In light of new memories that have been surfacing, I’ve become obsessed with looking through my medical records (again). I requested them last year after I’d been discharged from a brief stay at a local psychiatric ward. I was infuriated at how poorly I was treated and, for whatever reason, that prompted me to want to learn more about how OTHER institutions had ALSO treated me poorly.
There’s quite a bit of paperwork to go through, most of that being boring shit they have to write about like my vital signs. But my older records, from when I was 17 years old, have more detailed notes. Particularly the discharge summary from my fourth hospitalization. I was unable to get records from my first three stints in the psych ward because that institution has since been investigated, shut down, bought out, re-opened, re-investigated, and re-shut down. I think it’s a daycare center now. So there’s really no telling where my records are, or if they even still exist (probably not). There’s a brief allusion to those hospitalizations with admission and discharge dates, but otherwise I have no information.
What stands out to me the most as I go through the notes over and over again is how frequently they point out that I was probably a big fat liar, specifically in regards to my trauma. Here are some screenshots, in the order they appear in my records (for those who don’t want to squint at a picture or are visually impaired, go here for the typed notes):
This is the second paragraph in my discharge summary, following the standard “Andi is a 17 year old caucasian female….” introduction paragraph. It stands alone and is the first of many times these people will use the words “alleges” or “alleged” in regards to my trauma. Also notable is that they say “number of occasions” but then use the singular “rape”. I don’t remember this assault, but someone does. Our neighbor did rape us. Once. On June 27th, 1998. And that is the same exact story we have told since it happened.
The next piece is the hardest for me to post publicly, but I am going to share it anyway. It is the final paragraph in the section about my “Health Information”. I cannot explain it and when I read it to the therapist in session on Friday, she gave me the strangest look and said it was “mysterious”:
The therapist said it was extremely bizarre that anyone would be investigating my hymen and then asked if I remembered this exam at all. I do not. All I remember is sitting on a hospital bed, facing two big windows with the curtains drawn. A tiny female Indian doctor was standing to my left, speaking to me. I cannot understand what either of us are saying and I have no memory of her actually doing the exam.
To be honest, I knew my records had this exact sentence in them. My parents often used this information to point out what a horrible, awful liar I was. This was the definitive evidence they needed to put the final nail in my crazy coffin. It has haunted us for half our life. When I finally saw them typed out, holding the actual words in my hands, I felt an odd sense of relief to learn that my parents hadn’t made THAT part up. My medical records do say that my hymen was intact as of December 1999, as they’d always claimed. But I never did anything with that information until now.
What does this mean? I really don’t know. This obviously opposes everything that my Parts have shared about our abuse, including the first-person childhood memories I’ve felt with my own body. Beyond that, I’ve always thought that we had lost our (consensual) virginity at 15 years old (one year prior to this exam). I don’t remember that, either. I couldn’t even tell you his name.
But I do know that my entire claim of sexual abuse (and therefore the basis for my Dissociative Identity Disorder) directly contradicts this Indian doctor’s claim about the status of my hymen nearly sixteen years ago.
I shared this with the therapist, my Wife and two of my closest friends over the weekend. I needed them to know that this is what the records say and I have no excuse or explanation for it. And I’m sharing it here for a similar reason: I want people to know that an actual medical doctor refutes my claims of abuse and assault in writing on a legal medical record.
Which, to me, means that all of this could be a lie.
My wife reminded me that a different doctor sexually abused me and many others were negligent (at best), so it is not outside the realm of possibility that this doctor either intentionally or unintentionally forged this paperwork. I was also reminded of how vehemently people will work to ignore something as atrocious as incest, even if that means lying on paperwork, leaving a child in an abusive environment and totally rejecting their reality.
AGAIN with the “alleged”. Ugh. I’m sure it’s just semantics, but it hurts to read that over and over. I’m also struck by such phrasing as “had great difficulty telling the truth” and “told wild stories”.
What’s also super fun is that I actually know about this “boyfriend”. Julia tells this entire story in a previous post. So what’s incredible is that after some awesome “detective work” on behalf of my parents and the staff, they were able to discover that A PERSON THAT NEVER EVEN EXISTED EXCEPT TO COVER MY
PARENTS’ ABUSERS’ ASSES was someone we “had never met but had only talked to…on the internet.” I mean, wow. Really superb investigative work on that one.
As far as the pregnancy, miscarriage, and hospital stay? I can’t answer that either because I can’t remember that time. But I have always “known” that we were pregnant (via incest) on more than one occasion and although we never carried as far as 6 months, it’s absolutely possible there was a miscarriage involved at some point. My best guess is that whoever was fronting was trying to tell a part lie/part truth to “test the waters” and see if anyone was paying enough attention to figure out what was going on.
Unfortunately, it appears they were not.
It’s also bizarre that they could clearly see what were authentic traumatic symptoms (I mean, how does one fake pupil dilation?) to the point that they schedule a neurological consult. And they did feel I had “suffered some form of trauma” yet somehow STILL DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT.
Finally, this is from the next institution I was in (during my fifth hospitalization):
What’s the most interesting to me about this particular chart (I didn’t post it all because it’s mostly biographical and psychosocial information that I’d have to redact anyway) is that in the admission summary, the psychiatrist we saw heard about and accepted our trauma and thus diagnosed PTSD. However, by the time you get to my discharge summary, there is no PTSD mentioned (except to say that I was
faking it endorsing it) and my diagnosis was changed to Borderline Personality Disorder.
In all of these charts, there’s an ebb-and-flow pattern: The doctors see me, see the trauma symptoms, hear the rape-by-neighbor story, and diagnose PTSD. Then, my parents get involved and suddenly everything is questionable, I tell “wild stories”, and I’m a bonafide Borderline.
This is all so strange to me. Not only because it is so difficult to remember, but because as I skim through these charts, it’s so obvious that even if I WAS lying about some specific trauma, it is also crystal clear that I was severely hurting and that something was very, very wrong. Yet no one helped me and, on the contrary, they all helped contribute to this image of me as a crazy, unstable liar.
Which is exactly what my
parents abusers wanted.