Julie’s Story (Be aware, this contains disturbing information)

Warning, many will find this blog entry very disturbing as it has to do with Child Sexual Abuse. However, I felt it important to talk about this as it affects more young children and teens than we’d like to believe and perhaps this can help a fellow victim. I’ve used different names and the the story has been changed just a bit, the the basics are true and I do have the permission of the patient to post this.

Feel free to skip this post if you are sensitive to this topic, or if you would find it upsetting.

Julie was a 18 year old teen who came to one of my Fibromyalgia workshops suffering from pretty severe Fibromyalgia. She had all the symptoms, horrendous pain, fatigue, insomnia, all kinds of stomach problems, she had constant headaches, was very depressed, could not think well and she was barely able to speak. She was just not able to get the words out of her mouth. She barely squeaked through High School and college was out of the question.

She came to to one of my workshops with an older gentleman who was about 60 years old and was introduced as her High School teacher. They both made an appointment to speak to me at more length in my office and they showed up a week later on a Saturday. Julie took me aside and asked if she could speak to be alone, without the escort (teacher) who had driven her to the appointment. As she was 18, I replied, certainly, as she was legally an adult. We discussed her Fibro symptoms and I explained the treatment options available to her. Interestingly enough, the Teacher seemed “bent out of shape” at not being allowed to sit in during the consultation, yet I just wrote it up to his caring for her. I explained to him that she was an adult and the choice was hers.

Julie started treatment about 6 months later and was totally Fibro free after 8 weeks, really a new person. No pain, no fog, no insomnia, she was articulate and very very bright. Now it must be understood that when a patient finishes treatment in my office, I have them return monthly for about 6 months just to check and make sure that all is well and they are adjusting quite well to being Fibro free. This is exactly what happened. Julie maintained her good health and all was good, that is until I received a call from her about 12 months after she finished treatment. It should be noted that Julie was no longer living with her High School Teacher but had been taken in by a family who was taking very good care of her and helping her in many ways.

I received a call from Julie about a 4 months ago and she was in a panic mode. I was able to ascertain from her rambling that the High School teacher who had taken her in when she was 15 years old had really held her captive and repeatedly sexually abused her. The abuse consisted of unspeakable actions and I was mortified as she rambled on. He had originally taken her in as Julie’s parents were physically abusive which most probably triggered her Fibromyalgia in the first place.

Being that Julie was 15 when this abuse first began, I immediately called the police and reported this incident. (by law I have to inform the police, however I would have done this anyway). The report was taken and the investigation began. As you can well imagine, the investigation and court trial were traumatic for Julie but with the help of a good therapist, she was able to get this this challenging situation. To jump to the end of the story, the High School Teacher was convicted and sent to prison for the rest of his life. During the trial, it also surfaced that Julie was not his first victim, but he had preyed on many vulnerable teens for more than 25 years. He was a true “Pedophile, a real Predator”. Julie is now in the process of rebuilding her life however this trauma will stay with her for years, if not for ever.

So, you may ask why I’m telling you this story.

One of the triggers of Fibromyalgia are continuous trauma’s and stresses. From speaking to so many women with Fibro for so many years, the above scenario is much more common than we’d like to believe. Physical, mental and sexual abuse is rampant. Many of these incidents go unreported due to shame, embarrassment and fear of retaliation. In fact it is estimated that only 1% of abuse ever gets reported.

According to the  Centers for Disease Control abuse is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 25 million American women. Also approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children.

I cannot emphasize how vital it is to get help. Counselors, psycho-therapists,  psychologists, clergymen have the training to help you to put your lives back together. It’s very difficult, if not impossible to do this on your own. You must be able to talk about these incidents, feel the emotions and process them so that these traumas can be left behind. It is also important to have a good friend or two with whom you can talk. A true friend will understand and be there for you.

One of the after effects of abuse is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). this can manifest as:

  • Flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time
  • Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Irritability or anger
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there

There certainly is overlap between the symptoms of PTSD and the Fibromyalgia symptoms, so dealing with this trauma is one way to start helping yourself. You must come to terms with this! It probably will not cure the Fibro, but it is a step in the right direction.

14 thoughts on “Julie’s Story (Be aware, this contains disturbing information)

  1. Thank you for posting this story. I myself have never suffered from sexual or physical abuse but I do have PTSD. Between January of 1997 (26 years old)- September 1998 I had 5 major bladder surgeries March 1999 My 28th Birthday my dad died of a massive heart attack while I was getting dinner ready~April 1999 my best friend died of skin cancer August of 1998 my dog I had for over 10 years got severely ill and had to put him to sleep April of 1999 My grand mother died in her sleep and August of 1999 my mom had her first heart attack. So I do know about PTSD I live it every day DO NOT GET ME WRONG It is nothing compared to this poor girl. And though all of this my Fibro never flared up. It actually flared up 2 years ago when I got a UTI of all things, I could not fight it off, and it has been all up hill from there, one battle after another. Most people say every year they feel worse I feel like every week I feel worse. its hard not knowing what your body is going to do the next day..,.

    Anyway Thank you for this post I am glad she is dealing with everything and pray she continues to heal

    Love from an East Coast Gal<3 lol Dr Martin that was for you

    • Kelly, she is dealing with it, but the sad fact is that she will deal with the horror for the rest of her life. Teens don’t have skills or understanding to know what is going on. Believe it or not, she still blames herself, but we have her with an excellent therapist who specializes in these types of things. In time thinks will get better but I know this is something that will be with her for her entire life. I’m so glad they got the man and that he will be spending the rest of his life in prison, where I’m sure he’ll have some lessons in sexual abuse.

  2. My story needs a book. Not coz it’s worse than any other but it is still in the now. As a child of 6 to 13 I was sexually molested by my Mom’s Fiance who drank heavily and just tortured us by bringing other woman home and then hurting us. Hit, punch, kick strangle and then told at the end telling that sex will be the only way I’ll get anyone to care for me. That was the day I said no more. And wouldn’t you know it? I was so debased and guilty that – actually was easy throughout my schooling. I became the abuser. Left home at 19 and moved in with a 35 old man. He was an alcoholic and a philanderer so I moved up to Johannsburg. I continued just abusing myself for that bit of closeness or “love”. One day I met my Hubby at our workplace. He drank quite a bit then he told me he was married with a daughter and another on the way. Immediately my entire being screamed no. Well this spineless twit started seeing him. The job he had made it easy. She eventually kicked him out so he came to me.
    2 weeks in and he was smoking weed and coming back whenever. There’s a lot of to and fro’ing thru the years. Battering of the spirit, emotions, mind and insidious.
    I am now full blown fibromyalgia and Bipolar 2, “hypochondriac” and useless lump coz this firbro won’t quit. Losing my younger sister to Cancer in 6 weeks and I only saw her once her mind had gone. That same day my Husband told me not to come home. So I live on the East Coast as well but in South Africa.
    Today is a dark day. Woman’s day. I feel that I never got a fair chance having had endometriosis and then a full hystaerectomy. Thereafter 2 back ops.

    The pain is enough. Being mistreated is enough. I just want it to go away. I don’t know what I need or where I fit – PLEASE HELP ME. God didn’t do this. Someone plse hear me. Lord jesus forgive me as I forgive. Plse help me. I don’t know how else to say it.

  3. I understand what all of you are saying. I have been raped and abused and I have severe chronic pain, fibromyaligia being the main, which just branches off into to many places. I also deal with my mental illness on a dialy basis and I know the desperation and the need and want for all of it to end. I wanna say it gets better and I know this, but for me, it has gotten better and then got worse again. Life is hard enough and with all these extra battles it leaves one with so many unanswered questions. What did I do? What can I do? Who is gonna listen? I feel as lost you do. My hope is that one day, one day, there will be more help… more hope… more understanding.

    • Thanks for responding, it is a horrendous situation, and Julie is going through hell, I speak to her just about every day. It will takes years to undo some of the damage, but I know she will be living with this for the rest of her life. Imagine, and she is only 19 now. At least she has years to deal with this.

  4. I have two adult children who were sexually molested when they were just ‘babies’…son was 3, daughter was 2.
    We handled the situation as best we could back then, but years later my daughter told me the ‘intimate details’ of what actually happened. I was mortified. She has not told her father (we divorced 10 years later). I guess she thought she could talk to me. While I was more than happy to listen to her, it still churns in my gut as to what my precious 2 yr old daughter remembers so vividly.
    I want to prosecute the offenders, but am in a quandry as to how.
    It turns out that our babysitters (twin boys aged 15 at the time) BOTH did unspeakable things to our children, but at the time we only knew of one thing that happened. I cannot even begin to tell you what actually happened…it’s THAT raw and so disgusting that I can’t even type the words.
    I’d been ill for years before my daughter told me the facts, but it haunts me to this day.
    My two eldest children (the ones sexually tortured) are now 35 and 34 years old. Yes, it’s been that long. I’m also not able to tell you exactly what I’d like to do to these two freaks that did what they did to my babies.
    Any suggestions to that end??

    • I don’t know where you are located and I’m not an attorney and the statue of limitations is probably over, but I would recommend therapy for you and therapy for the children, with a therapist who has experience dealing with these types of traumas and post traumatic stress.

  5. Thank you. I’m in Pennsylvania now, but this happened in New York State.
    My daughter no longer wishes to discuss the topic, and I’m not sure my son even knows what she told me. I certainly don’t want to dredge up things they may have very well gotten over. Very confused about it, but an old class mate of mine is retired from that city in NY, and he’s helping me try to resolve the issue.

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