Advice, please. There is something extremely wrong with this picture
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Advice, please. There is something extremely wrong with this picture

This is a discussion on Advice, please. There is something extremely wrong with this picture within the School forums, part of the Life's Other Challenges category; I should be crying right now but I am not. I am completely and utterly numb. This moment has been ...

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Old 08-13-09, 01:50 PM   #1
 
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Default Advice, please. There is something extremely wrong with this picture

I should be crying right now but I am not. I am completely and utterly numb. This moment has been a long time coming, so there’s no element of surprise. There’s no assault, no violence. Just mute acceptance. And this is the first time I’m putting it all on the table.

The whole story has a pattern and it is easy to follow: the bright red thread of shame should be your guide.

It all started my senior year of high school. I had the gall to apply to the best university in the country. While not top notch, my grades were at least good enough to be competitive. I had all year to boost my average too, but instead, I was walking around exhausted all the time. I started skipping classes, not doing homework, leaving assignments to the last minute. Procrastinating. But, because I was an intelligent young woman, I was able to get by just doing the bare minimum… despite the fact that I completely walked out on my calculus exam and left it blank. I was caught somewhere between apathy and obsession, and even now, I struggle to describe what I was thinking at the time.

I went to a psychologist for an assessment. She told me I was just nervous about getting into university, that this was absolutely normal for someone my age to be questioning their future, even subconsciously sabotaging it. She assured me that as soon as I got into the university, I would be on the right track again. I should just hang on in there.

And I did end up getting accepted. I was the happiest girl in the whole world that day. I graduated high school, went to my prom, and then I spent that entire summer before university in bed. Unlike the year before, I wasn’t working. Unlike the year before, I wasn’t social. I had no inclination to work or play or do anything. I just stayed in my room, and surfed the web. I wasn’t even reading anymore. Then, September rolled around and my parents packed me up and shipped me to the dorms. At the time, I figured a shake up in my environment would snap me out of my funk.

My first year was a strange year. I continued my pattern from grade twelve. Skipping classes, getting by on bare minimum, sleeping all the time—gaining twenty pounds. The only reason I was even social was because I was in a dorm, and it was impossible not to talk with people. But despite this, I suffered in silence. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It got so bad, I wasn’t able to keep up with all my schoolwork; I had to drop a class. This prompted me to go to the doctor and they prescribed me Effexor. It was the first time I was met with the term ‘depression.’ My grades by the end of the year slipped a little, and it was obvious I was not performing at my usual. My parents were disappointed, but they were supportive. They funded me taking an extra one and a half credits at the local university so that I could use them as transfer credits to make up for that dropped course. Little did they know that this would be the start of a pattern that would follow through the next five years.

My second and third year I lived off campus with a few friends. Socially, this was the most successful time of my university career. I had a wonderfully supportive boyfriend and an entire band of friends. But I was still slipping. Skipping classes, sleeping all the time, getting by on bare minimum. And my grades were just getting progressively worse and worse. My parents forgave all those transgressions. They wanted to give me the best care possible. They were worried about me and sent me to all these different counselors and psychiatrists. They were hanging onto the hope that they could help me.

But in my fourth year, I hit an all time low (at least at that time). I stopped going to classes all together. Stopped submitting assignments. Gained some more weight. Stayed in bed. Despite the amazing support of my family and my wonderful boyfriend, I wanted to kill myself. Six days after my boyfriend and my friends threw together a surprise birthday party for my twenty-second birthday, I decided I couldn’t take this any longer. I called my dad and begged him to take me home. Both my parents showed up, packed me up and took me home. No questions asked.

That summer, I worked and I was supposed to take correspondence courses to supplement the credits I lost that fourth year. The only thing that I did successfully was work; I didn’t end up doing any of those courses. I got a big fat “F” on all three. In September, my parents (rightfully) barred me from going back to school and encouraged me to take another course year round. Guess what? I didn’t do that one either. Big fat “F” again. My parents were (understandably) at the end of their rope. They were reaching out to me and I was slapping their hand away.

They gave me one final chance this summer with three credits. It started out all right. I got reasonably good grades, but then I slipped back into old habits. Stopped submitting assignments. Gained some more weight. Stayed in bed. I couldn’t bring myself to care; to gaze into the future and think of the consequences.

Now I’ve got three more F’s to add to my collection, and my parents have (understandably) given up on me. My transcript is a mess. I’m three credits short of graduating, and no prospective for the future. Goodbye dreams of Law School. Goodbye a decent job. Goodbye, goodbye.

And I’m not crying. Somehow, I was able to type this whole story out with no shame. My only great regret is disappointing my parents; for hurting them the way I did; for wishing I could somehow construct a time machine and change everything. Although I somehow doubt if I had the chance that I would.

My parents don’t believe this is depression anymore. I don’t know if it is either. I cannot possibly imagine any outside cause that could make someone give up on their life like this. To not realize what a great effect this is going to have on the rest of their miserable lives.

Five years gone to waste. Five years of self-pity, of sleeping, of moaning about invisible fears, of swallowing lumps in throats, and cold sweats. Watching five years sail by, watching each crash into the next like a chain reaction, and then seeing the whole thing finally explode in my face. I thought I was on the track to doing what I wanted... but I kept sabotaging myself.

Twenty two credits attempted, nine failures. Three credits left to graduate. A transcript that would make the paper its written on blush beet red.

There’s my intelligence for you. I don’t know what is next for me.

And for once in my whole, entire, miserable existence, I’m not feeling the tell-tale signs of fear. I’m not feeling the lump in my throat or the cold sweat. I don’t feel like sleeping. I don’t feel like I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. In fact, I don’t know what I want..... And I don’t know what to do.

Someone tell me what this is. This whole thing. What am I an example of?

I feel so evil and wretched for hurting my parents this way.
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Old 08-13-09, 03:27 PM   #2
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hi ace, welcome. are u on any meds now at all? going to any therapy? if u haven't been to a regular dr. recently, you should go & make sure there isn't anything physically wrong (female problems, thyroid, etc.) Let them know what u are going through.

another thought, do u think maybe you're afraid to graduate? afraid of going into the work world or anything?
i dunno, just some ideas for u to think about.
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Old 08-14-09, 12:02 AM   #3
 
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Correct me if I misread anything.

You feel apathetic and have for a long time. At one point you felt suicidal. You slept most of your fourth year at Uni. Slept a lot in third year.

But you're not apathetic about the ways you feel you've hurt your parents. In fact, you feel terrible about it.

I'm not a psychiatrist or anything of the sort, no formal training, so consider that the requisite grain of salt in this post, but I have a lot of experience (firsthand) with depression. Your experience is consistent with what I know of depression: guilt, feelings of shame, lack of interest in doing anything.

Your parents sent you to all these counselors and psychotherapists, but how much did you really want to go? Those people are useless if the person being helped doesn't want to go to them.
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