This week has been rough. It’s only Wednesday. On top of single mom-ing it, dealing with a sick cat, and running a mental health practice…it’s been busy. The cat is doing better. My kids are…giving me a lot of greys but otherwise okay…and I was threatened by a disgruntled patient.
I think it’s easy to surround ourselves with safe bubbles. Liberal or conservative, gay or straight, we often surround ourselves with people who make us feel safe. I do this in my own life personally and professionally. It’s rare for me to be threatened and as I’ve gotten better at screening patients it’s happened less and less. In fact it had been a few years.
I’ve never called the police but I called them this week. The threat felt calculated and also quite unhinged. And I’m sick of people trying to bully me because they see rainbows on my website and figure out we are Queer. And I was actually threatened. You can’t do that to people. It’s not okay. I felt violated and shaken.
I’ve actually had a knife drawn in my office before. Twice. And I didn’t call the police then. I never actually felt threatened. Sounds a little crazy I know. But the knives were more statements not necessarily pointed at me. And I shrugged and asked them to put it away. They did. This career is voluntary and in moments like those with the knives and years later with being threatened over the phone I always have thoughts of walking away. I don’t need this.
But I don’t walk away. Because that also irritates me. Because why should I give up what I love to do because of a few threats here and there? I didn’t feel good filing a police report. I felt annoyed generally that I had to do it annoyed at the threat, annoyed at myself for being shaken and forgetting how I lived protected in my bubble until it was burst.
I’ve never shared publicly threats in the past but again, I’m sick of being bullied. As a Queer female business owner who is not an MD, but an APRN, people generally feel more entitled to speak down to me or to raise their voice or in this case to threaten me.
The threat would not have been made had I been a straight white male MD with a boring website without rainbows. That kind of enrages and saddens me.
When I’ve been threatened in the past and with the knives it was never about being Queer it was patients who wanted certain medications that I declined to give them. This was different. This was plain old hate and discrimination.
There is not much more to say about it except that it happened. That I know all too well this comes with the territory of being an openly affirming Queer owned practice. But it still feels bad. I feel afraid at times and I don’t like that feeling. I had to tell my employees what happened and I am so grateful that they are part of my protective bubble. Because there was never a question from them about the severity or degree. No doubts just validation. They also work for me at this super Queer practice and put their safety at risk because they believe in what we do and me. They believe in me. I’ve felt a lot of feelings this week. Incredible gratitude for all of them was one feeling.
I’ve listened to a lot of Eminem. He’s my go-to. His songs are gritty and all about survival. Well minus the really messed up ones that are about murder and drugs and rape…I gotta be honest I dig some of those songs, like 3 A.M. so messed up, but probably in my top five favorites. But I digress. I’ll get through this with time and Eminem and as much as I want to walk away from the work I never could and seeing clients helps remind why I do this. Why I stick with it through the bad and the ugly. Because most people want help. Most people are trying so hard to get through and I can help.
Bubbles are great when you are in them, but rough when they burst.
Ironically this is all happening during Pride month. A celebration based out of hate and discrimination.
To any Queer people reading this. I see you. We are stronger together.