Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Patient Advocate

“Abuse is of use.”

That is what we tell ourselves.

That it makes us stronger.

That we can use it to grow,

or to become more empathetic and loving.

We can understand others’ pain,

as if we’ve felt something similar.


But, I hate that.

It gives the abuse an excuse.

That makes it seem like it was “worth it”

since “we’ve come so far.”

As if it had a purpose

and somehow had a positive impact,

but it didn’t.


Sure, you grew from it.

But you grow from everything.

Growth would have happened more without it!

Without the abuse

you would still be kind,

because you are kind.

You would still be caring,

because you are caring.

You would still be strong,

because that is who you are.

The abuser doesn’t deserve the credit 

for your positive attributes.


Don’t use the excuse

that your abuse was of use.

Give yourself the credit for who you are.

You are the one who has brought you this far.

Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.

Holly Ingram (11 Posts)

Medical Student Editor and Contributing Writer

East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

Holly Ingram is a fourth-year medical student at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. In 2016, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology with minors in chemistry and anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, Holly enjoys playing soccer and visiting waterfalls. After medical school, Holly would like to pursue a career in pediatrics.