When I started in my ward, I thought the in-charge must’ve hated me. It’s like I never did anything right. Everything that I do is wrong for her. I always hear something from her. It’s either I failed to do this or that, or I forgot to do this, where’s my head, what kind of memory do I have, etc. But when I do things right, she never say anything. So I do everything just to keep out of her sight. When she’s around, I pretended to be busy. I can only breathe normally when she leaves or when I’m on night duty. I hate her so much. But I never let her get into me. The more she criticizes me, the more I’m showing her that I’m better than she thought.
One time, I was so pissed off I told my Mom I want to resign. I told her how my in-charge treats me. My Mom said not to let things get into me. Maybe the reason why she’s doing that is because she knows that I’m really good. Yeah, right. Good for nothing is more like it.
So I stayed and endured her criticisms. I became stoic. I got used to her constant nagging. But I was always saying out loud that I want to resign. One time, I gave her a form for her to fill out. It’s a form that came from one licensing body in UAE allowing me to practice Nursing in the other Emirates. After 4 months, since I gave her the form, I (accidentally) found (the form) lying in her office when she asked me to find her lost keys. I felt so mad and betrayed that I confronted her. I showed her the form.
Me: “Ma’am, I thought you signed this and sent it to the Ministry of Health? Why is it still here?”
In-Charge: “Oh, ah…about that one, yes. I’ve actually thought about it and I’ve decided not to show it to the Director of Nursing because if she sees that, she’ll know you’ll resign.”
Me: “Don’t I even have the right to decide?”
In-Charge: “Yes, I know but um, you see, we want you here.”
Me: “I want to go.”
She wasn’t able to say anything after that. I was really furious. I feel like a prisoner. I feel stucked and I can’t even do something about it.
After that incident, she mellowed down on me. I now hold her in the neck. She did the most terrible thing to me. I can take her constant criticism, but I can’t take her betrayal.
One friend of mine, a Lab Tech, knew what happened. She told me, “You know what, when someone criticizes you so much, it means that you’re so good that they constantly challenge how good you are. Don’t worry, I get criticized too by my in-charge frequently. But see, she’s more confident in me than in my other colleagues. The next time she criticizes you, just think, she criticizes you because you’re good.”
The number of nursing staff in our ward is enough and my in-charge is not asking our Director of Nursing for additional nurses. I’m about to be transferred to the other ward. But she told me, “I’m keeping you. I requested this staff to be promoted as Senior Nurse so you can be absorbed here.”
I don’t know if she’s just saying that because she did me wrong or she really thinks I’m good.
Frankly, I don’t want to be transferred because my friends are in that ward. But I’m thinking, it’s better that I be transferred than to stay with an in-charge that I don’t trust.
But then I thought about what my Mom and my Lab Tech friend told me. Could it really be that I’m good?
There are times that I can see right through her armor. Beneath that facade is a delicate human being that thrives (too much) for respect and authority that she creates an invisible protective shield that hides a certain degree of weakness and propels anyone who dare challenge her. But underneath that hard shell is a soft spot, a kind person, someone who believes in what a person is truly capable of.
She’s much nicer to me now than before. I learned a lot from her. She made me stronger, tougher. In this foreign country, one must learn how to survive. She just trained me on how to fight for myself, not to quit when I find myself in a difficult situation. And I know that she believes in my capabilities. I may not hear it from her, but I can see through her actions.
She may have been my TORMENTOR. But she’s a great MENTOR. 😉