Hoping you're all doing well. I know my updates are getting more rare, and for that, I do apologize. I'm really trying to get back into my writing habits, but it seems I've been experiencing some cloudiness. More on that as we continue.
I'm hanging in there, though, as best as I can.
School is in full swing, now. We're now in our third week. I've just received this morning the date of my first midterm...yep, you read correctly - we're ALREADY getting ready for midterms! Of course, there's no shortage of actual schoolwork to do before then - four papers to do, (one for American Government, three for Social Work, one of them being an interview of another social work professional in the field of my choosing) and there will also be a midterm for at least two or three out of the five classes - the rest of my grades depend on class participation/work/online quizzes, all of which I'm working on - whether I'm volunteering answers in class or throwing out a thought here and there.
Summer is beginning to pack her bags and to dish out those final warmer days before she disappears until next June. The mornings are becoming chilly - and midday highs are lingering around 70. It's still warm, but there is still that all-too-familiar feeling that is TRYING to remind me that the Fall is right around the corner. We're not yet seeing the emerging fall colors, but this will be soon. I used to be able to avoid it all, for the most part, but I can't anymore. For the first time in 20 years, I do not have the choice to stay home and just keep the blinds closed. I can't 'tune out' the season changes like I used to be able to, now that I'm out and about every day. Last year, I made it a point to drive to the store while it was still daylight - and just take in the natural beauty of the mountains. All while telling myself, this wasn't where I was hurt - this was a whole different scene - a much, MUCH nicer one. I was able to gain somewhat of a new appreciation of the prettiness of it all. I remember writing/saying something to the extent of, "I got this, Fall isn't going to own me, anymore." While I'm not ready to completely disregard that statement, it just feels a little bit different this year, and I'd be willing to bet all of my chips on it being because of the restarting of school.
23 years ago - I FAILED almost all of my midterms. I'd been raped a couple of weeks before they were given. I was completely unprepared, and any attempts to cram were unsuccessful because there just wasn't any room in my brain for lecture recollections or memorized textbook definitions. What WAS there, was prevalent and I'd thrown in the academic towel before the semester actually was halfway over with. The one midterm I might have passed, I passed by the skin of my teeth.
Something interesting I've noticed about myself, though...
First, though, let it be known that I'm NOT a school person. I'm not a scholarly type. I VERY HONESTLY believe I have some sort of a learning disability, or at the very least, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. This has ALWAYS been the case, even pre-rape, even in high school in the early to mid-90's. The Oompa, a schoolteacher, used to confine me to my room when I had a test coming up (where she thought I'd be the least distracted) to study. I'd sit on my bed, and TRY to read whatever was in the textbook in front of me. Key word here - TRY. It never would happen, though, for I'd get LOST in the text, and find my eyes drifting to the poster of Luke Perry on my wall (RIP, Luke) or to stuffed animals, or to ANYTHING other than the study material that I just couldn't deal with. Hours would go by, she'd come in and try to 'quiz' me - and then she'd toss the book back at me when I came up empty and told that I had another hour to miraculously learn weeks worth of material. She'd also say that if I scored any less than an 80% on the test, I'd be grounded...in reality, though, she really had nothing to 'take' from me other than TV. "You're not watching insert-TV-show-here tonight!"
But anyway - school was ALWAYS a nightmare, and I've always had it in my head that I was going to fail because I couldn't focus...what the hell WAS focus, anyway?? I just had zero ability to do it. My mind would wander, my brain would throw up the fences and information wasn't being retained...it was being rejected and bouncing back out almost as quickly as it'd be pushed in.
Now, I'm STILL not a school person. I've not really opened my books, yet, because I know how it was in the past, how I'll start reading and VERY quickly forget what it was I've just read. I've browsed with my highlighter on some of my textbook pages, but I've not yet done the deeper, in-depth reading. I've only gone to the textbooks when I needed a definition of something - or a quick explanation of what something was and it wasn't available on the internet (another something I couldn't do in 1996 - the internet DID exist but access wasn't as easy as it is, now!) or the professor was wanting specific definitions as put by the required course textbooks. One textbook had exercises, so there was need to actually open that one - but for the most part, I've been focusing on what I can do without subjecting myself to reading that won't stick in.
For example - those four papers that I have to do - I've found that starting word documents for each paper has helped, even if I'm for now just writing the paper topic at the top and throwing notes and a potential outline in there for when the time comes to put it all together. They are due October 7th, 24th, November 7th and December 5th. Obviously, I'll focus on the October papers, first, but I'm finding myself being more obsessed with getting things started, WAY before they'll come due....just to make myself feel that I can breathe a little when the due dates grow closer.
This is a huge difference in me from when I was in high school. I don't know if being older has anything at all to do with it. I know ADD though, is not curable. I STILL can't sit and read through a book - especially not a textbook with big, fancy words. I know myself, though. When the time comes to prepare for midterms, I'm going to be obsessing on whether the papers are at least being worked on. I'm ALSO going to worry about whether I've screwed myself because I've not put in the reading beforehand, and spent too much time trying to get ahead on other things. So...it's a catch-22 anyway, isn't it?
Let it be known that the Son doesn't have this problem. He can avoid opening books (I don't even know why he buys them) and he still pulls a 3.8 GPA. (Yes, because of this, he's been called a jerk...but he's MY jerk, and I love him and am SO proud of him.)
Anyway. Moving along.
I'm definitely in the school and homework groove I SHOULD have been in, all those years ago. 'Better late than never,' right? I've had such an outpouring of support from those of you who know how hard it's been to restart this old engine that sputtered all these years ago...and as always, it's appreciated, it's loved and it's needed. A continuance of that encouragement is needed, also, as there's nine weeks remaining in the semester.
In other news...
The wifey and I went to Philly last weekend and took in a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park. It was nice to just be able to relax, enjoy one another's company, and reconnect. Even better, her Red Sox beat the Phillies, and knocked them down a couple of notches. My Mets are still in the wild card race. Which is, of course, the only scenario where I'd root for the Red Sox.
Last week, the daughter, while horsing around with her brother, broke her pinkie finger on her right hand. I suppose trying to swat him was a bad idea. Although the daughter agrees, she's not entirely upset with the orthopedic's instructions that she skip gym for two weeks.
Bowling two times a week has started up, again. Back to my Monday and Friday night leagues, and thoroughly enjoying being back in that groove. I have missed doing that over the summer. Between my uncle/first abuser dying, and a couple of other personal issues (having nothing to do with the uncle dying) coming up, I spent a good portion of this summer doing some self-reflection, ultimately leading me back into T.
On that note, I had an appointment this afternoon after class. Went in and sat down, with no idea what to talk about. I've heard of people growing attached, reliant on their therapists, and I'm just not feeling this with her. She's nice and all - always starts out with, 'how are you doing?' Today, we talked about school, and how I'm adjusting. How's my anxiety, things like that. I told her everything's fine. I mentioned NONE of what I mentioned above. Silly, no? I think the word I'm looking for is, 'predictable.' I've just never had a T challenge me or my thinking.
But...she asked how things were going on the home front. Better, I had to admit. Now that I have more to fill my days with, more to occupy myself with, I don't really sit and stew when she goes out with her friends. We've determined that I'm just not a social butterfly (which anyone who knows me at this point, ALREADY knows) and that's okay. It's just how I am. Then, she took out her pen and notepad and said that next time, we were going to start working on some of my deeper issues, including the ones from whence the social awkwardness potentially emerged. I tried to contain my excitement when I mumbled, "sounds good."
Other than that, there really isn't much happening in my world. I am SURE the next few weeks will bring forth a slew of additional thoughts. Although I've been keeping busy, there's still that familiar little voice, that says, 'you better not forget that I'm still here!' Right now, it's a whisper, a little reminder that no matter how much I would like to, how much I try, I cannot deny its existence. I am hoping that I can keep the volume down by taking the time to somehow acknowledge this year's traumaversary, even if I exercise self-care and self-indulgence (extra caramel iced coffee) on the actual date. I know it'll never be fully muted, though, and that the only way to keep it from becoming 'loud' again is to let these thoughts be and deal with them as they pop up. On one hand, being back at school is helpful because it keeps my mind busy. On the other, it's a reminder of where I was and what I was doing 23 years ago when my trauma happened.
Guess we'll see how that all goes!
Hoping all is well with everyone. I've stayed up WAY past my bedtime tonight - but seemingly my body doesn't want to ALLOW for me to sleep for a longer period of time than the 4-5 hours I'm normally accustomed to. I'm sure I'll be paying for it tomorrow (today) but, I'll deal with that tomorrow (today). Maybe a cap-nap will be in order (typo was added on purpose) tomorrow.