long long long LONG ENORMOUS rant (also college)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by witchknights, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    Ok so, if this story seems slightly familiar it's because i might have sent seebs an ask or two with the details, err, a little skewed because of some slight paranoia. i'm also not expecting anyone to read this monster? it got way longer than i had planned.

    Ok so, dramatis personae: me, 23 year old. got into college at 16. i live with my mom (a doctor) because we live in the same city as my college. have been in an LDR since i was 15 - my boyfriend/fiancé lives two states over.

    My major of choice was Digital Communicatios, because it sounded cool and was a relatively short program, so i could be graduated and with an awesome job at digital communications - whatever it is - at 19 and a half!! whoo! that will totally show my cousins, gossiping aunts, judging uncles and highschool bullies that i am so much better than them!

    My therapist says i've probably been depressed since i was nine or ten, you see, and i've always tied my perception of self value so horridly close to how well i was performing academically that i thought that if i wasn't get all 100% in every subject (and also wasn't toally obedient and subservient and passive) i was a terrible trash human being that didn't deserve niceness and was a complete shame and disgust to my poor overworked mom, who worked so hard to raise and support me all alone after my father left us while she was still pregnant (which was, obviously, my fault, and of course she would not be so sad and stressed and lonely if i hadnt had the misfortune of being conceived). and i was - i was a shy kid who spent recess reading encyclopedias on the school library or drawing under the watchful eye of my control-freak grandmother who would not let me go play in the backyard because i would be kidnapped, raped and horribly maimed by the neighbours.

    it totally sounds like the recipe for a model, fully functioning mature citizen, right? thankfully a couple months before my 15th birthday i met this great guy on ragnarok online, we started dating in-game because our characters matched, around the holidays we have our first big fight and the moment it dawned on us that holy shit, maybe we werent just like playing dating on ragnarok online. very cute.

    He's the kind of boy who grew up throwing himself off the roof of his house repeatedly, because he thought it was fun, and my mom in law is what a woman would be like if Leslie Knope and April from Parks & Rec had a child and the child was really into public worker's labor unions. Very different from me and my mom.

    fast forward to 2011, i'm a bit better at being independent thanks to his support, and doing things i want to instead of what mom and grandma tell me, but... what i want to do is sleep for 26 straigth hours and give everyone a fright because i am horribly depressed.

    it was supposed to be my last semester at college, and i had only two classes and a paper to write - the Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso, a sort of mini-thesis. and i had no idea what to write it about, i hated my major - that turned out to be Advertising For The Internet and... not for me at all. i flunked one of those two classes and, although i passed it the next semester, i still hadn't handed in my paper by the end of 2012. or 2013. 0r 2014.

    i am just... purposeless. i have a subject to write about (fandom participation and influence in homestuck), but i just... i can't find the energy, the spoons, the will to do it. i cant focus, i cant read my reference books, i barely leave my room. i'm only passably content when i'm at my boyfriend's, and just... being home drags me down. my grandma's health is declining and because i'm the unemployed, youngest of the family (minus great-granddaughters) and she lives with us i have to take care of her 24/7 when i'm here. and like, i don't want to be mean or ungrateful but it's... it's such hard work. her temper flunctuates a lot, she screams at me because i leave the lights on the kitchen on while i am on the kitchen making her dinner, she screams at me because of my dog and i saw her kicking him once and my dog was one of the few things that made me overcome the panic attacks i was having all through 2012. she screams at me when i try to turn down the volume on the tv when it's on maximum and she knows tv sounds make me sick, i've had overloads that left me nonverbal for days and no one gave a shit here because no one even speaks to me if it's not about something they want me to do or a chore i didn't do to their standards. i dont remember the last time i laughed here outside of consuming fanfic or videogames because i cant even play catch with my dog without getting screamed at by my grandma for causing a ruckus when she wants to watch her god damned soap opera. i cant even sleep at night because it's the only quiet i get and. it's fucking awful sleeping in the morning or afternoon or in 30 minute naps through the day sitting in front of the computer.

    i just want to disappear? i dread coming home and i feel so shit about that. i get hopeful whenever i'm at my boyfriend's and the only reason i just... i just haven't stayed is because he just started law school and what kind of job would i have without a degree? how could i even support myself, or us? and also... my college was expensive. this whole mess of a major has cost my mom like $70k plus all the money i've spent being a total ass of a freeloader leech, i cant just drop out of college, i cant do this to her but i cant do my thesis either because opening the document to start writing makes me cry.

    and like, the fucking cherry on this shit sunday is that i've left myself be convinced by my bf that i really should consider taking the entrance exams for med school, which i sorta wanted to do since i was a kid but:
    • i never thought i was smart enough to pass the entrance exams, which have an absolutely insane candidates per spot ratio:
    [​IMG]
    that's 99,71 candidates per spot in last year's entrance exams.
    • two, i sorta didn't want to end up like my mom, which is an awful thing for me to say, but she is lonely and overworked and can't wear nice shoes because her feet are so swollen.
    • three, i have a major fear of screwing up and end up killing someone and like. becoming a murderer.
    but there's people who believe in me, even my mom says she belives i can do it, that i can be a good doctor, but... she still insists i finish this degree so i can get a good job. i understand that it's because she's afraid i'll not pass, but... i just feel i can't.

    i need to study. the first part of the exam is 60 questions on History of Art, Biology, Phylosophy, Physics, Geography, History, Math, Chemistry and Sociology. My experience on these subjects during high school - when i was already burned out - was:

    History of Art, Biology, Phylosophy, Geography, History, Sociology: at least an 80% with minimal effort
    Physics: our teacher really liked me, so she put a lot of questions like "explain how this works" and "describe what would happen if X" or "the history about Y discovery was __" and very little equations. i know it was for me because she said so while i was discussing a scientific american or smt article with her: paraphrazing, "i can't believe someone can get so well how and why things happen and then flunk so spetacularly whenever you glance at a number and i hope you're grateful for what i'm doing for you"
    Chemistry: I fell asleep in class once in second year and never again understood a word of chemistry
    Math: HELLSENT BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. i hate numbers. i cant do numbers right. no one can convince me 872 and 287 and 728 arent the same fucking thing if i don't read anything number by number. i cant do multiplications or division in my head. i can barely manage change at subway. i'm almost crying thinking about how much i hate it. i didn't feel emotional talking about shit emotional baggage but OH MY GOD MATH IS SO AWFUL.

    the second part of the exam? writing, portuguese, english and literature. the four things where i ALWAYS got 100% in every single damn test without even being awake during classes. i am perfectly confident that i can steamroll the exam if i get a good writing prompt and like, maybe take a look at the study guide before bed the day before the exam. but i do have to pass the first part of the exam. the first part of the exam has math. with so many people trying the same major as you in one of the best public universities in the country it's really hard to get to the second part of the exam if you don't get that first damn near 100% right. including the part that has math.

    so i got a tutor for math, because i hope i've made it clear that i really fucking need it. and i'm twisting and kicking myself because.... i should be focusing on my thesis? instead of something i probably will suck at and flunk and... just generally continue to be a disappointment? and there's like... so many more variables and things that are uncertain in all this and just... if i pass, i'll move to be near him and it's a full-time school so i'll need to rely on my mom to live until i'm like 30 at least. and she's old? and i can't do it to her?

    i don't know. i cant stop feeling i've wasted my chance, that i took too long and now it's just not feasible anymore. i thought about taking the exam for English instead of Medicine because i'll have a much better chance to get in, but... i like english, i'm good at it but it's so into my comfort zone... i don't want to be in my comfort zone anymore? i want to grow. i want to learn. i want to do something good with my life, yknow?

    wow this is enormous. anyway. that's my rant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  2. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    Hi I take it you're in the USA? Why do you want to be a doctor, or at least why do you want to go to med school?
    (And you got an A in history at school with minimal effort? B-hell! Do you at least read history books for fun or something?)
     
  3. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    At this point, I'm tempted to advise burning the draft of the thesis and starting with a new one.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. Rongeur

    Rongeur ~Heartless Bitch Extraordinaire~

    First: get yourself checked out for dyscalculia , because if you don't have it I will go out, buy a fancy church lady hat, and eat it veil and all.

    Second: Before you do anything else, take care of your thesis. It's a big gross abscess on your psyche, and it'll only get bigger and grosser the longer you put off dealing with it. Like rigorist said, no matter where your draft is right now, burn it to the ground and start over, like you just got the assignment. Clear your schedule, buy a new calender, and make that your first and only priority. Don't do a single other thing until you've lanced that sucker.
    ________
    Regarding med school: I don't know anything about med school in your country (which I'm guessing is Brazil?), so I can't offer any specific advice, unfortunately. Before you make any kind of decision, talk to some people who are currently med students; ask a lot of questions. What material do they cover? What's the courseload like? What kind of learning is emphasized? What are the required courses?

    I'm going to be blunt: med school is hard work for anyone, and some of the issues you've mentioned here - the (almost certain) dyscalculia, the problems with chemistry - will make some of the material that gets covered in med school literal hell. That doesn't mean impossible, but it does mean it'll take a shitload of misery to make it possible.
    If you're 100% certain that yes, you would gladly put yourself through that hell (and risk failing) because you just want to be a doctor that goddamn much, then godspeed and good luck. (We can be developmental disability med school buddies!)
    But before you answer that question, talk to some people who are currently doctors. Learn what you'd be getting yourself into. Figure out exactly what it is about being a doctor that appeals to you. There are plenty of ways to get involved in the medical field, or to help people with health problems, that don't involve this specific path. Medical social work in particular might be a good fit for you, given the strengths that you've mentioned here.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    The situation sounds like it sucks, especially with depression making everything worse. Are you in treatment for it?

    And, like, other people with more experience might disagree, but the thing about having possible dyscalculia? I would stay far away from medicine with that. Like, that is a pretty legit disability. I would compare it to being an arthritic lumberjack. It depends what field you end up going into, obviously, but even in your residency - I mean, nurses probably do vitals for you, and its my nurse friends bitching about stuff that influences some of this, but you need to be able to interpret vitals, and also look at drip rates and prescribe dosages. And the thing about that is that one needs to be able to do basic multiplication in one's head fairly quickly. I did training to be a paramedic, so the focus was on being able to do everything while everything was chaos and one needed to move really quickly, but it's kind of a thing. And, I mean, that's a pretty untactful way of saying 'give up your dream,' but it's not about you being smart at all: you are obviously hella smart for doing what you've done, and the effortless grades in all the language stuff are indicative of the raw brains you're dealing with. But I also wouldn't encourage someone with severe vertigo and anxiety about it to become a ballerina.

    So, like, if you think it's something you can overcome? Good for you. But a disability can sometimes just stay a disability.

    And I don't think you've ever waited too long to do education: my dad didn't finish his BA until he was 38. My mom didn't even start her MA until she was in her 40s, and my stepmom is 52 and just finished her 2-year low-residency MFA. So you haven't missed any chances, you're just doing other stuff.

    As for staying in your comfort zone: there is always new depth to find and new ways to push oneself and starting off in a place one is comfortable and working from that solid foundation isn't necessarily a bad thing. And, like, the research project I'm signing on for next year is about social media, sexuality, and gender. Which is at least 60% of my life right now and definitely my comfort zone, but it's also gonna be cool as hell and having it be in my comfort zone makes me more excited.
     
  6. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    Sorry I forgot to mention, but not in the USA - I'm Brazilian.
    I want to be a doctor because... well, many reasons. One, it is a comfortable environment for me, since i grew up in hospitals (i think i watched my first cesarean when i was what, five?) and i like watching surgeries on youtube or medical documentaries while doing chores. Two, we are in the verge of a breakthrough in medicine with all this recent technology, and i think it's fascinating that maybe somewhat soon we'll be fabricating 3d printed fully functional tissue, that we're starting the process to get to a point where forget dying on the waiting list for transplants, need a new heart? boom, here's your new 3d printed heart! the risk of rejection is zero because it's made with your own cells.

    And also... i think very things make me angrier than bad doctors half-assing their jobs. it makes me livid to think that i know more than one person who was left permanently disabled by an incompetent orthopedist, that one of these people is my boyfriend's grandma, that another one is a 60 year old domestic abuse survivor with a severely mentally disabled daughter and that she can barely move her left hand and has no strength in her left arm but still has to clean houses for a living because she cannot even read or write her own name. That my boyfriend's whole hometown still relied on that doctor despite him being incompetent because he was the only orthopedist they had. it makes me furious when i read stories of medical discrimination on basis of race/economic status or gynecological violence during childbirth or about pediatricians that do not know how to deal with autistic children as human beings. if i am a doctor i can change things a bit. i can make sure at least the people going through my hands will have the best treatment i can give them, that they are treated with the respect they deserve, no matter what specialization i end up choosing. i think that's it?

    (and yeah i did. i used to at least read all my textbooks before the year started, bougth a lot of history/science magazines, and as i said i read the encyclopedias on the school library during recess, along with a bunch of other stuff. i was also very thorough, i usually needed half a page to answer a question in a test most of my clasmates answered in a line or two.)


    At this point, i'm inclined to set my whole uni aflame, but i fear that would be arsony.
    i have suspected i have some form of dyscalculia, but my shrink thinks it might also be my depression fucking up my memory/attention span; besides what i mentioned, my only other problem linked to dyscalculia is the map thing and difficulty estimating distances, but i have poor depth perception because of my eye problems (same as my mom's so i know it won't be too much of a burden), and the low latent inhibition/name recollecting, which could also be due to depression fucking with my brain.

    My mom is a doctor, and so are all her friends and a good portion of the people i know. i know it's a somewhat biased view, but the people i've talked to think i'd be fine - organic chemistry might kick my ass because i started to see it in high school around the same time my mental health started going down the drain, but they're more concerned about me getting uncomfortable being around too many people more than they are concerned about me failing academically if i can push myself to actually study. which is more faith in me than i actually have, but i do have a chronic problem about self-confidence, so i am not a reliable narrator.


    I am in treatment! therapy weekly and I've just gone back to my meds, actually.

    I think i don't have much problem taking vitals - i do it for my grandma all the time - but the things get complicated when you add formulas and too many numbers, which is why the entrance exams scare me shitless. the years i had tutoring in math - i left a public school with an abysmal math curriculum in 8th grade and went to a posher, difficult private school - i could keep my head above the water, like in the upper 70%s, but i was having two extra hours of math a week and doing lots of homework. it just took me an enormous amount of time to double-check everything, but it's been ages since high school and i'm not sure i can do that again to pass the exams? When i worked at the post office i got better with change and multiplication in my head, but then i became almost an hermit and lost the skill again. i hope it's just that math won't stick very well if i don't use it instead of actual dyscalculia.

    i thought about trying the entrance exams for med school/pyschology until i'm 25 (so, four exams), and switch it to English if I can't get into until then. it's fairly into my comfort zone, being language, but lecturing and putting up with moody, unwilling teens early in the morning arent exactly my strongest points so it is somewhat of a challenge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  7. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    I'm with Rongeur, there are a lot of things to do in the medical field that don't involve med school. Occupational therapist maybe? Physical therapist?
     
  8. Rongeur

    Rongeur ~Heartless Bitch Extraordinaire~

    I'd definitely get yourself evaluated for dyscalculia at the very least - it can't hurt, and if you do get a diagnosis, you might be able to use that to ask professors for accommodations (calculators, extra time on tests).

    For what its worth, it sounds like you would be amazing in medical social work. Your passion for patient advocacy, and your familiarity/comfort with medical environments would make you an incredibly valuable asset for patients. I don't know how social work (Serviço Social) degrees work in Brazil, but you should seriously give it some thought.
     
  9. I agree with rongeur. Also, "my blood boils because there are many injustices" is not a sustainable motivation for such a huge sacrifice and effort - working amongst doctors, some will be shitty, and some will be above you in the hierarchy, and you will not have the power to stop them all.... But you will have your nose rubbed into these kinds of things year after year. This sounds like a recipe for burnout. I advise a medicine-adiacent career that does not need you to give up personal life for ten years? However long that is. I also wonder if getting a job to sustain yourself and moving out from this house full of people who make your depression deeper would not be more than worth it. But of course I don't know your circumstances.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    I thought about becoming a therapist, as well. i'll see.

    The problem with Social Work isn't so much the degree as it's the career after that; almost all openings are in city and state-level public work, which you can only get into via aptitude tests that are very difficult and also face some fierce competition; "public work examination student" is basically its own profession here in brazil, with many jobs having a higher applicant/positions ratio than the entrance exam for medicine. Social work positions show up in the exams when someone, like, retires or dies and they can' shuffle anyone else in. Some businesses do hire SS people, but these are mostly on the large cities like Rio or São Paulo, not where I want to live, and a lot of the openings are in jails and rehabilitation centers for criminal youth, which are... not nice places to be working in.

    But i see why you're saying that; one of the places i wanted to work were the family health programs offered by our universal healthcare system, and in public clinics, which i guess is sort of medical social work.

    There's the more stable career, too. I wonder if I should give psych more consideration, hilarious as it sounds. it's still a carreer with goawful professionals and a lot of people needing help.
    i've thought about finding a job and getting out of here, but... i cant stop feling like shit about it every time the idea comes up. getting out of here but stay in the city/state just feels like i'm backstabbing my mom and abandoning my grandma.
     
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