I’m awake because my brain thinks 4 a.m. is a good “system reset” time and damn well expects me to be conscious for it. This generally involves trudging through my normally awful insecurities and grumpy feelings but with the interesting angle of dreamworld inability to do shit about any of it. Sometimes I can manage a “be quiet brain, you don’t know anything” but other times it is better to just get up and logicamize the hell out of it. Yeah, logicamize is a word, so there.
This morning I’ve got the Blame Game on my brain. If it’s not totally clear what the Blame Game is, let me explain:
It’s a game of very real self-doubt and very false perfection and blamelessness played by adults. You can include as many players as you like in a round of the Blame Game but for each round there needs to be at least one designated “scape goat”. The “scape goat” could have actually done something wrong but often has just acted within “status quo” as many other of the players would have done. The difference is that this time, shit went down. The remaining players get to self-righteously point their fingers and judge. Sounds fun, right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Blame Game, especially in regards to my adult-impersonation job of nursing. What’s become glaringly obvious to me is that the Blame Game stems from a superficial frustration of a deeper, more awful feeling of helplessness. I believe this is true wherever and whenever stones are cast, including parenting, public schools, and most definitely health care.
In terms of health care, I don’t think a doctor or a nurse ever thinks “I’m going to go into work today and do a terrible job! Yes, a most satisfying day it will be!” and yet when someone does make a mistake or does a sub-optimal job, there is always someone at the ready to judge. This is often someone who has been brutally judged themselves in the past and understands what it means to be made to feel very small and very dumb.
Now, I’d like to be clear. 4 a.m. brain does NOT think it is okay to let poor work slide. We absolutely must learn from our mistakes and that means they need to be pointed out to us. But there is no reason to be a dick about it and throw a hate parade of “This doctor/nurse/student is so dumb”.
I’m lucky. I stumbled upon Magic Unit where a group of teamwork elves and fairy god-mothers of support live…there is pixie powder everywhere on that unit. But sometimes I work in other places. Recently I left the safety of Magic Unit and watched as a group of nurses huddled together and brutally judged and condemned another nurse (who wasn’t even there to explain the situation) and I felt physically ill. Probably because I’ve been that nurse…on both sides of the judgment brigade. And I’m gonna try really hard to just take a step back next time and breathe through it before judging or getting hurt by the posturing of others.
Thanks for reading. Be nice and non-judgmental for five minutes a day. It prevents constipation.