Med School – Week 1

So I did get into med school. I have now moved down to the lovely South and finished my first week. I thought I would post during the summer, since I had no plans, but apparently I was too busy having fun.

And this is how I feel about my first bit of med school:

Trying to keep up with the first week. #whatshouldwecallmedschool.tumblr.com

And then I sat there and watched that poor little hamster like 50 times, thinking “Poor little buddy, I so relate.” Also, because the hamster was much more interesting than the biochem lecture I’m supposed to be studying. After silently laughing at the hamster for a solid 10 minutes in the library, I decided I was done studying. Today is not a productive day. Also, I’m hungry.

I am so bad at this

So that died, the whole be a regular blogger thing. Like I mentioned in the previous post, it’s been a crazy semester. The irony is that originally I wanted to blog to deal with the craziness, get my thoughts out, organize them. Therapeutic blogging.

I also wanted to document my process in applying to Med School, and that hasn’t really happened either. Long story short, the process sucks, but more on that later. Later, as in I’ll do another post on that. (Really, I will.)

The final thing, and one of the biggest reasons for this blog was to deal with my mini-faith crisis. Well what happened was that faith crisis wasn’t so mini, nor did I write down my feelings and thoughts about it. What did happen was a lot of talking to myself in the car. And, I’ve decided to leave the  faith of my childhood. The walls all came crashing down, the foundation was swept away, and I no longer believe that the Mormon Church is true like it proclaims. I have now become aware that the church is full of lies. It was (is) a heart-wrenching, painful, and yet liberating process. I haven’t fully left yet, but I will someday. Guess I’m going to have to change my about. I just have to choose my timing carefully, because my family is going to be very upset over this piece of news. My husband, certainly was. He told me that my leaving the church, was worse than if he’d caught me cheating on him. Yeah, really, he said that, and meant it. That’s one of the things that bugs me about the LDS church; it claims to be an institution that promotes families, but really it just uses them as emotional blackmail and destroys families. I think I’ll end this rant here, before I get too upset, at some point I am going to try to articulate all the reasons why, but now know.

So here is one more post that is about nothing really, but there will be more in the very near future.

Still here!

I don’t have an idea in mind for this post. I just wanted to let the internet know I’m still alive. My poor blog was feeling lonely and unloved, so I feel like I should write something.

This semester has been crazy busy! My horrendous course schedule is to blame for the quietness of my blog. There is one class I’m taking, Women’s Health, that had a ridiculous amount of reading to do. If you could look at my assignments in Outlook (I love Outlook, I’ve recently been converted, and it’s fast becoming a best friend) you’d notice a highly disproportionate amount of the work is for that class. As much as I love the material, I’m hating this course, it’s wearing me down.

On the med school front, things have been quiet.  Dreadfully, unfortunately quiet. Okay, that’s not the complete truth. I just barely got an interview offer for some time in December. I was so happy to get that one interview offer, I really needed some form of positive feedback in this horrible process. I was getting so worried and so anxious. I wound up adding a whole host of school to the already lengthy list of schools I’m applying to in my paranoid, anxiety-filled state.

Oh yes, on the home front. Things have gotten a lot better at home. Hubby and I are getting along much better now. We’re trying this new semi-openness thing. Everything is out there, but somethings just don’t get dug into very deep. It’s this odd stage that goes something like: I feel x, and situation relating to x has been weighing heavily on my mind, but don’t ask too much more about that. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s not going to work in the long run, but right now it’s pretty good.

Another side note. I’d previously mentioned my dilemma about taking a job or not. Well I did, not the job I was originally debating about. Another job opportunity popped up that paid more, so with that little added financial incentive I conceded at went to work. However, it is an absolutely horrible job. I hate it. Every time I go to work I just sit there and think, if I wanted to spend my time cleaning up crap after other people who haven’t learned how to pick up after themselves, well then I would’ve just stayed home with my daughter. Oh yeah, my job is cleaning up labs and generally be at the beck and call of mean grad student.

And for the last bit of news, I’m now on anti-depressants. I’ve been struggling with postpartum depression for two years, but in my stubborn mind and with my odd convoluted sense of logic, I’d been refusing help. But I finally gathered some courage and wits about me long enough to make that phone call. At first she, the doctor, actually a nurse-practioner, gave me the oh-so-common Prozac. That was a disaster. It completely wiped me out. I felt like a narcaleptic, shortly after I’d take the pill, I’d start nodding off, and no matter how hard I fought it I’d fall asleep. It wasn’t just a short nap either, it was hours and hours long. I’d sleep for 12 hours or more, completely dead to the rest of the world. When I did wake up it was a for a quick bite to eat and then a bathroom break, then I was back in bed. I pretty much slept for an entire week. After that catastrophy, the NP put me on Wellbutrin, which is going okay. It’s not fantastic, I feel like I’m at 75% of potential, like there is something better out there. However, I’m not willing to keep playing medicine roulette. The next try might be something like the Prozac, or worse, and I can’t handle that right now in the middle of the semester. I’m going to try again in December after school is out. I’m going to continue the Wellburtin for now, much to the dismay of my checkbook. I paid almost $100 for one month’s worth! I don’t have the income to just budget in an extra hundred dollars. Hopefully with  the next try in two months,  I’ll find something that works fantastically and is a little cheaper.

Well that’s it for now, I’ll try to keep it under month this time until my next post.

Rape Culture & Shared Pain

In the past two weeks I have become very busy! School has started, so life has really started to pick up.

Well, while I was on campus today I had a very troubling interaction. A club on campus decided to prop a giant cardboard wall, with a sign that said “Wall of Free Speech, write anything you want.”  Near the bottom corner someone had written “The textbook return process if RAPE.” Someone else had written next to that “Using the word rape so frivolously spreads rape culture, and demeans the crime many women have experienced.” (That person may or may not have been me.)

While walking buy later I heard some guy snort and comment, “That’s so stupid, what the heck is rape culture anyways?” Of course I stopped and attempted to explain what rape culture meant to him. I went off on my little rant, about how as a high school student I was told that I needed to be careful to dress modestly, showing too much skin would attract a creep who would rape me, effectively blaming the victim as much as the creep. And that sort of thing doesn’t just happen in my small, religious town. A police officer in Toronto, Michael Sanguinetti, said that women should avoid rape by not “dressing like a slut.” In 1999 Italy ruled that a woman in jeans couldn’t be raped, because a man couldn’t get the pants off of her, without her consent. Obvious bogus. In Texas an 11-year old was gang raped, and community members protected the boys, claiming she drew them in my dressing older than her age. And then there is the whole issue where a woman’s sexual history has been used against her when she’s tried to prosecute her attacker.

Of course other things contribute to rape culture. Like this boy’s complacent attitude, if rape isn’t seen as a big deal, if others don’t understand that these women do not walk away with “no [lasting] harm done,” it will give the impression that rape is okay. If boys are continouly glorified for being a stud, for having sex with multiple girls, while girls are cherished for purity and chastity, if will spread the idea of male dominance over women. If violence is seen as sexy, it contributes to rape culture. The phrase “You’re so sexy, I can’t help myself.” lends itself to rape culture, making rape seem like a compliment, a natural result of her beauty.

I went off on this rant. The stupid boy just responded by saying, “It’s just a word. Girls can choose to be offended or not.” He further went on to say, “I can say it if I want. When I say something like ‘I raped that game’ it just meant I won, it doesn’t mean anything else.” He just didn’t understand the point that statement made. It makes him “raping” something a good thing, it showed his excellence and dominance, further spreading this idea that rape isn’t so bad. I wasn’t very good at explaining anything, I was getting pretty mad. But he just wouldn’t get it, how it normalized and trivialized the crime, and demeaned the suffering of so many women. Two other men piped up and tried to help explain my point. Finally the boy said something like “Well yeah, but it would different if I said it to a rape victim.” At that moment I was furious. I stepped right up in his face and yelled, “How do know that I’m not a rape victim?” I motioned to the several women around the area, “With 1 in 4 women college students being raped, someone here probably is. That’s my point it’s way to common, and no one thinks a thing about it.” He shrugged a whatever, and said I had stupid logic, and once again, it’s just a word, it’s my choice to be upset by it, he can do whatever he wants. I was so mad I just called him a pig and walked off.

The point of this post was not to explain what rape culture is, I’m not very articulate about that sort of stuff. Though if you do want to, please click on this link, this is an amazing overview of the terrible rape culture that is embedded into our Western culture. (This is another article you should read.)  The point of this article was to give an overview of an experience I had today. After that horrible incident, I walked off, sat on the grass and held back tears. I was shocked at myself, at how vehemently I reacted. I didn’t really understand why I was so hurt and angry. I will be honest and clear that I have not been a victim myself, nor has anyone close to me (that I know of). So why was I shaking and near tears at this? I’ve realized that there is a feminine wound. And that all of us women bear some burden of this rape culture, even those of us who have not been victims. I am not diminishing their pain in any way, or even saying that I understand it, I don’t. But no matter what, by being female, rape has touched all our lives in some way. It’s the fact that I have to be cautious and wary, because it could be me. It’s there every time I look at the stars and think how nice it would be to talk a midnight walk, but I can’t because that would be risky and I’m terrified.  It is something I’m gravely aware off anytime I’m alone with a male. Because of this and more, there is a fear that is in all of us females. This fear isn’t the only reason that I, and all women share in the feminine wound that rape has given us, but forgive me, I do not know how to articulate the rest. And while this culture persists, we will all share some of the pain our sisters have been afflicted with.

 

Dear boy,

I hope someday you will understand. I hope your view will change from thinking we are too sensitive, to the thought that you shouldn’t be do insensitive. I hope someday you will change your tune. I hope that your spirit will cry out to the female spirit and say, “I’m sorry.” But above all boy, please don’t ever hurt a woman.

Bedtime Stories

I laughed at this cute little exchange between my two year old daughter, and my husband.

Husband: Will you give Daddy a hug?

Ellie: (points to fan) On!

Husband turns the fan on.

Husband: Can I have a hug now?

Ellie hugs the fan.

Choosing My Confessions

This song is a fantastic song.

Losing My Religion by R.E.M.

I relate to it so well, on multiple levels. “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.”

My husband got mad at me this morning for not telling him what I’m feeling and thinking. I did tell him, he just didn’t hear what I was trying to say. He told me, that if he doesn’t get it the first time I should tell him again. But how many times can you keep saying things, continue repeating yourself, while not being heard before you just stop saying anything at all?

He wants me to take this job that I’d rather shoot myself in the foot than take. It’s one of the jobs that is nothing but drudgery, and I am so sick of those jobs. Also, my school schedule next semester is going to be really packed, I might need that time to study. Lastly, the job would be for the two days of the work week that I don’t have classes, and I had hoped to spend those days at home with my daughter. I really want to be home with her, she’s only two once, and the time is fast approaching when I won’t have opportunities to be home with her like this.

The issue with communication is not a new one in our marriage. It comes up over and over again. He whines that I don’t talk to him, that I’m too withdrawn. I complain that I can’t talk to him, he doesn’t really listen to what I say. Plus he’ll never just listen, he always has to jump in and fix the problem, or correct me, tell me what’s wrong with what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling. A little while ago I was ranting to my husband how I think my boss is lazy. Now, for the most part I like my boss, but it had just been a frustrating day. My husband interrupts and starts telling me how I shouldn’t harbor negative feelings towards my boss, and to just let it go. I know that. I just thought I could vent to my husband, to get it off my chest you know.

When Ellie was a baby, and I was just figuring out how to deal with the whole postpartum depression mess I tried to confide in my husband. I tried to use him as a sounding board to help sort out what was going on and how I was feeling. After a while he asked me to stop talking to him about it. He told me that he couldn’t handle all the negative. So I started cutting all my negative thoughts and feelings out of conversations. Unfortunately, part of being depressed is that the dominant thoughts and feels are incredibly negative, so it didn’t leave me with a lot to share. Then when I started going through my crisis of faith, I again tried to confide in him. But he can’t stand to hear any of my heretical ideas. I couldn’t tell him any of my spiritual thoughts without him correcting me, rather than listening to me. Or he’d start getting concerned about me and my soul, and that felt so very patronizing. It didn’t take long before I filtered out spirituality and Church related topics out of discussion. So yes, I am withdrawn, I don’t share a lot of my life with him. I didn’t have a lot left to share.

To top it off, I’ve stopped talking about anything related to medical school, since it just causes fights. He doesn’t want to leave the state, he’s not sure he want to be married to a med student/doctor, he doesn’t think I can handle it – he fears that the stress will tear me apart from my family. I’m sick of rehashing the issues, so I just avoid it. He’s probably right, medical training might be the fire that destroys our family. But I think it’s already destroyed. It burned up a long time ago by the depression dragon.

I want to make it work. I just don’t know how to balance it all. How do I continue to share with him who I am, without burdening him too much with all my issues?

“Of every waking hour I’m choosing my confessions… And I don’t know if I can do it. Oh no I’ve said to much. I haven’t said enough.”

He love me, He loves me not, He loves me…

My husband might leave me.

The past week has been a roller coaster. A terrible, hideous roller coaster from hell. I finally decided to come clean to my husband about many of my horrible misdeeds and trials. They don’t paint a pretty picture of me, not at all. Lies, the depression, infidelity (sort of), abuse, and issues of faith. Lots of dark and black stuff came out.

He was shocked. He was horrified. He said he was disgusted, I was a stranger to him.

And then there was no talking. Just trying his best to avoid me. I wouldn’t blame him if he left me, or more accurately kicked me out. Most people would leave.

I walk around my home feeling like a ghost, feeling like I don’t belong and I’m unwanted. I’m afraid that every move I make will be the one that shatters my world.

But then, last night, he came home smiling. He kissed me. He kissed me! I’m still so excited about that part. He assured me that he wouldn’t leave, that he still loves me and always will. I’m still amazed and stunned. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that anyone would stay after learning what sort of vileness lives inside of me. But he did. This man is the most gracious man I’ve ever met. There is nothing but goodness to him, sweet, sweet goodness.  Ground rules were set, and I oh so much the repentant soul am going to do my best. It is going to be hard to change myself, but this love is worth it, and he deserves a much better version of me. My dear husband, so faithful, a near-perfect emulator of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy. And I, yes I am the adulterous Israel, drawn to Babylon, constantly struggling to align myself with him.

He loves me still!

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