Thursday, March 6

Horror Stories.

I do my best to avoid the TV news. I find the forced shock horror too depressing. The faces of human misery captured in the unkind glare of probing media. Microphones shoved in faces, and worse, if they get half a chance! intrusions into private parts lives.

Road accident victims become statistics. The sadness & ugliness is given prominence only to feed the avid glare of the media. Vying for the most shocking, the ugliest, the most monstrous. Feeding a public fascination with the secrets of 'sinners'.

I sometimes feel a sympathy for the hapless 'victim' even if they are an evil doer. The understood 'right' of the media to expose, & shine a light onto, the 'perp' seems wrong somehow.

However, I make exceptions.
A light deserves to be shone in a harsh merciless glare on some evil doers.

I am deeply disturbed today. I debated with myself about posting about this very personal matter.

I have discovered that I have been a patient of a man dubbed, by the media, The 'Butcher Of Bega'. Google him. You may understand how I feel.

Twenty years ago, I underwent a series of 'treatments' for a gynaecological problem. It was not solved, with minor surgeries, so eventually I was told I needed a Hysterectomy. I thought about this for some time. I was, naturally reluctant. I had been treated by the Butcher. Who, of course, was not known as such at the time, & seemed a pleasant enough man, with a kindly manner. Though I did remark to the GP that he rather resembled a vet, than a Gyno. His manner was probably best described as 'down to earth'. Not exactly crude.

I asked my GP to refer me to another Gyno for a second opinion. The second man proved to be a crass pig, to put it mildly. I did not appreciate him demanding I open my blouse & undo my bra, then plunging his hands into my breasts in a brutal fashion, asking did I check them regularly. I was not there to consult him about my breasts.

The rest of the consulatation went even worse, resulting in my leaving, crying in a hysterical manner, & crying in the car for half an hour, before being able to drive myself home. I should have put in a formal complaint. I did complain to my GP. He was shocked, & agreed it was not any way to treat a patient.

So I went back to the Butcher, & my operation was scheduled at a Private Hospital, where he operated on a regular basis.

Now, as far as I know, he did nothing untoward to me. Who knows, however, just what the insides of themselves are like, after a major surgery. He did make some referance to my bladder which I found odd at the time. I have since had surgery for a bladder problem. I have no idea if it had anything to do with the surgery for the hysterectomy.

After reading of the absolutely dreadful unimaginable things this Butcher has done to other women, I realise I am very lucky. I just want to weep in sadness for the lives he has ruined.

But I can't explain how it has made me feel. It is the 'survivor who lives' feeling to a certain extent. I am left with this feeling of horror. Of narrow escape. I also feel violated in retrospect. Which seems slightly ridiculous, since I am apparently unharmed.

I wanted to talk about it, with someone, a stranger. I phoned a telephone number that was on a website. It was the 'Mental Health' line. I almost hung up. I made mention to the person I spoke to, that I felt further shamed & 'slapped' if you will, to be lumped into the 'mentally disturbed'. Why are the victims made to feel it is their own fault? I am not sure if the person I spoke to offered me much in the way of support, but she did ask if I wanted to make a formal complaint, about the Dr. Or, if I wanted to seek further counselling. I declined both.

I think of myself as reasonably well balanced, comfortable with who I am, & where I am. I have weathered my share of life's storms & hard lessons. I am shocked at how this has disturbed me, I suppose.

The victims noted that they had complained & had been made to feel ignored & hopeless, as no steps were taken to stop the Butcher from treating more patients. Maiming would best describe what he has done.

It is a such a very vulnerable position a woman finds herself in, when confronted with gynaecological problems. To be abused confirms her worst fears, somehow.

It is a truly shocking case of a man who was known to be mentally disturbed, yet no steps were taken to prevent him from accessing more patients, & doing further harm.

I suppose by coming out & writing about this, I am attempting to purge myself of the knowledge of how close I could have been to being damaged beyond repair.

Really, there is no punishment that could be enough for this man. As Gom said, he should just be put down.

Sorry to bore anyone reading. I think I do feel a little better, now I have written about it.

Roberta Flack, Tradewinds


daysgoby said...

Sweetheart. Oh, darlin'.

Is there anyone else you can talk to about this? A friend? GOM? Someone? Reliving the 'survivor guilt' can overwhelm you and force you to define yourself as such.

And I wouldn't like to think of our bright happy Meggie sorrowed with this for always.

Catalyst said...

Although I regret your pain at having to relive this, I, too, think it may be good for you to have written about this so publicly. SWMBO has also had experiences somewhat like this in her past. Whatever you can do to heal the pain is the thing to do, Meggie.

Molly said...

It is barbarous that the creep wasn't even checked on by the health authority before they turned him loose on those trusting women. What a horrible experience for you....

The Sagittarian said...

How awful! Writing is therapeutic, but it would be good for you to be able to talk thru this with someone...maybe even others who had the same "narrow escape"?

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invinvcible summer", best wishes Meggie. (and a cyber hug if thats ok!)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Good grief! This would unnerve anyone. I could relate all the various feelings you had to separate incidents in my life. For example, I had a friend who was suffering depression and had to get a note from her doctor stating that so as to get her an exemption/postponement of her final exams at University. When she came out, she told me that i
"It is now official" and went even deeper into her dark place.

I am glad that you escaped any lasting harm from this man. I am sorry for the women who were less fortunate. Surely, what is most important is to make sure they have the help they need without being made to feel they are at fault.

Mike said...

Awwwww Meggie, so sorry to hear of this.

I agree with Catalyst though that even though it may have been painful to write or talk about it, blogging about it is at least an outlet.

Maybe there is a group forming that has been through the same thing. It might be good to seek out others who also visited "The Butcher."

Tanya Brown said...

Oh, no. Oh, no. I'm so sorry.

You are a well-balanced person, but this is the kind of horror that would disturb anyone. All of the feelings and thoughts you listed seem very normal.

I'm in agreement with the others who suggested that it might be good to talk this through with someone, perhaps others who had a similar experience. It's nightmarish enough that may take some time to work through, with strong feelings popping up when you least expect it.

I'm glad you told this story. Your internetty friends care about you and want to know when life is foul or fair, and you may also be doing someone else a favor. I dare say that there are many women who have been silent about their abuse, and if they happen upon your story, they may feel a little less alone and it may help them work through their own grief.

Rosie said...

What a close shave! It is important to talk to someone about it and work through your feelings...although it is already a good start to talk to your internet chums

bluemountainsmary said...

Meggie - bloody hell! I have been reading about this guy - actually not really reading because the stories have been so horrendous I have not been able to finish the articles.

As others have said I think it is good you have written about it and I hope it goes some way to healing.

Hugs to you.

Kitty said...

Oh Meggie ... have a (((((hug))))). I'm sure that posting about it will help not only you but many others too. I'm sure there must be some sort of place where you can go to talk through all this - and how you feel is, I think, perfectly understandable.

Be kind to yourself. xx

smilnsigh said...

Beyond scary..........

I'm so glad you escaped!!!

And I hope that writing about all of this, brings closure.

teodo said...

Dear Meggie
you are great because you are able to tell these facts so private with the right words.
Sadly when we meet doctors who are not real doctors then we'll be shocked forever.
ciao, ciao

Thimbleanna said...

Gosh Meggie, this is awful. It's amazing to me that when they first started to investigate him, he was still allowed to practice. I'd say that you were very lucky indeed. I hope talking to "us" has made you feel a bit better!

TomboCheck said...

Well it definitely sounds like you were one of the 'lucky' ones!

People like that should be dealt with in the in the most severe way possible.

fifi said...

Dear meggie,

Here is evidence that feminism has not changed some things in the world. I'm really really angry that this monster was able to practise at all, with no system in place to protect women from people like him. The perfidious manner in which he performed these atrocities defies belief. It shakes your confidence in all
medical professionals.

Honestly, I am horrified. I am so sorry you had anything to do with this man and the fact that you are unable to find somewhere to vent your feelings makes me even angrier. Any kind of transgression in that way is traumatic. Yes, you are lucky, but certainly justified in feeling the way you do.

You can always email me if you like. Feel free. I'm not a "mental health" line but lets face it, I'm pretty mental meself. Hah!

Take care


leslie said...

Well, I did google him and am now horrified beyond belief that he got away with what he did for so long. At least now he's unable to practise, but will he be able to practise again some day? The one article I read stated that he's out for only 3 years. Hopefully, the media attention will keep him from ever being able to do this to anyone ever again!

And dear Meggie, hopefully you will be able to put it all behind you. If not, do try to hook up with some sort of group or get counseling.

{{{sending hugs}}}

ancient one said...

I don't know what to say...I am shocked that he was able to get by with all that even after he was reported.

Anonymous said...

You were very brave to write about it and it is good that it helped. I think with these things that they wax and wane in your mind and you will find it leaps out at you when you least expect it. I have never worked out what helps - talking to someone close, someone you have never met, someone who has gone through something similar - I have tried them all and I conclude that actually you have to heal your mind yourself and find ways to deal with it. But everyone is different . If you tell people you know you have to deal with their reactions both to it and their perhaps changed perception of you (as needing support and looking after - being a victim) as well as your own demons.

I always think that it is the "what if" that is hardest to deal with - what happened was bad, what could have happened is so much worse and it's hard to turn that on its head and be thankful that the worst didn't happen because of course it did to others.

I hope you find a way to deal with this.

Ian Lidster said...

There are so many cases like that, here too. Just recently a chiropracter in Victoria was given 'a walk' on charges of sexual assault on female patients who, over a 12 period had suffered breast fondling, buttock and vaginal fondling, all in the name of therapy. The judge (a female, yet) said the man had suffered enough, due to loss of professional credibility, etc. and suffered feelings of deep remorse and shame, so there was no point in jailing him. Huh?
I feel for you in your pain in this and hope you can move fully past it.

Linds said...

I googled him. I feel sick. You have had such a lucky escape, Meggie. The horror of it is appalling.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

What a dreadful experience for you to have been in this monster's care. I hope you feel better after writing, just the act of speaking about your past experiences should be at least a little therapeutic. I'm so sorry, Meggie!

Mary said...

I also dislike the watching the news.

It's criminal that physicians like this have been allowed to continue to damage patients and I'm sorry that you were one of the patients seen by him. It doesn't matter that you *apparently* didn't suffer harm at the time - it is traumatic to think about what could have happened.

Ali Honey said...

Dear Meggie, if there is an avenue for formal complaint I think you should make one even after all this time. The articles mentioned 500 women but possibly there are hundreds more like yourself who didn't complain. The FULL extent of his mis conduct should be known. Those authorities who decided to overlook the complaints are equally as much to blame.

Don't let this b...... play with your head - hold it high, be positive he didn't win in your case.
Hugs and good vibes from your friend in NZ. ( there has been a similar episode right now in NZ )

Yolanda said...

It always feel better to shar. Hugs and lots of love. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views on the blog the other day.

Josie said...

First of all, Meggie, you did not bore any of us with your post. I am completely horrified and sad, but definitely not bored!

It is unbelievable that someone could get away with this, but it does happen, doesn't it? We had a very similar case in Canada, and several women died before this awful man was made to stop practicing medicine. There should be better safeguards in place so this does not happen to begin with.

I don't know what to say, except you are obviously a survivor! Good for you!!



Christine Thresh said...

You are so brave. You did the right thing by telling us about this awful experience. It may encourage other women to step forward so he will never practice again.
Lots of love is surrounding you.

Jeanette said...

Hi Meggie,
Horror, Horror, horror.Im still in shock after hearing and reading about the Butcher. He should be locked up and the key thrown away.
so sorry to hear of the trauma your going through..Take care, Jen

Lucy said...

Oh Meggie! Rosie told me about this yesterday.
All the others have said it already, but love and hugs, we are all thinking of you, and the others. I'm glad you were able to write about it here.
Then I read your Winter Moon poem; don't forget you can feel like that too...

Isabelle said...

Meggie, everyone else has said it, but - poor you. What an awful thing for you to have gone through. Good for you, being able to write about it. I too hope that it's helped a bit.

Joke said...

If you were NOT a well-balanced person you wouldn't be upset so.

As re. putting him'll get no arguments from me.


julieQ said...

This is not a bore, dear lady. I am so sorry this happened to you! And you have a supportive audience here. There are predators in all professions, but this is just unforgivable.

Tanya said...

I have felt anger at incompetant doctors and I rage on a long time about the injustices and stupidity. I can imagine being the victim of evilness as hundreds of times worse.

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
So very brave of you to write this piece. Thank you. You are well balanced. Thank goodness.
This guy is horrible! So glad you are okay.
We just never know.

PAT said...

Meggie, I'm so sorry you were a victim of this horrible man. I believe writing about it will help. I also believe you are a very strong person.


MargaretR said...

Oh, poor Meggie. I just Googled as you suggested. What a thing for anyone to go through. How lucky you were it was nothing worse for you. I know you are brave enough to face this thing and writing about it has just proved that. I send some hugs too.

My float said...

What this man did was horrendous. It astounds me that people do things like this.

Meggie, make sure you get the help you need. It is too critical to your wellbeing as well as your family's to leave it festering inside you. Maybe all you need is to pour it all out to someone and let them walk you through the grieving and recovery. Survivor or not, you are still experiencing grief after a very long time. Speak to someone. It will help, as long as they help you to understand how to let it all go.


caramaena said...

*hugs* Meggie.