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Wednesday
Nov102004

"Chemo?"

* I took a family member who has never been on meds or in therapy before to the triage therapist yesterday, but got an "in" with my own Psychiatrist for her (even a note to give to the triager) so she wouldn't have to go through the usual stupid long hoops. The therapist, in questioning whether this family member needed meds or not went through the usual questions:

- On a scale of one to ten, how depressed do you feel?

Family member says to me afterwards: It is right there on the sheet of paper that took me 35 min to fill out. Don't they read?

- Why did you get divorced?

Family member says: The first was unhappiness. The second was he had an unhealthy desire for my children.
Therapist replies: It is not uncommon for the abused person to bring an abuser in to the household.
I, upon being told he said this scream: ASSHOLE! What possesses a person to say something like this to someone reaching out for help?!

- If you would just change your lifestyle, get some exercise, lose some weight... that will help your mental state tremendously.

Family member: no duh

Thank god I had that note from my doc for her. I told family member she never has to see that person again. If therapy is recommended, a mature female can be hand-picked for her. Sheesh.

* In the waiting room, a black woman says to me: Chemo? I looked up and asked, "huh?" and she pointed to my growing-out hair and asked again, "chemo?" I said no, that I was on a different medication that made my hair fall out... that I'd gotten sick in the fires last year. "Oh," she says, "stress." I replied, not caring if she heard or not, "uh... no, not stress." I ignored her comments.

Another woman in the waiting room was reading a book as I was. The chemo-lady kept talking and talking. At one point she said she shoulda brought her Bible in to read... that she could really use her Bible about now... that there were dark spirits right around her right that minute (us?) and her Bible would help keep her safe.

I wanted to tell her they had medication for that.

But, I didn't.

* A baby shower for one of our midwives who delivered awhile ago is this morning. Peer Review with that, too. I got her some goodies at the local Jewish book and gift store. I also bought two books on having a baby in the Jewish way (Jewish laws regarding fasting during pregnancy, etc.).

* A client is trying to decide whom she wants at her birth. Completion with the other midwife (whom I won't work with) since the last birth ended in cesarean? Or a new start with me? I won't hard sell, but shared who I am and let it go at that. She asked if I would come as her doula and I said that I would have to work some issues out, but that I thought I could. In thinking later, I think no only because I couldn't watch that midwife do the things I so adamantly believe to be harmful anymore.

Is it abuse if the woman doesn't know it is and thinks it is normal? Is it only in the enlightenment of depression that reality is seen? Is it abuse if someone watching calls it so, but the person being acted upon thinks it is fine?

I remember this discussion in incest support groups. What if I liked it? Asked for it? Is it still abuse? The answer: If power was used to begin "the game" then yes, it is abuse. If it was mutual, the line is more blurry. If age or ranking was involved, it was abuse. Sex is supposed to feel good. Just because a woman feels pleasure or even orgasm during her rape or abuse doesn't make it okay. (They long ago threw that question out of rape cases in court.)

So, if the midwife uses her power to coerce an exam, manipulate the energy... but the woman doesn't know any better... is that wrong?

I believe it is and I will not watch.

Is it my duty to say something? Or present my own walk and allow her hers?

This part is hard. So very hard.

Reader Comments (1)

Barb I feel like barfing and liberated at the same time-- you just answered a very serious question for me, it brings me relief after years of doubt and guilt.

So glad I'm reading and that you are so openly sharing your heart and wisdom!! I am blessed to be on the receiving end!

November 10, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterDynamic Doula

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