Back in University

When I was teenager, and my wisdom teeth started growing, they grew completely horizontal, pushing the teeth next to them, so I didn’t even know. I understood the day when they were completely grown and pushing so much I had to go to bed with painkillers so I would be able to sleep. Until they took them, the damage on the teeth next to them was done and I had to have 1 nerve removed from one of them.

That’s the very same way, about 6 months after my rape the trauma settle under my skin, growing, eating away at me so unnoticeable, that I forgot it was there until year and a half later. By that time the suppressed feelings and memories had piled up and grown so much, I quite literally had a breakdown.

But at the time, for a while everything was really good.

*

It’s the end of January year and a half ago, and I’m getting back where I belong. University. My future, my classes, my friends, my second home.

It takes me few min to know everything is different(I am anyway), but I successfully suppress the feeling and refuse to give up what I feel is rightfully mine.

Once having suppressed my past to a point of non-existence, I get better. I take 21 credits, and a part time job in one of the offices in the university. I work out 3 nights a week, buy organizer and try to see my friends and get to parties too.

I manage classes effortlessly, I run to work and consume unbelievable quantities of coffee to keep up with it all, while trying to somehow write occasionally, and create things for the online store I am trying to start up.

It takes about few months into the semester for me to get completely lost.

I keep taking on more and more work until I can’t keep up with it. Having not ended up the summer on a good note, also means I’m up to my ears in loans. Not too big ones, if I get a job I can be out of debt in a month or 2 at most. At the time, I don’t want to hear the word job. Everything around it reminds me of the summer and I can’t think of it. Not that I don’t want to think about it. I can’t. My brain shuts down like an overheated hard drive.  I can not do things the same way. All my life I have accepted that if I have to, I will work low-class jobs, even enjoy them, until I get to my dream. But I’m done. After that summer, I’m done.

Life is too short to settle. I played nice, I went by the book, I fought with every fiber of my being for my dream. I’m done. I’m not going to compromise. Nothing is sure in life, even jobs with the economy lately. So I’m going for what I want. Right then and there.

But, let’s face it, building a business needs time. And I have loans to return. But all this, it doesn’t figure in my head. This is the only way I can do things. I have done all else in the summer. The depression has taken such good hold of me in the fall, that I can neither fight for my dream, not get a regular job. So in university, I cut the money I get for the month to bare minimum, and start repaying debts with what is left.

At some point, I start to lose weight, but I’m too wrapped up in managing my busy schedule and trying to find more money, that things start slipping through my fingers. I’m behind in class, I’m too hungry to think about how to make money, I can barely keep up with my home works. I get money for the month, I return loans, I overeat and starve for the next weeks. I’m starting to think about food all the time, obsessively. Sometimes, I go to some presentations for which I don’t have time, because I know they will have food there.

University means lots of available alcohol for no money at all. Leftover alcohol from my roommates birthday parties, parties with free alcohol…and of course, no food and alcohol and less weight than I had… it’s a killer combination.

*
At first it isn’t a problem. Everybody drinks at parties.

Only when I drink, I remember. And the more I drink to forget, the more I remember.

On the first party, I only mumble something in-comprehensive like “if people are anyway going to see you as bi*** or wh**e and do whatever I may as well act like that.”

At my best-friend’s birthday party, on my way to the bathrooms, someone tries to feel me up, and I have a flashback and completely freak out. I can’t deal with it, so I drink. I get sick and my friends ask me to stop. I look at the glass of alcohol at the counter, then back at them, and empty it at once. Better drunk then remembering.
I spend the rest of the night in my bathroom, throwing up.
As I get more busy, more stressed, more hungry, and more unwilling to think of where my problems come from, I start drinking.

At first it’s a sip here and there, when I’m down. I start to see it’s a problem when one afternoon I feel so depressed I can’t wait the one hour until my friend comes back to talk to her. When  she comes, I’m already out of it, completely drunk and unable to stop thinking about the summer.

My head spins, twists, the world spins.

I’m stuck, I think through the alcohol, I’m so stuck.

I spend the rest of the night with her calming me down and me being unable to stop crying over the cup of coffee she made me, talking about guys.

Cause see, few days before, I go out with a guy I have no respect for. The same guy that was the first new guy I tried sleeping with after the rape, and who yelled at me when I panicked in the middle of things. I went out with him those couple months later, in the university, out of sheer lack of idea what to do, lack of respect or ability to care what I do. I fool around with him, unable to stop myself, because I can’t handle anyone touching me then, and my way of getting out of it is by trying to do so. Get involved with someone. Get over myself. I can’t make myself actually do more than fool around, the sleeping part freaks me out too much, which not only makes me loose respect for myself(because I’m trying to sleep with a person I don’t respect or like anymore) and start thinking I’m a freak and I will never like being with anyone.

By the time I stop crying over the cup of coffee, I know one thing.

I don’t have a problem. But I really, really need help.

The next day, accompanied by my friend, I go to the university counselor.

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One thought on “Back in University

  1. Jessie says:

    It’s a hard story to tell, and you’ve brought me right into the picture of your University life! I was a little like this when in my late teens. I once ended up in bed with a young guy I don’t even know what his name was, or even how old he was. Once I was going out with one guy, and having sex with another.

    It wasn’t that I was looking for trouble. I just didn’t have any respect for myself. No boundaries. My boundaries had been broken. I just drifted into things. Never even crossed my mind to notice if I respected a man or not. If I did, I would have felt ‘not good enough’ to be with him.

    The first time I thought of seeing a counsellor, was when I saw a program on tv, where a woman was referred to Rape Crisis, by a policewoman, after she had just been raped. I started looking for help. I hope that the University counsellor was of some help to you. It’s good to find that respect after such an ordeal. For the first time in my life, I freak out at the thought of sex. Part of it is because I have more respect for myself, and part of it is that I want to protect myself, and I think also of consequences, such as babies, with a bad father, or with no father. It’s important to me now.

    The analogy about the wisdom tooth works well. One of my molar teeth was pulled out, and at the dentist I actually had a moment of thinking that it was like pulling out part of the trauma from my head.

    Jessie

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