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18 May 2008 @ 11:09 pm
Graduation Angst  
Wouldn't you know it? School and finals are over and all of a sudden I disappear. The last week I've either been at work until late, shopping for graduation dresses, packing the entire day, and/or out all day/night and enjoying my new freedom. A lot ofmy remaining stuff was packed last night and hauled away in my parents car. My dorm looks all naked and sad without my decour. As for my summer residence, for the short-term, I will be living in my grandmother's apartment, which is a relief. I'll have my own space, and although my parents are re-doing a lot of it, I'll still have some semblance of privacy. Having to move back to my doorless room at my parent's apartment seemed like a pretty oppressive option.  

When I went out to dinner last night with the folks, I asked my parents why they weren't excited about me graduating. I hadn't really received any congratulations or enthusiasm from them and it upset me a tad. My mom said that it was hard for them to be enthusiastic when I had shown very little enthusiasm about graduating myself. She asked me why this was the case and I told her that I felt like my time in college accomplished nothing. I go to an Ivy League and it feels like the four years were for nothing. I'm not closer to knowing what I want to do with myself. These last four years have seemed like a chore to the very end. It's hard for me to honestly say that I really enjoyed myself or that I feel particularly connected to the University. 

This conversation essentially opened a floodgate in which I sat in a restaurant publicly crying for an hour and a half. Since my grandmother's illness, I have generally felt ignored and abandoned by my mother. I'm an only child, and the last few months I have felt terribly lonely, like I was forgotten. At one particular juncture in the conversation, I was all out sobbing and could barely get the words that I wanted to say out. After some prompting from my mother, who clearly pitied me, I told her and my dad that they were all I have. I haven't always felt this way. My family and it's small size has never bothered me before. But recently it's played on my mind frequently. This change in attitude and my frightenly quick dissention into tears prompted my mom to tell me that I'm depressed. And, you know, I think I have been for a very, very long time. Years. I went into college burned out and exhausted from high school. I feel as though I'm coming out just the same. My mom asked me what went on in therapy when I was going and if my therapist helped me or suggested any coping skills for me to use when I started feeling bad. But she never did and she never suggested to me that I may be depressed. I'm the sort of person that needs structure, goals, and I flounder without them. My mom told me that my first goal will be to feel better about myself and my life and that we would find someone together to help me do that. That I shouldn't have to feel this way at my age, that it was no good for me. Maybe that will include a brief stint on medication to get me over this hurdle. I'm not really sure. All I do know is that I felt relieved. I just wanted her to notice and to help and to care about me. She was so consumed with grandma and now the apartment, that I feel like I fell through the cracks somewhere. 

Feeling bad is a strange thing because you forget that you feel bad. Once a rough period is over and things feel alright, your brain conveniently erases the shit that came before. My mom reminded me that I actually came home in February around the time my grandmother became really ill because I was miserable. I think I cried for the first three days I was home. I remember one particular night where I told my mom about something incredibly personal and frightening that had happened to me, something I was sort of ashamed of, and she just gathered me up and said, "Laur, baby, why didn't you tell us? You shouldn't have had to keep that in all this time." God, I was such a wreck. And seeing what happened last night, I think I still am. It just takes the right sort of prompting to bring it out. I want to feel better. And I shouldn't have to feel this way. At least that's something to work toward. 

On the upside, today I spent the day with my roommate and her friend. We went to go see the new superhero exhibit and Courbet exhibit at the The Met. I love The Met. It's such a gem of an art museum. It's just so so beautiful. After that we had an excellent lunch and headed over to the Guggenheim. I'm not wild about modern art, but that freaky car exhibit was totally worth the FREE student admission I had. That's going bye bye now that I'm graduating. 

Amanda and I then walked cross-town in Central Park and then from 81st street to 107th back home. It was rainy and overcast and so green! Central Park is also so breath-takingly beautiful, it filled my heart with joy to be walking amongst the trees and flowers, reservoir, joggers, dog-walkers. I usually don't walk so far north in the park, but we came across all these gorgeous little waterfalls and ponds. We even stumbled on a huge racoon on the path. We left at noon and didn't get back to our apartment until 8PM. Then, we made dinner and watched Seinfeld and Third Rock from the Sun eps on her computer. 

I generally feel exhausted. Tomorrow is graduation practice and then I have a dinner being thrown by the anthropology department for all its majors. That's pretty exciting, and my parents will be attending that. 

Sotia: Cuddlesssddgr on May 19th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
Hun I'm really sorry you're feeling so down, I've been through it and it's really hard to cope with especially when you feel drained. I wish I could give you a way out of it, but there is no prescription. I don't think meds are the way out, but a therapist would certainly know better than I do (though my therapist hit on the guy I was telling her about). All I can say is that you should try to open up about your feelings, even if it's only on lj. Talking about them both brings you more in touch with them and alleviates the burden of keeping it all bottled up.

Hope you feel better soon, life can be beautiful
ldyavalonldyavalon on May 19th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
I remember finishing secondary school and I was so glad I would never have to see it again... But after a few months at Uni I missed it like hell. It was one of the reasons I dropped out.

I hope you can feel better very, very soon. Lots of huggles from Spain :)
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on May 19th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, baby, you're reading the story of my life, well...switched around a bit, but still. It kinda boggles the things we have in common, sometimes...but then again, it doesn't.

I know the feeling of wasted time and a useless degree and not knowing what you're going to do or where you're going to go like the back of my hand. And I understand the fear of having a small family. I don't plan to/anticipate ever getting married or having children, and I look around and I see my parents, and...that's it. And I wonder how my life's going to be when they die, because there will be noone left. And sometimes I wonder if I will even want to live if I'm all alone.

So yeah, I get all of that.

Oh! and I hate leaving a place behind, when it's all naked and suddenly it's not your house/apartment/whatever, it's just...waiting for someone else. :(

Hope you feel better, and smile while you graduate, honey - even if you're uncertain about what you're going to do, you've accomplished something a lot of people don't, and if your writing says anything about you at all, I'm sure you did it with good grades, too. So, chin up, k?
hello_spikeyhello_spikey on May 19th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
I was hugely depressed when I graduated from college - though for me it was that, for the past 16 years of my life, i had a goal - go to college, then finish college - it was all the instruction, you know? My parents had never been to college and they (and maybe I) assumed that you would be handed your happy ever after with your diploma. Of course that wasn't the case and then, like you, I felt like the four years were a waste.

But of course they aren't! You have grown and changed in the past four years, haven't you? Met good people? I wouldn't discount that experience for the world.

Also it's cool hearing about you going to the same exhibit I was at just last week! Hee! And the Met and the park are sooo beautiful! I just loved it. It was a high-point of our little trip to New York. (Which was, ironically, to catch up with some of the hubby's high school friends, one of which was in town for a college reunion.)

shawty got flava like a peach lifesaver: btvs: buffy dawn sistersonly_passenger on May 19th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
with you on the moving angst. i got really down last night walking around my getting-pretty-empty apartment and thinking about the time--three years--i've spent here.

transition is so hard. for me it feels harder than normal. i think some people have an easier time with it and others have a more difficult time. maybe you're hanging out with me in the latter camp.

i'm sorry you're feeling directionless, and sorry as well that the gain you thought you had coming has failed to arrive.

thinking of you.
Herself_nycherself_nyc on May 19th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Sounds like it was a good that you had all this out. There's no shame in being depressed. I hope you get what you need to start to feel better.
And congratulations on getting your degree!
eowyn_315eowyn_315 on May 19th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear that things are hard. I know how it feels to be lonely (and I'm an only child, too, living away from my parents). I'm glad your mom is concerned, and that she's willing to consider that you might be depressed and need help with things. (When I went through a period of frequent uncontrollable crying, my parents' response was, "Oh, get over yourself. You don't need therapy.")

You're totally right on how easily we forget how bad we felt. I think it's probably a coping mechanism (once the bad stuff has passed, it feels better not to dwell on it), but if you don't solve the inherent problems, it's just going to come up again later. I notice that when I get into my down phases. It's like, nothing has changed since the last time I cried about this... it's just that I was preoccupied or forgot about it, but it's still there and it still hurts. If I'd figured out a solution, I'd tell you...
missus_grace: comfortmissus_grace on May 19th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
I cried after my college graduation, too. I had no job, had to be out of my housing 2 weeks later, and moved home for a few months. Every morning Dad brought me the Help Wanted ads, with the jobs circled he thought I might qualify for.

I think they were ready for an empty nest :)

I hated my first job. I lived alone, in a new city, and hated the work itself. But then I met some people, got a roomate, and found a job I loved.

You might be depressed - that's for a therapist to determine, but it's a huge transition. While you're in school it's still playtime, to some extent (depending on how serious you are/were about school). But now it's time to grow up. I didn't want to face that prospect at all.

You're not alone, sweets, and you'll make it through this. And don't get too upset if it takes you awhile.