Women's Health Issues After Abuse

After being abused physically, emotionally, and psychologically, it can be hard to go for needed medical help for fear of retribution at home upon your return, or upon your child's return.  It is like you have challenged once again the abuser's authority over their home.  Sometimes the abuse that can follow is worse than the origiinial injuries suffered. 
This includes when the abuse turns from physical to sexual, and sex becomes a new form of battering.  Severe injuries can result from this type of rough treatment.  Many women are too embarrassed to go for help.  Many are afraid they will have to report it to the police,  and so they stay at home.  This is what I did.  I stayed home, barely able to walk for 2 days, praying I would be alright, while he sat there saying,"See you cried for nothing, you're fine!"  My job didn't think think I was fine calling off from work, but I couldn't explain over the phone to them.  They knew I was having big problems at home but not the extent of them.  My advice to you is if you are bleeding go for help.  If the pain gets worse, go for help.  If you feel worse in general, go for help.  Internal injuries could be a problem and could be fatal.  When I went back to work, they made me go to my doctor to be checked out.  No major injuries but internal bruising all over the place.  Enough to file rape charges, except he was my husband.  In the state I lived, in husbands could not be charged with rape.
Emotional abuse is probably the most serious, pervasive, and most damaging, long term abuse we suffer.  It is constant belittlement, degradation, statements of worthlessness, neglecting the person, ignoring the person, witholding love and affection, treating unequally, lacking concern for the person's problems, undermining whatever the person does try to do. 
For every negative statement you hear, it will take many positive ones to undo the damage done.  Having been subjected to this type of relationship, it is easy to fall into another relationship with another emotional abuser.  We initially feel comfortable around them, they are nice to us, and then after the got us, BAM, they let it show.  I went through 5 of these till I learned to stay away.  I feel much healthier for it. 
Not only these facts above, but try getting some of these women to go for routine annual gyn exams or mammograms!  They bring back memories of being badlly handled by others and hurt in the process.  They can go through flashbacks of abuse while being examined.  They need extra support people there with them to accomplish these "routine" exams.  Routine gyn exams bring flashbacks of being raped or sodomized.  This is a real health need and a true problem for many women to go through these proceedures.
Even examinations for routine health problems are problematic.  "Take every thing off the top and put on this gown" like it is not anything undesirable.  Being half naked in a half public place is not a reassuring thing.  Even if you think you have pneumonia, you hesitate to go and have to go through this.  Years ago they slipped the stethescope under your clothes and saved your modesty.  Now it is time is money, hurry up honey!  They give you what they think is adequate time to change, and if you are slow, you hope they knock before entering.  
I have listened to people complaining about why they won't go back to doctors.  They feel traumatized by the lack of privacy, and these are not abuse survivors!  
Go in with a broken leg and they cut your pants off up to the crotch depending where the break is, and it is necessary to cast the thigh, but it is upsetting to the person who is extremely modest due to an abuse history.  Break your collarbone and half your chest is exposed while they treat you.  More trauma.  
Our medical system treats us well, but traumatizes the previously traumatized all the time, without much concern or caring. 
I don't know how to change this except to have someone go with each person who has an abuse history to act as their spokesperson, and look out for their special needs, because we sometimes can't open our mouths to take care of ourselves.

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