Let me start by saying that I am sorry that it has been a few weeks since I last posted anything here. I am not going to go in to some long winded BS about why I have not posted but I will say that life kind of got away from me these few weeks. I am sorry and I will try to do better at posting. I will try.
Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get on to the blog. In this blog I am going to talk about some stuff that might upset some people. I am not going to put any official trigger warnings or the like though. For those who know me in real life most likely know my feelings on the concept of trigger warning. For those whom do not I will talk about them very briefly. I am not a fan. I believe that if we hide from that may upset or even trigger us, there is no way for us to become resilient against it and if there is a person(s) or thing that has caused these feelings to be, running away from them or avoiding things that “trigger us” is just letting that person(s) or thing have yet more control over us. To win again, so to speak. I for one do not want to give that person(s)or thing that power anymore. That being said, I am not a complete asshole. If talking/reading about dysphonia, depression, and/or accidental trans-phobia are just things that you are not in the right headspace to deal with and you feel that you can not read/talk about them right now I will not judge you for stopping right now. I promise. All I ask is that you come back when you are in a better place and try to read it then. That is all. Like I said (or think I said and if not I am saying it right now) I want TransKarissaRN.com to be a place that is safe for everyone but a place that dose not let us as people get complacent. Unfortunately that sometimes means pushing a bit.
So, school. I am almost halfway done with my quarter and at the time of writing this I am less then 30weeks from graduation. I am not going to lie. That is both exciting and scary. My courses are all now completely nursing focused and the work…well the work sucks. There is no sugar coating it. It is a lot and it seems to be unending. To say that after school there are few professions that can relate to Sisyphus more then nurses. While were are pushing these bolders of reading and memorization up that fucking hill, we are rewarded by seeing in roll back down as yet another mountain of reading and memorization lay at our feet. It is far to easy to loose site why we ever thought this was a good idea in the first place. The only thing that keeps most of us going is that we catch a glimpse of why we are doing this. This is what happened to me today.
During this quarter we are spending two of our clinical days in lab so we can learn some nursing skills that me do not get to practice on site. Two of these skills are foley placement and IV starts. Full discloser, I have been trained in both and I teach the first at my full time gig as part of my preceptor work. This should be good review for me and that is how I ultimately looked at it. After our instructors showed us how they wanted us to do them we split off into groups and started practicing. Here is where my “glimpse of why” came in. As I have done these skill for a while (although it has been a while since I did actual IV starts) the other people in my group asked if they could go first. In short order I suddenly went from student to teacher. I want to make sure I let everyone know RIGHT NOW that this was done our of ego or thinking that I know better then anyone. I made sure that I did not or was not coming across as either of those things but checking in with a few of my fellow students who I knew would not have ANY issue putting me in my place if I did. This was about 45 minuets into the class and from that point on I taught every station. Not only that I had everyone in the class asking me to explain what to do for each skill. I am not going to lie. I LOVED IT!!! Part of the reason that I got into this field (or am going into the field) is because of the education portion of it. As a nurse, patient and staff education is a very large portion of your time. I love being able to see that “holy shit, I GET IT NOW!” look of people’s faces. A few time during class I was pulled aside by random students and told that if I get sick of nursing I NEED to teach. That made my heart happy. I knew that I was doing something right. The instructors did not seem to mind. They were sitting off and grading stuff, I think. My people needed help and I was there to help them. That is why I do this.
That is was good but now to the not so good. I have been out at my work for over a month now. I have not had any issue or even the hiccup beyond people getting used to the name and pronoun change. Even that is getting better. It was not until today that I had an issue happen. As policy, when a doctor preforms certain procedures of a patient, especially one of the opposite gender, a person of that gender is to be present as well. The most common example is that if a male doctor is doing a pelvic exam then a female staff must be present. This is for not only the patient’s safety and comfort but also the doctor’s. Today one of our doctors came out of a patient’s cube with a look on his face that is not uncommon. When I asked him what he needed, he told me “a chaperone, I mean I need…where is the nurse. No offence.” I shook it off and flagged down the first cis female I could find for him. I am going to stop here for a moment. This man is not a horrible person. He is not an asshat. He is by far one of my dreariest work friends. He is the kind of doctor that I would trust anyone with at anytime and any ware. To his credit also, he tracked me down after and apologized because he knew how shitty he sounded. I know he was sincere in his apology.
I finished my shift and went off to school. What I did not want to show people is how much that truly hurt me. What makes it worse is, I get it. In the moment is was about patient comfort, or that is how I think it was justified. I am not going to put a patient in a situation that they are not comfortable with for what I or someone else may see or perceive as my own vanity. But still. What this said to me is that, I was not enough of a woman for my team/doctor/patient at that moment. If I was not enough of a woman in that moment, how about at all? This started to spiral. Ok, it was already spiraling in my head before this. This just kicked it into full spin. I kept having the thought that “I am nothing more then a dude in a dress, a cock in a frock” I was a fraud. I will never be a real woman. I will just be this shit thing and that is all. Why do I even try?
I know that those of you reading this who are trans may be able to relate. If not, I am beyond jealous of you . It is not the headspace that anyone wants to be in. When I was feeling so good about the woman that I was becoming, I get knocked down. One step forward, one (or more) steps back. As I said, I highly doubt, and will go as far as I know (as much as anyone can know) that is was not meant at all how it came across. It still cut nun the less.
So what happens now? Well, I am not sure. I know that I am valid no matter if I pass or not. I know that I am valid regardless of how others see me. I know that I am becoming not only the woman I was meant to be but also the person I was meant to be. I know all these things. I also know that it suck when shit like this happens. I will rise from this. It will not end the world or me. I will take it in stride and keep moving forward in as much, if not more, grace then I think I may have. I am not going to let this set back win or beat me.
If you are going through this or something simple know that you too are valid not matter what. You are loved and you are worth the time and effort. You are loved and you are amazing! If you feel that no one in your life loves you, PLEASE know that I do.