Thankful

So we are into the month of November. Where at the end of the month we celebrate giving Thanks here in the USA. On social media on Nov 1st people start putting on their timelines Day 1: I’m thankful for…. and so on.

Well…my turn. I’ll say one thing that sums up everything. I’m thankful that I am a nurse. Why?

I make decent money that I can get by, have a roof over my head, etc. It also gives me a chance to see the country and travel (as a travel nurse). But I’m also thankful that I am able to witness people struggle with drug addiction (alcohol, crack, etc). It reminds me that it can happen to ANYONE, at any given time-for any given reason (though some are more prone to addiction than others).

3) I’m thankful that I am able to witness people (young and old) die. Die from disease, die from traumatic injuries. It reminds me and makes me thankful for today. Tomorrow is never promised to ANYONE.

4) I’m thankful for witnessing people try to conquer Cancer. Giving them good news or bad news and witnessing the support that my patients receive from staff, from their family, from their friends, from they church members (if they belong to a church). It makes me thankful for all the people in my life. Even when I tend to be anti-social, I know I can reach out to friends.

5) I’m thankful to witness people with mental illness. Be it in a depression episode. Be it in a manic episode where they cannot control the random, rapid thoughts that go thru their heads. I’ve work with people who laughed at those patients. I told my co-workers that it’s not funny. Can you just imagine being in their head and how crazy that must feel? So I’m thankful that I am able to see it and thankful that I am not dealing with it.

6) In two months, I have the opportunity to go overseas to Madagascar and donate my time, my skills to those that need it. I will spend two months volunteering. Two-three months of not being paid back here at home, etc…to lend my services. I am thankful that I have a job that allows me to give back. I am lucky. Blessed. And privileged.

7) Just general older patients. Seeing them get by and get around and I’m thankful that I have that possibility eventually. Though I predict that I probably won’t live past 50 or 60.

Yes…I’m thankful for my job because my job makes me realize that I’m thankful for EVERYTHING else in life!!

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To write a memoir or not write a memoir?

In my previous post, I mentioned about writing a memoir. There are so many things that go into writing a memoir:

  • Who am I writing it for?
  • What’s it’s purpose?
  • Who would be in it?
  • What time would it surround?
  • Who could be offended?
  • Who would approve/disapprove?

Other questions often go through my mind as well:

  • What if it’s not interesting enough?
  • what if people do not like it?
  • What if I do not like it?
  • Will I regret it after I click submit?
  • Will I be too vulnerable after I write it?
  • Is it worth it, to open up?

Among other questions and concerns. I certainly go through many more thoughts than just those listed. Which is why I go back and forth.

Telling my story to people, just in general conversation-a lot of people are impressed that I have made it well for myself. They often tell me that I have a lot to offer other people that would help them through their situations. I once worked with a friend who was going to school for neuro psych. She needed volunteers to run thru her tests/study. I said sure without knowing the full details but she had me in mind to begin with because of my family history vs my personal being, etc. These were general tests, almost like IQ tests. She told me, “I think you would be good for the study because of your background.” And of course, as I mentioned in my last post-my 9th grade English teacher said that I should write one.

I came from a broken home. My father left when I was about 3. There was question of him doing some inappropriate things, however-I do not know him, so I cannot speak on that. Eventually my mother re-married. My step-father had 4 boys. One of which did something inappropriate with my sister. The other, sexually assaulted me when I was 7 (he was about 18). My step-father physically choked my mother. We spent 3 months in a Woman’s and Children’s Shelter. Only to leave and one morning my mother woke us up from a deep sleep, we took the city bus to the greyhound station to take another bus 5-6-7 hours to my step-fathers house in another state. They would fight, we would move back to our home state-the wound make up, we wound move back with my step-father; fight and leave, make up and go back. Back and forth, multiple times. In fact, I was held back in the SAME year at the two schools; the teacher in my home state said it was because I was “missing too much school” (though I wasn’t); the one in my step-father’s state said it was because they “couldn’t understand me”.

By the way, I was born with cleft lip & cleft palate. I was a preemie, I had about 15/16 surgeries from about 6 weeks until I was about 18. I had a rhinoplasty (nose job) when I was 14. So I looked physically different from my peers. I had/have a speech impediment. I was suicidal from about 9 until I was about 13 years old. I was suspended from school 3 times; including fighting with a boy. I was physically assaulted in middle school, while the teacher was present and did nothing to stop it.

I eventually did go to high school, I managed to go to 4 different high schools in a year and a half (my mother called herself a gypsy). I, however, never felt like I fit in. I eventually dropped out of high school; took my GED. Moved on the other side of the country without a job or perm place to live-by myself. Sooner or later-I made my way into college-eventually graduating Nursing School and now I’m a nurse that travels.

My mother had a mental illness, often self medicated with alcohol. Won a large amount of money at BINGO, bought a bar, lost the bar. Was never physically abusive but had her share of being emotionally abusive/manipulative.

Every now and again, I read on a cleft lip/palate board of someone struggling. Struggling with life. Wanting to give up. Hating people. Hating themselves. Hating the way they look. Hating the way they sound. Hating the way people are treating them. Not being able to see the bigger picture in life. That life can be good. When I read things like that, I want to write the memoir. But I think will those types even read it?

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