What would you tell your daughter if she wanted to be a neurosurgeon?
My daughter had a birthday recently. At her party one of her friends, whom I had just met, invited her over to her house to play.
I knew someday soon this would come but I am not ready!
As a kid my parents would not allow me to go over to friend’s houses except on rare occasions and I was never, ever allowed to spend the night. They were absolutely terrified that I would end up molested by someone.
So I found myself telling her little friend and her friend’s mom, who both seemed perfectly nice, that we would make plans to do that sometime.
But I lied.
I don’t want to make plans for that because I am afraid.
The odds are 1 in 4 for girls, right?
Don’t sit in your uncle’s lap….
I want to protect her from things that might hurt her.
So what if she wants to pursue medicine?
Medicine will hurt her.
Approximately 400 physicians per year commit suicide, leaving over a million patients without a physician. An entire medical school is wiped out every year. And those are just the ones we know about. In fact, physicians in the US are more likely to kill themselves than any other profession. While male physicians are 70 percent more likely to die from suicide than other men, female physicians are 250-400 percent more likely to kill themselves than other women. The younger you are, the worse it is.
I will be honest that there have been times in the past that I have wanted to fall asleep and not wake up. Not that I had a plan per se, but I knew how to do it…
Therein lies the problem.
I know how to do it.
Chasing her dreams. I owe her the freedom to chase hers because I have mine. Yet medicine is changing. In just ten years I have watched it happen. I was told that they worked for me when I started. Now I am reminded daily that I work for them, that I am replaceable. That I am only as good as their protocol.
I want to protect her from all of the hurt I have seen and felt. Isn’t that what we all hope for, especially for our daughters?
I cannot hold on to her forever. I know this. But knowing does not make it any easier. Letting go is not for the faint of heart.
Thank you Jane, from Out of The Rabbit Hole, for asking the question! She asked a few more, so stay tuned…
(This week I will also be participating in the Black and White Challenge from Cordelia’s Mom. This is Day #1. In theory I am supposed to nominate someone. In truth, I am not sure who I want to torture. So…. Since this is starting with Jane’s question, I nominate her!)