We Need a Process for Critical Reflection re: Medical Errors and Medical Trauma


In 2005 I experienced medical trauma at the birth of my daughter. I’m past the initial stages of my trauma, I’m out of the marriage where I felt vulnerable and unsupported. I live in recovery with a diagnosis of mental illness, and live in acceptance of my condition of mental illness, but medication has not healed my soul.  The problem was that I felt trapped by the traumatic experience, and emotionally unable to resolve my conflict with the physician over my experience alone and in isolation. My therapists didn’t have the understanding to help me critically reflect on the issue from multiple perspectives. A supportive dialogue would have helped me so much.


I feel like I was stuck in the plot of a terrible romance where bad communication drives the plot development.  It was a misunderstanding. He never talked to me like a human, because our #healthcare model forbids it. The story should have ended years ago with good communication and conflict resolution. Instead it has festered.


I’m tired of crying about it.  I want a process to help me move on with my life and escape this the trap. I like to think of myself as emotionally able to adapt.  Instead, I was treated with silence about my emotional health and wellbeing, because that is what the system deems appropriate.  There are two roles: Doctor and patient, and moving beyond that into critical reflection is forbidden. There is no process to deal with a situation like mine.  I need a process.


The medical system failed me when I was assigned the role of patient, where some construct separates us as “Doctor” and “patient”. I’m a human. I want conflict resolution, critical reflection with experts, and the ability to have dialogue to move on. I want to understand, and move on.


At this point, I want a process where a team of concerned experts gather to discuss this long lasting trauma with the hopeful outcome of helping me get out of this trap.  It’s 2017, almost thirteen years after my experience, and I still struggle with feeling trapped by my memory.  I needed to talk about my perceptions, and have the people who were involved share their perspectives without the fear of litigation.  I want a process where I can understand what happened by hearing the medical perspective, and juxtapose that with my emotional response to the memory.  Instead, my perspective was silenced by the Hospital’s legal team.


Being treated clinically as I entered motherhood emotionally devastated me in my postpartum.  To not have my identity including my sexual response to the physician’s examination, the lack of acknowledgement of how it impacted my mental health and wellbeing, the lack of support of the medical system in my healing journey from my perception.


Real or perceived, I’m beyond the medical model. I want to heal my soul, and there is no process available to heal from a system error.  My emotional health and wellbeing were compromised by the physician entering my sacred space.  The system needs a process to learn from these types of events.


I also do not wish to harm the physician and his family. And wish for peace physically, spiritually, and psychologically.  I needed to understand what happened, including my desire that left me trapped in the memory.


We are at such a strange time in history.  The #metoo movement must look to reform the process and ethics that guide us as a society.  The only way to do this is to develop a process of critical reflection, where two individuals either directly or indirectly work with a panel of experts to deconstruct the situation where a medical error, or medical trauma occurred.  I understand the need for rigid boundaries in a hierarchal healing relationship.  I’ve given up on the idea that a simple apology will help my cause, and I already know that it didn’t help having him telling me my behavior was inappropriate and should stop.  I wanted to be touched by someone who loved me, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to move forward to find that until I resolve my emotional conflict with the physician, and not feeling loved after his touch. My ability to protect my sacred space was taken from me by the system when I was made a patient. Every other man who’d touched my sacred space always had a consensual relationship with me.  I understand, logically that he didn’t love me, but emotionally, I needed a dialogue, some process to inform my emotions and escape from the memory.


I’ve forgiven myself for getting sick, and forgiven the memory of the system’s abuse, but I’m still haunted by my attraction.  Maybe it is erotomania, but I’m mostly normal in that if we had been able to have a honest discussion (directly or through a process) where he expressed his perspective and reflected on what happened from his point of view, either directly or through mediation with experts in communication with him, I’d be able to resolve this affliction. Relationships are my greatest strength in my recovery from mental illness. Why is communication forbidden regarding my perceptions from the birth. I broke in response to to being touched, and I don’t want to hurt any more. I want to heal.


When I was a kid, my parents learned that if they didn’t want me to do something, punishment never worked.  If they wanted me to change my behavior they needed to explain why they didn’t want me to do something.  I need to understand why it happened, and why he doesn’t, won’t and can’t love me. I understand that it is against medical ethics and all, but the harm this situation caused me is undeniable.  I want to stop hurting.  I want out of this trap.  Communication through a process with healthcare reform and improving the medical malpractice laws are my only hope to freeing my soul from this trap.


My friends and family have explained that he can’t love me repeatedly, so I understand cognitively, but emotionally, until there is communication through a process of critical reflection, I don’t understand what happened, and/or why it happened. I’m stuck.  I’m still broken over a decade later.  I know there can’t be anything beyond this process for resolution, and I’ve accepted that.  I mean, when I’m honest with myself, I feel too much pain and trauma from this unresolved conflict to form any loving relationship with a man after what I felt in response to the memory of the physician’s touch, and being silenced by the Hospital’s legal team.

About the Author

Sunny Mera

Mother to the best kid in Gotham. Author of a #feminist memoir. #MentalHealth Advocate, #TimeTravel Fan, #Paranormal Living, and #Hacking Survivor.