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Feeling Fragile

(16 Posts)
Katkins1 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:22:45


Just after a bit of advice/support. After a stressful week at uni, I was just mooching around on here and read the thread about the lady thinking about buying a house. It had a trigger warning, but I thought I was alright. Have been feeling quite low lately, and now I feel worse. My own silly fault for reading, though.

The past few days I have been feeling washed out (getting over a bereavement, writing my dissertation etc.) and having to stop at certain points in the day when the grief/depression exhausts me. It just seems to come at me in waves, and I never know what to do with it. I usually just sit quietly until it passes.

I don't want medication, but what I think I do need is support. Actually close to tears now; so many fears about failing uni, getting my work done, general student stress like money etc., my DD (I'm a single mum), and all wrapped up in PTSD and grief.

I don't know what to do. I'm sorry that I post on here so much. I'm scared that in RL no-one will have the time for me or be too busy with their own stuff. I have a counsellor, but see, too busy or have unexpected childcare issues to make the sessions lately.

I think I need some perspective, really.

EloiseintheSun Sat 15-Feb-14 18:20:48

Hi Katkins

Much sympathy - I was a student with very young children and it was very hard. It's a credit to you that you have made it this far - I guess you're in your final year?

It's no wonder you feel so wretched. You're having an awful lot to cope with. As you're a parent, more than very many fellow students.

On Monday, or as soon as possible, I'd try to see someone from student finance (perhaps the Students' Union has someone) for advice and help including the possibility of applying for financial help. Even this far into the year, it should be possible. Is there a parents' or mature students' group at the Uni? Might the Chaplaincy help? (In spite of the name, they will see any student, any background, they don't preach and they offer a confidential listening ear.) As does student counseling.

Have you spoken to your personal tutor? It's their job to signpost you to suitable help and to be aware of your circumstances in the event of you needing an extension etc. Is there an academic student support service in your Uni or faculty? Always there to help with study skills and to help you check your academic work. People in RL will have time for you and they'll make time for you. And they will admire, hugely, your determined efforts to get a degree and make an even better life for yourself and your daughter. Good luck -

Katkins1 Sun 16-Feb-14 00:35:32

Hi Eloise

I'm in my final year, yes. It's hard going. Second week in to the last semester; There are some parents on my course, but they have joined us as top up students, so I think are more energetic than those of us who have been there 3 years! That said, they all go out and can find babysitters and everything. I am quite an outsider to the group, I think. Just do things in my own way. I'm deaf too, so I'm not great at conversations. I can hear, but not as much as others.

I have a student loan, although as usual, most of it has run out way, way before the next payment date. Access to learning will give me another payment in May, too.

I have talked to the chaplaincy before. I didn't find the lady there very helpful. Well, she was until she said that my saying I find it hard it to get on with people because of my mental health was a "cop out". I think she was trying to be cruel to be kind, but it was quite hurtful. It made me think she didn't understand.

There is a tutor that I get on with, she's lovely (and my supervisor), but I don't want to rely on her too much. She has already helped me loads. I don't really know what to say to her "sometimes, I'm Ok, sometimes I'm not." is about all I think. I was suicidal with my PTSD last year, she knows that. I don't think there's much that they can do to help. She is really nice, talks to me and everything. Today, I almost had a flashback, and accidentally pulled my scarf too tight when I put it on. Suddenly, I was back in my old suicide attempts. Just reminded of them was all. Sometimes, I am Ok. Listening to music, I am Ok. It took me a long time to build up to listening to some, because sometimes, I can't stand external stimulus like that. It grates on me, and feel so overwhelming.

I've just sent off nearly all of my PHD application. That didn't take me as long as I thought, was nearly there anyway. It's odd, part of me looks to the future, another part of me can't stand the present day. Part of me thinks that I can do whatever I want, another just thinks I am doomed to fail. I never know how I'm going to feel one day to the next. And I'm a single Mum, too. It's a really lonely place.

Millie2013 Sun 16-Feb-14 05:05:48

And I'm just mooching around on here (baby keeps waking me up) and I found this smile

It sounds really tough for you at the moment, the final year of a degree is challenging enough, throw in the added pressures of parenthood, a bereavement and "what to do next" and I'm not surprised you are feeling the pressure

How old is your daughter? And where do you see your counsellor? I only ask because I'm wondering if it's possible to take her with you, when you're really stuck? I was trained (counselling) thinking this was an absolute no-no, but my current therapist says better I take her than have gaps in the sessions, when I'm really stuck with childcare. She is only one though. My therapist is very skilled (50!! years experience) and she involves my DD in the sessions, just enough, so that we all benefit. DD also takes some toys with her and sits on the floor

The chaplaincy person sounds really unhelpful, whatever her motivation!

SilverStars Sun 16-Feb-14 09:05:10

Can you talk to your HV about struggling with your dd with no support? Another avenue of help for you outside of the Uni?

EloiseintheSun Sun 16-Feb-14 13:52:30

Hi again Katkins

Sounds as though you are doing brilliantly - really. May not at all seem like but coping with your course to do the point where you're considering PhD study, with a small child, with the hearing issue that you have etc etc is nothing short of pretty amazing.

Given what you've said about your hearing, do you get practical support from a student disability service of some kind? Not sure what would help but they are usually very well resourced and very nice people.

Chaplain sounds a pain but she's unlikely to be the only Chaplain - could you talk to another one?

Keep going - I certainly find what you're doing and coping with quite an inspiration! And I agree with Silver about the HV - maybe your HV would support/signpost etc.

Katkins1 Sun 16-Feb-14 18:19:14

Hi thank you all. Millie, my DD is 6. I see my counsellor once every 2 weeks, but today I've decided to finish it because I haven't seen him for ages, and I find his approach a bit wishy washy. Ages ago, I went to a support group at RSVP (Rape and Sexual Violence Project) and I found it really helpful. I had an e-mail through about the next one, and I've decided that I'm going to try it again. I didn't go back, because I was overwhelmed and it was a bit much, but I'm in a better place now. I feel as though I need more specialist help, if I'm honest. People with experience of my particular issues. I'm thinking of asking them about their counselling, and I'd prefer a female counsellor now. I feel a really strong need to be looked after- if that makes sense.

Eliose,,I do get help with my hearing, yes. Usually cope Ok with it. I don't even know who my HV is, been so long since I've seen her for any help because my DD is 6 now.

There's no other chaplain, our University is small. She's a very nice lady; but quite, I think, old fashioned perhaps would be the best way to put it.

Millie2013 Sun 16-Feb-14 21:41:46

RSVP are very good, I used to know someone who volunteered for them and they do excellent work, so I definitely think this is worth exploring again.

Funny, I was determined that I wanted a male counsellor, until I looked on the ukcp website and happened upon this female one and I have no idea why I was so drawn to her. Anyhow, such a good gut feeling, she's v good and I do feel very supported and cared for, which is what I needed (we have also explored this in the sessions and it was v enlightening)

Katkins1 Sun 16-Feb-14 23:00:09

I've had both male and female counsellors; I think I just needed different things at different times. For me, my Mum left when I was young, so counselling with a woman old enough to be my Mother was useful in exploring transference. Then, I only really felt comfortable enough to talk about the abuse with a man. I'm glad that you have appropriate counselling, and that you are finding it helpful. I've been seeing this one for 2 years, and I think maybe it's just time to move on, and pick it up after I finish my degree now. A few months without counselling will help me a little, I think, to clear my head a little.

Millie2013 Mon 17-Feb-14 03:24:58

Good plan, sometimes the breaks can offer as much clarity as the sessions!

Katkins1 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:49:31

I think so! Went to see the chaplain today, she was slightly more helpful. Suggested that I go to the GP, so I've made an appointment. I'm not sure what good it will do- but I will try anything right now. I think I'm in rapid cycles. I feel Ok one minute, then not the next. It's variable throughout the day, too. At first, it was weeks apart, but now its closer together. I don't know what it is though!

Katkins1 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:28:24

Just wanted to say thank you who posted on here for me. I've been referred to counselling today by my gp.

EloiseintheSun Thu 20-Feb-14 22:05:44

Good luck - let's know how you get on.
Sounds like you have lots of good ideas for a way forward now. Your DD is lucky to have such a loving and resourceful mother.
Hope you and your DD have a good weekend. xx

Katkins1 Thu 20-Feb-14 22:23:16

Thank you. I e-mailed my tutor, who offered me a few helpful suggestions, too. She said she was so glad that I was getting help though! I have the phone number of my counselling service, and have only a 1/3 of my dissertation to write, which isn't bad going. Over tomorrow and the weekend, I have to re-write a couple of sections and the end of a chapter, after which I might see an end to the first draft. Have a good weekend x

EloiseintheSun Thu 20-Feb-14 22:35:26

Go, Katkins, go! 'Speak' soon - x

Millie2013 Fri 21-Feb-14 08:11:23

Go Katkins, indeed smile It sounds like you're really making progress

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