I read a long post this morning about what it's like to be a nurse, and found it incredibly interesting. It filled in a perspective that I had not heard. And yet I spent lots of time talking with nurses during my father's long hospital stay in 2002, and my own -- the same year.
Back then, I had an epiphany about people who work in hospitals, who work in conditions most of us find incomprehensible, helping people in unimaginable pain, unimaginable until it's time for you to deal with it. The epiphany is that it must be wonderful to see the good you do, so clearly. In my own field, software development, it can be hard to feel how you're helping. In fact you get a lot of people sharing pain with you they can't find other outlets for. I learned in reading the post that it's the same in nursing.
While their work is gratifying and grounding, it's also grueling and abusive. She told the story so well, so personally. Yet in the comments people found many things to complain about. She just shared her point of view, wrote a blog post, and it was good, and of course the trolls gave her hell for it.
It's important to feel free to tell your story even if it cues up other people's permission to be jerks. Oh this person is showing vulnerability. Let's make her pay! I get it all the time. I've been getting it since I started blogging in 1994. I still do it, because it's what I do. I couldn't stop, even though I've tried, any more than I could stop breathing.
I don't have a solution, other than to say it helps to stand beside people who put themselves out there. The world is rough. That doesn't mean you can't share what you see. It just means it's important to feel the support. I want to provide what little of that I can, through this post.
What bloggers are guilty of -- always -- is telling their story imperfectly. It's the imperfections that make it interesting, and human -- and worth it.
Keep on truckin!
It's not like anyone gets out of this alive.