Don’t re­main silent about abuse

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY - El­lie Tesher

Q - My live-in part­ner of three years is kind, hard work­ing, and af­fec­tion­ate.

I wasn’t aware of his co­caine habit un­til after we moved in to­gether.

On week­ends, heí’l stay out with drug-us­ing friends.

He’ll re­turn the next morn­ing high and jit­tery. But nei­ther my cry­ing, dis­ap­point­ment, nor feel­ing let down, changes his be­hav­iour.

Each time he tries to as­sure me that it was “the last time” and apol­o­gizes, I feel empty in­side. I’ve been pa­tient and lov­ing with some­one who’s in de­nial, and won’t seek help.

Oth­er­wise, we have a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship and I don’t want to give up on him. But I’m un­happy.

Co­caine Prob­lem

A - Stop be­ing in de­nial, too. He doesn’t change be­cause you’re al­ways there when he re­turns.

He may never end his drug habit and that’s not the sta­ble, healthy part­ner­ship you want.

Tell him it’s over. He’ll ei­ther want you more than the drug, enough to try to end his ad­dic­tion. Or he won’t.

Q -I was abused by the doc­tor when I went for a treat­ment for hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus (HPV).

When I re­al­ized it, I was shocked.

I’ve only ever had my hus­band of 14 years as a sex­ual part­ner.

From talk­ing to other women at­tend­ing at pro­grams for moms with preschool­ers, all com­ing from other coun­tries as I do, I re­al­ized I wasn’t the only vic­tim of the same doc­tor.

None of us had the courage to not fear some con­se­quences to the en­tire fam­ily if we spoke up. Also, we stayed silent be­cause this is a very del­i­cate sub­ject.

I changed to an­other doc­tor — it had to be only a fe­male. I could not trust any other male doc­tor with all due re­spect, though I know there are great male doc­tors out there.

I thought I was over this is­sue but I wasn’t. It’s ter­ri­ble to have been just an­other num­ber in some­body’s life, and to know there are men out there who only want sex. I feel sorry for the doc­tor’s wife.

I had some is­sues in my mar­riage and after a while I met some­body. But it’s hard for me now to have full trust in an­other part­ner. Do I have any chance to get past this ob­sta­cle?

Abused and Un­trust­ing

A - You still have the im­por­tant chance to re­port the doc­tor who abused you.

This is a re­spon­si­ble route to 1) pro­tect other women from be­ing vic­tim­ized by him; and your own log­i­cal path to 2) not blan­ket all men with dis­trust.

You’ve found your voice by writ­ing this email, and you can use it with sig­nif­i­cance, not fear.

En­cour­age the other moms who saw the same doc­tor to join you in re­port­ing him to the po­lice and the doc­tors’ pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion for your ju­ris­dic­tion.

Read­ers’ Com­men­tary Re­gard­ing Parental Alien­ation (June 2):

“Ití’ a form of child abuse and a con­tin­u­a­tion of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“My son, 18, who’s torn apart by his fa­ther’s alien­ation tac­tics, seeks his unattain­able at­ten­tion and ap­proval.

“He’s skipped years of school and hangs around trou­bled kids. There’s ob­vi­ous anger to­ward me when he doesn’t get his way. His ex­pec­ta­tions of me are un­re­al­is­tic and there’s no con­science when he ex­hibits that anger.

“I’m no longer able to work be­cause of the 17 years of pain and abuse.

“One help­ful re­source Iím now read­ing: Co-par­ent­ing with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You by Amy Baker and Paul Fine.”

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