Okay, onto the me part.
I am freaking out. It's finally sunk in that I am going to be ALL ALONE for two months AT LEAST. BY MYSELF. (This may not seem lke a huge deal in the face of the possible death of my mom-in-law, but y'all ought to know by now that I have issues). I won't even be able to go home for Thanksgiving (not that I'm so eager to see my parents, but I wanted to play with Rachel's baby... baby cuddles are therapy). Okay, as if my class work wasn't suffering enough. Now I absolutely can't concentrate on anything. I can't even listen to a whole song on my iPod. All I want to do is space out in front of a non-thought-provoking-movie, stare at my laptop screen, or sleep. I have little appetite, and when I am hungry, I'm not motivated enough to get up and cook. I'm having stress headaches, I'm getting all weepy (once to the point of working myself into a small asthma attack), and I either can't sleep or sleep too much. And ALONE. Did I mention ALONE? And the only friend I have up here is leaving the program after this semester.
I feel myself sinking back down to the bad place again... I don't want to go there. I spent all last year clawing my way out. Every time it takes longer. For once, I'd really like it if my life could just... QUIT FUCKING SUCKING, okay? Everytime I think it's finally getting better, something always happens that hits me like a slap in the face. Someone is always dying, or injured, or unemployed, and I'm always stressed out and in the middle of it all and helpless to do anything but watch my life and my gras school career sink down into a gigantic pile of shit.
I haven't posted for a log while and for that I apologize. But my life has gotten... insane. My mother-in-law's cancer is back and has metastatized all over her body (liver, kidneys, lungs, ribs, vertebrae and remaining breast). And on top of it she has pneumonia and a collapsed lung. I have been raising her 12-year old son and her poodle mutt for three months. The hubby and I have been running back and forth between here and SE Iowa on weekends for the past month. We've both missed school/work, and I am falling very much behind in class.
We've been wanting to send her to Reno for treatment again, but now she can't fly because at this point she risks mid-air death, even if she has oxygen. So... the hubby is taking off work (maybe for as much as 2 months) to drive her cross-country (with his sister and cousin) in a rented van (because she can't breathe sitting up) all the way from Iowa to Reno and hoping against hope that she makes it there alive. At this point every day is a miracle. So... I'm living MY life day-to-day because I have no idea if somehting may happen tomorrow that will totally change everything.
I could end up with custody of three teenagers and an elderly grandmother. I may have to drop out. I may have to move back to Iowa and try to get a shitty job in Burlington. I may have to pick up a part-time job here to make ends meet for two months. Anything could happen. All I know is that I'm exhausted, I'm scared, I'm all alone up here in Minneapolis and I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. So... yeah. Hence the lack of posts.
Can't sleep. I have no internet access right now, so I'm typing this on notepad at 12:39 in the morning, and planning on back-posting it when next I hit a wireless spot. My brain won't shut up. It keeps thinking about GRAD SCHOOL and GRADES and the SHIT that is about to HIT THE FAN with my ADVISOR (the all-caps are my brain's, not mine). I got a C+ in my Catullus class. Which means that, unless I get an A in the Greek class (doubtful), I'm not going to make gpa (3.25), for the second semester in a row. I'm trying to think of how I'm going to talk my way out of this. I can't very well go to the director of grad studies, who is also my advisor, and my Greek prof. and tell him I'm bombing because: a) my Latin prof grades like an idiot and 2) he, my Greek prof assigns too damn much reading. Nevermind that every other student in the class agrees with me that his expectations are insane and unrealistic. Nevermind that all his classes are always like this and no number of student comments on his evaluations have apparentlly affected his approach. Methinks there is a reason he doesn't get to teach Greek very often.
So what am I going to tell him? I mean, there is just SO MUCH SHIT I'm supposed to do, and I can't possibly do it all. Especially when it all piles up at the same time. Take these past two weeks: 4 papers, 2 exams, 2 quizzes, half a million lines of reading plus papers to grade for my class. I can't do it all. And it seems that I end up doing one of three things, none of which are successful.
1. Concentrate on one thing I think is really important (such as a big paper) and ignore the rest for the moment.
Result: quiz over the material I didn't read while I was busy writing the paper or something similar.
2. Try to do everything.
Result: everything is done half-assed and it looks like I'm an idiot.
3. Get so overwhelmed that I never get around to doing anything becasue I'm so busy trying to figure out what to do first.
Result: self explanatory.
Obviously, I'm not academically or emotionally prepared for this. I love the people at Iowa, but let's face it, it's not a top ten program or anything. I did it in two years and didn't come out very well read. I have huge gaps in my education that I don't have time to fill. But then, I guess I'll have all the time in the world when I get booted out.
I have so much going on in my life these past few months that it's just driven me to distraction. I mean, you try feeding and sheltering two people and a dog on 600 a month after your financial aid money runs out and see how your mental state is. Try living with the fact that you dragged your husband to Minnesota, far from family, friends, and any kind of professional opportunity in order to pursue an academic career that you're now flunking out of, pretty much single-handedly screwing over both of your careers. Then try to sleep at night. Hell, just try to get through the day in one piece.
I'm totally fucked up. And honestly? I've lost enthusiasm for.. everything. I don't want to do anything. This degree I wanted to pursue? The work is just a chore. I don't even want to try to keep up. It doesn't seem worth it. I don't want to clean. Don't want to cook. Don't want to teach. DOn't want to do my laundry. I don't want to do anything but veg in front of a computer/tv screen all day and/or sleep. Nothing is appealing. Hell, I hardly eat. I've been dehydrated for days because I don't care enough to get up and get a glass of water. For some reason I'd rather just pee every ten minutes once a UTI sets in.
I'll be totally honest: I've not been taking care of myself for awhile now. It's just this viscious cycle of apathy. Apathy breeds poor physical/mental health which only breeds more apathy. I've somehow gotten through my first full year in grad school. Not sure just how I pulled that off. Am I still in one piece? Not sure. I feel like I'm just floating around, totally lost. I don't have anybody I can go to. I don't know what I'm doing any more. And I used to be so sure. I had direction once. I had ambition. More and more I start to think that if I could have done it all over, I'd have ditched the grad school idea, let David take a good business job somewhere else and settled down to make babies and live the hausfrau's existence. If I'd done that last May, I could have 10 pounds of adorable infant and a decent income coming in. I could be living in a neignborhood where your car doesn't get broken into and people wash their hair (I live near the art school--lots of dreaklocks, female body hair, and right-wing conspiracy theories). Maybe I could be happy.
I got a D+ on the first exam. I dunno what I got on the final, but it can't have been a whole lot better.
What do these people expect from me, seriously? Between two languages, I'm assigned 700-1000 lines of reading a week, plus a shit ton of secondary reading, seven short papers, two long ones, plus teaching and grading 27 papers every three weeks They're supposed to be educating me, not driving me to new depressive lows. I'm either tired or pissed all the time, I'm broke, and I've lost at least 10 pounds. I'm gonna need a break after my MA or I'll never make it through my PhD.
I'm really more well-adjusted than I seem to be. Really, though that isn't saying much. I just only seem to want to write when I'm feeling especially despondent. I'm not gonna go all emo or anything. Unless it's from Grey's Anatomy withdrawls.
Well wasn't that cheerful? I'm not very cheerful today anyway. Am I ever?
I did have scritchin's and cuddles time with the doodlemonster this morning. It helped a little. A very little.
My mom called last night. Just to yell at me for not calling her. Whatever.
What do we even have to talk about? I'm still studying things my parents don't understand and can't appreciate, my husband is still unemployed, and I still resent them. We knew that already. Do I really have to rehash it?
She said, I feel stranded And I can't tell anymore If I'm coming or I'm going It's not how I planned it I've got a key to the door But it just won't open And I know, I know, I know Part of me says let it go That life happens for a reason I don't, I don't, I don't Cause it never worked before But this time, this time I'm gonna try anything to just feel better Tell me what to do You know I can't see through The haze around me And I'll do anything to just feel better I can't find my way God I need a change And I'll do anything to just feel better Any little thing to just feel better She said I need you to hold me I'm a little far from the shore And I'm afraid of sinking You're the only one who knows me And who doesn't ignore, That my soul is weeping I know, I know, I know Part of me says let it go Everything must have its season Around, around it goes Everyday's the one before But this time, this time, I'm gonna try anything to just feel better Tell me what to do You know I can't see through The haze around me And I'll do anything to just feel better I can't find my way God I need a change And I'll do anything to just feel better Any little thing to just feel better I'm tired of holding on To all the things I oughta leave behind It's really getting old and I think I need a little help this time The haze around me And I'll do anything to just feel better I can't find my way God I need a change And I'll do anything to just feel better Any little thing to just feel better
Anyway, not much new 'round here. Working on my incomplete, getting ready to embark n another exciting semester of TAing myth, and all that jazz.
I've definitely decided never to miss a dose of my meds again... I did last night because I forgot until I was already in bed and too lazy to get up again... and I had the weirdest dreams all night... including one in which Severus Snape (somehow my Dad's best friend) shot me twice in the arm and three times in the chest, after which i very indignantly said "ow" , scowled at Snape and my unconcerned father, and then took a shower and went to bed. I woke up and removed the bullets myself (the wounds were mysteriously shallow- I basically pried them out of my skin like a watch battery, as they were also that size and shape) and applied some neosporin and band-aids. I remember being mad at myself for waiting until morning because they were partially healed and the bullet-things were sticking to the scabs. Yeah... weird.
Definitely no going to bed without meds. And no Harry Potter after 8 PM.
It will take awhile for things to take effect, I know, but just the fact that I've done something productive to help myself makes a big difference. I still feel like shit, but not so hopelessly so.
Everything feels so... flat and grey and static. Sometimes things feel like they're going in slow motion for a few seconds. I just space out. And while that's no more useful to my concentration than the brain running in anxious circles, at least it's more pleasant. I space and five minutes go by where I didn't think anything depressing or worried or horrible. Five minutes of my day that I didn't have to live and worry through. It's kind of nice. In a mindless zombie kind of way. I almost don't want to try to concentrate on anything. It's like a part of me just wants to stare at the computer screen or writing on a page in hopes that my brain will go into hibernation for a few minutes and I won't have to think or feel anything.
Why can't I be the creative depressed person who writes celebrated depressing poetry instead of the zombie depressee that I am? Oh yeah, now I remember. Those types end up sticking their heads in ovens. Nevermind. Off to zombieland.
My husband left just under an hour ago for his second week in Chicago, leaving me all alone in our crappy apartment in Minneapolis. My apartment looks like my old apartment vomited all over it. That is, my stuff is everwhere (in various boxes). It is a cardboard jungle. I don't dare prowl around without lights on for fear of serious injury. I don't know where any of my stuff is.
And I'm a wreck. I finally had to get out of the apartment before I totally lost my mind. I'm across the street using the WiFi in an incredibly expensive coffee house, just becasue I'm less likely yto have an emotional meltdown when I am in public. My eyes and throat need a break from the hysterics. I just don't know when I became so friggin' emotionally dependent, but it sucks. Luckily, my WonderHubby doesn't mind my abnormal clinginess.
it didn't sink in until today that:
1. I actually live in Minneapolis now. I do not live in Iowa and probably never will again.
2. My husband really is leaving me all alone in this totally foreign environment with nobody but two turtles and a zebra finch for company.
I wish we had gotten a dog before he had to leave. I am hundreds of miles away from the nearest members of my support network and I feel very alone.
I've been realzing lately that by going to grad school in Minnesota I have single-handedly demolished David's career, especially for music. And I find it really hard to believe him when he says he doesn't hate me for it. I mean, I'd hate me, too. And I'm apprehensive... if I totally tank on grad school, I'll have ruined his life for no reason whatsoever.
Now Vern needs to go in for treatment, like, NOW... for at least 2-3 weeks, if not 5-6, and David needs to accompany him. That puts a big dent in my pregnancy window and I'll probably have to wait another year. I don't have it in me to be bitter about it. After all, Vern deserves a chance at a normal productive life and I want him to have that. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed about it. I can't help but think that there's a certain justice in it... By my choices, I took away from David the thing he most wanted in the world, and because of the necessity of this trip, I may lose the thing I want most in the world. I can't exactly call it unfair, can I?
Reason #4598 Why I should be medicated for depression... every time someone says something negative about me (particularly if it is partly true) it troubles me far more than it should. In fact, it ruins my day and often ruins my sleep that night because I can't stop thinking about it. What is particularly a problem is when an employer says something negative, however kindly meant (though usually not). Ive had so many negative job experiences that when another one occurs, however small, all the memories of past encounters rush into my brain and stay there. And I generally cry myself to sleep or pass out from sheer exhaustion. Such was last night. The same occurs whenever I embarass myself, etc.
For some reason, I can't move past these experiences. I can tell myself in my rational mind that I needn't be troubled about them, that whatever asshole remark that is bothering me was totally uncalled for. But that doesn't actually work. And I can't talk about them. Maybe the most recent one, but not repeating the old ones. For one, I don't want to relive them, and most of them I only remember when something prompts recollection. Secondly, I can't bear to repeat things that people say about me because I tiny part of me thinks that whoever I'm telling them to will agree with the asshole in question.
I can put on the appearance of confidence, but I think that deep down I really don't like myself. Perhaps that's the underlying problem.
I'm getting so friggin' stressed that all of my old problems are coming back. To be quite honest, they've been rearing their ugly heads for some time now. My sex drive is next to nil. I don't want to be at home alone. Whenever I get upset all the bad things that have happened to make me upset in the past four years come back to haunt me. The same goes when I'm having trouble sleeping. I almost always relive that ugly scene when I quit Orientation, and when I left CIC after two weeks. These memories almost always include times I've been yelled at by an authority figure. And the thing is, I know these people yelling at me were overreacting and being unnecessarily authoritarian. Yet I also know that they had some small, legitimate greivance with me. So I have a really hard time telling myself that the these incidents were totally undeserved. I can't move past them. Hell, I still get flashbacks of the time my first grade teacher yelled at me for telling a kid there was no Santa Claus (I didn't do it out of spite, I was just the kind of kid who liked to show I was smarter than everyone else.) When I messed up writing down my schedule and didn't show up for work on Thursday, Lori was really nice about it, but still, all this stuff came to overpower me again. I'm not sleeping well. Either I have trouble sleeping, or I sleep fine but wake up not feeling rested. I would really like to be medicated, but I'm unsure about whether that is advisable when I'm going to be pregnant in September.
And yes, I totally get that perhaps pregnancy is not a good idea in my present state, especially just going in to grad school. But I can't let my problems rule my life. I have plans for my future and I'm sticking to them. There are other factors at play here, and other people besides myself I have to think of. And I want this.
I just really really really want this semester to be over. Then I have three nice weeks before French starts (one hour a day for 8 weeks) and then a month off before classes start at Minnesota (the weirdo's don't start until September 5). Meanwhile, I have to find an apartment in the Twin Cities, but I don't have the time to be going up there to look at places every week. And I need to start cleaning my apartment now. I hereby firmly resolve to throw out anything and everything that I don't use/don't need becasue I don't want to move any more shit than I have to. I'm going to start the purge as soon as finals are over.