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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

H Is For Humiliation

If you've grown up in a society where your body is a "temple of God", then you would understand how humiliating it was for me to undress and walked around the room filled with more male doctors than females.

At first, they allowed me to keep a short shirt and underwear on, because I was frightened and refused to do so. Then slowly, I was stripped naked for the doctors to see every movement on my body as I walked. Often, I was in tears. Shame and feeling dirty took over my thoughts.


I grew up in a culture where men and women were not allowed to be liberal with their physical expressions, and here I was, all naked, completely nude, parading around the room with hundred of eyes on me. Every movement on my body was recorded, and came the close-up examination of touches.

I looked for comfort from the female doctors, but found very few nods of confirmation or encouragement. None of these doctors really understood the cultural differences between a 17 years old Asian girl to a 17 years old American girl. They were there just for medical reasons!


Never in my life had I ever wore a two-piece bikini swim wear or changed in front of anyone before, not even around family members! This humiliation became much more frequent as the doctors decided to operate on my right leg. The plan was to go in and replaced the damage vein or somehow fixed it to balance my wobbly walk.

Usually, after this kind of examinations, I hid myself away, and didn't feel like seeing anyone. I just wanted to curl up under my covers to find that sacred protection of fabric, and not felt so bare again.

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11 comments:

  1. I hear you, Mumsy! One of the hardest days of my life was when I had recently miscarried and went in for an ultrasound to make sure all the tissue had passed. I lay there, on the table, feet in stirrups, with an Ultrasound probe up my insides. The doctor realized that I have classic PCOS (cysts on my ovaries) and this was a teaching clinic. Next thing I knew my little room was filled with students oohing and ahhing as I lay there blushing and trying not to cry!

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  2. Wish we know then what we know now, it would have helped to make things more comfortable for you. There are so many what ifs, and most of it was due to lack of information and ignorance. Sorry about that.

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  3. oh, I can very much relate and feel your humiliation, I too would feel that way! in fact, it took me a hard time before to have my first mammogram and pap smear because of the thought I will be showing them off to someone :(

    PS....really beautiful photographs

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  4. This sounds horrible. I am so sorr you had to deal with situations like this.

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  5. Your photos are beautiful! I'm sorry for your humiliation...that must have been unbearable.

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  6. Even as a 17-year-old American girl, I would have hated that kind of experience, too. I can't even imagine!

    "/

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  7. I would hate to be so exposed! I can totally understand how you feel!

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  8. Young women rarely think about the difference between modesty and dignity. I am sure you kept your dignity.

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  9. Aww Mumsy. You have endured so much and this seems barbarian to make a 17 year old girl walk around naked in front of strangers. I do not care that they are doctors "observing". They should have done their job with more respect for the individual.

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  10. That was so callous! I remember my first ekg. It was an entrance physical for the army and I shook so bad they thought I was not healthy enough to join. My heart was racing so bad. The PA was huge red headed guy - what you went thru had to be AWFUL! I was laying on an examining table. I cannot imagine having to walk!! You have much more strength than you realize!

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  11. This makes me mad. What a bunch of insensitive brutes. They couldn't watch you move with underwear on?!? Seriously.

    I'm ready to go kick some butt. How horrible for anyone, much less a young girl who had already been through hell and back.

    I'm just sitting here, really ticked off.

    Geez.

    Okay.

    Exhale, Jenny.

    I'm sorry you had to endure this living hell.

    I hope your life is filled with blessings now.

    Hugs and A+

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