Larry Nassar, The Cut, by Kerry Howley

In my on-going interest with the Larry Nassar serial sexual molestation case, I am posting a recent and thorough story here. (see below for link to prior blog post on this subject) 

Like others, I have been horrified to hear of the systemic failure, multiple agencies that facilitated Nassar a conveyor belt of young females. There are lessons to be learned here. 

Six takeaways: 1) Victims usually know their perpetrator 2) Victims usually love their perpetrator 3) Family members of the victim often defend the perpetrator 4) Persons in authority roles are often blindly trusted, even in the face of reason to distrust 5) Abuse usually takes place in plain sight 6)Victims usually feel guilty for reporting, often forever 

  • ...In sports medicine the caliber of athlete one treats is taken to be correlated with curative power. Hospitals pay millions of dollars for the privilege of treating sports teams; UC–San Diego Health, for example, pays $1 million to treat the Padres.
  • Nassar’s accumulation of more than 37,000 images suggests an unusual level of deviance even among pedophiles. According to a sentencing memorandum issued by federal prosecutors for the Western District of Michigan, these images form a particularly “graphic” and “hard-core” collection, including children as young as infants and images of children being raped by adults.
  • It did not sound normal, for instance, that every week after practice, Jane had driven her daughter to a white three-bedroom house with green shutters, next to many identical houses in a development on a quiet street in Holt, Michigan, and taken her to see a man in the basement of that house. It didn’t seem normal that he never billed for these visits or that he always had hot chocolate waiting.
  • It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women.
  • If this is a story of institutional failure, it is also a story of astonishing individual ingenuity. Larry Nassar was good at this. His continued success depended on deceiving parents, fellow doctors, elite coaches, Olympic gatekeepers, athletes, and, with some regularity, law enforcement. 

And this on NPR, Gaslighting, November 12, 2018: 

"Instead of denying anything, he admits it; he says he did touch her breasts and vagina, but says it wasn't sexual. It was medical." This is Larry's playbook. He hammers his credentials and bombards the investigator with complicated medical terms about his techniques.


New Movie Recommendations:

How to Overcome the Entrepeneurial Gap

Ask yourself: “Where were you two years ago?" Rather than being future goal-orientated, remember who you were two years ago. Celebrate how much you come over the last two years.


Getting to Better Know Your Partner - Pre-Marital Questions

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

Modern Love

 "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This."

In Mandy Len Catron's Modern Love essay, "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This," she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.
The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study's authors, "One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure." Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
The final task Ms. Catron and her friend try - staring into each other's eyes for four minutes - is less well documented, with the suggested duration ranging from two minutes to four. But Ms. Catron was unequivocal in her recommendation. "Two minutes is just enough to be terrified," she told me. "Four really goes somewhere."

Set I
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Set II
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "We are both in this room feeling ... "
26. Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share... "
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.


Self-Care When Feeling Out of Control, Emotionally Dysregulated, or Triggered

Critical self-care and personal safety in the time of societal triggers: get outside, touch the ocean, call a friend, cry, play music, join in a support group, whiff essential oils, ground yourself with anchoring techniques, do a headstand or deep knee bends, turn off news, pet your dog, write the feelings, make a complicated soup, don’t make big decisions, wash your car, apply an ice-pack to your neck or a heating pad to your tummy, verbally set clear physical boundaries with partners for today, keep it simple, call me.

Who knew? Just a fun read...
The Brilliant, Playful, Bloodthirsty Raven - The Tower of London's Ravenmaster


Free and Open to the Public, Meditation and Mindfulness Event

Mindfulness and Guided Relaxation
Join Me in a Drop-In Meditation Hour
This is offered as open-office hours on the following dates and times.
Monday, October 1st 10:30am
Monday, October 8th, Noon
Thursday, October 11th, 10:00am
Friday, October 26th, 9:00am
Offered at no cost. All levels of experience welcome.
2777 Jefferson #201, Carlsbad, CA 760.522.5659

RSVP your interest
Christina Neumeyer, LMFT