“Doc, I want you to check her down there to see if she has ever had sex before. You can do that, can’t you?” He spoke to me outside the exam room. His almost whispered words down there signaled his extreme discomfort with the subject matter, his 14 year old daughter’s lady parts.
“Ugh. Well.” I sighed. “Yes and no. Yes, I can look at her vagina and see if she has a hymen. But its presence or absence alone cannot determine virginity.” I went on to explain why absence of the hymen could occur from active sports, use of a tampon… Hell, she could have even been born that way.
“But we caught a boy in the house when no one else was home. I just need to know I can trust her.”
“I understand, but what if a hymen isn’t there?”
“I’ll kill her!” I could see he was speaking in the metaphorical sense, though still clearly angry.
Did you hear anything I said?
“No you won’t. You will still love her because she is still your little girl.”
His face softened a bit. “I still want to know.”
“Look, it’s her body. Forcing her to undergo an exam of this nature is akin to rape, even if she is a minor, and it sends the wrong message to her about who is is control of her body. I won’t be the one to do it.”
I always hate being asked to do these things. It makes me feel dirty and ill and twists my insides up into knots.
He couldn’t see it quite yet, but this was not about a boy. Not really. It was so much more…
Your relationship with your daughter is jacked up and you both are lost. You don’t know your way back anymore.
Typically, I get a belligerent verbal attack or threats of leaving my practice if I don’t do what is asked, maybe a report against me to the state medical board. This time, though, he took my offered list of family counselors and actually looked at the names listed there.
Maybe there is hope for these two?