It was a clinic day during an adolescent well child visit. She had filled out a Questionnaire. Under the question that asked “do you feel like you are bullied?” she wrote yes. I calmly asked why she felt this way. She went on a short story about how her “so-called friends” were talking about her behind her back and at this point she tended to keep to herself and didn’t have many friends anymore. I held back a choking feeling and said, “hang in there, it will get better”. Later, I wondered if that was actually true.

I am coming up a few weeks shy of starting my last year of residency. It is been a difficult yet worthwhile journey to get to where I am today. Growing up, I was a quiet and shy child. That made me an easy target for bullies. Often, I felt out of place and I grew up not having many friends. I remember wondering if things would get better.

I can only speak for myself, but I can say it does get better.

Social media has afforded us the opportunity to keep close tabs on those people that grew up with. For better or worse, we know exactly how they turned out. I can’t speak to the success of others because everyone has a different path in life. For myself I feel like I achieved my ultimate dream and then some. Those bullies and naysayers seem to be doing OK but so am I. With a wonderful family, a loving partner and enough good friends to last me a lifetime, I would say that this is what better should look like. I’m still that quiet kid that would try to hold back tears when someone was saying mean things about her, but it doesn’t affect me as much anymore.

It does get better.

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