date of testimony: January 16th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
statement read by court official Ms Snyder
Honorable judge, I did not choose to have him as my doctor. I was not star struck by the magazine covers with him in them framed in medical exam rooms. I didn’t know who he was. I was a no name high school athlete that got injured during practice and was sent to see him due to a referral.
What he did physically to me for three years is nothing in comparison to what I have emotionally and mentally endured.
I still have medical issues that he was supposed to be treating me for but failed. I do not trust doctors because of how he took advantage of me for his own sick pleasures. I do not trust people to know that this story belongs to me as he makes me feel dirty, disgusting, and ashamed.
What he did to me has damaged my future as I do not find myself worthy of love. I see myself as damaged and tainted. Therefore, it has been hard to let someone else love me as I do not love myself.
I cannot say exactly where I would be today if this had not happened to me. Knowing the path that I was on before he abused me compared to where I am now is like night and day.
Before I met Larry Nassar I was an honor roll student, socially active, involved in many groups, and volunteered. When it came to my senior year, when I stopped seeing Larry Nassar, I barley graduated high school. I lost the ambition and the vision I had for my future.
This has caused me the loss of many relationships. I cannot look at my mother the same. I called my mother after talking to an attorney and she expressed how relieved she was that I was doing something about what he did to me. I was so confused. After talking with her more about it, she knew what he was doing but thought it was a medical procedure just like everyone else. She said that it made her uncomfortable and that is why she stopped going to my appointments. I felt abandoned. I lost faith and trust in her role as a mother.
Since this has come out it has made me very hypervigilant on whether anyone knows who I am, who can I trust to tell, and how do I tell them something like this? Also, if I do tell them, what if someone overhears? Will people look at me differently? Will people judge me or will they pity me because they feel bad?
Larry Nassar manipulated me psychologically. He made me deny how I felt when I was screaming inside to stop what was happening because he acted so calm like nothing ever happened.
He made me trust him and not second-guess his medical procedure.
There are things in my past that I am not proud of. This has made me question what all details to include on how this has changed me for fear of being judged. I would never have to worry about these details if I never had to live the nightmare of Larry Nassar being my doctor.
Even though I am not a famous gymnast, I still matter, and my story is relevant. I hurt too.
With all of the media attention on gymnasts and not what he did has taken the focus away and may deter girls like me to come forward and deny that something has happened to them as they are not a gymnast.
THE COURT: In regard to victim 48, there is no shame in what happened. There is no one going to see you as dirty or disgusting or unworthy of love. There is light and love and comfort.
This is not something that you caused. This happened to you. It wasn’t your choosing. Defendant didn’t have your permission, and, simply, you were too young to know. The blaming of yourself needs to stop, and today after this statement, that was very well written, you need to have that same strength as you leave this courthouse and rebuild your life.
It’s a common thread that I hear that victims of any criminal sexual conduct crime feel dirty, disgusting, ashamed, unloved, but I assure you no one feels that about you, and every day when you look in the mirror you need to say to yourself that you love yourself and everybody here loves you and all the victims. That’s why we’ve all come together globally, a strong, united voice, so I thank you for your words. I’m hopeful that you get stronger every day and realize that there’s no shame in being a victim, and there’s only strength in coming forward and being the role model for others.
There is shame in not reporting and not standing up for yourself and others, perhaps, but not today, not here. You all have honor. You start anew.