October is National Bullying Prevention Month, but I’ll bet you knew that.
Last weekend I was in the ER on my preceptorship. Just after midnight, a young male was brought it. He was placed in the ‘psych room.’ The room without any supplies, tables, chairs. Nothing more than a sterile hospital bed with a single fitted sheet.
My preceptor and I entered the room slowly, greeting the young man. The doctor spoke softly and gently to him, asking him what brought him in. The story was heartbreaking.
He was a young man with a history of abandonment. He grew up without the things a normal child has. But he survived, he took care of himself, and he tried to stay positive. Most of the time he kept his mind off of what he didn’t have, but tonight, the pain was unbearable for him.
He openly wept in front of us, telling us that he couldn’t wait to get out of high school. That he couldn’t bear to be called ‘gay’ by members of the sports team on which he plays, how he would never know the love of a father and how he simply wanted to fit in and “survive” high school.
He told us he didn’t fit. He didn’t fit in anywhere. This sense of longing to fit in made him feel incredibly alone.
All I wanted to say to him was that he would fit. Eventually, he would find his place. Eventually, he would find people who celebrated him for who he is and who he would become. I wanted him to know all of this, and that even if it didn’t feel that way right at this moment, he would find his way.
It was heartbreaking to know that he felt he could survive every other obstacle and adversity in his life if only the bullying would end.
It was one of many eye openings moments for me in the ER. This one especially stood out.