“You look very emotional right now. Can you tell me about what you’re feeling? Look. I know you are scared and you have every right to be. Your sister is going to yell and be angry but you’ve been yelled at before, right? If your biggest fear is her disappointment, look me in the eye right now. I’m a sister and I can tell you this: Your sister is only angry because she loves you. Your sister is only disappointed you hid this from her because she trusts you. People don’t have feelings for other people if they do not care about them. And do you notice something about what I just said? LoveS. TrustS. Present tense. I’m a sister too. And I can guarantee you this: Anger fades but love never does. Siblings stay siblings, no matter what. The love never dies. Remember that. You are OK. Breathe.”
Yesterday, I had two 17-year olds in the clinic for 2-hours. Their pregnancy got found out because the girl sent a picture of her belly to a friend, and like any high-school, the picture spread. And got back to the boyfriend’s (father of the baby) older sister.
His older sister is the one who has custody; mom is out of the picture.
I have never seen such raw emotion, raw fear in a boy who is supposed to be an “adult” in just 6 more months. He was shaking, lips quivering, curled over in his chair hiding his red, tear-stained eyes. So, so afraid. After ruling out possible physical violence, it was clear to me that he respects his sister so much, loves her so much, that he is silenced by his fear of having lied to her.
He didn’t care about being hit, he didn’t care about being kicked out — what he feared was never being able to talk to her again. The sadness in his eyes as he kept calling her cell phone, sending her text messages — the cracking in his voice every time he repeated, “She’s not replying.”
It reminded me that the 5’ 8” boy with sagging pants sitting in front of me is just that: a scared little boy. Now a soon to be father.
And it is a humbling experience to have been able to be there for him, to be there for them. To be a part of their support system, if even for just this one, hectic day.
It humbles me to be a listening ear.
It humbles me to be a calming voice.
It humbles me to be a nurse.
Every. Damn. Day.