Ninety percent of my patients have suffered abuse at some point in their lives.
Let that number sink in a minute.
Not everyone came to me as a direct result of abuse. Some were having issues after pregnancy, others were having symptoms after menopause. But at some point during the course of treatment, it would come up in conversation that they were a survivor of abuse – sexual or physical and many also survived emotional abuse.
- Most never told anyone because they were afraid of not being believed
- Most were abused by a close family member or friend
- Most lived totally normal lives – at least on the outside
- Most didn’t get help because they didn’t feel worthy of being helped
- Most have been isolated from a support system and didn’t see any way out
But help IS available. Those that deal with domestic abuse can receive practical help at Hope House or Rose Brooks. Reaching out to these organizations does not necessarily mean the survivor is ready to leave the situation, they can provide emotional support while decisions are being made.
Abuse can leave real, physical scars. Many feel that they will always have to deal with the painful intercourse or low back and abdominal pain that was the result of abuse they suffered years ago. If you know of someone who is dealing with this – tell them that these issues can be successfully treated in pelvic floor physical therapy.
The thought of an internal exam can trigger a painful memory. But I want you to know that if you, or someone you know, wants help – help can be provided in a way that will not be triggering. For some, that means not doing an internal exam at all. For others, it means a thorough explanation of what to expect and knowing that you are in control of the situation. (A thorough explanation is given to every patient at every visit.) Others need counseling services before physical therapy can even be attempted.
Know that you are not alone and that help is available.