I think there’s a lot about the next year stuff that I have to sort out. There are practical things I hardly talk about. I still haven’t applied at IB-Groep, and, beside some casual notes while on the open day, the folks in Nijmegen have no idea that I “want” (blessed are the quotation marks!) to study at their university.
By the way, we have currently also been trying to find help in some things from ‘t Loo Erf, which is the local centre for the blind. Mr. De B. contacted them on Friday the 14th, and the folks are going to discuss me and will get back to us.
Then, there are the many emotional things, that are mostly very unrelated to university – they’d exist if university weren’t there – but the transition is making things more difficult. Mum is clear in her expectations, which she stated once again yesterday: I’m going to university or I’ll have to present an alternative, which to her means a detailed outline of the entire year. There are several things she apparently doesn’t take into account:
- A plan for university isn’t detailed either, certainly mine isn’t, and that is one reason why I don’t feel like going
- At this moment, I am terribly lacking in all sorts of skills, having a very unquiet mind and having no idea about what skills I will gain in what way either in half a year or before when whatever I want to do as an alternative will be over
- If I had the skills to (mainly social/behaviour stuff is making things more difficult), I’d genuinely love to go to university; it’s *not* a problem of laziness
And stuff would be much easier if Mum, with her “expectations do everything” attitude, were to arrange her stupid plans for me. But no, she’s only expecting me to and further just whining that I’m never going to be mature or independent. So how is one going to gain those skills??? By the way, she isn’t referring to physical independence, but more to arranging one’s own things, but that’s rather worse than better.
I don’t know what to think about all this at times. Part of me just wants to hold on, as I’ve always done. I at times compare my current situation to that of early 1999. And, as I kept up at high school, why shouldn’t I at university? But there are differences. Less would be expected of me on high school than there’s going to be at university. There were my parents who arranged virtually everythng for me. And, I must admit I wasn’t as troubled about stuff at the time as I’m now. That sounds weird. The school for the blind was horrible, wasn’t it? Not in all respects, but in some – yes. And that was one reason why I looked forward to normal school: mostly, the academic challenge. It’s not something to look forward to at university – besides, maybe, that English is a topic of interest for me, and is hence going to be cool. But I have no interests now, as I’m in a me-ologic state of mind. Will that be over by September? I don’t think so.
There’s something about this holding on thing that I’ll have to discuss. You may know about the “if it fails, it’ll fail within three months” statement made by special education folk in reference to children who go to normal school. I was aware of this idea when I transferred to my current high school in August, 1999. My parents said that it usually goes alright the first couple of weeks, then things deteriorate, and within three months, the child has been transferred back to the school for the blind. I don’t know why they used to tell me this statistic. The angry, resentful part of me thinks they wanted to give me an incentive to hold on, to prove that I wasn’t one of those failure kids. I know I interpreted it that way. I have had some memories lately of feeling that I should pretend that I’m alright, even if it were only to graduate from high school in six years. I looked up some entries in my Dutch, offline journal and they’re quite expressive, stating that if people knew about my feelings, special education would get after me to return me to the school for the blind. Bartiméus, I said, would be right then. Some of my entries look pretty overreactive, given that they were written barely a month after the start of the school year, but I know how I’ve struggled in school with everything other than academics over the last six years. In seventh and eigth grade, the Failure was a feared thing, nearly an object.
But, of course, I made it at high school. I’m a senior now, so what do I nag about? Part of me views the fact that I kept up, despite my early struggles – that seem to be so similar to those encountered by the kids who fail normal school -, as a reason to be positive: if I kept up at high school, then why not at university? I don’t have the negative example of the failure kids now, but I could easily make up one – my having to hold on mechanism is quite creative. Would it work? Would I actually want it to work?
Part of me feels anger and resentment and feels that I’m only pushed to hold on and no-one out there ever cares about how I’m doing. That’s not correct, at least, not now, but my resentment with mainly my parents over their attitudes – or the way I perceive them – is quite a strong feeling.
I don’t know how to deal with this. At times, it feels as if my parents put a bar of expectations on some far-away star, tell me to reach for it every five minutes and leave it at that. I hate it: I feel like I should be a child in doing what my parents want me to (I still live with me, so that’s logical), yet should be an adult in that I’ll have to arrange everything for myself. Once again some adolescent issues placed in context.
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