Will I be judged on my past?

  1. Hi i'm new to the board. Here is the situation.

    I'm just finishing my first year of nursing school, and although I haven't had alot of one on one instruction i'm sure i'll receive lots in the years to come (in the 4 year BScN program)

    When I was 14 and 15 there was alot going on in my life that I was unsure of how to deal with. I found superficial releif from self metalation, I've since taken care of it, and have found proper ways to deal with hard times. But as a result my left are has quite a few noticable scars, that are quite obviouse of what they are from. Will this be a problem if Prof, fellow student, or pt see them. I have no problem admiting to it, and I can having a discusion about it. I just don't want poeple to talk behind my back.

    thanx Still Riding
    Last edit by Still Riding on Apr 16, '04
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   J Lynn
    This is my opinion.

    If someone has things in their past, it only make them stronger and able to deal with others who may be going through the same things. Who knows, maybe God will use you to touch a young girl who is also doing this to her body and you can say that you understand. If anyone asks about the scars, use it as a testimony as to how you over came that period in your life. You'll be surprised how people open up about their own past.

    You'll be a great nurse
    Keep God in your life and He'll pull you through.
  4. by   Tweety
    No. It's personal and no one's business. Good luck.

    Will people gossip and judge you. Well humans will be humans. You go out there and be the best that you can be and rise above it.
  5. by   smk1
    If you can overcome struggles it can only make you more mature and well rounded in the long run. I would say that if you can hide some of the scarring then do so just to avoid prying questions about things that are nobodys business but your own. If it is not possible then just be confident and truthful but brief, you don't have to justify your past to the rest of the world.
  6. by   sharann
    I'm sure th scars are larger and more noticable to you since you know they are there. Don't let it get you down. You are well now and that is whats important. You will be able to use your sensitivity in a great way now as a nurse to be. Good for you for overcoming hard times and getting on with life! As to what to say if they ask, just say what you are comfortable with.
  7. by   moia
    Never make assumptions about other people. You are sensitive about those scars because when you see those scars you think drugs. Honestly anyone else seeing those scars isn't thinking drug addict ..really...
    Personally if anyone comments on them make a generic remark about them and I would say "yup, they are something aren't they?" and change the subject.
    Not everything is a learning tool and we are not under any obligation to share any aspect of our private lives with anyone. Never EVER reveal this kind of history to ANYONE you are not having a long term emotional relationship with.

    Hospital gossip is an intense living breathing creature that will eat you alive...do not intentionally feed it.

    What is the purpose in telling some stranger that you recieved scars from drug abuse as a teenager? A coworker, fellow student or employer doesn't meet the criteria for long term emotional relationship, they don't need to know so the reason you are sharing this information is to meet some need of your own...identify it...are you trying to get attention? sympathy? using it as a distraction to avoid handing in an assignment....are you using your experience to demonstrate your expert status in the addiction portion of the program? DONT....sharing your experience won't get you recognized as a resource person...you will be identified immediantly as a high risk student...or worse.

    Don't worry, when you get to real world nursing your real world expertise with addiction is going to be invaluable...once again it wont be necessary to tell anyone about your past but you may instinctively be a better nurse in crisis because of your experiences.

    This need to overshare created the Dr PHil Family......and thats a really scary family people...I think a return to discretion wouldn't hurt.
  8. by   Stitchie
    When I was in nursing school (graduated last may) there was another student with a similar situation. We were pretty close and I asked her what had happened to her arm. She had long scars on her left arm. She just said that when she was a teenager she had a difficult period in her teenage years. Very matter of fact, no elaboration, no sympathy plea.

    Well, that is all she said about it, and you know what? She didn't really need to elaborate.

    We've all done things that we'd rather not think about let alone talk about. Short answer; we've all been there. It's just that for some of us the scars on the outside.

    Be well.
  9. by   Still Riding
    Thanx every one for your support.
    Moia- I just wanted to clarify that the scars are not a result of drug abbuse, but thank you for your advice lots of it is still relevant.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Still riding...your post brought tears to my eyes! My beautiful almost 19 y/o son self-mutilated, self-pierced and self-tattooed for a period of about six months when he was 16. It is still extremely painful for me as a mom to write about. Please know that I doubt anyone notices and if they do, just say you have been through some rough times. No need to elaborate. I'm so glad you (and my son) got help before it was too late. Take care and good luck in your nursing career.
  11. by   Heartattaq
    I hope that on a professional level people are able to look past your scars and see the potential you have, and when you graduate the professional you are.

    On a people level I am not so optimistic. Like someone above said, humans are humans. and unfortunately sometimes human's ignorance clouds better judgement.

    All I can say is good luck in school, I am glad you have found other ways to deal with your problems, and I wish you all the best, nursing is definitely a profession that can leave you with a ton of self satisfaction.

    I don't know if I personally would take the direction of hiding what they were and tring to change the subject if asked about it, unfortunately that only allows people to form their own opinion of their origin and breeds suspicion.

    I would never bring the subject up as a form of attention seeking, but if were asked I think I would be open and honest, but also make it clear that it was a very different time in my life, and that I have grown and have learned to deal with things in other ways.
    Last edit by Heartattaq on Apr 17, '04
  12. by   Audreyfay
    Your experiences and past struggles will enable you to help many who can not be helped by others who have not been in your shoes.
  13. by   Agnus
    Quote from Still Riding
    Hi i'm new to the board. Here is the situation.

    I'm just finishing my first year of nursing school, and although I haven't had alot of one on one instruction i'm sure i'll receive lots in the years to come (in the 4 year BScN program)

    When I was 14 and 15 there was alot going on in my life that I was unsure of how to deal with. I found superficial releif from self metalation, I've since taken care of it, and have found proper ways to deal with hard times. But as a result my left are has quite a few noticable scars, that are quite obviouse of what they are from. Will this be a problem if Prof, fellow student, or pt see them. I have no problem admiting to it, and I can having a discusion about it. I just don't want poeple to talk behind my back.

    thanx Still Riding
    You state that you have not problem talking about it. Then perhaps your best defense is to do just that. If you are the one to bring it out into the open, you cam clear up any misconceptions before the rumors can start.

    Others may find it helpful to hear what you have to say. You are in a unique posistion to help patients with simular problems and those who care for patients with problems.
  14. by   Silicone
    Everybody carries around scars from life.
    Some scars are on the inside and some
    are on the outside.

    I've had scars on my face for a long time now.
    I look in the mirror and am reminded that I have
    lived and am still alive. They are my badge of
    courage, a reminder of how alive I am.

    I tell children who ask that I fell down and hurt
    myself (a figurative truth). If a grown-up asks,
    I say I got hurt. If they persist, I stay silent for
    a few seconds and then ask quietly why in the
    world would they want to know that?

    I mean, honestly, it's nobody's business.

    Some people have no sense of boundaries and will
    push and push and push. If it's not about your
    scars, it'll be about something else. And some
    people are just plain judgmental using how you
    look, dress, talk, walk, or what type of car you
    drive as an excuse to bolster their own egos.

    People worth telling your story too will never ask.
    Don't ever forget that it's your *choice* who to
    talk to about your scars and when.

    And trust me on this - lots of people will notice your
    scars when they first meet you and then stop seeing
    them. Trust that people have the capacity to see
    past your scars to you. A lot of that depends on how
    you see yourself.

    Samantha

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