Back to the pediatrician (aka there’s gotta be another explanation than sex abuse)

The Owee

Today was a really hard day.  When my kids returned last night, it wasn’t long before my daughter was on the toilet, and screaming that she needed my help.  At the age of 7, she can do everything herself, so needing help means there’s something wrong.

Her “girl part” was hurting her badly – it was red all around it, and some little bumps on each side.  It looked to be chapped so bad that it hurt her to touch it.  And it was swollen.

This has been happening regularly on the day/days that follow having been at her dad’s for the weekend.  I have no idea what is causing it.  We’ve been to the doctor two other times now, diagnosed with “nonspecific vulvanitus” (or something like that).   In and of itself, it seems like it must just be poor hygiene, maybe that she hung out in underwear she had pee’d in for a little too long… maybe soap was irritating it.

When I put it together with the pattern of when she has an issue and then factor in all of the other things going on with her, it feels alarming.  I still cannot imagine that her dad would touch her in any way.  I cannot imagine ANY adult touching a child in a sexual manner.  It immediately makes me feel like vomiting and filled with pure rage & anger.    I can’t accept that he might be doing that to her.

The Legalese

My attorney says I need to take her back to the doctor.  But why?  I ask.  Certainly it will be the same as before … stay clean, change your underwear if it’s wet, wipe gently front to back.  Can’t determine if it’s anything else.  Staph infections in children are very distinct looking.  Yeast infections are incredibly rare.

But my attorney says I need to because it’s a catch 22.. if there’s something going on and I haven’t taken her, then I will be questioned as to why I didn’t do so.  If I take her, I’m making my daughter upset.

The Doctor (oh, and “The Screaming Fit”)

So off we go… I get her an appointment at 1:30pm.  School is out early that day, so timing wise she will just have arrived at aftercare and I will pick her up and take her to the doctor’s.   That part didn’t go well, but she wasn’t truly upset until she learned where we were going.  She didn’t even ask why we were going to the doctor, what was the matter that she had to see the doctor.  She knew.

She started physically trying to get away, kicking, screaming, crying.  Tears flooded out of her eyes.  “you have to do this”, I thought to myself.  I tried hard to remove myself from the situation emotionally, because I wanted to cry as well and tell her how sorry I was.  I did tell her it wasn’t her fault, and that we needed to just get things checked out.  “But it doesn’t hurt anymore”, she pleaded.  Well then let’s go talk to the doctor for a minute to see what’s making you hurt so much.

She stays crying the whole way there.  “I don’t want to go”, she says repeatedly.  When we arrive, she continues her physical protest.  I carry in a crying 7 year old, kicking and nearly hitting her brother’s head hard.  I tried to put her down but she starts to run away in the office saying “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go”.  I ask them if they can get us a room quickly, or just someplace else so as not to disturb the other clients.  A nurse helps usher us to a room.  My daughter cries and hides.

I’m holding my emotions together well enough to notice that she hasn’t yet changed her verbiage from “I don’t want to go” to “I don’t want to be here”.  She does after being in the room for a few minutes.   She hides under chairs, behind the exam table, etc.  My son asks to read a book and sits on my lap.  Listening to it, she eventually comes close.  I don’t try to hold her because I don’t want to freak her out and make her jump.  She does reach out to me and puts her arms on my back, looking over at the book.

The doctor arrives, and we go through the same conversation.  She suggests that we don’t need to examine.  I tell her I received advise to do so and to have another person or documentation that can confirm what I’m seeing – no matter what that is.  She suggests a forensic exam by the county instead.  (My atty later tells me that these are really difficult and traumatizing on the children).

My daughter  isn’t cooperating.  Her face is swollen from crying.  She looks so sad and hurt.  She physically won’t budge to go to the exam table.

Eventually, the doctor says that we’ll just need to physically force my daughter into it (because she needs to move on to the next appt.. I felt somewhat frustrated by her stance, actually).  So, we do just that, grabbing my daughter and putting her on the table, trying to console that it will just take a minute.

The doctor says it does look different than the last time, but not conclusive of a-b-u-s-e, and actually possibly less like that is what caused it. (I actually thought the same when I looked the night previously, because it as red down and around the vaginal opening as the last time.).

I ask how long urine underwear would take to make it look as it did.  The doctor says “a few hours?”.  I ask my daughter how long her underwear was wet the night prior.  She won’t answer.  She eventually does after we leave the doctor and she is more settled – and we decide on it being less than 30 minutes worth.

Please, not again

I don’t want to go through that again.  Documentation or not, that felt so incredibly wrong and hurtful to put her through that.   Her little face was swollen from sobbing, and she said to me “Mom, I TOLD you I didn’t want to do that “.  I felt like I violated my daughter myself by forcing her through the medical exam.  What good am I if I’m doing that to her?  How I am any bit different than her Dad, at least in the regard of not respecting her wishes to keep her body to herself?

From here out – we’ll continue with her counselor and hope that it helps us to figure out what’s going on for her.   I hope that she gets to the point that she feels she can speak up and share what’s going on for her while she’s there at her Dad’s – no matter what it is, as she currently shares so very little.

2 Responses to “Back to the pediatrician (aka there’s gotta be another explanation than sex abuse)”

  1. Danny says:

    Hi there.

    I am a 29 year old male. Two years ago I broke up with my girlfriend/mother of my child because She had a “mental” issue that ultimatly caused the ruin of my family with her. Our son is now three years old. Because of the “narcistic” tendincies of herself, I got frustrated at her and tried to make her forgive me for something that I didn’t need to be forgiven for, and after weeks of trying to get forgivness I got into a really bad fight. From reading the first few paragraphs from your blog, I feel that I am in a opposite role that you are in. My son is now living with his mother during the week. I get him every weekend, and she is the one with mental issues. I nees some advice. I am a great dad and my son should be with me. I am rambling…. My son randomly came up to my sister and told my sister. “Aunty Chereen, My daddy hit, hit my mommy”. I was flabergausted!! He hadn’t ever seen or heard that from anywhere when around me. My girlfriend and I never talk badly of my sons mother in front of my son. Hearing this proved that my sons mother tells my son things that a three year old should never hear. My heart breaks for my son. He needs a stable home that I feel that my son needs and that his mother can’t provide. Being a narssicist, she hasn’t been able to keep a new boyfriend and has moved from boyfriend to boyfriend. In fact, she has slept with my neighbour, various other people, and even my best friend. I really hope my son becomes strong and healthy. With todays world with the courts siding the the mother, I am a father, a great father, that just can’t seem to convince the courts that I am better suited for my childs needs and emotional/mental needs.

    I don’t know why I wrote this too you, a perfect stranger, but I needed to read about the subject and vent.


    • Hi Danny…. have faith and be strong. If you are providing your son with an example of strong morale character and unwavering commitment to treating others respectfully, he will eventually question what his mother tells him because it isn’t making sense to him. You can certainly tell him the truth now, and also empathize with your son about how hard it might be to hear that (although maybe this is done more later because of his age level). Also talk with him about the fact that no one should hit anyone else, and give him alternatives to do when he is angry. Example… tell him “you’re angry. What can you do? You can stomp your feet. You can tell me your angry and why. You can hit a pillow.” Make sure he knows what is good behavior and show him by example.

      One of the things that I certainly have empathy for are the judges and anyone else that makes decisions about the amount of time each parent has with their children. It has to be murderously difficult to determine what is best for the kid. There’s not standard psychological testing that’s done, and even if there was, it’s not reliable enough to use. AND… if it was, there isn’t widespread understanding of how it impacts children to be raised by a personality disordered or mentally unstable adult. And on top of that… there are many people who still feel that a person’s parental time shouldn’t be curtailed no matter what … that they are a parent and should have the opportunity to be a parent regardless of how bad it is.

      Anyway, I ramble too… do what you can that is in your realm of influence. Be the best Dad you can regardless of the situation, and pray that eventually the truth is revealed and life gets better!

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