I spent the night at my parents’ house. Their dog makes everything ok. Her name is Zoe. Patrick and I call her Zo-dawg. They have a cat too, who is fun to play with. He’s touchy though, compared to the dog, who loves to play and cuddle no matter what the time of day.
That went fantastically. They even gave me lunch and took me to work this morning. My parents are amazing. Although it was hard to say goodbye to Patrick, once he was gone, I was fine.
I came into work to an email saying my funding may be withdrawn.
Newsflash – I am going into my master’s in anthropology (studying the evolution of communication, from a cognitive and linguistic perspective). I applied because it would have been another year before I’d saved enough to go overseas to do my Msc and/or doctorate, so I thought I’d go down to part time work and see if I could go back to my studies in the meantime. I was accepted, hurray! I was also accepted under the Graduate Funding Guarantee, which says that for the first year of all masters degrees, and the first four years of doctorates, students will receive funding from the university. In return, we work as teaching assistants or research assistants. Notice how it says Guarantee. Notice also how because I’m saving every cent I make, I can’t afford to pay for this year’s tuition (the attraction of the funding was why I applied) as it would mean using all the funds I’ve already saved, which defeats the purpose.
So surprise, surprise when I open my email and see they haven’t found me a TA position. There is an “emergency” round of applications coming up. But if I don’t get selected for a position, I’m not going to be getting funding.
I’ve already been contracted down to half time hours, so not only may I have to drop out of the program, I’ll have to start looking for another job.
Panic. Not panic attack (yay, go me), but I’m writing with tears drying on my face because I can’t get calm enough to get on with my morning. I am literally going to sit and stare at my email for the next few days until the emergency postings open.
And Patrick is away. So I’m madly texting him looking for support. I feel like I’m being crashed into by surf.
So I’m playing moody Dido music and looking around me hopelessly and desperately for anything to catch my attention.
I’m not good enough.
The professor who doesn’t like me rejected my application for every course he controls, the ones I’m most qualified for.
My application failed somehow to be complete.
I’m just shit.
They’re pawning me for money.
I’m an idiot.
I should drop out. I obviously cannot do academic life. I’m too stupid. This was all just a stupid pipe dream, and the difficulty of pushing through these walls makes no sense when I can easily walk through the door of some office job and make a living.
I can counter the paranoid ones and say they’re pretty damn unlikely, but the self-rejecting ones seem to ring pretty true. This is way harder than it seems to be for anyone else. Maybe I’m just not smart enough or good enough to do this.
This is crisis mode. Distract until the emotion passes. (Success – writing has let me stop rebounding into gulps of air and sobs).
Reasoning. The best way to make the time pass quickly is to work. A watched email never dings.
Self-soothing. Do something to make myself feel better. (Problem – I don’t feel I deserve it, what with me being a piece of crap.)
Engage in others. (Success by coincidence – I’m taking a friend for ice cream tonight).
Opposite to emotion action. Put on happy music. (Hmm, fail). Smile. (Fine.)
RIGHT. Maybe I can do some coding. It’s the same as hitting my head against a wall.