I missed my first class in this program. I felt really proud about my perfect attendance so far because I've never had perfect attendance in anything in my life. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted haha. Self-care above all else.
One of my classes is discussion-based. Each week everyone reads the same research article and then one person leads the small group in a discussion. Last week I sat down to prepare for that week's article. It was about motherhood. Oh shit... I started reading. Within the first paragraph the article started talking about how motherhood brings meaning to women's lives. Fresh off a recent pregnancy announcement where a good friend's IVF had worked, I immediately started crying.
Oh hell no.
There is no way I'm going to this class.
I can't even get through the article.
I tried again and immediately thought, Why am I doing this to myself? Who freaking cares??
So I stopped reading. I cannot even tell you the relevance of this article to the class or my profession. It seemed pretty out of left field to me. Maybe there was an explanation further in the article. I will never know. I threw away the article and emailed my professor.
I told her I would not be attending class because the article was too upsetting for me, but I was more than willing to do a make-up assignment or read an additional article if needed.
She wrote back. (She never writes back. Add that to my list of complaints about this program.)
She said something along the lines of: I am disappointed you chose to skip class for this reason. You will not have any choice in the future about which patients you work with... Something about being unprofessional... Blah blah blah...
That's not even relevant.
In the future I will not be having hour-long discussions with patients about how motherhood gives women's lives meaning.
Plus, I would not have been able to make it through that discussion without crying. Hard. Listening to my classmates inevitably talk about how their children gave their lives meaning and how they are working hard for them to give them a better life. It was a no-win situation for me. Unprofessional if I missed class, unprofessional if I cried throughout the whole thing.
I wrote her back.
I said something along the lines of: Thank you for your feedback. Each month I make great strides in my grief and recovery from losing my children and I feel confident that I will be able to handle whatever situation comes my way in the clinical setting in the future.
She said nothing.
Anyway, I don't really care all that much. I really don't. I'm not impressed with my professor's first response and I'm definitely not impressed with her lack of response after sharing with her that I lost my children. But I don't feel even 1% bad for missing that class. There was no way in hell I was going.
I don't expect anyone else to understand my life. But I also don't have to do things just to make other people happy or comfortable.
I'm the only one that lives my life and I put self-care above all else.