust others, even as an adult, and can’t form close friendships.
–The perpetrator was a man, so the victim is unable to have a healthy relationship with a man, even years or decades later.
–The perpetrator was a medical professional, so the victim isn’t comfortable seeking medical attention, again, even years or decades later.
We at Horowitz Law were reminded of this grim reality days ago in a heart-breaking New York Times story under the headline “He thought he was getting football physicals. He was being abused.”
Chuck Christian grew up poor in Detroit, but managed to play football at Michigan State, where team physician Dr. Robert E. Anderson, “performed painful, unexplained rectal exams and other inappropriate procedures on Christian and hundreds of others.”
As a result, for decades, Christian had “a powerful, nearly uncontrollable aversion to doctors, generally avoiding them and resisting the most intimate medical procedures,” For example, he refused a prostate exam when he was 45.
But years later, after worrisome lab results, Christian’s wife and doctor insisted he see a specialist. His prostate was found to be “overwhelmed with cancer cells and that the disease had spread.” He was given maybe three years to live.
“These days, Christian grapples with questions about how long his cancer may have grown undetected because his experience with Anderson had instilled a lasting distrust of doctors.”
There are likely hundreds of thousands of adults like Christian, who go for decades without the medical or psychological help they need because as children, they were hurt by so-called ‘helping professionals.’
So if your dad or best friend or co-worker is one of those ‘tough guys’ who hate going or refuse to go to doctors or therapists, we hope you’ll consider asking him gently “Did someone were hurt you when you were young?”
If he was, and if he shares his experience with you, you might not just be sparing him years and years or more unacknowledged, lonely suffering. You might also indirectly be saving his life.
–For tips on keeping your kids safer around doctors: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/well/family/lawrence-nassar-gymnastics-doctors-pediatricians-safety.html?searchResultPosition=1)