So. I applied to grad school a few weeks ago. I found out today that I was accepted into the online MSW program at Simmons College. (!!!)
So far I feel numb, not excited. I’m a naturally slow processor anyway, so I’m not surprised. I’m also distracted by feeling incredibly burnt out. I had a majorly draining session with my therapist last night, almost cried my face completely off. Things just really caught up with me and I melted down a bit. I am unhappy at my job and small things that would normally be a minor inconvenience (i.e., one of the kids got out of school early unexpectedly and I had to drop everything to pick her up) elicit a major reaction from me. I explode and immediately choke it back. Often. It ain’t good. So, stuff has been building for a while.
I feel trapped right now – and then my thoughts begin to spin out of control, kind of like this – because I can’t afford to leave this job even though it makes me crazy and I should have gone to school sooner so that I wouldn’t be in this position now (without a worthwhile degree under my belt to pursue a meaningful career path with) and I should never have accumulated so much credit card debt because I’m absolutely stuck in trying to pay it down and until it’s gone I can’t save a dime and I have no safety net if something happens to my 10 year old car or to Mona and I don’t spend my money on anything but bills, settling my debts and food. I can barely scrape together extra money for weddings when my friends decide to get hitched. It’s sad and I hate it and I feel incredibly shitty about it. But, I am writing about it and sharing with others about it, so for me, that’s a huge step in a positive direction.
I have these financial issues (secrets) dangling over my head every single day and I pretend I don’t see them. I pretend they really don’t matter when they matter more with each passing year. I do this because when I look at the big picture of my financial life, choices, mistakes I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a week. It overwhelms me on such a deep level that I generally choose to not see that I need help if I want to move forward. I hate asking for help. I’ve been independent – willfully so – since before I can remember. ‘I can do it myself’ has always been my mantra. My parents always let me figure things out on my own, they never pushed, never pressured. Never offered advice either. I’m not pointing fingers, just illustrating that I was never explicitly taught how to make good financial decisions. But I want to from here on out. I just need a little help to get me started.
Ugh, I even hate writing about this, but I want to get it out of me. Writing here is therapy.
So, last night I was talking about all this stuff with my therapist and came to the realization that I don’t feel deserving of any financial help from my mother because I’m adopted. I don’t feel entitled to what my therapist called ‘my birthright’ because I wasn’t actually born into it. You can say all you want about how biological connection isn’t everything and some blood related kids deserve a swift kick in the ass and how lucky I am (which I totally am) to have had the opportunities I did growing up. I definitely know. And I also know my mother always, always, always, always, sees me as nothing but her daughter but that doesn’t make me feel any less conflicted about it.
This is a core issue for me. It is a central theme to every single solitary event in my life. And despite whatever progress I make away from it I always somehow meander my way back to it. No matter what the problem is, a part of it feels attached to the belief that I don’t belong because I was given up as a baby. I can sift through my sordid and chaotic past to see if I can find something, anything that isn’t indelibly tied to ADOPTION and all the upside down feelings I have about it and I will find fuckall. I even found my birth parents hoping that would salve this aching scar somehow. That theory worked for a short time, right after we reconnected. But ultimately, finding them, learning about them and losing contact with them opened the wound wider and deeper.
I still work every day to feel secure in myself, to feel a sense of belonging. Sometimes it comes as easily as breathing – my friends and my love help with that all the time. On other days the scar tissue around my old wound cracks and breaks…the pain seeps into my pores. It hurts. It fucking kills. My response to it used to be to drink an entire bottle of wine. Or eat until I was disgustingly full. Or go to a bar and find a stranger to take home. Used. To. Be.
God, that’s freeing to write down.
I had a really bad day yesterday and I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to numb myself from the exquisite pain. And for that, right there, I’m grateful. Even when I feel I am crumbling, fraying at the edges and that I barely exist, I’m still the strongest I have ever been and I didn’t need to turn to alcohol, or food, or a man. I sat with it, moved through it and I’m letting it go today piece by piece.
I’ve come a long way from last June when I wrote my first post and said ‘I’m an addict’ in this Blog O’Mine. Seriously. I applied to grad school and got ACCEPTED.
I think it’s sinking in a little now….