I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

Posts tagged ‘college’

Grrrrr

annoyed right this second I don’t really have words. (Ok, I have them, but none of them are appropriate.) I was almost done with Blogging 101 assignment about following other blogs and being neighborly, and I left this page to go get address of one the blogs I follow and came back and no post, no draft, no nothing. I suppose that is why my phone really isn’t great for this, but I HATE my laptop, and my daughter was using her computer.

This new update has me a bit baffled as well, but that’s probably because I’m old. Anyway, so far I’m not finding this “class” to be great for getting my groove back. Mostly it’s making me feel like the kooky non-trad who drives the regular college kids crazy.

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I want the fairytale

I think between my dad and John Hughes my idea of men has always been completely off.  I had unrealistic expectations, you know? I expected there to be respect and chivalry and friendship and grand romantic gestures (Hello! Jake Ryan at the end of Sixteen Candles!) and that just is not what life handed me.

A little background on me, maybe? I have a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in English Education, both from the University that is across the street from me. But I don’t consider that the REAL place I went to college. It’s where I finished after I married for the second time and had a baby, but I started at Concordia University, Chicago and when I say “when I was in college” that’s where I’m talking about.  That’s where I had all the usual college experiences: first keg party, first time getting drunk, first hang-over, first sex, first and only marijuana use. I found out later that most people did those things in high school, but I went to a religious boarding school so that’s not how I rolled. I had some not so usual college experiences there too. I was engaged to not one, but TWO different guys, and then eloped with a third.  ( You could say I was after an MRS degree.)  I was raped in college, which unfortunately isn’t all that unusual, but IS unexpected at a Lutheran college. Actually the first man I was engaged to, and the one I eloped with, both turned violent, so that’s not something you expect from a man raised in the church and attending a church college either. It’s interesting, or maybe ironic, that my parents felt very safe sending me from my small hometown to school in Chicago because it was a Lutheran school. Ultimately campus was probably one of the least safe places in the city for me, but that’s not really the school’s fault. I made some pretty poor choices in who I spent time with. I was suffering from the delusion that every bad boy had a heart of gold underneath it all (curse you John Bender!). I was really naïve about boys and their motives, and like my parents,  I trusted people because they went to church.

I should clarify that I did date in high school, it wasn’t an all girls school or anything. But I dated the same guy from my Sophomore year until my Senior year.  He used to say “expectation is the greatest predictor” and I would have to say that I got did get VERY realistic ideas about relationships–or my future relationships anyway– from him: He taught me how to put up with shit most of the time because once in a while something good might happen.  I think at first he thought I was someone whom he could enlighten with his wisdom and occasionally make out with more than he thought of me as a girlfriend.  Our relationship was odd.  Honestly, there were a lot of times he wasn’t very nice to me. BUT, once in a while, out of the blue, he’d get the perfect birthday present, or look absolutely stunned when I came down the stairs for prom, or show up to surprise me, or send the cutest anniversary poem.  And when we were apart during the summers he wrote me a letter EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every one.  They weren’t mushy, “I miss you” letters, just this-is-what-I-did-today letters, but they were funny and thoughtful and the best part of my day all summer long.   He had some hang-ups, though. For example: when I visited him at his college he had his own room and the opportunity to have sex presented itself; I was MORE than willing (three years is a LONG time!) and he absolutely refused.  He made me feel like there was something wrong with me for wanting to sleep with him (even though our many, MANY make-out sessions rarely left him “unsatisfied”).  I don’t really know why I thought being considered less worthy and less intelligent was ok. I suspect because I was always waiting for that flash of “good stuff” that was hiding underneath, and because I thought back then that every relation ship would ultimately be like the fairytale I imagined my parents had.  I blame my dad and John Hughes.

220px-JohnHughes

NaBloPoMo: Better late than never

Well I was supposed to start writing last week, but first my oldest killed my computer and then I had company so better late than never I suppose.  And honestly, I don’t know when I’ve ever done anything on time, so why would I want to start now?  My friend is doing NaNoWriMo which I truly admire.  I’ve always  wanted to be a writer, but the thought of a novel is way to intimidating to consider.  I consider myself more of an Ann Landers/Dear Abby type writer than a novelist type.  I need a prompt to get anything done, and I LOVE to hand out advice.  (Hence the Counseling degree, which is going to great use.)  Anyway, I’m back at it after a year away from blogging, or writing of any kind at all.  Mostly things are the same, except I won my disability case so I am OFFICALLY crazy and getting paid for it.  Yay me.  I won based on the mental illness, the judge disregarded my digestive issues.  I find that somewhat amusing because the mental illness makes me really fun most of the time (hypomania, gotta love it) but the digestive stuff is really really hard to live with.  Strange standards these guys have, but whatever, after 18 months of fighting I’m disabled and getting a check again.

So I mentioned I need a prompt, and its true, I do.  And I saw a fun one today:  Write a letter to your 14-year-old self.  Interesting task since I’m 40 and that was a completely different life ago, but I’ll give it a shot:

Dear Fourteen year old Julie,

Please believe me when I tell you that boys are absolutely nothing like in the movies or in books.  I know that you love Sweet Valley High and all those teen romance novels, and you think that Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun are the greatest movies ever, but you need to broaden your horizons and read and watch things that are dark.  Because you are going to get hurt.  Boys aren’t that nice.  Even the ones that are supposed to be–like the ones from church– just aren’t. I know you go to a religious school and no one has told you anything except that sex is for having babies, but trust me when I tell you it is SOOOOOO much more complicated than that. Boys want to have sex with you because they are chemically driven to have sex with as many people as possible in their lifetime.  You want to have sex with boys because you think you have an emotional bond with them and that sex cements that bond.  That’s basically how boy/girl brains are different.    Boys do NOT think you are the most fascinating person in the world and they do not really want to spend an entire day doing nothing with you.  Ferris Bueller is great but he does not exist in real life.  Same goes for Lloyd Dobbler.  I know that you will not believe this because you believe in romance and that everybody has a “one”  but try to at least consider the possibility that the boy trying to stick his hand up your skirt really doesn’t care what book you’re reading or what your parents do for a living.

And those things matter.  Who you are as a person–not an object–matters.  Spend less time worrying about boys and relationships and more time figuring out yourself.  You ARE smart.  I know right now everyone things that you aren’t, because you have a big loud personality and you think before you speak (work on that!) but you are smarter than you are given credit for and you are talented.  Figure out who YOU want to be and stop trying to be who your parents are.  You actually think psychology is interesting and you are surrounded by dysfunctional family and you have great people skills.  Do what YOU want to do, don’t just pick a career path because you’re too lazy to figure yourself out so you do what your parents do.  Same goes for your college choice.  Pick smart, not easy.  You will have many opportunities, pick the best one, do the research even though its boring.

LISTEN to that nagging voice in the back of your head.  It is usually right and you almost always regret it when you don’t.  If the situation feels wrong or uncomfortable, get out!  If you think you’re making a bad choice, you probably are.  Listen.

Find a person to talk to.  You are going to need a therapist (not a pastor, and not someone too emotional).  It will help you not be an angry adult and help you understand that your parents weren’t actually perfect.  It will also help with the identity issue that will always be there.

Finally, and these seem small, but they’re not:  Find a form of exercise that you like and take care of your teeth.   You are so much more beautiful than you realize (it is not vain to value yourself, just ignore those people) but you need to take care of yourself or you will regret it.  Also, smoking is bad bad bad!

Love,

40 year old you.