Category Archives: Life Rant

The battle that you’re fighting makes you feel so all alone

(Ordinary Angels – Karyn Williams)

I have experienced a lot of side-lining, exclusion, and isolation in life. I was someone who really only had circumstantial friends until one particular person changed that in high school. I will be the first to admit that although I have found my voice, everyone else had enough of a head start that I still feel lost in the world of friendship. Making and keeping friends is something that I still approach tentatively. I strongly desire close friends, but don’t really know how to obtain them. I don’t want to impose on people, offend people, or bother anyone…I don’t want to be weird and awkward when I’m trying to be friendly. I am so thankful for the people I do have as friends, and many of them go far beyond the call of duty to love on me, but I wish I were better at the friendship game. I’ve always expressed interest in a guidebook for communication skills, but I do realize that it isn’t practical or probably even possible to create a comprehensive book for that…plus even if it did exist it would have way more words than I would probably be able to sit still long enough to read, and it would be so overwhelming that IDK if I’d even see it as worthwhile when I can stumble my way through figuring things out without all that work…

So yeah, all that to say I am used to being an unintentional loner, but grief is a profoundly isolating experience. It is like being inside a translucent hamster ball trying to understand the blurry shapes and fuzzy sounds and trying to interact with a world that you can’t really control or even touch while watching everyone else walk around in complete freedom. No one can really understand what it is like to be trapped in that ball and it is so stuck closed that no one can really free you from the prison of grief. It’s just you and the hard walls around you. The walls keep the world out and you in so your pain can’t hurt anyone else, but you keep running into those hard walls, and it gets frustrating that you can’t escape, and really without control your ball is also running into things.

My grief is getting a little better. It still hurts, and I still cry sometimes, but I am learning to ignore it. Tuesday since I was driving about 500 miles, I had a lot of driving time…driving all day can be less than ideal since there is not a lot I can do to entertain myself which means I am alone with my thoughts for a long time without much in the way of distraction…sure, I have the radio and a notebook in my lap, but that is often not enough. We aren’t going to talk about how dangerous driving can be when deep in the emotional pit, but yeah, driving can definitely underline the pain in life. And that is what emphasized how much progress I’ve made. Sure, by the afternoon I definitely had cried, but I actually did pretty well in the morning. I was annoyed when I realized one of the unmarked roads a few miles ago was the one I should have turned on and I was a little frustrated when my phone told me I should go 10 miles south then make a U-turn and go north when I could have just gone north in the first place, but it wasn’t that big of a deal (and on that second one, I should have just followed the directions I wrote down, but I wanted to believe that my phone was taking me on a shortcut…)…I made it.

I heard a lot of really awesome things on the radio. One of them is that when you’ve been supporting someone and they become able to be responsible for themselves, you don’t let go of them, you let go of control, and you don’t step out their life, you step out of their way. I really liked that. I have some friends who have done that well. When I am falling I might need help, but if once you have caught me you just notice that I am not in free fall anymore and let go and don’t help me get my own footing then I very well may start crashing down the mountain again. Grabbing me and letting go gives me hope for a minute, but it’s a false hope that doesn’t really change anything if I still don’t have any way of clinging to the mountain after you let go. Friends who leave me a rope, connecting me to the top in case I need it again, giving me space to climb but not be totally alone are so valuable…and leaving the rope out isn’t just hey let me know what you need. That is an awesome start that I really appreciate, but when I am deep in grief, it is really hard to figure out what I need. Let me know if you need anything is better, but still not totally there…it takes away the required need to know what I need, but leaves behind an implied fill-in-the-blank requirement that someone like me is usually going to not ask at all rather than leave the line blank. It also puts the responsibility on me to ask, and when I am using all the mental energy I have into keeping up with the more primitive responsibilities of life like eating, going to bed, and dressing myself, clearly that ask is beyond my every day ability. While it might be a frustrating approach when what used to be an easy answer (more skittles) is no longer a reliable solution since at times I wasn’t even eating candy, the best thing anyone can do if you really want to do something tangible is to tell me what you want to do and find out whether it would be helpful or just add more stress. Side note also that you should probably make sure that what you are offering is something you actually have the ability to make happen, because when you are already living minute to minute holding on for one more minute at a time, the disappointment of something that should be of marginal importance can be magnified. For me anyway, something tangible that was really helpful was people texting or otherwise contacting me even just liking a post on facebook in a way that didn’t require a response so I didn’t have to feel rude or extra stress if coming up with words to respond was way over my head, but I could still have the benefit of connection and someone reaching in to my lonely world. I eventually figured out how to ask for that, but I think I kinda failed on the follow up to make it happen…but anyway, I recently saw on one of the sites I follow a comment along these same lines…side note that everyone is different…the person in the quote below only cried like three times a day, and for a long time I cried pretty much any time I was alone and sometimes even if I wasn’t alone…although I suppose some days three might be right because that could also mean I only stopped crying twice…there were and are a lot of tears shed in my life…on a less surface level, for me, surprises are not really my thing, so while I might appreciate you just showing up, it would be more meaningful to me if you asked me first is it okay if you come over. If my world feels out of control, then even more than ever I want to feel involved in the choice. I might not have the mental capacity to actually choose, but at least letting me rubber stamp your decision is good for me…and okay, let’s be honest, I might be making bad choices because I don’t have the ability to reason logically, and I might be refusing help I might need because shaking my head no is the only control I can have in the world…but I might also be making a different decision than what you want for me because I am scared and because I don’t want to burden more people and because I learned shame and most importantly because back in March and April and May I knew I wasn’t supposed to do anything that could put graduation at risk and I knew that without full executive function I could easily say too much and break the rules by sharing about the abuse, and so some things just weren’t safe options for me. Yes I needed to talk, but no, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

 

what to say

 

Back to the point, I will also be the first to admit that it is probably hard for people to know if they should leave the rope out for me, because I am protective of other people and don’t want to burden them so to the extent it is possible I tend to pretend I am okay so they don’t have to feel bad for me or feel pressured to do more than is comfortable for them, and I am used to having to figure things out on my own while pretending everything is fine…Unfortunately, I’ve had way more experience with that than I would have ever liked to have. I went into third year doing reasonably well. I really did at that point primarily just need a steady accountability partner, which is another reason it didn’t seem like THAT big of a deal to be working with someone bad. I’d been bullied so much in the past that working with a bully didn’t seem like a problem. Yeah, I was wrong. It was a gradual enough change that I didn’t really notice it much myself and blamed what I did notice on other (moderately legitimate) circumstances (like new classes, my first apartment, etc) even though other people did notice that I had changed even though I wasn’t talking about what was going on. Looking back, by the end of third year I was probably in crisis mode more often than I wasn’t. Things that would have made me cringe and then go back to normal life became situations that threw me into a day or more of freaking out. I couldn’t handle the stress of the abuse and the germophobia grew into what I guess was maybe partly a mental distraction to take away from the pain of abuse…I don’t really know a lot about how these things work, but I know that regardless of the exact mechanism at work it isn’t the expected outcome to go into counseling close to ready to “graduate” from counseling and after a year be fighting to get through the semester even if there were other things like difficult teachers and deaths to contend with at the same time. (But don’t worry, according to my abuser, I was not grieving…lol…it is kind of scary that this person is still allowed to interact with and even “counsel” (those are definitely huge exaggerated finger quotes) students on campus. I worry about the other students she is hurting. I know I was an easy target and hope because of that I got hurt worse than other people, but that is small consolation, and I don’t have any proof there aren’t other people, easy targets or not, who were being treated just as badly as me.

I work hard to remind myself it is not my fault. It is never the victim’s fault. The victim never really chose to be abused. Being an easy target doesn’t mean it was my fault. It means I was taken advantage of. Someone whose job it was to protect me instead used her power to hurt me and that is not okay. Yes, being protective of others, being excessively quiet, and being very obedient made me an easy target because there was an almost non-existent chance of me spilling the beans, especially when told not to say anything, but that doesn’t make it wrong for me to have those attributes. Being protective of others is problematic in this kind of situation, but it isn’t wrong to want protect people. I know life isn’t all about me and value other people’s experience and perspective. Being quiet is something I’ve always hated about myself, but it doesn’t make being abused my fault. It also isn’t all bad. Someone told me once that not being good at speaking makes me good at listening. I’m not always totally convinced of that because sometimes the worry about if I am going to know what to say next takes away from my listening and also without having something to say in response makes me feel like I didn’t do a good enough job listening, but it is true that I am very willing to take the time to listen when people need to talk. And as much as being obedient has hurt me, I certainly cannot endorse being disobedient to avoid being hurt…I think being disobedient would likely bring its own problems. Following the rules doesn’t make it my fault. Not knowing when or how to question authority doesn’t make me a bad person. It is easy to blame myself because like why didn’t I tattle until months after the dust had settled when tattling even a couple months sooner could have spared me and other students a lot of hurt, but I have to remember that I was doing the best with what I had. My protective personality hadn’t yet let me let go of that protection. I knew tattling would hurt my abuser. I knew it could cost her a job which would also impact her two young daughters who hadn’t done anything wrong. As far as I knew, her husband was unemployed, and the stress of living in a family without steady income wasn’t something I wanted to be responsible for in those girls. I don’t know if she treats her daughters right, but I do know she is manipulative enough that it would be hard for social services to rescue those girls if she wasn’t treating them right. Even when I was ready to let go of protecting the mom I wasn’t ready to let go of protecting the girls.

Also heard on the radio: “I entertain suicidal thoughts.” I heard that and said to myself, yes, yes I do, because I am a fun person. Those thoughts are so entertained…lol…you just wish you were as entertaining as I am. Then I started laughing which was awesome, because I had previously been crying. Also, I LOVE being graduated and free!! Now I can talk about stuff like this without risking anyone taking it out of context and taking it to someone in authority to get me in trouble. Is it stupid that I had to worry about stuff like that, umm, yes, but this was a for real problem. There were people looking for any opportunity to try to say that I wasn’t stable emotionally and should be kicked out of school or at minimum be punished for it…One of my friends asked me to think about the counselors I’d seen…I think the goal was for me to find one to go back to while I was grieving, but considering that over the course of my first 7 semesters of college I’d had sessions with 7 mental health practitioners, to me it was more of a game, and the eighth box on the grid was labeled “FREEDOM.” Not all of my experience was negative, but a lot of it was, and on top of that the last people I saw was, from my perspective, solely a check box of yes I did show up…and the last person even wrote her notes to school that way as a check box yes Wiggle Worm showed up and yes she participated on these dates. There was really no reason besides the stupid contract for me to be there. I saw it as a waste of my time that could be better spent studying and a waste of the money for the sessions and the gas to get there, particularly when I had no interest in being there and knew that even if I did need help that change wasn’t going to happen if I wasn’t interested. I think if the first person and people I saw that summer and fall after the slammed down phone had been more positive experiences that maybe my opinion could have been drastically different, but that isn’t what happened. Instead, being in counseling felt like serving my time, and I was thrilled when that was over. I do recognize that counselors can do a lot of good and I do recognize that in every occupation there are people who are bad at their job, but my experience left me with such a bitter taste that while I am happy to have a counselor as a friend and meet new ones without fearing them, I am not interested in having a counseling relationship with anyone. That ship has sailed. Besides, when you told me back then that part of my punishment for finally breaking under the abuse was going to be counseling, it is hard to in turn break the association that formed between counseling and punishment. I strongly believe that counseling should NEVER be used as a punishment. There are a lot of reasons for this belief. Among other things, it isn’t really fair to anyone involved including the counselor who might not have even done anything wrong – why should they have to use some of their time they could have used to have a session with a legitimate client to have a meeting with someone who really has no reason to be there aside from needing the sign off to stay in school? Why should they have to get into the middle of the web?

I’m on my knees begging you please

(Alone – Hollyn)

 

Sometimes things don’t go well and you have to learn to just go with it.

 

If we want to stay super surface level, my mom and I are VERY different people and therefore don’t get along very well and also I find her extremely embarrassing. She likes to make a scene. I like to fade into the background. It isn’t a good combination…but I didn’t start writing to stay on the surface.

 

More to the point, last night was graduation rehearsal…that is something that shouldn’t have been a big deal for me…and it wouldn’t have been, except that the first thing we did was fill out a survey with a zillion questions…about the job I don’t have…thanks…can we rub it in any more that I failed? They are going to wish I didn’t fill out a survey when they see my answers. I’m kinda going to mess up the statistics they wanted to perform. Yep, lots of applications, no offers, no job. Yep, not only is there a line for what job(s) you signed on with, there is also a line for job offers…because some people actually have choices of where to work while I’m still over here rejected and unwanted. I almost cried, but I didn’t because I am not a baby.

 

I made it through the rest of the rehearsal. Once I got outside I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. I wanted anything but to be where I was. Certain someone was there. Certain someone wasn’t supposed to be there. I haven’t seen her at previous graduation events, but there she was in the open area in front of the doors as if she’d just been waiting for me to emerge. That pretty much ended any possibility of having a positive attitude about being there. I found my parents and wanted to go home right then and just explain to the people I didn’t see that something came up (true statement – a bully came up). My parents weren’t keen on that idea…I don’t really know if there were other people I promised to say hi to and didn’t, but I found a chair in the crowd and wasn’t going anywhere.

 

Award ceremonies are already not really my thing. Ginormous social events are not my thing. I don’t like winning and I don’t like sitting still and watching other people win. Award ceremonies are pretty much lose-lose for me. So even without the situation I wouldn’t have wanted to be there, so you can imagine that my tolerance for annoyance was greatly decreased, particularly as the thing was going on super late at night. Like could we not do this at a time I wouldn’t rather be sleeping? It would be a lot more special to have a small group hang out time at a more reasonable hour than to force us to stay up late in a jumbo crowd. Just open a bunch of classrooms and enforce a maximum of maybe 5-10 people per room and then one classroom with bigger groups allowed to make sure people don’t make the hallway a hang out spot making it impossible to get from one room to the next.

 

The event ended with everyone having to hold a stinky cup of alcohol. I love the smell of cleaning alcohol, but the drinking kind is one of the smells that I can’t handle. I wanted to skip it but my parents wouldn’t let me. I stood there and by the time it was over I was SO done. My parents agreed that we could finally go home, but they just wanted to dump the nastiness out of the cup and go home that way. I said no and was again out-voted…but I did end up getting my way. I was so in over my head by the ridiculously late night and the earlier situation and having to be surrounded by that smell and it still kinda stunk in the car like the alcohol and I started crying and screaming and I half asked permission and half just did it. I pulled into a parking spot and went back inside and rinsed the gross out of the cup. My parents weren’t happy, but they should just be glad I didn’t throw the cup out the window. Besides, what is the point of a single cup? I don’t have any cups in that style at home so it isn’t like I can ever use it anyway. What a waste of my tuition dollars. A mug is something we could actually use. Speaking of my tuition dollars, we have a perfectly good auditorium and many other large spaces on campus but instead the school is renting another facility for graduation so that we all have to go to some random place downtown that we’ve never been before.

 

Also, why would you put something so disgusting in the cups? Fill them with lemonade. Everyone likes lemonade, and there is already as much free alcohol as you want at the event, so if it’s not like by filling the cups with something yummy you’d be depriving anyone of their opportunity to be even more over-served. Plus, like my parents noted, there are some people for whom drinking alcohol is opposed to their cultural beliefs and therefore not very inclusive to make us all hold it. Yep, my school found a way to make me hate them even more on the way out. I overheard when I was like a first or second year that the school doesn’t understand why their recent alumni are so angry…well it doesn’t seem like rocket surgery to me. Stop pulling this kind of stuff on us and maybe we will be more willing to engage with you once we have our diplomas and are no longer obligated to do so. I fully acknowledge that not all of the issues at school were completely the fault of the school, but I also acknowledge that there are a lot of things that once brought to their attention they could have quickly and easily remedied but chose not to, and many situations that they did directly create or were the primary contributor.

 

Speaking of diplomas, my school also plans to give diplomas to three students who didn’t even take most of the professional courses and certainly didn’t graduate. What a way to diminish the value of a diploma! I’d be cool with recognizing other students, but it is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the work that the rest of us have done to give those students diplomas. If they can have them then I want some of my other friends to have them too. If all you have to do is make it to third year to get a diploma then I know plenty of people who also deserve diplomas. Why did I need to do six YEARS to earn my diploma when they get one for only getting 5-6 SEMESTERS through the program?

All I need I can find in you

(Press on – building 429)

I need people so badly. Sure, I was in a room with my entire class, but I was essentially alone and in that room all day. It’s hard. I want out…and I didn’t realize how much I rely on my laptop until I had to turn it in. Part of the issue was the possibility of losing significant amounts of my information, but a bigger part of it is the computer itself.

I didn’t realize how much that laptop was how I self-regulated. I need it for music to calm myself or to distract. I need videos for a human connection. I need my keyboard to provide my voice…even if most of the words are deleted without being shared. Texting this blog post isn’t quite the same. I need the company of the junk emails popping into my inbox all day. I need the community of social media. I need the pages that are familiar and the random stream of Google searches.

And with the intense loneliness and pain of grief I was (am) drowning by the end of the day. I wish I had my bike or inline skates. Even just like two minutes on my skates was enough to help me eat something that first week. It was raining…and my feet are kinda raw from yesterday, so it isn’t a good idea to take a walk. I am working really hard and struggling through dinner. I am frustrated. And IT doesn’t know when I can have the shell of my computer back and they don’t have a loaner for me. I either need some people to help me or I need my computer.

I know partly I’m struggling because I was working on applications yesterday and that is an emotionally taxing activity, but regardless of cause, I’m struggling. It probably doesn’t help that I am also sleep deprived.

Sometimes I need people to make life feel normal and sometimes I need people to let me talk, but always I need people. I really really need people but I’m really really alone. Why won’t God answer my prayer with a yes and let me go to forever home? I’m tired of holding on. It’s too much.

And I can’t figure out how to categorize my post from my phone.

So When my heart hits the floor I can recalibrate

(Eye on it – TobyMac)

So you might expect based on my experience of midyear that presenting at the ISD ### STEM Career Fair would be something I would refuse…well, because I don’t say no to things I feel like I should do, I said sign me up. I mean, I could kinda sorta be in charge, and being in a leadership position is something that makes me a LOT more comfortable in pretty much any situation, so how bad could it be surrounded by 3000ish or so strangers? As it turns out, I loved it!! It would have been a lot better if I’d gotten there in time to shove some more food in my face before it started, but even so, I had a really good time.

Would I prefer a quieter place to sit down with people in a smaller setting – umm yeah, I would probably prefer that, but I had no problem at all (once it had started) with the actual set up. I was a little scared going into it, but I really had a lot of fun. That gives me a lot of hope because while I do probably have to go to midyear again this year, and while there are a lot of parts of midyear I can’t change, the one part that does change is that I get to spend some of my time on the other side of the table. And it’ll be even better than the prospective student open house I volunteered with at school because I won’t have anyone else to keep track of and find ways to get away from…and I suspect I likely will be able to speak about it honestly without risk of getting myself in trouble…see, when you sign up to volunteer your time talking to prospective students, there is an unwritten expectation that you won’t be one of those people telling them to run while they still can, nor will you be honest about things…it feels icky to lie or tell half truths about what something is like…while there were parts of that open house I kinda liked, I very did not like that I would be partly responsible for potentially getting some of these students trapped at my school. Yes, I do know it is improving and things are getting better, but I also know the worst offender is still employed there. I want to protect people, and I was torn, because I am loyal to a fault even towards people who don’t deserve my loyalty…but I also want to protect the potential new students. That whole open house I was just hoping they could all get connected with someone who would help keep them safe and maybe they wouldn’t get as hurt as a lot of people have.

Mostly unrelated, but I am driving to somewhere for an interview somewhere tomorrow (well the interview is Monday…but I’m driving tomorrow…). I may have had a little meltdown because I was so frustrated trying to figure out travel plans…and that is why you shouldn’t leave travel plans for the last minute…so there are tolls…and I don’t have enough time to go looking for an I-pass or EZ-pass…and I also didn’t have much cash and my dad says even though they say to go 5 miles per hour around the tolls that in reality people are going 50 miles per hour and there is no way I will be stopped or slowed long enough to write down how much toll to pay online when I get home…and I had only a $10 bill at home…

So problem number one was finding an ATM to get some money and an open bank to get a pile of ones and nickles…

The next problem was that a quick google search showed that the parking garage next to the hospital cost $52 (not a typo) to park for the day…umm yeah…I can take an uber or lyft both directions for less than that. Turns out there is a bus that goes pretty much exactly where I want to go…the only issue is that I’ve only ever ridden a public transit bus for that one assignment first year that was quickly scrapped after my class when they had some groups done in 5 minutes by driving, other groups (like mine) with no drivers who took 5 hours to not complete the assignment because upon consultation with a police officer we found, the address we were instructed to check in at did not exist, and finally I have heard of at least one group that ended up stranded downtown until 9pm…For that assignment they gave us very detailed instructions about what to do to ride buses and the metrolink to get where we needed to be and handed out metro passes before we started. (Well, I guess really good directions except for that one group who got stranded and the fact that my group’s directions tried to get us somewhere that didn’t exist). So anyway, all that to say I’ve never ridden a public transit bus but for a savings of $48 I figured it was probably better. As much as I hate the airport, I’m thinking if I ever have to do this again, I’d fly and take buses and trains the rest of the way. There is supposedly free parking where I am staying overnight and I plan on leaving my car there during the day while I am at the hospital, but all the rest of it is overwhelming…which is why on today when I was supposed to be super focused on getting homework it got to be noon and all I’d done was work on transportation for this interview…I still need to pack and do homework…

Yep, I’m kinda whiny today…that’s what happens when I’m stressed out for a long time and have almost continuously had colds since the second week of January…see, at work everyone was passing colds around, my family had colds, the people at my previous rotation had colds, the people interviewing me at one of the hospitals had just finished having colds and at another one currently had colds and all the people in the nursery one week had colds not to mention all the airport and airplane time and then I started my next rotation and they were passing around a cold, and I spent time at a high school…so basically as soon as I get over one cold, I’ve been picking up another one…someday I’ll be fully healthy again…

I saw something on facebook that says “Don’t call me overdramatic. If an octopus is stressed out it will eat itself. That is overdramatic.” I liked that a lot…yep, after trying to figure out this whole interview thing I declared that I was no longer even interested in having a residency if it meant going there…umm yeah…I’m not stupid enough to let this frustration get in the way of getting what I want…plus, I filed my taxes yesterday and for the first time I have an awesome refund coming my way!! It’s too bad I don’t get any city taxes back, because I feel like those are the biggest rip-off. I hate paying taxes…like I get the government is in debt, but not spending so much money would be a lot more helpful for the government than taking away the money I earned. Not saying, just saying. I deleted the rest of this paragraph because it wasn’t very respectful…

My internship forms were due like yesterday…one of them is currently in my folder and the other is not currently in my possession nor is it in the possession of the board of pharmacy…yep…I am a super responsible student…I tried…and failed…moral of the story, never try :).

I think I can’t I think I can’t

(For the moments I feel faint – Relient K)

My first on site rotation is a week from tomorrow.

I might still have not ever started preparing for interviews. This could be a hardcore failure since I now have like no time…or it could be okay…who knows, maybe they will be excited to have this girl who looks like a middle schooler and has absolutely no idea what she’s doing…

On top of that I still have my rotation. It’s not my favorite, but based on the feedback I got before the rotation started, it could totally be way worse…I was told it was really hard and people fail and it is really challenging and stuff…I was kinda nervous and kinda wondering if those people were just saying it is hard as in you actually might have to do something besides show up to pass…On last Monday my manager found out who my preceptor was and told me that was great because that means my rotation wasn’t going to be so awful…umm…thanks for the  vote of confidence?

I am trying really hard to write a presentation…about a topic there isn’t much information about…I feel like on my previous rotations there’s been a lot more guidance about what my topic should be and how I should structure my presentations…this is kind of just do it…and I spent so much time trying to come up with a topic that I am pretty much at the deadline and still have a blank paper and a pile of inter library loan requests…

…and I found out Friday that I have a presentation to give on Monday…and I lost my voice on Saturday and it isn’t back yet, and therefore I haven’t been able to really practice the presentation…

Should I start panicking yet?

I’m also staying at my first airbnb the night before my interview…so maybe I’ll be kidnapped (adultnapped?) and none of this will matter!!

Do the angels fill the air? Do you reach out and touch them?

(Dreaming Jacob’s Dream—Michael Card)

 

Lol, so I think this is from the Christmas musical The Plane Truth when I think it is Joseph who says “scare me any worse and I’d be with the Lord!” Umm, yeah, that was me on the way home from church this evening. God definitely was watching out for me so that I didn’t meet the angels this evening.

 

So for this story to make sense, you need to know that I didn’t have much sleep most of last week and have been sleeping like 11 hours at night the past two nights and sneaking in a few minutes of eyes closed time here and there as I find an opportunity in between doing homework…okay fine, in between staring at my homework but being too tired to actually do anything. Keeping my eyes open has been a chore.

 

So anyway, I was driving home from church, and I almost fell asleep…not like my usual way overtired kinda napping against the window at the stoplight or anything, but like I was driving down the freeway and suddenly my head was in my lap. Luckily, as I drifted to sleep my foot came off the gas and the slowing of the car I think is probably what kept me from falling all the way asleep, but that was terrifying. I am so fortunate and blessed that I woke up in time that I stayed in my lane and didn’t run into anything, but it was really scary…

 

I think perhaps I may have learned my lesson about driving half asleep…’cause I definitely do not want that to happen again, because next time I might not be so lucky. I love seeing my friends, but I also like being alive…actually, sometimes I’m not so sure about being alive, but I do like Monkey, my car, and crashing Monkey would be a horrible waste of resources, because Monkey was expensive and still has a lot of usable life left. And dying in a car crash would probably not be a good way to go.

 

On a moderately less serious note, I was thinking recently about answers to interview questions…lol…so I was wondering if being able to pretend that I am having a good time counts as a strength…’cause I hate conferences/retreats, they really really really are not my thing, but see me at a conference/retreat and the closest I’ll get to telling the truth is to say it’s okay…most of the time I keep smiling and telling everyone what they expect and want to hear, that this is great. Everyone tells me it is awesome, so most of the time I feel like I can’t tell them how much I am not enjoying it. People don’t seem to believe that someone might not be having a good time, as if I am making things up or exaggerating when I say that I don’t really want to be there, but I can assure you that after a fall retreat for two different churches, a few leadership retreats for college, and now Midyear, I am very much sure that I do not like it Sam I am. I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with a fox. I do not like it in my hair. I do not like it anywhere. Everyone tells me going into it that I have to go because of how amazing it is, and afterwards everyone tells me I should be glad I went because of how much fun I had, but in reality, I didn’t have fun. Sure, given enough time in one place, I am sure to have a fun moment or two while I am there, but the overall vibe is not fun. The overall vibe is how many more minutes until this is over…but you’d never know that aside from reading it here, because in real life I have learned not to be a negative Nancy about these things because I will essentially be told that I am wrong, and when I already am unhappy about having just spent the time at the event in question, I am very much not in the mood to be told how much fun I had, so I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut. I keep an open mind and go into new experiences giving them the chance to be good even though all my prior experience tells me that it probably won’t, so I don’t condemn the experience before having it, but I feel like at this point in my life I have tried enough things to know what I like and don’t like, and conferences/retreats fall firmly in the category of I’ll go if it feels like the right thing to do, but there is a very good chance that I will not like it. (Although I will say the first fall retreat I went on actually was almost a good time. Those kind of things aren’t really designed with a person like me in mind, but being surrounded by people who knew me pretty well actually wasn’t half bad…that one fell pretty darn close to the category of good. Not good enough to ever go again, but good enough to have positive memories. Let’s just say that at the other church’s retreat (which was actually if I remember correctly in the winter) I spent a lot of my time in my room, alone, crying. I was left out as usual and once they successfully got me to agree to come, no one really cared that I was there anymore). I am very happy to live vicariously through pictures of events so I can be happy with you about your time at the conference, but actually being there myself just isn’t my thing.

(For Recap of my time at Midyear, see the previous four-ish posts…)

I’m livin’ in it and that’s how I say it

(Say it–Britt Nicole)

So as I was walking out of the hospital this afternoon, I saw an obviously angry person. I don’t know what was going on, but someone who appeared to be his friend said something like “you could try talking to them about it.”

That was all of the interaction that I overheard, but I was thinking “yes, talking about it, whatever it is, probably is a good solution.” It is hard sometimes, but talking about issues usually is better than ignoring them…and generally a lot more likely to lead to a solution. For example, I was super frustrated about a partial power outage a few days ago. On Saturday I expressed what had happened and Sunday I got an electrician and then the electric company to fix it. Now I have warm water and don’t have to constantly reset the clocks in the house.

But when I got an email that really frustrated me this afternoon, I wanted to ignore it and hope it went away. My first thought when I heard I needed to be fingerprinted was frustration that I didn’t know where to get it done (which was a valid concern given the difficulty with which I found somewhere and got fingerprinted). My next concern was that I would send in the cards and they wouldn’t think they were good enough. That one was valid as well. I got an email that my fingerprints aren’t very good and they probably need me to re-do them. I was SO frustrated. If my hands hadn’t been full with a snack, I might have thrown my laptop at my bed to express how frustrated I was (but keep me and my surroundings relatively safe).

Instead, remembering the conversation I had overheard, I sent a polite email letting them know that the last time I was fingerprinted the prints were done a zillion times and eventually the conclusion was made that my fingerprints are not that great. Something tells me that isn’t going to be a valid excuse, but it felt good for a few minutes anyway to know that I at least was not ignoring the problem.

If you are a praying kind of person, pray that they don’t make me re-do my fingerprints. It was hard enough the first time, and I feel like I already paid my dues by paying for it and taking the time to do it once. It’s not like I am going to magically have different fingerprints next time so it is really a waste of everyone’s time to have me re-do it, but other people don’t seem to understand that–they want to see it for themselves…I am not everyone else. I just want people to give me a chance and to believe that I know myself. To me, being asked to re-do it is on the same level as the people who tried to take me off of the greeting team in high school because they thought I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have signed myself up if I thought I couldn’t do it…and I wouldn’t have sent in crappy fingerprints if I could do them better, but I wanted to and I couldn’t and so I did. (Wow, that was a really awkward sentence…but you get the idea).

I see the world through my jaded eyes

(Press On—Building 429)

I went to bed angry last night. Angry at myself and angry at my school.

In one of her books, Holley Gerth says anger is a gift from God that reminds us to look for the places we’ve been wounded to teach us to nurture ourselves.

I thought that sounded really pretty when I heard it, but once I thought about it I decided that is dumb…I know where I am hurting, and being angry and going back there doesn’t ever do anything good for me. It is better to try to forge and move on.

So anyway…

Sure, they did quickly go over this (stupid) requirement while we were still on campus and did send a reminder email…but every single example they showed us had things done differently than the way they wanted us to do it.

It wouldn’t have been a huge deal—I would have re-read everything and noticed prior to posting if it hadn’t been for a new rule that was only disseminated via facebook as far as I can tell.

See, the new rule is that there is a limit on the number of items we are allowed to upload during the last week of rotation. I had only uploaded my big assignments, so I was going to be way over the quota, so I started frantically uploading everything I could…which took hours that I didn’t have and really needed to use on my huge final project that isn’t fully written yet, because the system we upload things into is SO slow, and SO not user friendly.

So because I was going so fast, two files went online that shouldn’t have, because they broke the ridiculous new rules. Chances are, I wouldn’t have been caught, but I am way too honest so I can’t help but tattle on myself. I hate myself so much. Partly it is a system problem though. It is the dumbest thing ever that once a file is uploaded it can’t be edited or deleted except by deleting the entire folder—which is something that only the experiential office can do. I am mad because why is it okay for them to post examples of what TO do that are not what they actually want posted, and who even cares if I post something I’m not supposed to…umm, my preceptor already is going to know anything I post and see it before it goes online, and EVERY SINGLE OTHER SCHOOL WANTS THIS INFORMATION INCLUDED. I hate my school so much…and I totally get why so many people want to give back only to the students and NOT to the school itself.

And I am mad at myself because it was a preventable mistake, and because they have warned that they hold the right to decrease your grade and give you other penalties including fines and behavior points if they find out…and they didn’t really specify if that would happen even if they only found out because you told them. Does it make sense to punish people for an innocent mistake? No, not really, but does much of anything they do make sense? No way! I have so many stories of how people have been punished for things they did, or maybe even didn’t do and the punishment didn’t match the crime…and just my luck they are going to be so excited to test out their stupid new rules that they are just going to throw everything they can at me to make me an example for everyone else. I don’t even care if they want to fine me—my grades are worth more to me than my money—but I have worked way too hard on this rotation for them to take away my grade over one teeny tiny mistake.

I would understand if I had somehow uploaded like an entire patient file or something—that would be a huge problem…but I didn’t. All I did was phrase something the way we weren’t supposed to phrase it this year. Which is dumb because this is the first year for that rule and they didn’t edit their examples to reflect that, and supposedly it is a schoolwide rule that even teachers shouldn’t be posting things like that, so the examples they post that anybody can see (ie not just the experiential office and one student’s preceptor) shouldn’t be phrased that way if it is an in real life problem.

I appreciate that this school probably has the lowest tuition of any pharmacy school, but just like I’d rather be happy than skinny, I’d rather be broke if it meant this much less frustration. Life doesn’t come with do-overs and second tries, but if it did, I sure hope it would be one of those ones where you can decide how far back you start and not just have a specific time period you get to re-do, because I really would want to start over at least as far as twelfth grade rather than just this year…

…and back to my project, because I am not going to sabotage my project over this even if the experiential office does want to screw over my grade…

I can only say what I’ve seen and heard

(Flyleaf–Breathe Today)

I was taking a 5-minute brain break on Wednesday and came across a really awesome meme on the internet…that was actually really applicable to my feeling during finals…particularly on the T4 final…

“It’s not that I want to kill myself; it’s just that I would like to become dead somehow.” There were more sentences on it than that, but that part was the part that the rest pretty much centered on. I feel overwhelmed. I know that I know a lot more than my grade reflects…it has been that way in every class in which I haven’t done well…and I will definitely admit that there are a few classes (like APUSH in 10th grade) where I worked my butt off for the grade I got, and I would definitely admitted had I gotten a worse grade that the worse grade was likely what I deserved. APUSH seems like the high school equivalent of patho and therapeutics…moderately useless to most students, an excessive amount of reading and writing, and extremely difficult exams…a difference though is that APUSH the exams were graded fairly even if they were difficult, and if I brought up an issue with an exam question I was actually listened to instead of being brushed off before I could even finish asking the question, which is not something I can really say about therapeutics. Sure, they *say* they read our submissions of issues with the questions, but my experience has been if that is true then it doesn’t happen prior to responding to the submission in a demeaning manner. Disclaimer that I think the teachers are primarily good people, but being a good person doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what you are doing as a teacher. Also disclaimer that I might not be so critical if it weren’t that I was super stressed out about my grade and other stuff…

Well, I felt that way until one of my favorite little people came running up to say hi. I love people, especially the little people. And then once I said goodbye the feeling returned. I just wanna quit. Where’s my white flag?

Also, my name should really have been klutz. This time I have no excuse. I wasn’t really over-tired…and all I was doing Wednesday morning was hanging my towel up when the shower door tried to kill me and I subsequently sat on the floor and had a whine-fest (very important to not miss the ‘h’ in whine, otherwise I’d have WAY bigger problems to deal with…). Then I wished I hadn’t melted all my ice in the sink three weeks ago. Then I sucked it up buttercup and finished packing up my stuff and went to school. I like the phrase suck it up buttercup when I say it to myself sometimes. My guess would be that it probably actually means something dirty so I try not to say it out loud, and I know it is supposed to be derogatory (and sometimes use it that way), but I like to imagine pretty yellow flowers filled with yummy lemonade in a path towards what I am supposed to be doing as an incentive to move on…anyway, that is how I discovered that I pretty much always sleep on top of my right arm…

I don’t want to hate. I don’t want to be broken

(Plumb–better)

Oh my…

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Although it was a little shock when I opened the door and had forgotten just how much of a mess I had left, it was kind of stress-relieving to put the shoes back into the bag headed for the trash and throw armloads of clothes back into the basket and put the basket back into its rightful home.

Tuesday was not a wonderful day. I tried really hard to study, but it just feels really hopeless at this point. There is so much to know and so little time. In the past they have put this final in the afternoon the very last day of the semester…AKA 8 extra days to study that I am missing out on because some teacher wanted to get to start their summer early…

Then I went to the most pointless meeting ever. It was required, but they didn’t even take attendance so no one would have really known had I not shown up…and someone else showed up over 30 minutes late and no one said anything. The meeting was primarily to vote for who was going to have the official positions in my stupid fraternity next year. (Note that I think ALL fraternities are stupid, not just mine). As I have discovered this year, being an elected position means that you get an awesome title for your CV that really means “I did absolutely nothing.” On the other hand, having a self-selected position means doing a little actual work. Beyond that, next year I will be a sixth year and therefore am not required to go to a single meeting or do any of your other stupid activities. Not going to lie, I joined Greek life because it was a good resume builder, and I hate everything about it. They say it is the best friends money can buy, and you know what, loving people buys you a lot better friends than money. I would rather pull off all my eyelashes and eyebrows than spend an extended period of time with a lot of these people. I try really hard to be friendly and loving and pray for them on a regular basis, but I’d prefer to know them from a distance. The big draw to this particular fraternity is that you can join Greek life with a minimal time commitment…which is good because the meetings are so annoying. Also, there was this one girl that applied for every single position and lost (hmmm, I wonder why when her speech on why to vote for her was pretty offensive and ended with money is really important and we all want it)…well, that is, she lost every time until it go to the position of picture-taker and she was the only person who ran and therefore won by default. Okay fine, so that particular elected position actually does require the holder to do SOMETHING…but taking pictures of meetings you are already required to be at isn’t exactly a taxing role.

Then the stupid speech. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. It was required to pass the speech in order to pass the class, and I did that, so I mean the world didn’t shatter or anything, but it went horrendously. First we had to get our topic a few minutes in advance…but as the coordinator is laying them out on the table and tells us to come get ours and we try to, she tells us to stop because “I have to hand it to you” oh sorry, I guess we are not capable of using alphabetical order and reading and recognizing our own names anymore. Okay, so not a big deal, but it was just one more annoyance to add to the annoyance of the last minute dress code change and that we only had ten minutes to get the topic, write the speech, and run to the third or fourth floor to give the speech.

I knew exactly what I was going to say and rehearsed in my head as I ran. (And usually the only running I do is late). I was confident and knew what was up. Except, I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if you have ever tried to give a speech while unable to breathe, but it is a bit of a challenge. Insert awkward pause in the middle of a sentence that sounds like I just lost my train of thought, but is really trying not to suffocate. I don’t really know what happened. It very well could have been from running up the stairs because there definitely wasn’t time to wait for the elevator. That is what I want to think that it probably was. It could also have been a recurrence of my social issues though…I really don’t want that to be the problem. I didn’t really feel scared, but that doesn’t really rule out social issues—I was never scared to talk to my best friend back before I conquered the social issues, but despite her being near and dear to my heart and working really hard to help me communicate as well as possible (and she definitely knew the tricks and did hear a LOT more of my voice than most people ever heard at the time), she still was absolutely thrilled and quite literally jumped out of her chair and jumped up and down congratulating me when I responded to a question with “I haven’t thought about that” instead of a blank look, shrug, or waiting for the question to become a yes or no that I could answer without words. Yeah, five words was a cause for huge celebration, and I was proud of myself, too, because words were really hard for me. So anyway, I passed the speech, but not by much…

Which increased the frustration and anxiety about the final. I now need a ridiculously high grade to keep the grade that I already have in the class since that brought me to the very bottom of the grade. It might be almost within reach if the exam were only over the new material, but it is cumulative. I hate cumulative exams. I wish I could go back to sixth or seventh grade when cumulative exams weren’t a thing. (I don’t remember whether it was seventh or eighth grade when cumulative exams became a thing, but either way, I don’t like them at all).

And there are a couple people whose heart seems to be in the right place but occasionally drive me crazy because okay, if I take out my headphones, ask you to repeat your question, answer it, then immediately put BOTH headphones back in that should be a good hint that I am doing something important and you shouldn’t be talking to me unless it is important…which generally does not include a lecture on what you are going to eat for lunch tomorrow or a list of all the things you are currently not craving. Patience is a virtue…that is hard.

On the positive side, I also calculated how much I needed to only go down one letter grade, and that came up with a much more realistic number…I guess I will pray for the best and just know that even if I go down a letter grade I will still pass and still go on rotation. Yeah, it will be a little harder to get a residency and I might feel a little frustrated, but at the end of the day, passing and moving on are the most important things, because they mean a freedom I can only dream of right now.