If I could use one word to describe how I always felt, from as early as I can remember it is “Misunderstood.” Years back I took a personality test that was to identify the test taker as one primary of four personality types. Two were extroverted, two introverted. My primary trait fell into the Sanguine type. I once heard that this personality enters the room mouth first. I would say that is an accurate statement as this fits me perfectly.
Sanguine personalities are described with words such as “leader, easy going, talkative, outgoing, socialable, responsive.” No arguing, this is my primary personality. On the flip side of that, my second type was the introverted Phlegmatic type. Words that describe the Phlegmatic are “passive, even-tempered, calm, peaceful, reliable.” This is too very much an accurate description of me. Two opposites living inside my mind. Sometimes it is like the old cartoon where you have the little devil and angel sitting on a persons shoulder. I think that these two types very much explain so many things in my life, along with the experiences that I have.
I am often “accused,” of being difficult, stubborn, and unteachable. I have been told that I am a ruthless and go for the jugular. I think this was supposed to be a compliment, but it is hard for me to comprehend that in a positive way. I gather that this is the current me; the younger me however was not like this. Or, perhaps I should say I did not know or understand what I was actually capable of.
As I child, I was being reprimanded daily for talking in class. Every report card, every single year of my primary education, every quarter, that little box was checked, “needs to control talking.” It is comical to me now since I now understand as an adult that translates into “your child needs to SHUT UP!” I talked to talk sometimes. I had a curious mind, I still do. I ask a million questions, because my brain wants to know the “why.” I literally look at a light bulb and chain reaction occurs. I do not just see a light bulb that allows me to see at night. No, my brain goes on a tirade of HOW does that light bulb give me light? What is inside it? Which breaker in my house powers it? Where is the transformer outside that sends current to my house, through my breaker, up the walls of my house, and into my lightbulb. My thought process is like that old nursery rhyme, The House that Jack Built. It is just how I am wired (like I how I made that reference; seriously, no pun intended)!
This crazy way that my brain works has been a phenomenal asset in my career as a nurse. Nursing school was hard, but it was also easy because they taught you to think like I already did. You are taught to question, to have a plan a-z, and then more. This was completely natural to me. I realized in nursing school that it was literally ok and acceptable to question life.
I remember when I was going through my first divorce, my ob/gyn and I were chatting at my annual visit. He very solemnly told me that nurses have one of the highest divorce rates of any profession in the medical field. He said something that sticks with me, even to this day. He said, “the very thing that makes you so incredibly good at your job, can destroy your closest relationships, if others do not understand your heart.” Was he ever right.
In my career, and in my personal life I have gone through, endured, survived, perservered…….so many things. It is ridiculous to think about to be honest. This is not a badge that I wear for glory. It is quite the opposite. Somedays I think I would have been perfectly fine with a perfectly boring, predictable, uneventful life up to this point. Just to give you a brief glimpse of what life has dealt, since the age of 18 I have been married three times, divorced twice; I have been bankrupt and broke; I had four children, two of which have come close to death. One at birth due to an unexpected defect that I was told was terminal (she is 12 now); the other, diagnosed a Type I diabetic a month before his 6th birthday. I live every day knowing that I could receive a call to inform me that he slipped into a diabetic coma due to low blood sugar, and has passed. THIS is my reality. In a span of 10 years, I lost 10 family members. Two of which were my grandmother and my biological father, both of which I witnessed passing from this earth to the next. I had to make that decision to stop prolonging their suffering, for both. I have cried with mothers whose babies died before they took a breath. I have made friends with those patients who are MY heroes. I have seen a husband leave my unit defeated because the happiest day of his life, turned into a horror movie when his wife and newborn daughter died during delivery. I have seen some shit to say the least. This is my journey; my reality.
Still, I move on. I embrace life and all it has to offer. I know that in a single moment everything can change. ALL these experiences have shaped who I am today. I am not stubborn, I am not unteachable. I am very teachable. I desire and want feedback so that I can be a better version of myself. I just may not see the need to fret or stress over things that are trivial.
I have a zero tolerance for games, for pettiness and for what I perceive to be childish and selfish behavior. I think this is because of what I have endured. I would like to think that I am the same sweet, innocent, big hearted girl that I was 20 years ago. I am not sure that I am now. Perhaps, I am just more wise. I know I am mis-understood. I wish I was not. I am viewed by some as a bitch; as a difficult person that wants to challenge another. This absolutely could not be further from the truth. I simply have no issue calling another out on their “bull-shit.”
This used to bother me. I thought that I inherently was the problem. I am such a people-pleaser that if someone was unhappy, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was the problem. You know what I have realized……I am not always the problem. There are those with much bigger demons than I. The difference, they choose not to acknowledge them. I do. That may surprise some, but I truly do acknowledge my shortcomings.
I suppose that I have stepped outside of my own box for so long to see the bigger picture, that I simply cannot comprehend those who do not. I don’t care anymore. I decided a long time back to live unapologetically. Life is too fucking short to do otherwise.
I am too much for some. I know this. I am genuinely ok with that. I have come to understand that I am a girl who is mis-understood…..guess what??? There are a million more like me…….