Entertainment Magazine


By Xoxoxoe
I was riveted to the supreme court hearings for Judge Kavanaugh last week. Like so many people, all of this talk of assault and how people react to a victim and survivor sharing their story has brought back painful memories of my own. I moved to New York City in the early 80s — a pretty innocent South Jersey girl. I had some street smarts — my dad was born and raised in N.Y., my mom lived there after college, I had an aunt and uncle on L.I., who all gave me pointers on how to get around safely. But inevitably I was on my own, and a woman alone can at times, unfortunately, be a target. Most of these unpleasant occurrences were anonymous in nature — being felt up on the subway where everyone saw, but no one helped. On more than one occasion. Verbal, sexual abuse on the street (far more extreme than the usual "Hey, baby." You get the picture.
But what resonated so strongly for me last week during Christine Blasey-Ford's testimony was an incident that happened to me just a few years ago, after I had moved to Florida. I was caring for my mom, who had dementia, and everyone told me I should be sure to care for myself, too, so I didn't get too run down. Acupuncture always works for me, so I set about looking for an acupuncturist. I started going on a regular basis, and after about a year he even started to teach me tai chi, for free, before my regular appointment. But during one afternoon appointment, for whatever reason only he could say, he thought I needed some "extra" treatment, and proceeded to massage me, below my waist, in my most intimate area. I was stunned — for only a few moments, but what seemed like forever, and then pushed his hand away, got up, and got out of there. He called me more than once the next week, after I blew off my usual appointment, and left a message on my voicemail. The first time he said that he didn't mean to do any wrong, but he implied that I had misinterpreted everything, and that he thought I should come back for my tai chi lesson. The second time he called, about a week after that, to apologize, without completely admitting anything, and hoped I would at least try to continue my tai chi lessons somewhere else. I never returned his calls and I haven't really done tai chi since.
I told just two people — my cousin and my chiropractor. I didn't want to put my chiropractor into an uncomfortable position where he would be forced to report another doctor. I just didn't want him to recommend anyone else to this guy. I told myself it was a fluke on his part and I just filed it to a back corner of my mind. I wanted to forget it.
And then this week I heard all of the talking heads asking, "Why didn't Blasey-Ford report it sooner?" They just don't understand, or care to. Trauma is not so easily dealt with. I completely understand why she didn't bring it up publicly before, but only told her therapist and a few people close to her. But when she heard that this person who had so negatively impacted her life was up for one of the most important jobs in the land, she could no longer keep silent.
I feel exactly the same way. I still have no desire to name or accuse this person publicly. But if I heard tomorrow that he was up for the position of Surgeon General, or some other such influential position, I think that such a lapse of judgment and behavior, as well as the destruction of trust between a doctor and his patient would be of extreme interest to his nominators.
I believe Christine Blasey-Ford. I believe women and men who find the courage to share their stories. It isn't easy or pleasant. I told my daughter for the first time this weekend why I never went back to that doctor. Why before I never could completely answer her question as to why I switched acupuncturists so suddenly. Why I have to say #MeToo.

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