fbpx

The Late Night Texts

Holly MacKenna, MD shares a story of how an unwelcomed text reminds a female of physician of past traumas and leads to an unexpected opportunity for post traumatic growth.

August 7, 2022

“What’s that Mommy?”

My heart sank as I saw the vulgarity cross my phone screen as my young daughter sat beside me.

Hey Holly….

I quickly swiped the screen before she could see.

Sometimes I get so horny for you

My mind raced. Was this really from Dave?! The retired guy from my last job who I considered a work colleague? Someone I had only interacted with when asking for business advice via email?  The same man to whom I’d passed my number when I learned of his retirement, with plans to maybe grab a coffee “to catch up” the next time he was on campus?

Should I make an appointment at darawellnessnola to discuss with you?

Surely his phone must have been hacked. Or maybe mine had been. The mention of my work made me wonder if someone had gotten our information from a shared social media site.

You too?

As I continued to swipe the messages off, I shooed my daughter away, and the texts got more and more explicit and disturbing. They described things he wanted to do to me, in details I am unable to share without myself being blocked or canceled. Worse yet were the suggestions that I’d like it and wanted it all along.

 

The texts got more and more explicit and disturbing. They described things he wanted to do to me, in details I am unable to share without myself being blocked or canceled. Worse yet were the suggestions that I’d like it and wanted it all… Click To Tweet

 

I quickly deleted the texts and blocked the number. Later that night, as my family slept soundly on what had been a relaxing vacation, I found myself getting up to check the door and window locks in our bed and breakfast. My mind raced, then settled on a memory I’d forgotten.

I was in my early thirties, a psychiatry resident in my outpatient clinical year, and I spent a few days a week within a private hospital network seeing patients at a lower-cost residency clinic. My dark office was at the end of a quiet hallway, downstairs from the busy attending clinic. Only a few other residents were around when I would lead my patients there to engage in 30-minute medication management visits.

 

Ad from SoMeDocs.

Don’t Settle for Boring Health Resources

Ad from SoMeDocs.

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

 

I sat across from a 50-something white man who sneered as he glanced down my young body, and up again. “I looked up how much this time costs, and I could have you for a night for that.” I held my breath as I recalled the younger version of me who was stunned into silence. At that point in her career, she had been shamed and punished any time she fell out of line from how her male attendings felt a female doctor should behave. I watched through time as she did her best to move past the comment and continue the visit as she believed she had to do. I ached for her broken spirit and her lost voice.

 

I held my breath as I recalled the younger version of me who was stunned into silence. At that point in her career, she had been shamed and punished any time she fell out of line from how her male attendings felt a female doctor should… Click To Tweet

 

The next morning, I opened my work iPad, which I had forgotten was synced with my phone. There they were – the deleted texts, only this time I saw what he had added after I turned off the phone.

Read and delete Holly

Let’s f**k soon

I noticed in the original text that he mentioned being out of town, and a quick social media search confirmed that this was true. There had been no hack. This was not a nightmare I could erase once I opened my eyes. He had written the texts.

 

There had been no hack. This was not a nightmare I could erase once I opened my eyes. He had written the texts. Click To Tweet

 

I thought again of that young resident in the dark hallway who had been silenced by fear.

I studied the texts and noted he had mentioned my practice. My fear and embarrassment quickly changed to anger. NOT AGAIN.

Text and delete girl

I refused to surrender my power and to shrink away. I would not text and delete. I would not stay silent. Instead, I reached out to my tribe of girlfriends who surrounded me with their support and strength. With their guidance, I formulated a message to send Dave using a shared social media messaging platform.

I advised him that, rather than following his order to “text and delete” I had sent his messages to my attorney, and I had shared his image with my business office personnel. I advised him to seek help and expressed my hope that this would be a lesson to him – one that would prevent another woman from being subjected to vulgarity and subsequent feelings of violation.

After sending the message, I closed my iPad. I felt my lungs fill with air as I emerged from a sea of shame that had been drowning me since I received the initial text.  Just then, my daughter joined me, took my hand, and led me outside toward a land of freedom and play.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty with the hope lessons have been learned and behaviors have begun to change.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

The Unhappy Physician

The Unhappy Physician

Daniel Paull MD explains why he thinks that despite what the public thinks, most physicians are unhappy.

Social Dissections

[SERIES] Social Dissections

Join us in a visual and audio show, where we host light conversations with some of today’s standout healthcare experts.

David Norris, MD, MBA

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Brand Your Social Media Content in a Day

Doctors Exploring Social Media

Raw and real social media-related questions, discussed in a video collection, hosted by Dana Corriel, MD, over a casual – but fun! – virtual setting.

Olga Calof, MD

Olga Calof, MD

My philosophy of care is to personally connect with patients, so we can work together to understand their disease, how it should be treated, and how to modify lifestyle choices to live the best life possible.

Judith Hong, MD

Judith Hong, MD

A board-certified dermatologist who loves and teaches mindful art classes, dance, and Reiki.

Deborah Gutman, MD, MPH

Deborah Gutman, MD, MPH

I coach and mentor pre-health and medical students with a growth mindset for successful applications to medical school and residency.

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up our content & grow

Earn CME

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for earning CME (through CMEfy). Please check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can earn more CME’s reading our content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.