I have always been an independent, headstrong person. I have never needed anyone to define me. I would even scoff at lovers sitting on the bus, or shake my head at the thought of wasting time being in a relationship. But then I fell. Out of the blue my heart gave way. Even my answer to his question “you like me right?” had been a maybe. Everything up till the moment he kissed me screamed “give me my independence!” Just like a drug his kisses filled my body and then I couldn’t get enough.
Initially it was the hormones driving me to get my next fix, but over time it became his respect for my parents, the little gifts that told me he thought of me, and the subtle touches he gave me when he knew I wasn’t feeling so great. Then my heart started to give way more and I still wanted to spend time with him. I began to miss him so much everyday; I wished that I could at least kiss him in the morning and warm his bed at night before he came to sleep. But he was busy. I was conflicted, he needed to focus on his work and all logic and reason in my mind yelled that I needed to let him work but every other cell in my body and heart would scream for his presence.
I did what I always knew to do: to read to research and understand what my next steps were. Sometimes the articles would say that I should break up with him. Who could wait for someone that long? Why was I the only girl that rarely saw her boyfriend? Why wasn’t he there for the fun moments in my life when I longed to share those moments with him? But my heart knew that I couldn’t live without him. I knew that as soon as he would speak I would forgive everything and everything that had built up would disappear.
The thought of losing him, breaking up with him would bring on the waterworks. The thought of never being able to touch him or kiss him or to not be part of his life was unbearable. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place: Bear the pain of having to wait for him forever or break-up with him and bear the pain of losing him and the love we shared.
This is backdated post that I needed distance from before posting. So this is not currently happening…haha
I was a victim of cyberstalking.
It was in my college class that I met the culprit. I sat in the front and he did too. We along with two other students formed one study group and studied for one test together. He got my cell phone number for getting to the same location.
We shared a second class together, but at that point there more people in the class that I knew and I decided to study with them. One day he asks me on a date. I reply, “No, I have a boyfriend.”
He writes me a letter and says, “I would love to take you out to dinner sometime, it’s okay if your boyfriend is ‘away.'” I politely try to evade any further conversation. Then he continues to message me. He eventually finds out that we were to share a third class together, and when I drop the class he sends me a scathing message. “You’re lazy, why did you drop the class.”
This was the start of my scare-an almost stranger was saying things that were degrading to me.
One day he showed up at my workplace and followed me to my bicycle. I said, “I do not want to talk” and peddled away as quickly as I could.At that point, I had heard from the other girl in our study group, that he had physically intimated her. She had to resort to telling to campus violence prevention center. I began to become even more concerned.
Fortune favors the prepared. Following her example, I talk to the same center to prevent any further discomfort. I send him a formal email that’s more of a cease and desist from my end so that I make the situation clear to him and that there is no room for ambiguity.
2 years later, I was looking through my youtube page to look for a video I had saved for myself. I was surprised to find another user that had taken a copy and made additional comments. When I went to the user’s page, the whole story unfolded. There were several videos with collections of my images found from the internet compiled into a sort of video montage.
He had found my addresses from several years ago and collected them into a video. Not only that he had made videos of women other than myself with similar content.
This was not okay. This was frightening. I immediately tried to remind myself of where these images were found. I went to an old myspace account to find the source of the pictures. Young me didn’t know the importance of privacy settings. Oddly, then I found more. He had sent me one sided messages for the past several months. This was getting weird and scary. Unfortunately, I discovered this during one of my late nights in lab.
I ran as quickly as I could to the police center, luckily, it was across the street. I copied everything and printed it out. I showed the police officers the video compilations. They were concerned and had never seen anything like this before. They recognized that I had sent a cease and desist letter. They said they would talk to him in person and tell him to stop.
It seemed to die down, but now I had to unfortunate feeling of constantly being found on the internet. I was scared to have any accounts online and scared to post any photos of myself or my family. I monitored the websites in which he had used my information. One day, it became violent and threatening. At that point, I became fearful for my safety and my life.
I needed to talk to the police again. Within a span of 6 months the police became more heavily involved. I went under court protection, they paired me with a victim representative. They arrested him and confiscated his electronic devices.
Turns out, only months before, another young girl had complained too. She had been the first person to involve the cops and lead to his first arrest. I became the longer standing second case.His confiscated computer and phone, showed evidence of harassment of other women including myself. He had been using them as weapons to invade the privacy of others and instill fear in people.
The fear that I felt was no different than had he been stalking me in person. Even without his presence, I feared that he would find my whereabouts and possibly hurt me.
In this day and age, this form of stalking, cyberstalking, can be a real thing. It can have real implications. To this day, I still have concerns; I still worry about my safety.I do not know if there are any laws right now, but I would advocate for change or caution for users. The information that ends up on the internet can haunt us and can be used to hurt or scare us.
I am a first year medical student, all of this time I had been learning about all of the problems that could occur with the heart: congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, hypertrophy,arrhythmia,etc.. even the not so commonly heard: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. According to our classwork it can manifest itself as
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- An irregular heartbeat
- A generalized weakness
- even a change in heart shape under chest x ray
I recognized it immediately because I personally had these symptoms. I felt chest pain, couldn’t breath, couldn’t sleep, and felt my body give way to weakness. I thought it was just a mental creation; I didn’t think there was an actual medical term for it. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, named by Japanese physicians who recognized the oddly shaped heart, is also called in English broken heart syndrome. I experienced it because my first boyfriend broke up with me 3 months into medical school. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t stand, and my heart literally hurt when I heard him talking to me. It felt like the floor gave way and I couldn’t stand anymore. I became disoriented and needed to take conscious breaths to calm myself down.
Experiencing heartbreak in Medical School is not talked about much, but it happens a lot. Many relationships are put to the test. The weakest die off quickly under the pressures of time, distance, stress, need to prove oneself,etc.. Some relationships flourish. The reality of it is, although we hear about the best scenarios, the worst scenarios really do exist in equal amounts and it sucks-as I have experienced first hand and seen many classmates in similar situations.
The worst part of it is that Medical School does not even give you very much time to even feel the pain, deal with it or even get over it. For me, my relationship ended a week before finals. I wanted to mope around in bed and be a homebody for a while, but that was not going to happen. This one derailment in life, of a boy that I had met 4 years ago, was not going to change my life-long dreams of 10+ years and hours of effort and sacrifice. I again needed to suck it up and keep going.
If there was ever a time to use the words, Keep Calm and Carry On, this was the time. I found myself trying to compartmentalize my sorrow away from my studies. I allowed myself to cry and deal with my emotions at night. The next day, I had to push through and move on to my studies. In a way, it sounds cruel, but the matter of the fact is it becomes a necessary life lesson for many of us. My break-up is just one of the challenges that medical students face during their time in school.
Thinking back to this dark time in my life where I struggled to work to balance both my emotional sorrow and to also fight to do the best I could do in medical school showed me that this is going to be a life long challenge for me now. My medical school studies will be replaced by patients who need me. Patients who are relying on our care and knowledge to alleviate their ills. They, for the most part, will come before much of our personal lives. We will put some things on the back burner and have to come home apologetically for our tardiness, fatigue,etc..
I just hope that in the future. The friends, family members, and significant others of my colleagues will understand the amount of effort and time we put into our work and our patients and forgive us when these times arise.
I will be starting medical school! I am incredibly excited, humbled, in awe, and starstruck with my fate right now. I have been working up to this moment for the majority of my life. I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old. I repeat, I have wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old. The only time I possibly wavered was in college, but even then I was put right back into the path by my soul. I have dreamed of it so long, that now that it is finally happening I still feel like I am in a dream. I think all of my life I’ve just lived towards this moment, and now I want to just take it all in. I want to breathe in the hospital air, absorb as much knowledge as I can, truly enjoy my friendships with classmates, and not worry or feel guilty that I am not studying towards my dream goal. I don’t have to worry, now I just have to absorb and be in the moment and make myself the best doctor that I can be.
It still feels surreal. Perhaps the day I’ll realize that i am actually a medical student is when I am in class and maybe during the white coat ceremony. I feel soooooooooooooooooooooooo incredibly blessed. I am not saying that we didn’t work hard. We definitely did. If you have ever met pre-meds I think you’ll know what I mean. They’re the ones that try to sacrifice other things. To be all around good people they engage in activities and try to be good to people. However, in the back of their mind there is always this nagging feeling that says come back to school work towards your degree.
To get myself into the mindset I have been reading tidbits about how to prepare yourself for medical school. I am not going to say that it is easy that I can just relax now. No, there are going to be hurtles and people that you must learn from. Life determining exams and life altering moments. One of the things that I read that stuck out the most for me was one quote about remembering why you wanted to be a doctor in the first place. The writer said that it becomes incredibly easy to get sucked back into the throws of classwork, meeting high standards, getting ready for residency, etc.. that it becomes really easy to forget why you wanted to be a doctor, what kind of doctor you wanted to be, and how you wanted to improve medicine and the lives of patients.
I guess this blog was initially the blog that I wrote to keep my curiosity going. I will keep it going, but I will also use it as a log to check up on my thoughts and feelings as I go through medical school
America is a wonderful place, but there is definitely a lot that we need to work out. Racism and stereotyping in it’s boldest forms may be publicly shunned and disapproved of, but it still weaves itself in our daily conversations and under our breaths as jokes. Mostly, these come to be because of ignorance and people’s lack of thought in their words when speaking to people outside of their cultures.
It is probably no surprise that I am an immigrant, in my previous blogs, I have discussed my native country, Mongolia, several times. I came to the United States when I was a child and there were very few Mongolians in the United States at the time. Whenever I met someone, I would introduce myself and they would ask what ethnicity I was, either because of my name or because of the language my family spoke. I would tell them, “Mongolian.” Then the person would reply one of these:
“Oh! Mongolian BBQ”!
“Oh! Genghis Khan!”
Sometimes this is how I felt when people made such comments. This video is oh so amazing.
Okay, outside of my anger, I understand, that sure these are the most common images of Mongolia that is represented. Although, I love my native country and those are some of it’s key features, that simply does not mean that should be what anyone should apply to everyone coming from one place.
I love horses, and I happen to know how to ride a horse but I know several Mongolians who don’t know how to ride a horse, yet have not even been to the country side.
Mongolian BBQ does not exist in Mongolia in the same form as it does in America. Mongolian meat preparation and food requires several hours of cooking and skill to make.
Although these are ideas that come into my head to refute what people say to me in response to me sharing with them a part of me I usually forgive these. They are common place and I understand where they are coming from. Their ideas only tell me that they have not learned about Mongolia and that there is an opportunity for me to share more with them so they have a better understanding–if they want it
These are things that I experience on a regular basis with strangers.
Let’s take it step further, things that I experience with people I’ve known for quite a while. These ones hurt a bit more when they put me into a stereotypical box despite having known me and seen my personality.
My high school french teacher. She was an amazing teacher, tough , hardworking, and the reason why I even remember an ounce of french today. However, one day she decided to show a french film called L’huiteme Jour (the eigth day). The film was about a person who had down’s syndrome, formerly called mongolism. she knew I was mongolian and I had many a times poured my heart out to her when I shared my stories about Mongolia and my grandfather in French (and no is it was not lost in translation, I received As in her courses). Yet, she continued to show this movie that was clearly going to be offensive to me. The movie as a story was good, it was about the person dealing with himself and this illness. It was great, but in several scenes the main character drifts off into a dream where he is an actual Mongol, hordes and all, riding a horse on the plain. I was embarrassed because here was the title of my country and my people and it had been turned into a name for an illness. There, I was the only Mongolian student in her class, with no defense against a teacher who held my grades in her hand. I had no defense, I couldn’t jump to the front of the class and scream, “this is horrible, the fact that someone has taken the name of my native country and people and turned into a disease is wrong! Please disregard these scenes in the film!” I was too young at the time to do anything about it, but I knew that it felt wrong that she was showing this film especially with me in her class. I loved my teacher no matter how hard she was, but I definitely felt alienated from her starting at that point. I just gave up trying to have a strong relationship with her. Despite her being my teacher for 4 years. It really hurt. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mongolism
My co-worker. My co-worker of a year plus, whom I had invited into my home to celebrate Mongolian Lunar New year, who I had congratulated at her wedding, and who I had helped in her project for work. One day, I was really excited because I had to send my naturalization paper to an organization and knowing that she recently also became naturalized I thought it might be cool to show her my papers as well. I was excited! Yet, her immediate response was, ” oh you look really ethnic, you look like you’re looking out onto the plains.”
Have you not worked with me for the last year? Did you really have to go and chose stereotyping over sharing something in common? Division over unity? What the hell is wrong with you? People sitting next to me even called her out on it. She just ignored it.In fact she continued on,
“She’s looks really American now, I mean she used to look Mongolian Don’t you think?”
What? Do you know what Mongolian people look like? Don’t I clearly remember you saying I am the first Mongolian you’ve met? What is going on? In fact, I am American and have lived in the states for over 19 years. What makes me more American 14 years later? Perhaps I’ve matured and dress better compared to my years in high school–but that in no way allows you to make comments about my heritage. Sure, say I’ve had a growth in style or fashion sense. Don’t go to my culture.
I guess I let that one go, but then two weeks later, I come into work straight from the optometrist with new contacts in and not sporting my usual glasses and the first words out of her mouth was, “you look Mongolian.”
What? This is absolutely never ending…
After 19+ years of explaining to people where Mongolia is, what our culture is like, defending Mongolian food, Genghis Khan, and trying to make people just see me for the individual that I am. I can officially say that I am tired of being stereotyped by friends and strangers alike. So stop it! Smell the roses everyone. People are people and take them as they are. If you are interested in their heritage ask them if they want to share or even know some information about it. As the video I shared above shows, some people may look “ethnic” but may not even know how to speak the language of their predecessors.
These are just my ramblings.. Don’t take offense people, but perhaps before you make a small comment like the ones I pointed out above, please think about what you are about to say just for a second.
And no, ” I won’t be offended by something like that” does not mean the other person won’t.
As I sat in an advanced genetics course my professor announced that there was an emeritus Professor–Professor Green–coming in to talk about the history of genetics. This is quite possible given that genetics has boomed in the last 50 years or so.
Now mind you, our lecture was one and a half hours long and there was a lot of talking to be done. I did not know if it would last that long. Boy was I was mistaken. Our Professor Green recollected the first time that people discovered the structure of DNA. He even told us that he had met with Watson and Crick themselves. The science world was small back then. A closely knit group of scientists were leading the forefronts of science back in the day.
Although the history lesson was astounding, what caught my attention the most was actually his personal story and his personal dicta.
Professor Green said that in college he had fumbled around failing a variety of courses until he was called into the dean’s office, where he had a serious talk. The Dean had advised him that he should get better at something or leave entirely. Professor Green didn’t give up and he walked into science. He recalled that genetics and science made sense and that he had to work hard to get to where he got to in the end. He was grateful for science and the experiences he had up till now.
At the end he summed up his experiences in personal dicta:
1) There is no substitute for brains
2) Everyone has qualifications to do something
3) Age and Wisdom have no correlation
4) Age and Experience have a positive correlation
5) Complexity and Profundity are not synonyms
6) Simplicity is the greatest wisdom
7) You can begin your self-education
8 ) Read the works of beautiful writers
I quoted Professor Green’s 7th dicta in my speech and in return he wrote to me saying ” I really believe this [quote] and at [my age] I continue to read and learn. I trust you were not alone when you heard my advice.” I truly hope that I was not alone either.