It never really goes away does it?

I can vividly remember my first little boyfriend. I was in grade 5. I was thrilled. Then monday came around and he broke up with me. Why? Because he “was scared of what people might think”. And you know what?! He picked the blond haired blue eyed chick down the street.

The first big confidence hit.

The little girl with an oversized head of hair, bad haircut and big buck teeth. Ugh I remember how self conscious that moment made me. It stayed with me for a really long time.

Then the acne, afro and insecurities followed me to middle school. I was teased and tried to mask how sad it made me feel (how insecure it made me) with a loud boisterous personality. Cheer built my confidence, kept me out of trouble and gave me something to work towards. Not to mention my amazing group of girlfriends (my HGs).

In high school my attitude flipped. I was worth it. I knew I was an amazing human. I dated a cute guy. I had amazing friends. I stood up for victims of bullying. I was definitely in the “in” group. And used my connections for good. I didn’t care what people thought. The innate calling to always do the right thing (regardless of how difficult it got) started to surface.

I was lucky enough to accept the elusive Irving paper summer student position in University. Frig I worked hard. I couldn’t wear a tank, or fitted clothes or guys would tease tease tease. I worked hard and by the end of the summer earned the respect of my shift. That didn’t prevent one of the big honchos from trying to discourage my second and third summers due to my “small body structure” and “risk to injury”. F&%@ that. I did everything that the other “male” and larger female students did. Frig in some cases more. Sexism at its finest. I had to work double time just to keep my position. Luckily I spent four years in high school rebuilding myself confidence and self worth. They kept me.

You think once adulthood is reached the nonsense stops. It doesn’t.

There is clicks in nursing. Sometimes your in, sometimes your out. But we have an unspoken respect for each other. What we have seen. What we have overcome. Patients we have lost. The bad days we can’t bring home to our family. There is a bond. I miss that. Working in a hospital. On a unit.

Correctional nursing is hard. The medical team is small so one body down and we feel the strain. Advocating for our marginalized clients daily. Its exhausting.

Intermingling with COs all day is much different then other nurses at the hospital. It is hard to gain acceptance.

You know as grown ups we should just be professional. It is okay to “not like” a colleague. But to gossip and spread hatred for someone is not okay. To be rude to colleague (or bully) a colleague– Not OK. Our kids are watching us. How we act, what we say. I choose to be role model for my kids.

Written because lateral violence has been present in every single stage in my life. Its how we persevere and respond that matters. “Nevertheless she persevered”.

H

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