Have You Ever Been Hurt by a Psychiatrist? (Guest Post by Alaina Holt-Adams)

WARNING: The following may be triggering for many abuse victims. This article is especially harrowing because a therapist is supposed to help us cope and heal from trauma already endured, not add even more trauma. This is one of the most disturbing stories of an abusive psychiatrist I’ve ever read. And this psychopathic monster’s abuse was inflicted on a child of fifteen.

Unfortunately, malignant narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are attracted to the mental health field because it gives them an easy way to take advantage or further abuse the hurting, the vulnerable, the abused, and even children. Be very careful when choosing a therapist. Sometime soon, I’ll be researching this topic in more depth and write an article about red flags to look out for.

The author has been so afraid to come out about this experience she asked me to let her write it as a guest post here rather than put it on her own blog. I am more than happy to do that, because I think her story can help expose the abuses that still go on in the mental health field and it may be of help to others.

Have You Ever Been HURT By A Psychiatrist?
By Alaina Holt-Adams

DrMonster500 (1)
I found this photo through an online memorial site. A single comment is posted under the picture. It says: “This man was my biological father, but I never got to know him. He didn’t want me and I never saw him. RIP.” The comment is signed: “Anonymous.” *

Out of respect for this monster’s adult child, I will refer to him as “Dr. Smith,” which was not his real name.

Handsome fellow, wasn’t he? Tall, dark, and aristocratic. Going by the date printed on this photo (which I cropped off because it was printed next to his name), Dr. Smith was in his late twenties when this picture was taken. He looked basically the same when I knew him twenty years later, with just a touch of gray at his temples to lend an air of wise sophistication, in sync with the leather elbow patches and carved pipes that were all the rage for image-conscious psychiatrists in the late 1960s.

His deep, softly hypnotic voice and sympathetic manner were even more compelling than his Rock Hudson good looks. With soulful gray eyes that seemed to read your innermost thoughts, everything about him said: “I Care Deeply About You And Your Problems.”

But everything about him was a lie.

If anyone ever fit the description of a charming, successful, suave sociopath, this man certainly did. He almost killed me — literally, almost murdered me. I believe he gave me the drug overdose on purpose, because I had told a nurse about the “good doctor” sexually abusing me.

Of course, I wasn’t believed. I was only fifteen and I was a mental patient. Later I was told that many other patients had accused this man of raping them, male patients as well as female. But he kept getting away with it because he was a “great and wonderful doctor” and “above reproach.”

The truth about this evil man finally came to light the last time he raped me, the night when he almost murdered me. A nurse told me later that she had heard me “screaming bloody murder” inside his office. She had tried to open the door but it was locked. She said the doctor told her through the door that I was in a deep hypnotic state, reliving a terrible trauma.

Hypnosis was his specialty. At first, all he used to put me under was a swinging pocket watch. He switched to giving me an injected drug to “enhance” the hypnosis, after I pushed his hands away when he tried to molest me. As the drug took effect, I became too weak to fight him off. That was when he would molest me. Probably because of the drugs he gave me, I have only vague, partial memories of the rapes.

That last time, as he was slowly injecting an amber-colored liquid into the vein inside my left arm, the doctor told me: “If you ever again tell anyone about what I’m doing, I will stick you in a hole so far you will never see the light of day again.”

Suddenly my chest hurt. I mean, it really HURT! I felt like a giant hand was squeezing my heart. I clutched at my chest and told Dr. Smith that my heart was hurting. He let go of the syringe and took my pulse… then he quickly injected all of the remaining drug into my vein.

The pain in my chest seemed to explode at that point. The pain was bigger than I was, bigger than the room we were in, bigger than the whole hospital. When I could not take the pain any longer, I passed out. What the doctor was doing to my body lying spread-eagled on the floor of his office, I could not see or feel.

After it was over, he woke me and told me to go back to the ward. I stood and almost fell over. “Kiss me goodbye,” he commanded. I shook my head no. “You will never be well until you stop repressing what you really want,” he said. That was the last time I saw him.

I felt like I was floating as I walked out of his office and across the street to my ward. I had the eerie sensation of only being in the top half of my body. My legs were moving up and down, taking one step after another, but my feet and legs did not feel like they belonged to me anymore. They were like the legs of a puppet and I was making them move by pulling a string.
As I walked onto the ward, my body crumpled to the floor. I seemed to be floating in the air, looking down at myself. The two nurses on duty rushed out of their office. They knelt beside my body. I was floating above them, looking at the back of their heads. I heard one of them say, “Her lips are blue.” Then the other nurse said, “I can’t find a pulse!”

Suddenly — Z*A*P! — I was back inside my body. I sat up with a jolt. I felt very dizzy.

The nurses helped me to my feet, then walked me back and forth, holding me upright between them. Hours seemed to go by as they walked me from one end of the ward to the other. While we walked, they chatted with each other the way friends do, talking about their lives, their children, and their husbands.

Finally my head cleared enough that I could speak. I asked if I could go to the bathroom. It was hard for me to talk, my mouth felt like it was full of cotton.

One of the nurses helped me into the bathroom, while the other went back to the office. The nurse stood beside me and watched as I pulled down my underwear. It was obvious from the condition of my underpants that I had been raped. She went out into the hall and called the other nurse to come and look at my underwear.

They must have reported everything to the police. Two male detectives in suits came to the hospital the next day and questioned me. I never saw Dr. Smith again. I don’t know if he was arrested or if he lost his license or what happened to him.

I do know that he committed suicide the following year.

To this day, any time I am given an injection by anyone, for any reason — by a dentist, a nurse, male or female, it doesn’t matter who gives me the shot or why I’m getting it or where it is being given — every time, I flash back to this. And I feel like I am being murdered all over again.

Years after this happened, even after I knew he was dead, when I tried to tell this story I would hear Dr. Smith’s hypnotic voice inside my head: “If you ever again tell anyone about what I’m doing, I will stick you in a hole so far you will never see the light of day again.”

Even today, more than four decades after his death, I am struggling with whether or not I should post this. Telling the truth about what this evil man did to me isn’t going to kill me…. right? I am NOT going to end up “in a hole so far that I will never see the light of day again” — am I?

Intellectually, I know that Dr. Smith’s hypnotic threat has no power over me today. But my heart is pounding while I’m writing this.

His anonymous child who never got to know him was lucky. And I am lucky, and deeply grateful, for those two nurses who saved my life.

BUT… unbelievably… several hospital staff people, including another psychiatrist, actually BLAMED ME, a fifteen-year-old in-patient, for “luring the good doctor with my sexuality” and “ruining the life of a wonderful man.”

I will (try to) write about that in a future post.
~ ~ ~

PS: In case anyone reading this wonders why a lonely, love-starved, hormonal 15-year-old would push away the hands of such a handsome man when he was touching me inappropriately, the whole truth is that I was flattered and excited the first time he rubbed my arms and shoulders and lightly ran his hands down the front of my dress when I was under hypnosis. Although Dr. Smith was older than my parents, he looked much younger, and he was also single (divorced) at the time. I was young and needy and naive enough to believe that the Cinderella fairy tale was true — that a handsome charming Prince could fall deeply in love with a poor little nobody, at first sight. When Dr. Smith first touched me, on the outside of my clothes, I actually thought he was doing it because he was falling in love with me. I was so starved for love and attention that I did not try to stop him, then.

But shortly after this, Dr. Smith was gone on vacation and a nurse said he had gotten married and was on his honeymoon. When he returned to work, he brought his beautiful bride to the ward one day. My heart was crushed then, as I realized that he did not love me and he was not planning to “rescue” me from the hell of the mental institution. I was raised in a very strict religion, so sex with a married man was a huge no-no. That was why I pushed his hands away when he tried to touch my genitals, and I told a nurse about what the doctor was doing. But even before he married his second wife, I never in any way “enticed” him. I was very shy and inhibited, and he was my doctor, more than three times my age. The thought of enticing him never occurred to me.

BUT — even if I had allowed him to have sex with me — which I did not — with him being my doctor and me being a mental patient, him in his late forties and me only fifteen years old — under those circumstances, it would have still been RAPE, regardless.

Rape is never about love or even about sex — it is all about evil power and control, as his almost-murder of me ultimately proved.

And psychiatrists and medical doctors and therapists are not gods. Some of them aren’t even human.

alaina_holtadams
The author of this post, Alaina Holt-Adams, has a blog here at WordPress, Surviving Complex PTSD. You must be signed in to view it.

* There was one other photo Alaina sent me to use, but it has a trigger warning and I was unable to open it. I will see what I can do.

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37 thoughts on “Have You Ever Been Hurt by a Psychiatrist? (Guest Post by Alaina Holt-Adams)

  1. I guess this shows that suicide is really “the coward’s way out” for psychopaths (as opposed to normal people). He didn’t want to face justice. What a horrible character he had.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yep. Sometimes suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness. Trying to escape from consequences. I hope there is a hell because this horrible person is certainly facing justice for eternity. Call it karmic retribution, if you prefer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • After I sent you this post last night, Lucky, I was thinking about it while I was washing the dinner dishes and I wondered exactly how he died — I don’t know if he killed himself with a gun or an overdose or what — but however he did it, I hope it was painful.

        I did not know that “Dr. Smith” had died until several years later, when I ran into someone who had been a patient at that hospital when I was there, and she told me that he had committed suicide. She told me in a very hateful way, letting me know that she blamed me for what he had done and she was thrilled to get to tell me to my face. Most people really liked this guy, he seemed so gentle and kind and caring and genuine… but it was all an act. Behind closed doors, his mask came off and he was a totally different person.

        I found “Dr. Smith’s” grave site on Find A Grave (dot) com. That is where I found his picture, and the solitary comment by the anonymous person who said he was her (or his?) biological father. According to the date of death on his tombstone, he died approximately a year and a half after he was fired from the hospital for raping and nearly killing me. So I don’t think that *I* am in any way to blame for his death! Even if he did it because he was facing going to prison for what he had done to me, or because he had lost his new wife and his job and his license as a result of abusing me — or even if he killed himself because he finally found a conscience and felt guilty for the evil things he had done to me and others — still, in the final analysis, it was his own evil actions that led to his ultimate destruction.

        Liked by 6 people

  2. Thank you for posting this for me, dear Lucky! When I first wrote this, I tried to post it on my own blog but I got so freaked out that I set my blogs to private, instead. Then, after I asked you if you would let me post it here, I got so sick that I went to bed and did not even turn on my computer for three days. I know my reaction is crazy! The power of hypnotic suggestion, in conjunction with severe trauma, is apparently very long-lasting.

    BTW, the picture you could not open that is labeled “Trigger Warning” — all that is, is a yellow triangle outlined in black, with an exclamation point and a “TW” inside the triangle. It is meant to warn readers that the following post may be triggering. However, you did a great job warning people of that, with your first sentence. Thank you!

    I agree with bpdtransformation, it is hard to believe what this psychiatrist did. I lived through it personally, and yet even I have a hard time believing it really happened. But it did happen, there is no doubt about that. And it happened not just to me, there were many other mental patients that this doctor abused. During the approximately one year that he was my doctor and regularly abusing me, I developed a painful burning vaginal infection. I told the nurse, and she told the doctor, and he ordered medicine for me, a suppository type of thing, that is treats yeast infections. One of the other patients on the ward, a woman in her twenties, saw the nurse hand me the medicine and then she — the patient — followed me to the bathroom and demanded to know if I was having sex with Dr. Smith. She was furious — at ME! “He told me I was the only one he had a special relationship with!” she said.

    My dad, who was also an abuser, told me many years later that when he first heard that my psychiatrist had been accused of raping me, he jumped on his motorcycle and rode in a rage to this doctor’s house, intending to kill him. But, my dad said, the doctor calmly explained how it was all a big mistake. Then Dr. Smith offered my dad a beer and they parted on good terms. Which just shows you how gullible my idiot father was.

    To me, the most outrageous part of what happened was the fact that some of the hospital staff people came right out and BLAMED ME for “ruining the good doctor” with my “lurid sexuality!” Dr. M.S., the psychiatrist who temporarily took over Dr. Smith’s ward until a new doctor was hired, was one of those who blamed me. He and Dr. Smith had been close friends. Dr. M.S. had me brought to his office a few days after Dr. Smith was fired, and he said… horrible things. Really, horrible things. I was going to write here what he said but I can’t, not right now…. after Dr. M.S. accused me of ruining Dr. Smith by “luring him” into having sex with me, I went back to the ward and hung myself.

    I am shaking now. But thank you, Lucky, for helping me to get this posted. Because I know that I am not the only one. Sadly, horribly, I am not the only one.

    Liked by 6 people

    • …I forgot to explain that the reason the other young female patient demanded to know if I was having sex with Dr. Smith was because she, too, had developed a vaginal infection after having sex with him. So when she saw a nurse hand me medication that is used to treat vaginal infections, she got very upset, because she had believed that she and the psychiatrist were having an affair and that she was “the only one.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • I feel conflicted. Part of me is relieved to get my story out there, but another part of me wants to curl up under theblankets and never come out. But I can’t do that because I have a Poodle sleeping on my lap right now.

        To be totally honest, part of what I am feeling is disappointment… because I hoped there would be other readers who could relate to this. Please don’t think that I am saying I wish this painful experience on anyone else, I absolutely don’t — but I do know that what happened to me has also happened to others and I wish we could find each other, so we could emotionally support each other. My husband is a Vietnam War veteran with severe PTSD caused by combat. His closest friends are otherwar veterans with combat-related PTSD. A group of them meets weekly to support each other. They call each other on the phone all the time, they do things like go fishing together. I am thrilled that my husband has that wonderful friendship and support. But OH how I wish I had a group like that, too, people who have been through similar things like I have gone through — people whose first reaction would NOT be to say that they “cannot believe what that psychiatrist did” ….I know that was probably just a figure of speech that bdptransformation was using and he probably didn’t mean to imply that he thinks I may have made up this awful story. His following statement indicates that he does not seriously doubt my story: “Thank goodness that you were strong enough to survive this physically.”

        But still… I have to admit that I am am ultra-sensitive on the issue, because… although what I experienced was very horrible… not being believed by certain other hospital staff members and not being believed by my own parents, etc… that hurt me even worse.

        Liked by 2 people

        • PS: Even though it hurts me when I think that some people may not believe this happened to me… I also understand that my story is hard to believe. And, like I said before, it’s even hard for me to believe this happened, although I lived though it firsthand!

          My late father, who was very abusive himself at times, had a theory that is more than a little crazy — he believed our family is cursed, and he blamed the family curse for causing so many extreme things to happen to us. The reason he believed we are cursed is because his dad, my paternal grandfather, practiced witchcraft. Somewhere in the Bible it says that the descendents of those persons who practice witchcraft are cursed, down to the 4th and 5th generation.

          Which makes NO SENSE to me, but what do I know?

          Like

          • Alaina, what you went through is eerily similar to what another long-time friend of mine went through back in our youth (late 1970s). I didn’t find out about what had happened to her until years later, because she’d been keeping it secret. When she finally mustered the will to tell a few close friends the truth, we all had trouble believing it at first — because the man responsible was someone we had all looked up and admired and trusted, and no one likes to admit that she’s been bamboozled by a slick con artist. I can only imagine how painful it was for you to not be believed. I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but glad that you survived, and that you are now working to help other victims of abuse. God bless you.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thank you, Bluebird… I can’t tell you what your comment means to me.

              After a new psychiatrist was hired to take over for the rapist doctor, the new doctor determined that I did not need to be in that place and so he went to bat to get me released. He had gone through his residency there and had known me when I was first put in that hospital. Back at that time, the then-resident had told me that I did not need to be there and he was sure the attending psychiatrist would soon realize that and release me. Of course, it did not go that way…. but the good thing that came out of all that horror, is that I was set free from the mental institution by the new psychiatrist, who never would have been hired if the old psych hadn’t been so evil.

              Several months after my release from the institution, one of the hospital workers, a social worker who had chewed me out for “ruining a wonderful doctor,” actually drove all the way to where I lived, a distance of about 200 miles each way, so he could apologize to me in person. Some additioinal incriminating evidence had come to light about that evil doctor, which made him realize that he was mistaken in blaming me. One of the things that came out was that the rapist doctor had made audio tapes of his some of his sexual assaults and had them stored in his desk!

              Liked by 2 people

            • Sicko is right. If video cameras had been available back then, he probably would have made video recordings of his rapes. We did have home movie cameras in those days, but they were done on film and had to be developed by a photo lab.

              I made an error in my last comment… I just checked Google map and the distance the social worker drove to apologize to me in person was about 125 miles each way, not 200 miles. I also reread my comment and it is so poorly written, I am embarrassed. Just how many times did I use the word “that?” I think I need to take a break from this now and chill out. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

        • I think it’s normal to have mixed feelings after posting something that traumatic in public. It’s just as bad as what your husband and soldiers have had to go through when they’ve been in a war. PTSD is PTSD, whether it’s caused by seeing friends die in combat, having to kill civilians of the “enemy” country, or being sexually abused by a relative or a therapist. It’s all horrible stuff. Writing about it and talking about it WILL help, but there are going to be doubts and feelings of shame, which is normal, because I have them too. I just tell those doubts to fuck off and I’ll post about it anyway because it helps so much. I’m really, really proud of you and if you were here I’d give you a huge hug for having so much courage. You are a strong and courageous woman for writing about this awful experience. Many of us can relate too. I think your story may help someone else who has been through the same or a similar experience.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I am simply speechless by all this. I know Alaina quiet some and man has she been through stuff… Oh no what really is this life made of? Thanks Lucky for posting this very difficult to write and publish piece

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow. This was so brave of her to write, and brave of you to post. Thank you both for confirming what I have thought about a psychiatrist I once met- that guy was an emotional abuser cloaked by his office. Brave, brave people you two are, well done. x

    Liked by 2 people

      • I speak out at every chance I get about how blunt and rude he was to me. He really hurt me with his words, and I’m not surprised that there are more people out there who are wearing the psychiatrist’s cloak to disguise who they really are. x

        Liked by 2 people

        • They can get away with it too, because the patient-therapist relationship is a confidential one, and if the patient speaks up about abuse, courts and the law assume the patient is the crazy one, after all they were the ones seeing the therapist in the first place!

          Liked by 1 person

          • YES! This is so true. That man’s bullying is why I refuse to see psychiatrists. I am not being demeaned by them like that ever again. I’m glad that someone else out there sees some of these people for what they truly are. x

            Liked by 2 people

            • When I woke up this morning I felt very anxious and my first thought was to send an email to Lucky Otter asking her to remove this post or at least set it to private. Then I came here and read starkinsanity’s comments. Now I’m telling myself to stop being such a big baby about this. I mean, good grief, what is my problem? I am writing under a pen name. I am not using anyone’s real name in anything I write. And I even went to the trouble to disguise the 66-year-old photo of the rapist doctor by covering his eyes! I did that, NOT because he deserves any consideration, but out of compassion for his survivors. So, with all this anonymity, WHY do I feel like I have done something “wrong” by telling what really, truly happened to me almost half a century ago? Seriously… what is my problem?!?!

              I think part of my problem is that the doctor’s drug-enhanced hypnotic suggestions, combined with the severe trauma of what he did to me physically, did a major number on my head. When I was a 15 year old kid, drugged and hypnotized, “Dr. Smith” ordered me to never tell anyone what he was doing, OR ELSE — and something in my subconscious mind still believes that I have to obey him, even though he was 100% wrong in what he was doing, and he has been dead for over forty years.

              In addition to the hypnosis and traumatic aspect, I believe that part of why I feel so conflicted about telling this story is my deep-seated fear that some people may think I am making it up. I really hate it when people don’t believe me. But, as one friend told me, there are people who still don’t believe that astronauts ever walked on the moon. People will believe, or people won’t believe, and what difference does it really make? All I can do is share my truth to the best of my ability, and hope that by doing so, others who have experienced something similar will be helped in some way. How people react to my story, or whether they believe it or not, is out of my control and not really my business.

              HUGS to you, Stark, if you want a hug. I am so sorry you were emotionally abused by a malignant psychiatrist. They have such prestige and power that even a disdainful facial expression or a snotty, condescending tone of voice can feel devastating to the already emotionally wounded. I’ve met several horrible, uncaring psychiatrists and psychologists over the years, I am sorry to say. In my experience, really good, caring, helpful psychiatrists DO exist, but they are in the minority.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Please don’t remove your post. Personally I don’t think there’s anything at all shameful or wrong about what you wrote and you have a right to talk about it. You are getting a lot of sympathy and kudos for your bravery too.

              I can understand you being afraid, especially because it does sound like he inserted hypnotic suggestions into your brain and they were probably not very nice things.
              But the man has been dead for years and it’s HIGHLY unlikely there would be ANY repercussions for your posting about this. In fact, I think it would be a mistake to remove it.

              Give yourself time. It’s scary posting something like that, believe me I know how scary it is, but only good things can come from it. People need to be aware that this sort of thing GOES ON IN THE MENTAL HEALTH FIELD ALL THE TIME.
              I am glad you changed your mind. You did a good thing.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you so much for what you just wrote. I would love a hug, and I also want to remind you that those people who do believe you are the ones that you should stick with. They have the compassion and empathy to understand, or just the pure goodness to want to offer you solace. Recalling memories like that must be terrifying, so they also think you are brave and powerful, to overcome the programming and hypnosis that evil man put into your developing brain. You are showing him who’s really in control by being open about this and by helping others to face their bad memories of those in power abusing them, even if, like me, it was through words alone. You’re right- it did feel like being further emotionally lacerated all over again. My psychologist, Dr K, has been the antidote to that. x

              Liked by 2 people

  5. Alaina, first I want to thank you for being so brave and telling your story so that others who have been through the trauma of abuse like this can know they are not alone. But I also want you to know that you are NOT alone. There are far too many people who suffer abuse at the hands of sociopathic monsters like this, but who believe they are alone or are too afraid to speak out. I am so grateful that you posted a comment on my story of healing after therapist abuse so that I would know that your story is here also. As I read your account of everything that happened, my heart just broke for you! You experience is so incredibly similar to that of other survivors with whom I have corresponded during my own journey to recover from the nightmare of abuse- even down to being blamed for the heinous crimes of this monster! He was a psychopath=- a charming, charismatic man to some and terrifying monster to others. The people who were unfortunate enough to see being his mask of human decency were not believed by everyone else because that is how well these awful people keep up their facade. Have you seen the TELL site (TherapyAbuse.org) or Surviving Therapist Abuse (SurvivingTherapistAbuse.com)? Both have been instrumental to me in healing after therapist abuse. However, I didn’t find these sites until almost a full year after I refused to see the abusive therapist any longer (despite the fact that I had gotten up the courage to see a new therapist and she helped me file the complaint with the board of psych). I found these sites on my own after searching tirelessly for something to help me understand what the hell I had been through.

    I am so grateful that the internet exists and that I have been able to not only find helpful resources to heal from something it seems like so few people understand. But I am also grateful that we, as survivors, can find each other. Thank you for having the courage to tell the story of what happened to you and thank you for not removing it. I know how scary it is to feel so brave an “put yourself out there” only to be wracked with fear shortly afterward. Healing for me was a slow process and it seemed to be full of back and forth progress of feeling brave and then fearful again. I am learning that this process seems to be similar with others. Be patient with yourself as you heal. Be as kind and compassionate with yourself as you would be with another survivor who was going through healing.

    I am very grateful for you, Alaina! Huge hugs to you, fellow survivor!

    Liked by 2 people

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