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Help please

(19 Posts)
Katkins1 Fri 06-Sep-13 17:46:33

Hello ,

I've never posted in here before , but I feel as though I need some help! I'm a mature student, single parent, one DD. About to go in to third year and I'm really struggling. I had PTSD last year (long complicated history) and I think I'm doing Ok now. Bad days and good days, just like everyone else.

Thing is, just lately everything has been so hard. I'm really struggling financially; have had to borrow money from friends, and now a very expensive and essential household item needs replacing. It's just one thing after another after another and I'm fed up of always struggling, not even having bus fare to go and see my friends or go and do anything. I was crying earlier because I'm so fed up of feeling as though I don't exist, and pretty much everyone at uni ignoring me or bitching about me behind my back. The course is full of spitefulness. I'm not horrible, though I did kick off once in group work when others didn't pull their weight, were late and hadn't prepared (bad of me, I know).

I've not been anywhere really all Summer, and have done loads of work for my dissertation and everything. I feel really stuck. I feel as though I'm destined to fail, the work isn't good enough, I can't remember anything and I have spent the past two years doing absolutely nothing of any use. Just paying more and more childcare, struggling through life, and always feeling like a failure.

I have applied for a master's course, I know its right for me but I don't feel as though I have any hope of getting in. I just feel as though I'm going to mess up and waste everything.

I don't know whether I should carry on with my course, or what to do really. So tired of counting the pennies just so my Daughter can have a pair of school shoes.

That's all really. Sorry. I needed to say that.

WithConfidence Fri 06-Sep-13 17:50:38

Sorry to hear you are feeling down. Is there student counselling you could get some support from?

Katkins1 Fri 06-Sep-13 19:49:33


I go and see a private counsellor. I have such a long and complicated past that sometimes I don't think I will ever be free from it.

WithConfidence Fri 06-Sep-13 21:27:32

Is it complex PTSD (from lots of isues or something very early in childhood)? Cos that can be very hard to deal with.

But it shows how well you are doing to be able to live with that plus uni and organising dd. Realistically you may not ever be free of it - sorry I know that is harsh but this is what I am also facing up to - it may just be a case of learning to cope with it. Things I find that help are acknowledging it is hard, not comparing to others, congratulating myself for doing stuff I find difficult, meditation.

Are you sure you are getting everything you are entitled to financially? Can you ask friends to come to you once dd is in bed? Break out the Tesco Value tortilla chips smile.

What is with the course? Is it a crap course or are you doubting your ability?

HoopHopes Fri 06-Sep-13 21:57:33

Hi, regarding student hood and finance I think many students struggle financially and many do not have children to fund. Have you checked you are claiming all benefits you are entitled to? Does your Uni have a hardship fund you can access?

For what it is worth when I was a student I never could afford summer trips and I sadly could not afford a master's as knew I needed to start earning. So perhaps if finance such a stress could you delay your master's and get a job for a year before going back to it, or doing it part time whilst working part time?

I do not know how old your dd is but once over 3 there is some gov funding for nursery places and there is some funding now for 2 yr olds if the right criteria is met. Could you talk to your HV about stresses.

As a student you can access student counselling services for free and they tend to be quick to access. Worth a try, and they may be able to suggest other things to help too.

Katkins1 Fri 06-Sep-13 22:31:42


Thanks for the replies. It's complex PTSD, from abuse in childhood. I think I am realising that it's about coping, rather than getting better. I think my friends find me a bit boring, to be honest with you, I don't make friends all that easily. I like being independent too, so I don't often ask for help.

The course is good, I'm on a first, but I was ill last year, so my grades dropped quite a lot ( very low 2.1).I think it's knocked my confidence a lot.

Hoophopes, I'm getting all my finances, and had a hardship payment last year. I will be trying to get one again this year, too. Everyone in my uni has been on holiday in Summer (sometimes twice), has flash stuff etc., they don't really understand where I am coming from. If they are hard-up, they can't afford a starbucks. If I'm broke, I've not got bus fare.

I want to work on do the Masters at the same- hard, but do able. Almost everyone else does it, no reason why I can't. My DD is 5, so school, but to get through third year, she's in full time childminder. She has to be, because I would not cope with the extra stress of managing my illness, rushing to pick her up and doing too much. I didn't manage last year,so I thought this would be a better solution. I know that it costs more, but I need it because third year is going to be really hard. If I want this degree, I need to make sacrifices, I guess.

Private counselling is cheap (I'm talking ten pound a week); but the main reason is because her office is next to the lecturer's office for my subject. I just wouldn't feel comfortable, even though they are lovely.

HoopHopes Fri 06-Sep-13 22:46:52

It is hard when other students have hols and stuff. I gues I am old enough to have done a degree when few people had holidays. This year we did not have a holiday either, that is just reality. I guess I was just trying to say that not everyone can afford such things.

Wow, great cheap counselling!! Is it helping?

Katkins1 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:01:29

I don't mind the lack of stuff, I know it's for the greater good and we can't all afford what we would like. I'm the only single parent on my course, so that means I'm quite isolated sometimes. I only had my first time away last year, a cheap weekend, so it's not the stuff. More the feeling left out and feeling inferior. The counselling does help, he's really good. It was quite hard to build a trust, but it has been really worth the effort.

WithConfidence Fri 06-Sep-13 23:11:23

That is great that your counseller is so good (and cheap!)

There are always people around on the Lone Parents section who understand what it's like.

Katkins1 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:25:40

It started when he was a student too, and he's not put the price up! He's quite a nice guy, but sometimes I do ask you know,are you sure, because he seems not to be doing himself much of a favour. He says it's fine. I will look at the lone parents section.

NanaNina Sat 07-Sep-13 14:44:27

Have you heard of EMDR therapy Katkins - google it and you will get all the info. It is apparently a first line treatment for PTSD and I have heard MNs on the MH threads talking about it in glowing terms. There is also something called "re-wind" therapy that I think is similar to EMDR. Apparently you don't have to go all through what happened in the past, but many MNs have said it was the one thing that brought relief from PTSD. I know finance would be an issue though. It might be worth asking your GP if you can get it on the NHS.

You need to keep in mind that you won't always be in this position financially. I know how it feels at the time, but presumably you are studying with a job in mind, which will of course mean that you will be so much better off. I have struggled with financial issues in the past and it is very draining, but there will be brighter times ahead.

I don't think comparing yourself to others is helpful to be honest. Many of us carry all sorts of difficulties around but they are not on show, so don't fall into the trap of thinking everyone else is ok because they're not!!

Just a thought - could you take a lodger to provide extra income.

Katkins1 Sat 07-Sep-13 16:38:30

I was recommended ends, but I was scared of getting more flashbacks. Do you think that's a risk? Thank you for the kind words, I'd like yo teach in higher ed, that's why I'm trying to do a masters after this. I get housing benefit, so a lodger would break my rules, and I live in a two bed flat, so not much of an option there.It is so stressful worrying about making ends meet. Sometimes I actually feel sick just thinking about it.

WithConfidence Sat 07-Sep-13 19:34:22

I've had emdr and it was very good. Miraculous for the recent issues which was completely destroying my day to day life. But I've realised it has not helped as much with the childhood stuff, that is taking more conscious effort to ignore/live with. You do have to talk about the event(s) and what you were feeling at the time so it can be quite difficult to go through. I didn't have flashbacks so I can't say about that but did feel very shaken and drained after the session, wore off though.

Sounds like you have so much on your plate do not worry about paying your couslller more. He is a professional and knows what he can and needs to charge each client - I'm sure he has other clients that subsidise cheaper work he does. So strike that off your list of things to worry about!

Katkins1 Sat 07-Sep-13 21:38:10

I found childhood stuff fairly easy to work through and throw away, it was abuse stuff I found harder. The news coverage lately has not helped at all- I can find it really triggering. I did think of EMDR, and am still thinking that I don't know really how to weigh up the risk (and find the time!).

I do have a lot to think about- I'm sure he would say if he was not happy!

WithConfidence Sat 07-Sep-13 23:04:29

It doesn't take long. After the first session I had a massive change. Think I got 6 sessions in total on the NHS but it is only available in some areas. Can your counsellor do it? Because he'd be able to give you an opinion based on knowledge of you, what the outcomes could be.

For me personally things were so bad, it couldn't really get any worse so I was willing to try anything. I remember her saying what was going to happen and thinking, "oh please! What is that going to do!"

Katkins1 Sun 08-Sep-13 10:20:58

He said that he knew some-one ages ago, and recommended it, but I wussed out! Maybe I could ask him again.

WithConfidence Sun 08-Sep-13 10:51:38

No harm in asking smile.

NanaNina Sun 08-Sep-13 12:20:13

Oh Katkins yes - go for it - ask him again and it might help you. But WC (sorry that sounds like a toilet!) got it on the NHS so maybe you should see a GP and ask for a referral. Try both - the GP and your counsellor.

I know someone who was helped enormously by this therapy and she said she wished she had known about it years ago, and I can see how her life has been changed for the better. I think EMDR and "re-wind therapy" (though I don't know much about that one) decrease the incidence of flashbacks - they certainly have for my friend, and her childhood abuse was particularly horrendous.

Katkins1 Sun 08-Sep-13 13:07:55

Ok, I don't feel so bad knowing that other people have been through it and that it wasn't the end of the world!

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