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College Update: Closeness and Sharing

Olivia

Founder of Millennial Girl, Interrupted, a senior in a small Connecticut high school. I've been through many treatments and recoveries and am eager to share the lessons I've learned!

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It’s been a while. Sorry for the absence. I’m not all that sorry, though. I’ve been having the time of my life. I started at Temple University about a month ago and, while things aren’t perfect, they’re pretty damn close to it. 

 

I devour my classes and enjoy doing homework. One of my classes is an upper level Philosophy course titled The Ethics of Diversity. Our professor is an avid proponent of incorporating our lives and stories into the work that we do, so not only do we give 10 minute presentations on our lives (to provide context for our insight, and to bring us closer to each other) but we get to lead a few classes per person by providing reading material and guidance through it. I chose “disability and neurodiversity” to lead the class (I’ll update this blog with how it goes), and have shared my life story. That leads me into a point I’ve been desperate to make on here, but haven’t had the time.

 

Folks are a lot more open to hearing about life trauma, in a specific way, than I’d always been conditioned to think that they would be. My family is very private and is easily mortified by “over-sharing.” My parents were just raised that way. My generation, however, wasn’t. We share everything through instagrams, finstas, other social media, and nothing is too dark, weird, or shameful. There are many downsides to that but an upside is that I haven’t found a single person who hasn’t been receptive to a certain degree of sharing about my life.

 

Only one boy knows about this blog at school. My reasoning for this is that sharing this blog on Facebook and Instagram, thus far, has extended it to people who have known me all my life. You all have known me, for better or for worse, as normal, predetermined qualities. Maybe I was the girl who still sleeps with a stuffed rabbit, or the girl who always got an 84.5% on Pre-Calculus exams (seriously, I was cursed) or the 8th grader who wore Hollister religiously. However you knew me, you did. But the people at Temple are just getting to know me, and I want them to know me for things other than “the mentally ill girl.” So that’s how I’m approaching it.

 

I have, however, shared with my friends. For example, a terrible bully of a boy emailed me a few weeks ago. He’s from my therapeutic school and even his name makes me nauseous. It was an essay of an email and, without reading more than the first two sentences, I replied something along the lines of “Not reading this, at college, wish you well!” and deleted it, blocking him. 

 

I then took my story to my early-arrival-service-group that I was spending every day with. I was met with an outpouring of camaraderie. That night, I shared my experiences with abusive relationships. Same thing. Others related and shared their experiences or just gave their love. I feel so close to the people I shared with.

 

Notably, I didn’t sob into their arms about my trauma. There is a time and a place for that, and it’s with family, therapists, and folks I’m extremely close to, but it’s not for getting to know people, and understanding that has been a key that has unlocked how I relate my mental illness healthily to others.

 

I’m still deeply affected by the abusive relationship I’ve talked about most on here. As I knew would happen and have been experiencing for months, as I foray into new relationships, I find that the road blocks he put up for me are more massive than I can sometimes handle on my own. I’ve cried a couple of times about what I lost, both in the idealized image of him and what the relationship did to my sense of self. But I’m moving on. It’s probably the great trauma of my life but I’m still chugging and am doing so in such a happy manner as to put him out of my mind almost all of the time.

 

Logistically, I’m taking care of all of my necessary balancing acts. Meds? Check. Cleanliness? I enjoy cleaning! Relationships, friendship or otherwise? Very fulfilling. Academics? To be glib, Harvard Law, here I come. Food? Barely something I think about beyond eating three moderately balanced meals a day. Clothing and appearance? Both are acceptable to me, and through others, have brought me joy.

 

I just figured I’d paint this little picture for inquiring minds. I hope you’re all doing as well as I am and are even half as happy, you probably deserve it. 

 

I’m off to a food truck. Temple has loads of them. I’m also bad at conclusions. Talk to you soon?

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