Gordon Darr: How Sexual Trauma Became A Boulder Blocking My Life

14 Oct 2022 • 97 min • EN
97 min
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What I know about trauma is that nearly all of us carry something in our psyches. Almost everyone you know has some part of their past that overwhelmed their emotional capacity to understand and process it and became trauma. Not all trauma is the horrific kind of rape or shooting or a tragic accident. These are the kinds of events plastered across the news that garner the most public attention.  Sometimes the experiences are more subtle but no less hurtful.  I"ve known today"s guest, Gordon Darr, for three decades. But what I didn"t know about my friend is astounding. For most of Gordon"s adult life, from age 19 to only a few years ago, Gordon kept quiet about an experience so horrific but which he buried so deep inside him,  that, as he says, "changed the trajectory of my life."  As Gordon shares in this episode of Interesting Humans, a visit to a highly respected physician at the University of Michigan, turned into a traumatic nightmare that impacted all aspects of his life for the next forty-plus years.  As a 19-year-old UM student,  he visited a doctor who was then head of the University of Michigan"s University Health Services, Dr. Robert Anderson, for what he was told was gonorrhea. He didn"t see Anderson in a patient room, but in his office, where the doctor allegedly sexually molested him, not once but three times before Gordon canceled further visits. He confided in a UM nurse practitioner, who dismissed his concerns.  When Gordon brought it up with a few other students whom he thought might also have had similar experiences with Anderson, they refused to talk about it.  Anderson, who died in 2008, was the subject of a probe by the University of Michigan police, who turned their investigation over to the Washtenaw County prosecutor. Anderson was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of Michigan students, mostly men and many of whom were UM scholarship athletes, during his time as head of health services from 1968 until he retired in 2003. Anderson was never prosecuted despite the statements from hundreds of former UM Students because, according to the County Prosecutor, the statute of limitations on the alleged offenses expired. The University has proposed a $490 million settlement to Anderson"s alleged victims.  The case bears an uncanny resemblance to similar cases at Michigan State, Ohio State, and the University of Southern California where innocent and sometimes naive students and student-athletes were sexually assaulted by medical authorities under the guise of appropriate medical examinations.  He reflects on how the experience impacted his interpersonal relationships in his career, his marriage and divorce, and even to how he raised his two daughters.  I hope you connect with this kind, humble man who shares for the first time on a large scale publicly the details of this one terrible event and its impact across the decades of his life.  Gordon"s is a tale of deep hurt and of redemption through hard work done in counseling and with the help of close friends, and eventually through the blending of his passion for music and teaching in the founding of his successful Website: https://christianrward.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christianrward/

From "Interesting Humans"

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