Courage to Forgive

Finally, I can talk about it
without anger in my chest.

I fought an uphill battle
that wasn’t mine to fight.

No matter what I did,
I couldn’t improve.

Day-by-day, it ate away
at my self-image,
for two and a half years.

Two and a half years!

I can speculate as to why,
but broken trust

is broken trust.
I’m not the first.
I won’t be the last–
the past is far from past.

But with time, space, distance,
feeling became healing;
crystal-clear seeing.

And my story discovered
its voice–
powerful, honest, fierce;
not in spite of injustice,
but because of my courage.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

“It was so disheartening, expecting progress from trying, but consistently underperforming,” she said. This person was a fourth-year med student. She learned during her third year that she had a learning disability she was entitled to receive support for, but the results from an assessment she took at the start of her program were never given to her, despite her multiple requests. “After learning about this, I spiralled down before building back up,” she said. “It’s painful thinking about how much that experience deteriorated my self-image, knowing now that the information was available and the resources could have helped me.” She had since moved through many phases of grief and healing. She told me she drew strength from Stacy Abrams’ story, knowing that what she was able to do after initially losing her election was arguably much greater than her original intention. “I believe the patient population I’m supposed to serve will benefit from this experience, and the perspective it has given me,” she said.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Student
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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