heartless bottle

Honestly, nurses are hard to love

This is dove-tailing off the post by @polyandthenomials

In a normal relationship, when you get home from work you sit down and tell each other about your day. But when you’re a nurse, most of your stories are either gross or sad. You usually opt for the gross stories because you feel guilty about sharing the sad ones because you don’t want your partner to have to carry that with them. We carry it around all day every day, and we don’t want to burden someone else with it. But if we don’t burden other people with it, that means we keep it to ourselves. And that can make us distant, and tired, and cold. All of those things we aren’t supposed to be because we’re nurses. So sometimes we come to tumblr to share it because we know there are people out there who will understand. And sometimes we get criticized for it. Called bad nurses. Called heartless. So we bottle it up again. And the cycle continues.

But back to why it’s hard to love a nurse. We work long hours that are physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. We have to be at the top of our game for 12.5 consecutive hours. And some of us do it in the middle of the night. I joke with my fiancé that I pretty much just live in a perpetual state of jet lag. And that means that I rarely have the energy to cook or clean or shop. Throughout our entire relationship, we have been very passionate about keeping things equal. But now that I’ve started work, they’re not equal. He has to shoulder some of it, because I simply can’t.

Aside from that, there’s the normal human response to being exhausted. Sometimes I snap at him when I shouldn’t. Sometimes I’m cranky. Other times it manifests itself as anxiety. Not to mention that my eating schedule is all kinds of messed up, which comes with its own set of “side effects.”

I guess what we’re trying to say is that we recognize that sometimes it takes extra energy to love us. It takes patience. It takes attempting to understand something that you could never really know. It takes understanding that sometimes we can’t tell you about our day. Understanding that I’ve been awake for 24 hours and barely made it home in one piece, and all I want is a shower and my bed.

It’s hard to love us, but we need it. We can take care of ourselves, but we need to know that someone is there to listen to the unspeakable, and to pick up the slack we lay down, and to show us light and laughter and hope outside the four walls of our hospitals. We don’t need to be coddled or let off the hook for our mistakes. We just need a little grace after spending 12 hours knowing any little mistake could mean a life. We need grace.

My mother calls me heartless, but she made me this way.
—  Posted by Anonymous