This is an update on the podcast episode, “Eat Your Heart Out Dr. John Doe”. In it, she shares her traumatic experience with her psychiatrist and the lasting effects of it. If you haven’t listened to it, I would highly encourage doing so before reading this blog post.
Yesterday, I got a call from some attorney’s assistant I’ve never heard of asking if I would be willing to testify against Dr. Doe in court. My heart dropped. I sometimes feel like it was all a distant memory never needing to be reminded my “no” wasn’t enough. However, every couple of months, or even years, I get a phone call from someone new asking me to recount a horrible memory that always leaves me shattered. Then I remember the hands, the smell, the corrosive stubble against my skin. I remember my defenses “I wore a long sleeve”, “I didn’t lead him on”, “I was vulnerable”. The lump forms and the tears start, and I feel like I am in that office trapped, surrounded by drawings that patients drew for a man who abused his power and abused me. It has been six years that those events took place. The events that carved out a piece of me and replaced it with a dying ember that crackles at the call of each new investigator. I never felt believed, I always prefaced I didn’t have evidence and I would understand hesitance to believe, but that I wouldn’t lie about it. Each time they wrote notes, while I choked my way through the retelling. Some would offer me water and tissues, some would tell me to calm down. There would be months or years between calls that always felt so sudden. I would be watering the plants and get a call. I would be with friends and get a call. I would be at work and get a call. I don’t think I’ll ever get accustomed to the idea that there might be someone somewhere dialing my phone number right now to ask me more questions. But if they do, I hope they are kind and patient with me while I feel the ember spark again and burn another piece of me away.
I haven’t decided if I would testify. The idea of seeing Dr. Doe cross his arms like he would as I talk in great detail about the events makes me feel scared and vulnerable. When I would talk to an investigator, all they did was take notes. This time, I could be objected because of word choice. I could be interrupted because I was crying too hard. I could be asked to be quiet as they flip through their paperwork making sure there is no contradiction. Their power over my words and my story as I sit in front of him feels like some sort of emotional torture I may be too scared to endure. That’s just the objections. There would be cross-examination. They would ask me all these leading questions that would have no relevancy on his actions designed to manipulate me. The jurors would scribble if I took too long or not long enough, if I cried too much or was stone cold, if the years have taken a toll on my memory and I wouldn’t be able to recall a trivial detail. It all just seems so much.
I haven’t decided if I wouldn’t testify. During the last call from an investigator I was notified there was another. I don’t know her name or what she looks like. In my heart she looks like me but stronger. She didn’t wait. She chose to be this strong woman who is asking for my help not be dismissed. Her hand is outstretched to me with pleading but fierce eyes. I want to apologize to her. Maybe my inactions caused her to suffer like I did. I have stayed up thinking about would I say to her and how sorry I am. She wouldn’t need consolidation she would demand the same strength of me.
I have agreed to meet with the attorney and discuss everything. And as I continue to feel the very real tremors of the powerful MeToo movement, I empower women in their choice, if that is the same as mine or not. Each trauma is a unique scar that heals at its own pace. I wish you all that unique healing as well collectively supporting each other.
Thank you for reading this update on my journey. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com I will be as open as I safely and legally can.
In today’s political climate, the U.S. is the most divided that it has ever been. Interestingly enough, the difference can be divided into a 50-50 split - this has never been the case in all of U.S. history. So, how could we have gotten to this point? One critical player is social media. Social media has exposed us to the extreme ends of both parties. These platforms are designed to align with our viewing history, meaning if we engage with content that is either liberal or conservative, the algorithms will generate content more geared to one side. This means that we will always fall victim to close-mindedness and ignorance, and will never be exposed to the other side of the story.
Social media use affects users’ political views and involvement by exposing them to certain views or determining their understanding of current events. Many depend on social media as a primary news source. This increased reliance could stimulate more political discussions both online and offline, but also might limit the political views and information users are exposed to. Popular platforms such as Twitter and Parler have made the spotlight during these past few weeks due to the rioting and storming of the Capitol. Many are blaming these platforms for acting as an organizer for violent events and spreading mass fear. Facebook has also been known to circulate unfiltered content. The problem is that no one is really checking the truth of what’s being posted, yet we are treating them as valid sources of information. It’s important that we are taking the necessary steps to stay politically informed without feeling overwhelmed. Here’s how:
Social media can be a great tool that connects us with each other while spreading awareness about important issues. It’s up to us to not get too caught up in what’s being circulated, and to understand that what we see may be only one side to the story. We should always try to stay open-minded and to try to accept each other’s differences. With this mindset, I truly believe that we can start mending this political divide that is so extreme in today’s society.
** TraumaSpeaks would like to thank WeCanConquerBlog for this special post. If you would like to see more, you can check their Instagram page: @wecanconquerblog**
The minute the clock turns 12.00 am on New Year's Day, the thought that usually runs through most of our heads is ‘how can I be productive this year’ or ‘what goals am I going to set this year’. Let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with setting goals but it is so important that you don’t set unrealistic expectations, particularly at this time with the unpredictability of life. If I were to have told you what my goals/expectations were for 2020, you’d have laughed at how unrealistic they were but also because of Covid, everything was halted. So, that being said I wanted to share with you some ways of how you can set goals in a practical and healthy way for your mental health.
1. I already mentioned this but make sure that your goals are realistic. What I mean by this is don’t set yourself goals that you know won’t happen/ are basically impossible for where you’re at right now. If you set unrealistic goals, you will end up feeling sad when they don’t happen and therefore this can have very negative effects on your mental health i.e. low self esteem.
2. A phrase that’s important to remember is ‘goals are a rough outline not the final thing’. In other words, it’s so important to just see your goals as a guide rather than something that you follow so strictly that you neglect your mental health. Goals are not ‘obligatory’ - they’re just there to help you feel more focussed in your life.
3. Goals take time to achieve. It’s okay if you set a goal and don’t achieve it within the first month. It may take you ten times before you fully achieve it. Like I said, your goals have to be somewhat realistic and the truth is, most goals that are set won’t be achieved the first time. An example that I think shows this perfectly is the goal to have ‘learnt to drive this year’. Whether it's something you want to start for the first time this year or even if you’re in the process of learning, getting your driving licence doesn’t happen instantly and takes a long time. Don’t stress on the timing/duration of your goals as you don’t know how long they will take to be fulfilled.
4. Set goals that are for YOU rather than someone else. You’d be surprised how many people tell themselves they have to achieve something because someone else told them to,in one way or another. Only set goals that are important to you and that matter to you, even if other people don’t understand them. Sadly comparison is something that is very prominent in today’s society and we often think we have to set a certain goal to fit in e.g. goals relating to health and weight. Take some time to really think about what you want to achieve this year. My goals are mainly focussed on my mental health because that’s important to me.
Overall, I personally believe that goals can be extremely beneficial to some people, particularly when someone wants to take a step forward in their life. That being said, it’s so important to not put too much emphasis on your goals. Achieving your goals in an unnatural way, can be harmful to your mental health. Make sure you take time to look after yourself this year!
~ Emily Green