“I’d rather die than get a pap-smear.”
It doesn’t make any difference to her. She means it. She’d rather die from cancer than face the shame. Her death is a real possibility: She was diagnosed with cervical cancer a year ago. She refuses her check-ups. Too much has happened ‘down there’.
People who’ve been sexually abused are often extremely afraid to take their clothes off before a physical exam. They don’t even dare to talk about their genitals, let alone have them touched! That’s why physical ailments, from extreme menstrual cramps to cancer, are mostly left untreated. A doctor usually doesn’t know his/her patient is a survivor of child sexual abuse. Instead of taking time to find the real reason for the patients’anxiety, it’s easier to just let it go. They might even think: “If there are any consequences, it’s her own darn fault.”
Physical consequenses and risks
Sexual abuse doesn’t only leave emotional damage, it lead to have physical discomforts and disease as well. To name but a few: painful intercourse, extreme cramps and loss of blood during your period. Also, if a young child is sexually abused the risk of genital damage is high. In addition endometriosesas well as breast and cervical cancer is more prevalent in sexual abuse survivors. Quite a risk, in particular combined with the reluctance to have medical exams.
Sharing helps you and others
It’s very important to share your experiences. Not just because it will help you overcome your shame, but also because the world needs to know the long term effects of child sexual abuse. The psychological as well as the physical.
For more information about the long term effects of child sexual abuse and how to heal from them, buy the book ‘I Thrive. Healing child sexual abuse’ at Amazon.com