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New Nurse Venting

Nurses   (1,176 Views | 11 Replies)
by NewtoNursing75 NewtoNursing75 (New) New Nurse

NewtoNursing75 specializes in Telemetry.

97 Profile Views; 3 Posts

I am feeling lost. I know there will be some comments saying "suck it up", but I genuinely just need to write out how I feel. 

I have been a nurse since 2018, which is not very long. I was so excited to become a nurse. I excelled in school and genuinely felt ready to learn and grow in this field. I stayed at my first job for a year. In the beginning, it was excellent. I had the best imaginable preceptor ever, I made life long friends, received praise from my patients and superiors alike, and all together my positive personality and willingness to learn (and even teach to new staff) was recognized. I was known as the "happy nurse" because I was always happy!  I felt like I belonged. Unfortunately, my unit was shut down. I worked in observation and once our management was switched over to the ER, everything went downhill.

I relocated to the Special Care Nursery, which was an interesting experience. Though I once was interested in this area, the overwhelming and blatant horizontal bullying from my preceptors proved to be too much for me to handle. Though the manger thought I would be a great fit for the department, the staff openly told me that I was going to be hazed. I had a preceptor who would often joke about "whites only" in the nursery, and sat on her phone for majority of the shift. She would show me how to do something once, and that was it. She would get frustrated when I would ask questions or for assistance. She enjoyed grabbing me by the arm and chastising me in front of nursing students. It got to a point where a student walked up to me and told me "we don't think you should give up just because your preceptor is mean." I was so embarrassed because I was doing everything in my power to appear okay. I went from excelling to feeling so genuinely small. I was anxious and would find myself crying or vomiting the day before my shift. Even though I was receiving poor training, I did my best to hang on. I did not feel I was behind or "not learning", but was constantly told "I don't know why you're not getting it." I really only struggled with placing IVs. I just did not want to hurt those babies and the world of adults and newborns are so different. I could put an IV in adults and knew how to make them laugh or find a good vein with little difficulty. But babies are so small and I can admit that I was genuinely afraid to hurt them. My preceptor didn't care and would bring a group of nursing students in the room to watch me struggle and suffer to successfully place an IV. She would say "I just don't believe you could do this with adults but cannot with a baby" After two months of just genuine anxiety and feeling unwanted, I politely asked my prior manager to absorb me on the Telemetry floor she was moved to after the merge (I worked on a Cardiac Observation unit). She was more than happy to take me back. I apologized to the Nursery manager, expressed my concerns, and was told that I was well liked and would always be welcomed to come back when I was ready.

 

I thought things would look up and they did! I was back home and they even reopened my unit under ER management. It was rough, as the patients were not appropriate for observation and the management did nothing to help, but I was with my team and confident in my skill. After receiving actively stroking patients without any report, 10 patients per nurse often at a time, and  severely understaffed shifts, many of us noticed that our working conditions were not safe. We told the manager, she told us to adapt. Though I understood, it may me begin to explore my options. I was offered a position at a Magnet hospital in a similar unit. It has more competitive wages and benefits. They would pay more for my degree (I'm in school to be a nurse educator now), and it seemed like a better fit.

 

I accepted that position. The DON, whom was known for being a huge bully and bad mouthing staff, trashed me and a few of my coworkers that decided to leave to better conditions after stating "I saved them" and calling all of us "lazy young nurses that just don't want to work." She made it known that she would do anything in her power to prevent us from working there ever again, despite placing in proper 2 weeks notices. 

 

Okayyyyy new job! It was okay while it lasted. It was a much bigger hospital and had much higher standards. I was learning and thriving. I loved being a nurse after that horrendous end experience I had at my prior job. The doctors were excessively harsh though. The doctors had no issues calling nurses stupid, incompetent, or worse. I was told by a physician never to call him again because I called twice regarding a patient that needed attention. I was even chewed out for calling an ICU physician (keep in mind I had no idea that there was a separate number for the ICU residents she was referring to because well I was new and the nurse I asked did not inform me plus we were not really even supposed to have trauma patients in observation). She read me to filth and threaten to tell my manager if I ever called her again. I was sick to my stomach because I genuinely just wanted to help my patient who was in distress and had been unattended without any orders. I got over it. Things were fine, I made friends and management even wanted to advance me into a charge nurse role in time.  But once again, management changed and all hell broke loose. I stayed there for 6 months. My manager promised me she would decrease my hours, after a family crisis that definitely impacted my ability to work, and then decided that she would not be able to. I had no PTO to cover the schedule and knew the best thing to do as to not leave the unit short staffed was to resign. So I left. 

 

Now I work at a high profile clinic and I am just all together feeling hopeless. I was promised 10 weeks of training and received 5 because the only nurse trainer had to train another new nurse. I was told I wouldn't know what I was doing for my first 6 months but would eventually catch on. Everyone suggested that there was an excellent well trained older nurse that would train me. She is unable to because she is burned out and has no time.  I do not feel supported and Im deathly afraid of making mistakes because every single mistake made means a verbal lashing and 8000 fingers pointing at you. Theres only one person there that makes an effort to help me and even she is looking for new employment.  I am new to the clinic and nursing, and the new doctor, though this is his first job, makes sure that I know I'm incompetent and untrustworthy every waking moment of his life. The staff is nice but I genuinely find myself frustrated and depressed daily. I hate going to work. I once felt like I was a great nurse and was really living in my vocation. Now I just feel like a worthless failure. I have moved around to 3 jobs with no luck, while my friends have found places that they want to stay at for forever. Im in school and I love school, but I all together do not know how much longer I can continue to work as a nurse.  

I know I cannot keep moving positions after 6 months. I want this place to work out and maybe I'm just so nervous because I am new and know I will only learn through and experience and mistakes. I am just a really cautious person and I do not want to hurt or harm anyone. I am also a sensitive person and maybe that's my issue. 

Im young and feel like Im not living. I do not feel like I'm enjoying my life. And I can admit that I can be a bit dramatic, but I literally just cannot lol. 

Im sorry this is so long, but I just needed to vent. I try to stay positive and pray and meditate , but I can't shake this feeling of sadness. Any tips?

 

I almost want to do something in nursing where I can advocate for a healthy work environment. I would love to be a nurse manager and set the standard for positive work behaviors. But I'm worried that working in a clinic will make it difficult for me to ever transition back to the hospital setting. I just feel so 😕 

Edited by NewtoNursing75

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Olga specializes in General.

8 Posts; 157 Profile Views

I can only say that this is a long post indeed, but very well written. You do sound like a very nice person, I can't tolerate any conflict myself, so I feel your pain. You are bullied, and this is horrible. I would just leave. Your sanity is more valuable than any job in the world. 

I am very new RN, I always thought clinic is MUCH easier than hospital... what makes it harder? Or it's just different? 

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NewtoNursing75 specializes in Telemetry.

3 Posts; 97 Profile Views

39 minutes ago, Olga said:

I can only say that this is a long post indeed, but very well written. You do sound like a very nice person, I can't tolerate any conflict myself, so I feel your pain. You are bullied, and this is horrible. I would just leave. Your sanity is more valuable than any job in the world. 

I am very new RN, I always thought clinic is MUCH easier than hospital... what makes it harder? Or it's just different? 

Hi! Thank you so much for reading and responding!

Thank you! I am worried about leaving and afraid no one will want to hire me but I just don’t know if I can do this. 
 

To answer your clinic, task wise, it is much easier. So I work in a women’s health clinic that specializes in fertility. A lot of my job is just reviewing information and calling patients with medication instructions. There’s really no assessment or skills. But it’s more difficult because you’re not taught fertility in school, yet alone much about women’s health. So I have a 500 page guideline and all these new meds to learn and all these schedules I have to learn to make with minimal training other than the book!

Its Monday-Friday too! So for someone who likes weekends off and understands the material, it would be awesome!

 

For a new nurse, it’s a bit overwhelming and the patients are even much note different than your typical hospital or urgent care patients. 
 

the job is never really done and I call and see the same patients almost daily. Any little mistake can really affect their cycles and they are not always forgiving.

 

but I do think urgent care would be a great place!

Edited by NewtoNursing75

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dream'n has 27 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych.

1,058 Posts; 14,881 Profile Views

It will take time to learn such a new area of nursing.  Try taking your guidelines home with you at night and study, study, study.  Look up what you don't know.  Make it your goal to learn as much as possible and to eventually become an expert in the area of women's health and fertility.

Ask questions of the other staff and the mean Dr.  Tell them you are striving to learn and provide the best possible care.  Don't take their crap personally.  Be polite and professional, even if they are not.

You work to live, not live to work.  Don't give up so easily.  Throughout your nursing career you will often find positions that don't train well and coworkers that aren't helpful, but you can always teach yourself and reach out when needed to others (even though it can be hard when they are dismissive)

Edited by dream'n

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

207 Posts; 829 Profile Views

You say you have friends that love where they work, any chance of them helping you get positions in those places?

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CKPM2RN has 3 years experience as a ASN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency/Med-Tele.

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There's a steep learning need at the beginning of a specialized position like a fertility clinic but you're smart and in no time you'll be amazed that you ever struggled at all.

Chin up, friend. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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You have been through the wringer, to be sure. None of your troubles are your imagination or something to be made light of. I don't necessarily have answers. I do want to say only that every time you change specialties, you start over again on the learning curve and it will take one to two years to become fully competent.

I hope you find your rhythm. You sound like an excellent person.

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31 Posts; 153 Profile Views

If you are treated like dirt get another job.

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On 11/17/2019 at 5:50 PM, NewtoNursing75 said:

I am feeling lost. I know there will be some comments saying "suck it up", but I genuinely just need to write out how I feel. 

I have been a nurse since 2018, which is not very long. I was so excited to become a nurse. I excelled in school and genuinely felt ready to learn and grow in this field. I stayed at my first job for a year. In the beginning, it was excellent. I had the best imaginable preceptor ever, I made life long friends, received praise from my patients and superiors alike, and all together my positive personality and willingness to learn (and even teach to new staff) was recognized. I was known as the "happy nurse" because I was always happy!  I felt like I belonged. Unfortunately, my unit was shut down. I worked in observation and once our management was switched over to the ER, everything went downhill.

I relocated to the Special Care Nursery, which was an interesting experience. Though I once was interested in this area, the overwhelming and blatant horizontal bullying from my preceptors proved to be too much for me to handle. Though the manger thought I would be a great fit for the department, the staff openly told me that I was going to be hazed. I had a preceptor who would often joke about "whites only" in the nursery, and sat on her phone for majority of the shift. She would show me how to do something once, and that was it. She would get frustrated when I would ask questions or for assistance. She enjoyed grabbing me by the arm and chastising me in front of nursing students. It got to a point where a student walked up to me and told me "we don't think you should give up just because your preceptor is mean." I was so embarrassed because I was doing everything in my power to appear okay. I went from excelling to feeling so genuinely small. I was anxious and would find myself crying or vomiting the day before my shift. Even though I was receiving poor training, I did my best to hang on. I did not feel I was behind or "not learning", but was constantly told "I don't know why you're not getting it." I really only struggled with placing IVs. I just did not want to hurt those babies and the world of adults and newborns are so different. I could put an IV in adults and knew how to make them laugh or find a good vein with little difficulty. But babies are so small and I can admit that I was genuinely afraid to hurt them. My preceptor didn't care and would bring a group of nursing students in the room to watch me struggle and suffer to successfully place an IV. She would say "I just don't believe you could do this with adults but cannot with a baby" After two months of just genuine anxiety and feeling unwanted, I politely asked my prior manager to absorb me on the Telemetry floor she was moved to after the merge (I worked on a Cardiac Observation unit). She was more than happy to take me back. I apologized to the Nursery manager, expressed my concerns, and was told that I was well liked and would always be welcomed to come back when I was ready.

 

I thought things would look up and they did! I was back home and they even reopened my unit under ER management. It was rough, as the patients were not appropriate for observation and the management did nothing to help, but I was with my team and confident in my skill. After receiving actively stroking patients without any report, 10 patients per nurse often at a time, and  severely understaffed shifts, many of us noticed that our working conditions were not safe. We told the manager, she told us to adapt. Though I understood, it may me begin to explore my options. I was offered a position at a Magnet hospital in a similar unit. It has more competitive wages and benefits. They would pay more for my degree (I'm in school to be a nurse educator now), and it seemed like a better fit.

 

I accepted that position. The DON, whom was known for being a huge bully and bad mouthing staff, trashed me and a few of my coworkers that decided to leave to better conditions after stating "I saved them" and calling all of us "lazy young nurses that just don't want to work." She made it known that she would do anything in her power to prevent us from working there ever again, despite placing in proper 2 weeks notices. 

 

Okayyyyy new job! It was okay while it lasted. It was a much bigger hospital and had much higher standards. I was learning and thriving. I loved being a nurse after that horrendous end experience I had at my prior job. The doctors were excessively harsh though. The doctors had no issues calling nurses stupid, incompetent, or worse. I was told by a physician never to call him again because I called twice regarding a patient that needed attention. I was even chewed out for calling an ICU physician (keep in mind I had no idea that there was a separate number for the ICU residents she was referring to because well I was new and the nurse I asked did not inform me plus we were not really even supposed to have trauma patients in observation). She read me to filth and threaten to tell my manager if I ever called her again. I was sick to my stomach because I genuinely just wanted to help my patient who was in distress and had been unattended without any orders. I got over it. Things were fine, I made friends and management even wanted to advance me into a charge nurse role in time.  But once again, management changed and all hell broke loose. I stayed there for 6 months. My manager promised me she would decrease my hours, after a family crisis that definitely impacted my ability to work, and then decided that she would not be able to. I had no PTO to cover the schedule and knew the best thing to do as to not leave the unit short staffed was to resign. So I left. 

 

Now I work at a high profile clinic and I am just all together feeling hopeless. I was promised 10 weeks of training and received 5 because the only nurse trainer had to train another new nurse. I was told I wouldn't know what I was doing for my first 6 months but would eventually catch on. Everyone suggested that there was an excellent well trained older nurse that would train me. She is unable to because she is burned out and has no time.  I do not feel supported and I'm deathly afraid of making mistakes because every single mistake made means a verbal lashing and 8000 fingers pointing at you. There's only one person there that makes an effort to help me and even she is looking for new employment.  I am new to the clinic and nursing, and the new doctor, though this is his first job, makes sure that I know I'm incompetent and untrustworthy every waking moment of his life. The staff is nice but I genuinely find myself frustrated and depressed daily. I hate going to work. I once felt like I was a great nurse and was really living in my vocation. Now I just feel like a worthless failure. I have moved around to 3 jobs with no luck, while my friends have found places that they want to stay at for forever. Im in school and I love school, but I all together do not know how much longer I can continue to work as a nurse.  

I know I cannot keep moving positions after 6 months. I want this place to work out and maybe I'm just so nervous because I am new and know I will only learn through and experience and mistakes. I am just a really cautious person and I do not want to hurt or harm anyone. I am also a sensitive person and maybe that's my issue. 

Im young and feel like Im not living. I do not feel like I'm enjoying my life. And I can admit that I can be a bit dramatic, but I literally just cannot lol. 

Im sorry this is so long, but I just needed to vent. I try to stay positive and pray and meditate , but I can't shake this feeling of sadness. Any tips?

 

I almost want to do something in nursing where I can advocate for a healthy work environment. I would love to be a nurse manager and set the standard for positive work behaviors. But I'm worried that working in a clinic will make it difficult for me to ever transition back to the hospital setting. I just feel so 😕 

You probably won't be able to do much good as a Manager because you will have to answer to Admin, who will set the budget and the rules.

How about being a union organizer?

you could also begin educating your family, friends, and community groups about the things you have seen and experienced so they know what's going on in their hospitals.

Inform your elected representatives, too.  Work to change laws, make laws about staffing.

Don't ever, ever, ever let anyone grab you again, without reporting them to police.

In fact, depending on how long it's been, you could possibly still report that physical violence.

If a doctor yells at you or is rude, set him or her straight - nicely but firmly.  Tell the truth - you didn't know the number or who to call and you are sorry, but tell them to never yell at you or be rude to you again.  The rules of a civil society are not set aside for doctors.   You stand up for yourself.  No one else will do it.

How does the doctor at your current job make you feel incompetent and untrustworthy every waking moment of his life?  You really need to have a talk with him.  Privately, calmly.  Tell him how you feel and why.  Give concrete examples.  Ask him what you can do to improve your relationship and gain his confidence and respect.  He might be an arrogant, egotistical madman, maybe he doesn't realize how he comes across.  Who knows what his problem is?  But you need to stand up for yourself all through life.  Start now.  Good luck.

And stop gossiping and listening to gossip.  Where did you hear about the Manager who was a bully?

What are you studying?

Your friends might be happy today but you don't know how things might go tomorrow.  I don't wish them evil, but we just don't know the future.

Again, good luck.

Edited by Kooky Korky

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TitaniumPlates has 15 years experience and specializes in ED.

106 Posts; 1,985 Profile Views

I will do what every good hospital HR and Risk Management person will do who is trying to prevent a lawsuit. Tell you I am so sorry, listen to your complaint, thank you for bringing the problem to my attention, and then promise that somehow I will find an answer for you.

That's what happens now--on this forum and pretty much everywhere else that nurses go in order to express their frustration, anger, exhaustion, unhappiness.....etc.   So sorry. Chin up. It'll get better if you just keep plugging along.

No. It won't, and it doesn't.

I am sorry that you are experiencing this----and this is not unusual in any way, shape or form. This is nursing.

First.  Kooky Korky is absolutely, 100% correct---you ever have someone touch you without your permission---you make it your mission in life to have that person removed.

NO ONE. No. One. has the right to touch you without your permission. As any Nursing 101 instructor will drill into your head---YOU also have no right to touch a patient without their permission. This goes both ways.

See the thread that discusses the horrible incident of the OR Nurse that was fired for "workplace violence" for "redirecting" a colleague who was baiting her in a storage room by blocking her way.

She was in the wrong. I hate it, but that is the truth.

You never, ever let a colleague or anyone else in your life---touch you without your permission.

Second.  Changing specialties isn't as hard as some here are trying to make it sound---unless you are shifting from, say, ER to OR or some super specialty.

If you have ER experience, and you do---with ridiculous ratios, which says to me that you have a keen sense for organization and time management to succeed even for a month in that environment---you pretty much can go to Med Surg or Tele or Outpatient without 16 weeks of intensive "relearning". That's hogwash that you can't switch without this horribly steep "learning curve" with acute/emergent care experience. I changed from ER to ICU---and the ICU RNs were all flabbergasted that it took me 6 weeks to literally toss a good number of them out of my patients' room because they wanted to "drive". Yeah, no.  There are subtleties that occur in ICU that in the ER I would not have been able to take the time to note---but I sure as hell knew what to do for my patients. CRRT and those specialty procedures come in time---that isn't part of the initial "learning curve".

Anyway.

Third.  Nobody. Nobody gets to tell you that you are stupid, worthless, incompetent or lazy. That is harassment clear and simple...and you should be documenting every single incident and turning that into HR. If HR doesn't do something about it---you lawyer up. You sue that hospital for harassment. You are not a punching bag.

I am so godda#ned sick and tired of these "senior nurses" who think that they can haze new nurses. I've kicked a few in the bits (figuratively) and I stand my ground.

Bullies are mentally unstable. There. I said it. I am sooooOOoooOOOOoooo sick of nurses who believe their s#it doesn't stink or that they have never made a mistake---bullying and crapping on new nurses, techs, other personnel---because they usually are the dumbest, most dangerous and the most mentally ill of the bunch. They drive normal, successful, intelligent and valuable employees away---because they are miserable, quasi-talented and below level intelligence---it's the only way they can feel good about themselves.

And that goes for anybody here that fits that bullying description. Don't give the the Bill Clinton defense---well, it depends on what your definition of bullying IS.  Baloney. It's like pornography. We know it when we see it. Knock it off. If you wouldn't want it said to your mom or your husband or your kids---don't say it to another colleague.

Studying is not going to convince the "hazers" in the NICU or Mother Baby unit to stop acting like arseholes. Because this is who they are. Remember Maya Angelou---"When someone shows you who they are---believe them."

Nursing has degenerated into a core group that drive good people away---and good people who educate themselves the hell-o out of the bedside environment (this includes outpatient clinics).

You're doing the right thing---educate yourself out of this. It's the only way---you are too good of a person to hang around and be abused. However---you should cast a curse on your way out of these toxic units if you can---document all of it, turn it all into HR, and if the situation warrants it---turn them into the BON for workplace violence if they grab you, turn them in for ethics violations---and see a lawyer.

I'm all done with some nurses behaving as if they are immune to consequences. It's about time those of us who just want to come in and do our jobs---show those who decide that the job is for them to gossip, haze and bully---and that includes doctors---that this isn't going to fly and legal consequences will ensue.

Many here will immediately respond with---but you do that, and you will never work as a nurse again.

And.....this proves my point. If I hold you, acting like an arsehole and bullying and grabbing me and demeaning me, responsible for your behavior---you think I should be punished?

This is exactly why nursing has degenerated into what it is---it's the Mob Mentality. You snitch, you squeal---about how we're abusing you?  You get squashed. We take away your ability to feed your family.

Nice, huh?

OP----you document, document, document. If it's legal in your state to record as a "single party"---meaning you can record conversations without the other party knowing--and there is no HIPAA information? You do it. You nail these people and make it known that this is not okay.

I would educate myself like you are doing----pull yourself up out of the muck.

Like the lotus---you will bloom out of standing on muck and mud. Don't let any of these people drag you into their drama.

 

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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I think that your concerns are well founded, and you left every job for good reason. You could have gone to HR and gotten some coworkers fired, but I can respect your decision to just leave.

In your current job, I think its a shame that you feel bullied. The nastiness of your coworkers, including the MD, is foolish. They will lose a good nurse if they continue. Personally, I would have a 1-1 with the MD, and express how you feel. You are new to the job, you are going to make mistakes, that's a fact. You are working to improve, and name calling is just going to slow down the process. Tell him you may leave because of the lack of support, and his response will tell you whether you need to go job hunting again.

I've been in a bullying job, and it can make you believe you are stupid and useless. There are supportive workplaces out there, though they are hard to find. Don't quit. Say something nice about a coworker, and see if you can shift some of that negative crap. Maybe they just need a leader.

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NewtoNursing75 specializes in Telemetry.

3 Posts; 97 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for the support and insight! You simply do not know how much every single response means to me and how I appreciate you all for reading my venting and replying. I am forever grateful!

I am in school to be a Nurse Practitioner and I absolutely love it. I need confidence and I need to feel confident, and I’m going to work on not letting the toxic energy I’ve been faced with break me. 
 

to respond to a few of the questions,

Doctor:

He has to verify everything I ask him if correct with our senior nurse. He does not communicate with me if he can just talk to either of the more experienced nurses, even though they are my patients. He has asked me if this is my first job more than he has asked me about my patients. And he often gets frustrated with me and goes on a lecture explaining that I’m going to be the reason major mistakes are made, when I ask questions. These are just a few examples. It makes me scared to make mistakes and I don’t think it’s possible to not make mistakes so I’m in a constant state of anxiety. 
 

 

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