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#6668 - 04/18/03 01:32 AM Starting Over
bisulatino Offline

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 70
Loc: San Diego, CA
My semester is coming to an end, and it turns out there are two classes I'm going to have to retake. My math class I knew was I just going to fail and retake next semester, but now I'm going to fail and have to retake my computer science class. So basically I am spending the last few weeks taking care of work for my physics theory class and my creative writing class.

Now you might think that this would make things better, but they make things worse. These failures although redoable are devestating to me. After I talked with my teacher about my options for the com sci class, I felt dead. My body went numb and I was emotionless. It was like I felt like I wanted to cry my guts out but didn't have the ability to. I began to play around with the idea of suicide again, but I always think of how much it would hurt my family so I just feel guilty about it and forget about it.

I saw my T today as well, we talked some everyday stuff, some stuff about my family. He knows about my SA but we did not talk about it, I don't like starting to talk about it. I think that because I'll be going back to CA for the summer he doesn't want to open that can of worms and have me leave, rather he'll save it for when I return in the fall. Still, it is so frustrating. It is so hard to feel good about yourself when you're failing so many classes.

I feel good about this semester coming to an end and being able to start anew next semester (getting good grades in the classes I'm retaking will be a cinch!) but then I feel like such a failure. I'm going to have to take longer to graduate. It makes me sad because I keep thinking "college is supposed to be the best time of your life." Why is it that things always snowball for me during the semester? Why can't I keep ahead of things so at the end of the semester I have no worries? If I could do that I could really enjoy the semester, and college would be the best time of my life. But I don't, and my trauma feeds on that, and by the end of the semester I'm a withered, trembling, pitiful excuse for a man.

#6669 - 04/18/03 04:02 AM Re: Starting Over
Ron_dup1 Offline

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 87
Loc: Arkansas
Hey guy - when I read your post I just had to reply! I am the ONLY person in my extended family who graduated from college. Both of my parents, all four grandparents and my 3 siblings all fail out of college. When I started college my mother told me I was wasting my time and money that I was not smart enough to make it through. I decided right then and there that NO Matter What It Took I was going to graduate. It took me 6 years and MANY classes were repeated and repeated until I finally passed. I went through times when I didn't think that I would make it. One day I decided I was not smart enough and that I was just fooling myself, so I went to drop out. I needed my advisor's signature on the form and he talked to me for a long time and concinced me to hang in there! It was the first time in my life that anyone told me that they believed in me and thought I was smart enough to make it. That conversation changed my life! I have gone back to the college to thank him and it was soooo cool to visit with him again and thank him in person.
I say all of this to let you know that no matter how hard it is or how many classes you fail, the only real failure is giving up! Hang in there and keep on retaking those classes until you pass them.
Walking across that stage to get my diploma 6 years latter was worth every bit of the pain and effort!
Don't give up and don't beat yourself up. One of my favorite books is "Failing Forward" by John Maxwell. He talks about the positive side of failure. We learn the most about ourselves and our strengths in times of failure. But as I said before the only real failure is giving up! Please don't give up -- YOU CAN DO IT!! ;\)

#6670 - 04/18/03 09:42 AM Re: Starting Over
guy43 Offline

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota

I've found when I'm under pressure or stress on my job (programmer/analyst), my issues will sometimes really jump up demanding attention making it harder for me to do anything. a viscous circle gets started - wanting to do well on the job, and falling apart inside, my work degrades, my therapy gets harder... on and on.

it can be so difficult to do our work (school, employment, our outside lives) and deal with our issues at the same time. clearing out at least the worse of the trauma does help us function in the world.

I don't know where your answer lies. I do know that getting some of my issues resolved has freed up my energy so that i could do my work better. maybe taking some time off from school, or doing it part time, and jumping head first into your therapy would free you up?


#6671 - 04/18/03 07:15 PM Re: Starting Over
Ivanhoe Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Your brothers here, Jer and Ron, have given good words to speak to your pain. I just have to add a couple of words, eh, maybe more than a couple.
Let me tell you how I'm all over this one.
Hear me. I never was a student until my last 18 months in college. All of the rest of the time was a turmoil for me. I was the first to graduate from college from my family. My father was a fourth grade drop out to support his family. A self made man was he. Anyway, after taking about every other course at least twice, having to go to night school because I had not maintained a C average, reentering the "regular college" because I got my grades back up, I fianlly graduated, even earning some "A's" and "B's", nine years later. What would I do differently, knowing what I know now? I would try to take an average to smaller load, making certain that I got a good physical work out at least every other day if not every day and be gentler with myself.
If you're working on past issues you're going to feel more vulnerable, more easily upset; just know that going into it. Take it easier on youself. This is your life, not some advertisement of what college is supposed to be, full of hilarity. Yes, I had some good experiences, and like your brother mentioned above, talking to some of the Profs was a highlight. They'll appreciate knowing you and how hard you're working to get your degree. If you have to repeat a course now and then, so be it. We can't all be phi beta cappa, or whatever they're called. That's their gift. Yours is working on youself to be the person your becoming, your gift to you. Anytime you want to talk about getting through one of the toughest jobs I've ever had--graduating from college--just get a hold of me and we'll talk it out.
By the way, is the science for someone else, and the creative writing is for you?
Your friend in war, and in peace,

"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

#6672 - 04/18/03 09:28 PM Re: Starting Over
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Fellow Victor:

You are no failure, you are a survivor! You are getting help, learning to break not so good old habits & make new positive ones. You will continue
to progress and be able to do whatever your determined survivors heart sets you to do.

After just getting by in high school I ended up doing quite well in college and even got a Master's, but I had to constantly battle old rotten habits and issues I hadn't even yet defined. Yet I did it. I know you can too. Remember Victor stands for Victory.


Had to respond to you. My friend I am the only one anywhere in my family that I know of that has even gone to college much less graduated. I graduated from college 8 years after high school, got my Masters 10 years later.

John Maxwell is quite a writer indeed. I've also heard him speak. I know him, tho as a casual acquaintance whom I've not seen in a long time, not real well.

You're right Ron: the only defeat is surrender. To fight on is to win. It's what survivors do!


Good point. Being on medical disability leave and very part-time at work has worked wonders for me so far. A long way to go (good; I'm glad there's more to life!) but I've come a long way in the last year or so.


You make some good points. In college I worked on finding those professors who are out there who care about how hard & smart a person is willing to work, who appreciates questions asked, and I hung & talked with them & learned from them.

Often my favorites were the ones many students liked the least. I learned more from them, and when I got to know them they were by & large pretty cool people. The stereotypical favorite or pet profs I often found too shallow & not very helpful.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I did do good in college. The two, evidently, are not mutually exclusive!

Yep I graduated with honors from N.Y.U.K.--the New Yokels University of Knuckleheads!


Victor aka Curly ;\)

"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#6673 - 04/18/03 10:19 PM Re: Starting Over
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I did very average at school, went to college and took six subjects at a more advanced level. Got thrown out of two and failed four.
I changed direction and got an engineering apprenticeship and failed the fourth and final year.

I bullshitted my way into jobs by sayind " I took level four engineering" and omitting the 'fail' part.( who asks for certificates ? ) And I've survived a lifetime of full employment.

But now at the age of 49 I have a certificate for my first year counselling training. And it's on the wall behind my monitor where I can admire it because I'm proud of it.

What's to stop us learning ? nothing at all, we CAN do it.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#6674 - 04/19/03 04:30 PM Re: Starting Over
bisulatino Offline

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 70
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks everyone. Venting is ok for me but what I really need is to hear other people's stories. It helps me to be stronger when facing failure, as I now feel stronger and more hopeful after hearing everyone else's stories. Once again thank you all, I feel better about this semester's end. I'm looking forward to going home to California, seeing my family and living with my best friend for the summer. It will be a long needed working vacation!

#6675 - 04/19/03 06:36 PM Re: Starting Over
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...

You inspire me brother. As I am contemplating a vocational shift in the next year and a half or so, I will likely need further education. Even now I've almost completed a certificate myself.

All this, my friend, after a less than stellar employment record myself. Before college, I mostly worked in fast food restaurants or as a security guard; the peak of this sterling career was helping manage a fish & chips place!

OK everybody 1-2-3:
"We're not worthy!"

Nyuk nyuk nyuk! \:D

Thanks guys that worked wonders for my shattered self-image!

Hey, my work now is so incredibly high-paying & easy-going!

But it's where I belong for now.

Thankfully I no longer live to work, I work to live!


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck


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