Me, Amanda, a 6th year college student in graduate school = bullied since day 1. Her best days: 2nd-5th grade. First time she acknowledged that she hated herself: sophomore year in high school.
Sure, I’d had sobbing episodes in high school, panic attacks for the first time over lack of time to do tasks as simple as homework while getting a proper night’s sleep and still being on the track team and band and chorus… but college was the culmination.
Now, the worst thing you can do to yourself is say that after ____, I’ll be happy/it’ll be better. That was truly my Achille’s heel. This was how I led life for the next 5 years.
1.Things will get better after I figure out my sexuality/kiss someone (they didn’t, and in fact, I became more confused and very much in denial.)
2. Things will get better when I get my leg surgery and can use my legs again, all of the physical pain that had caused me to become ultimately immobile and antisocial would disappear! (NOPE! In fact, the period after this was the start of my most hateful. Blaming my legs was a cover and once that became clear, there was nothing to hide the self-hatred.)
3. After a near-death allergic reaction to a medication post-surgery, I will be thankful and appreciative of life and be so much happier (WRONG. I decided that I’d rather be dead but my family was screwing up my plans and I was forced to live in the agony of not being able to die because i felt bad that they would deal with repercussions; I couldn’t kill myself at that time, knowing that my family didn’t want me to. I started being angry at the world for not allowing me to die. I hated my conscience most of all.)
So I hadn’t been doing well in school despite studying so intensely, doing all I could think of and putting my heart into it as much as my head was. I cried every day because I failed so miserably, not like “70s” either for those of you thinking as a medical field student, I was being dramatic, no, I mean 50s and 60s AT THE MOST.
I don’t remember when it happened, but one day, I stopped feeling everything.
I went to nutrition class, I remember looking at it with total apathy; I didn’t care about anything. I didn’t think of myself or my family, just that everything in the entire world was pointless. Nothing was worth this. I must have said something aloud. There is the faintest memory of myself mouthing something along these lines. But in truth, it’s mostly blacked out. The next thing I remember is going to my primary care doctor and getting prozac and not giving a single shit.
Now let me tell you, it’s not like I wasn’t trying to help myself and that I didn’t have friends or family to support me before all of this. I was MORE than supported, by all but the college/school itself. All during this time, I’d been receiving the college’s free therapy services (YEAH, good on them..maybe it just prolonged the inevitable) and one of my friends whom I confided in about previous problems and thoughts told my therapist she thought i was gonna kill myself. The reason I was going to my doctor at home was that my closest friend from school somehow got my sister’s number and called her, saying I was gonna kill myself and I needed help or I’d die.
She was right of course, I hated her for it; didn’t talk to her for a long time. I resented that she messed up my plans to die because i couldn’t well do it now that it wasn’t a secret anymore. I’d fantasized about stepping in front of cars, (pills were never my way because that’d be too poetic with my field in school and shit), i thought mostly about getting run over by cars every day and what it would be like to just step in the middle of the road with one coming at me. It brought a smile to my face. I can’t tell you a day I didn’t romanticize that thought, how lovely it’d be to get hit by a car. And these were days when I’d spend time with lovely residents and college mates, I was surrounded by happy people who had no idea. Was I living two lives? Was I living at all? I couldn’t tell you.
It was my only want, everything else was painful so I quit everything, my gaming club, frisbee, friends, and I didn’t do my job really. I said it was to have more time to study, but it was to have more time to lay on my apartment floor and cry. I’d take naps in the middle of the day just to pass the time.
So when my friend somehow got my family to call me to see my doctor and taking prozac, the little will that was in me took it. I didn’t outwardly have any emotion, but I took the pill, feeling like it didn’t matter anyways. Truth is, prozac helped me to get my head up again, not be so far down in the darkness that I couldn’t even see what was real and what was good in life. I don’t remember how it all happened I guess, it’s like I was in a dream when I think back; I don’t remember it besides being from an outside view. I can see someone was like that and it was me but its an out of body memory set.
Anyways, prozac ended up giving me mania bc my doctor was a moron and gave me too much after 1 month of treatment. I decided to take control of my mental illness though right then and there because even though depression was shit, this mania was making me hyper and paranoid and for once, I KNEW it was not me. I decided that after years and years of feeling like I was the shit of shit and telling myself that I hated myself, I was gonna stop because this whole situation is fucked and if I decided now that I’m gonna live, I better do something about feeling fucked all the time.
I can’t say anyone helped me through this besides saving me at the very start, the process was all me. It is the truth when people say you cannot help someone who truly does not want to be help. I wanted a therapist, a real fucking psychiatrist and a real fucking therapist. “Fuck my college and everyone in it who fucking made me feel like shit,” I decided would be my new mantra and anger would be my new sadness.
Some moments of light came then. Honestly, I watched Legend of Korra finale, saw Asami and Korra together holding hands, and sobbed because I couldn’t believe that was on television, that they were showing two complex girls be together. It was a miracle. It was beautiful and people were seeing it. I didn’t know how to process such light.
I decided after that, that if Hillary Clinton decided to be brave and run for President, I’d tell my family that I was gay/bisexual/whathaveyou to get this shit over with and hopefully feel less burdened.
As we all live and breathe, she did, so I did, and in the most disgustingly embarrassing and sobbing way. My family doesn’t quite understand but are dealing in a way that isn’t particularly problematic, they’re just not progressive enough to understand anything other than straight-white people mentality. My dad doesn’t talk about it at all.. total disregard. But for now, I guess that is all right. But anyways, the huge thing is that despite this seemingly awful confession (“THANKS HILLARY,” I felt) much more confidence came from accepting myself. I worked more at not seeing myself as failing, but not understanding how to succeed in the way they wanted. I realized after getting more awful grades that something they were doing was wrong and it wasn’t me. They hadn’t given me the tools to do what they wanted despite all of my meetings with professors and tutors and anyone that would see me. I started being much more logical rather than aggressive towards myself, and continued therapy with my REAL therapist (who is a PHENOMENAL guy and I thank the heavens for him because seriously, what a guy.) I then got a pro-tutor who makes more money an hour than I do in 8hrs where I work, but it was worth more than I can describe. I felt like I was being supported by her in a way i didn’t know i could support myself and she’s taught me how much I love others and how much I don’t show love to myself. I did better and felt smarter. Still, I got fucked by professors because here i am, repeating classes this semester for GPA needs, but I knew it was on them for giving me nothing to improve and it was all on me that I HAD improved as much as I have now. I could properly assume amounts of responsibility and giving them responsibility gave me more logic and strength.
I can say that I didn’t try to kill myself but I did hurt myself; in fact, I didn’t stop that until a few months ago: I punched a lot of walls because it felt good to feel something I had control over that no one else did. I’d say I’m not depressed right now and that’s a huge deal to me. I have been depressed all of college really and didn’t know what the hell was going on, didn’t have any coping skills.
Now here I am this summer before my 6th year of university, doing as much learning and trying to find what I want my purpose to be, trying to put myself out there and be as accepting of myself as I possibly can while trying to remain understanding that I won’t reach a lot of my goals but I WILL be happy in my efforts.
Me, Amanda, a 6th year college student in grad school = bullied since day 1. Her best days: 2nd-5th grade. Survived death. Asked for help. Pushed for change. Accepted herself. Excited to learn. Proudly gay. Open to new love. First time she’s felt like the next year could be better than the last: Spring 2016.