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With over 100,000 posts and 2 million pageviews, the Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board has become a valuable resource for people learning about and dealing with narcissistic spouses/partners, boyfriends/girlfriends, parents, siblings, adult children, bosses, and co-workers--as well as other sources of "voicelessness."
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 on: March 26, 2015, 12:34:48 AM 
Started by Dr. Richard Grossman - Last post by Hopalong
Haven't much useful to add, Doc G, except that mold isn't good for you, especially if you have compromised health.
Hope you can have it well abated and then run a dehumidifier 24/7 to keep it from coming back...

Healthfully hopefully,

 on: March 25, 2015, 11:22:19 PM 
Started by Dr. Richard Grossman - Last post by Dr. Richard Grossman
Teartracks:  “Makes me recall your play "Room With Maintenance", Dr. G. “

In your next career, teartracks, if you’re not doing it already, you could be a literature professor!  Yes, that is a play about me and what I have been through, pain-wise, the past decade plus all the concurrent maintenance I’ve had to do on an 1895 2-family Victorian.  The carpenter wasn’t based on my internist/PCP, however—the character was modeled, in part, on a surgeon who enthusiastically recommended cutting out a part of me, telling me I’d feel much better.

This winter, with record-breaking snow, ice dams, leaks throughout the house, doors that were frozen shut, 9 foot piles of shoveled snow in our front yard, etc., etc., I prayed every day for Angelo the Maintenance Man to appear.  Sadly, he never came. I was in a “room without maintenance”—and I can tell you flat out, it was Hell!

(For those who have no idea what we're talking about, the play can be found here:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/217274)


 on: March 25, 2015, 10:08:58 PM 
Started by Worn - Last post by ann3
That's fantastic, Worn. 
Love the part about being born in tornado alley!! Laughing
Congrats on your new life.

 on: March 25, 2015, 09:41:40 PM 
Started by Dr. Richard Grossman - Last post by ann3
Dr. G,

I am so sorry to hear you are suffering.  You've done so much good for others, so it saddens me even more.  Maybe try alternative therapies, like acupuncture?
You are such a Gentleman for writing the PCP such a reasonable, rational note.  It's his loss & your gain.  I hope you find a caregiver who's really wonderful and who will help you to feel better.  And, if ya need some sympathy & some atta boys, why not post here?  I think you're pretty well loved here.

I know I'm crossing threads, but this is beautifully written &, IMO, worthy of a (your?) book; if you want, maybe just change some names.  I like the narrator's voice:
At least in my neck of the woods (the Harvard Medical School system), many doctors went into the profession and ended up here in small part to help people, but in large part because of the status.  I was naïve enough in my 20’s to believe that the Harvard Medical School system was where the smartest doctors/health professionals in the world were.  What I found was a world dominated by narcissism and politics.  I was told repeatedly while I was on staff and teaching at Mass. General Hospital that I had to play the game.  LOL, my genes would never allow it—my daughter is exactly the same way.  So was my mother (my mother almost did not graduate Barnard College because she refused to meet the silly gym requirement.)  The last time I questioned the dominance of politics over all else, my MGH unit chief said “Welcome to the adult world,” and I said, via subtext:  “Not my adult world.”  I quit—and disappeared (in my work life) to my moldy basement—a tiny space that ultimately became filled with love, attachment, and real people.  (OK, the occasional spider would bow and scrape…)  Who could ask for a better world?!!!

 on: March 25, 2015, 08:45:19 PM 
Started by Worn - Last post by lighter
I'm so glad for you, Worn: )

Sometimes we need help to get over the bumps, and it's OK.

Learning how to ask, and receive help, is a learning experience in itself.   You're worthy.



 on: March 25, 2015, 07:42:30 PM 
Started by Worn - Last post by Worn
I have come to a point in my personal story where I have not only chosen to make my life better but have come to the very start of doing so.  The ball is in motion.  Soon my life situation will be magnitudes better than it is now.  I am nervous but I am beyond ready and so looking forward to it.

In order to do this I have asked for help.  I'm not ashamed of having to ask for help, although I would have been previously and recently.  I have been working on accepting more fully that what happened in my childhood was simply something that happened to me.  No more my fault than a tornado or a hurricane.  Less since I didn't have a choice of living in tornado alley, I was just born there.  Now it is time to clean up after the storm.  When people experience a tragedy like a tornado in their life they are expected to need help setting things right again.  They most likely don't even have to ask, people just come to help.  I am a human being and am therefore worthy of any help, care and love that I need.  The worst part of my parents treatment of me was the part where they tricked me into believing I wasn't worthy of help or care of any kind. 

 on: March 25, 2015, 07:25:23 PM 
Started by lighter - Last post by Worn
I like it Lighter!   Cool


 on: March 25, 2015, 07:23:55 PM 
Started by Hopalong - Last post by Worn
Hearing the two of you talk about your beliefs warms my heart. Smile  I also hold my own "ocean of hope".  

I love how you've both talked about being part of a community.  I am currently working towards taking the steps to have that in my life.  Our local UU church is one of the communities I'm considering joining.  I've realized that I have become cut off from almost any sense of a community for a long time.  I have friendships, but they are scattered here and there and I want the feeling of a group coming together in fellowship.  A group working together towards a goal.  Being part of a team.  Belonging with people.  

I was thinking just recently about how healthy boundaries not only keep harmful things out, they also allow good things to come in.  

Sea, I second Hops vote on you not being required to be the neighborhood therapist.  That is above your pay grade. Wink  Worn

Edit:  I'm not saying you aren't capable Sea!  Just that they don't pay you enough to do it.  Smile 

 on: March 25, 2015, 07:01:07 PM 
Started by Dr. Richard Grossman - Last post by Worn
Excellent way to answer him.  And good point about the changing environment of medicine.  I have no doubt the environment my previous Dr was in contributed to their behavior.  She was burnt out.  I really wish, and it's not too late (it's been a little over 2 years but I was a patient for 10) that I had sent my doc a letter when I left.  Your post made me think of several reasons why:

1.  Maybe they would learn from it and it might help when they're interacting with their next patient.  Someone in a similar position to mine.  I bet they rarely if ever get feedback from patients about how their ways of interacting with people are toxic.  Of course they may take my feedback and shove it but that brings me to...

2.  I would at least get to have my say.  I could give a voice to how I wanted to respond to the situation.  Not pressured by time.  Able to really think over my response.  Instead of trying to react in an emotion filled situation.  I would have time to think thoroughly about why this crossed boundaries and was not an acceptable way to treat me. 

3. I have a relationship with this doctor.  After ten years of her for the most part being a great doctor, I owe her an explanation of why I'm leaving.  She's a good person, she's just not the right person to be my doctor.

I have an appointment with my current pcp tomorrow.  We've talked about how when I tell him how I'm doing I know there's probably not much he can do about it, but I want him to document it anyway.  I may bring up a version of what you said here, that it's OK for doctors to say the following:

"‘I know your quality of life is diminished, and I wish there were something I could do to help, but unfortunately, there isn’t.’  Such a statement is the polar opposite of anger and insult.”"

I think that statement may make some doctors very uncomfortable.  They've put in all these years of study and they don't have anything they can do for someone.  They want to help, that's why they're there, but they're helpless.  That can be hard to handle when you're the guy that's supposed to have all the answers. 

 on: March 25, 2015, 06:25:00 PM 
Started by Dr. Richard Grossman - Last post by Dr. Richard Grossman
Hops, ann3, Bones, Twoapenny, and Worn re: finding another doctor/PCP.  Yes, I found another doctor.  I’m not the type of person who absorbs anger/insult and comes back for more.  Of course, I had to write him a letter/e-mail—because I’m also not the kind of person (especially at this age) who would/could just disappear and not say anything.

First, I thanked him for his care over the years.  Then, I pointed out the relevant research.  Next, I told him he was wrong about me personally i.e. his notion that I was the kind of person who went around looking for sympathy.  (Maybe I should have when I was raising 3 teenagers in my 20’s, LOL!)  And finally I concluded with:

“I know the treatment options—there are very few besides NSAID’s (which bring no significant relief).   But certainly, in the future, it would be better to say genuinely to patients such as myself:  ‘I know your quality of life is diminished, and I wish there were something I could do to help, but unfortunately, there isn’t.’  Such a statement is the polar opposite of anger and insult.”

Of course all of the above has much to do with the personality of the particular doctor.  I won’t say more, because I have no interest in revealing who he is.  But there’s one more overarching issue:  The lives of doctors have changed/are changing dramatically because of the need to reduce costs and the reduced income.  From the provider end, dealing with insurance companies is often a nightmare.   And I know from my doctor patients, that many doctors now regret their career choice and would never recommend such a choice to their children.  I worry that some of the anger this generates will be directed (particularly by power/status conscious doctors) towards patients who do not improve as a result of treatment.   There certainly are many of us out there…


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