Not the best time to question everything.
January 21, 2013 11:09 AM Subscribe
Halfway through my last year of law school and my partner of ~5 years has walked out. After months of trying to deal with an emotionally abusive relationship going seriously wrong, my life is decimated and my work for law review is behind and I'm getting angry emails all over the place. I'm having trouble just getting out of bed. Counselor through the university has let me vent a lot but I'm not feeling any better. Something needs to give, but how?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking for practical solutions here. It's been a bit less than two weeks. I've got an appointment to look into antidepressants, but I know those take about a month to kick in, and I don't have a month. I'm not even totally sure I'm depressed--this has been seriously traumatic for me, and my life will not just stop and let me catch my breath long enough to actually deal with things. I have very little support because for the past several years, my ex was having serious problems with my having any kind of social life without her, and she was so unpleasant to be around that people stopped inviting me to anything.
I'm near graduation, but do not yet have a permanent job offer lined up. I have serious questions about whether I really want to be a lawyer at all; my grades are good and I don't mind my classes, but this was a line of work I chose because my now-ex had by that point destroyed pretty much anything else I wanted to do, and approved of that option because it was only a three-year degree so I could be back to work faster. Dropping out now will not save me any tuition money.
Complicating factor: I am not out to my family, and my family has community connections that mean I cannot come out to most of my peers at school or my professors, either. I depend on my family for support during school, and they are very conservative. I have an ongoing medical problem that I can't afford to maintain health insurance for without my parents' help. I am not in a state where I can qualify for medicaid as a single adult without children, and I'm not going to die without my meds, but they are necessary for me to function. (My university insurance is not adequate; I'd run out of prescription coverage with the annual limits in the first month.) As far as my family is concerned, my roommate just moved out.
I feel like I have two options.
One, I keep going as I have been. But I don't know how to possibly catch up everything I have to catch up, considering just getting up long enough to post this has been difficult. I have been sleeping 14+ hours a day because being awake feels unbearable, and this is the first I've even been close to dressed since Thursday. I cannot just take a couple weeks off to recover from this. I don't have any serious job prospects and I hate all but two of my classes this semester. I'm not ruling out continuing, but I have no idea how to recover and keep up five classes and law review.
The other option is dropping back to part time and appraising at the end of this semester whether I want to continue. This has its own problems: One, I don't know what to tell my parents and professors. Two, it means I definitely won't graduate this semester. Three, I'm going to, I assume, have to explain it to potential employers in the future, as well. In general, if I don't stay in law school, I also need to figure out how to explain that to future employers.
My whole life was tied up with this person and yes, I feel stupid for doing that, for putting up with the abuse for so many years, etc. But right now, I need help moving forward, not just talking about how I'm sad and angry. I need to actually be able to finish my projects, however late they might be, and eventually find myself satisfying and gainful employment. And until I have that employment (and insurance through it that I can afford on my own), then I need for my parents not to find out about this. How on earth do I manage that?
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org