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I'm moreso doing this to remind myself. Remind myself what has happened. Where I've been. And where I never want to be again. Hopefully by blogging more often I can gain some insight and also practice "talking" about things...
It's exam time. It's also my birthday today.
Yesterday, I wrote my first of three finals. Luckily I started with my favourite class and professor. This professor has been amazing with me (more about that later) and I have learned more from her than I have any other professor. She is a major activist within her community and reading all the interviews and work she has done is just incredibly inspiring.
I have been having a tough time ever since I went home for my grandmothers funeral and was confronted by the cousin who had abused me for years as a child. Simply seeing him was traumatizing enough-but for him to say things to me? I felt like that trapped, scared little girl...I guess in some ways I still am. Ever since the funeral/confrontation my memories have been taking over. I haven't been sleeping for days and then crashing and it was and is just getting out of control. I can no longer live like this. I have been seeing my school counselor although I know she is getting frustrated with me because it seems like everything she suggests to me to help I either end up not following through with or have tried and it hasn't been successful. Every time I see her she suggests trauma counseling and I just don't know if I am ready for that. I have kept this/these secrets for so many years that the thought of telling someone the deepest darkest moments of my life is just...I don't even have a word for it. I feel like if I start talking about it it's going to open up some "box" and I'll start thinking about it and not be able to stop. I'm already experiencing flashbacks, body memories, etc. What if talking about it makes it worse? With all this said. I have decided to take one step forward and at least give it another go. Next week I WILL call and book an appointment (perhaps a different counselor might help) and I PROMISE to attend at least one session.
Our final assignment in my favourite class was due a week ago Tuesday. I had asked my professor for an extension as I was having difficulites focusing with all the SUI thoughts and flashbacks/memories. She granted me one extra week, so the day of the final, to submit this assignment which was an eleven page research paper. It took me four days to write 500 words...I think I ended up handing in a six page paper that was FAR from being anything competent or university level. I couldn't even focus enough to write a conclusion. I had emailed her and asked her if I could meet with her before the final to talk about my paper. She told me she would be in the office by 5 (final started at 6). She travels from Toronto to my school which is about two hours...she was held up and I finally caught her in the office at 5:45. She apologized to me as I handed her my paper. I told her it was shitty. She reassured me that she didn't think it was going to be shitty and asked if I meant it wasn't my best work. After telling her it was far from it she told me that she can see I'm struggling. I told her that I was fearful of failing the class as it is a requirement for my degree-She reassured me that I wouldn't fail the class but I might not pass with flying colors and that this was okay after the hard time I've been having she said she can see that I have put in an effort...a very good effort by showing up to classes even when I wasn't well and at least attempting the previous two assignments. She asked if there was anything else I needed to talk to her about and I told her that I had writing on my arms and didn't want her to think I was cheating...after asking me what it was for (SI) she said "don't worry, I used to have little tricks too...have you tried the elastic trick?" It was comforting to know she knew what I was going through.
During the exam I kept having memories. I couldn't stop them no matter how hard I tried to focus. My professor came over to me and looked at what I had accomplished thus far which wasn't much. She asked me to explain one of the questions to her out loud...and I did. She told me that I was right...it wasn't what I had written (she whispered to change it) and then she pointed out another question to me and said "you might want to look this one over again"...it was so nice to have that little bit of interaction to take my mind off of everything for those few minutes and also to know that she's in my corner and wants to see me succeed. It took me the full three hours to write the final. My professor let me step out of the room to take my meds and have a break halfway through and also allowed me to stand up and have a break when it was only me in the class. I so badly wanted to tell her that I was crawling out of my skin due to all of the memories but she's working on obtaining her PhD and was therefore working on her own school work while I wrote the final. At the end of the final as I was packing up she came up to me and told me that whatever I'm going through would get better. I had to email her tonight because I forgot to submit an aspect of my paper but was unable to because it was past the due date online...I also asked her how she got through things...I realize this may be overstepping a boundary but I just really have no one else right now. Especially no one who has gone through similar experiences and is now thriving (was the executive director of a major org., social worker in various settings, professor, PhD candidate and activist). I really hope she answers the question(s). I also thanked her in the email for being so understanding and non-judgemental with me. I will miss her as a professor...
So now as I am faced with another year of life I think I need to look at what I need to do to become a better person. How I can help myself become well and a fully functioning adult. Also the things I would like to accomplish in life. I think facing the trauma will be the biggy and most definitely the hardest...perhaps starting with it is the best idea.