Should I or should I not finish college?
July 18, 2007 12:32 PM Subscribe
Should I or should I not finish college?
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve lived in a turbulent household with a verbally abusive, yelling father. I also had a bipolar brother who didn’t make things easy. My mom just ignored everything. When I was 19 my mom finally separated from my dad and I lived with her in her new home. She began dating people and going out with friends constantly and soon it didn’t feel like I was living with my mother but with some younger sister who constantly bitched at me. We fought a lot over ridiculous things that she would start (ex- my 15 minute showers are too long), and she wanted me to move back in with my dad. So when I was 20 I moved in with my dad who I have never had a good relationship or any relationship with. In the beginning we were just two people living together and we didn’t have conversations or anything but we were cordial to each other. I still kept trying to spend time with my mom and go over to her house a lot. She never invited me over or out with her and the only time I saw her was when I went over there myself. Her boyfriend’s daughter who is a few years older than me became really close to her and then my mom started referring to her as her “other daughter” around me. She would talk to her on the phone everyday and invite her over. Things she never did with me. I really started just feeling left out and pushed away and some other things happened that made it feel worse so I just stopped contact with my mother.
I’ve gone through depression on and off since I was 15. Just until January I started getting depressed again. In March it became so bad that I stopped going to school and went back on medication. I’ve been on medication for months and it’s not working like it did before. The depression I have now is different than before. This time I can’t stop thinking about just bad memories from my childhood and my past relating to my family. It’s just thousands of thoughts cycling through my head 24/7. I’ll be cleaning the dishes and then start crying uncontrollably thinking about a moment when my dad was screaming at me. I started seeing a psychiatrist and he said that I am having post-traumatic stress from my childhood. He also said I have major depressive disorder.
Later in the week I was having another crying episode alone in my room and I felt so alone because I had no one in my family or any friends to help me (even though my dad was just downstairs). I drove myself to the hospital and checked in for depression. I talked to a social worker and she asked if I wanted her to call my dad. I said that he really wouldn’t care because he just doesn’t care that I’m depressed. She called him and he came and he acted like nothing was wrong and didn’t say anything. I said that I was feeling really depressed and that no one in the family was trying to help or talk to me. He said “we all have a lot on our plate.”
I went home and he didn’t say anything to me and then the next morning he started vacuuming the carpet outside my room. I asked if he could stop doing that because of the noise right now and he just ignored me. Later that day I said that I felt really offended about the way he acted in the hospital and the next day after I told him I am depressed. I also said that the psychiatrist said I’m suffering trauma from my childhood. He interrupted me and starting saying “oh poor you! when I was a kid I was kicked out of the house and on and on.......” Then he went on about how he is financially supporting me in school and everything and I said this has nothing to do with material possessions, and then he said I was egotistical and “poor me.” I was really so stunned after that because I had no idea he had been thinking that way all along.
I told him that I’m going to move out and I don’t need him to support me financially because I will take out student loans and get a job. I just need to get out of this house. I feel like being in this house that I grew up in with bad memories and with the man who gave these memories is not helping me get through this depression, but only worsening it. A few days after I had that talk with my dad, my much older sister emailed me saying that I need to “get over it and take responsibility for my life” and that no parent is perfect and that I still have a good life despite the past. Yes materially I do have a good life, but in my head I cannot stop being so sad and depressed. That is another thing that is hard is everyone around me is saying I have no reason to be depressed and I’m being dramatic. But I feel like this and I can’t stop so it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.
I have never been on my own or supported myself financially. I am already applying for jobs, but I can’t get student loans because I missed the deadline. I only have 2 years of college finished. I could have finished 2 years ago but I have been dragging my feet from the off and on depression. I don’t know whether I should even finish college because first I don’t think I can mentally do it quick enough (the normal 12hr semesters) and secondly I don’t want to take out a ton of student loans and be in debt when I don’t even know if I can finish. I also don’t really need a college degree for the job I want. I just want to teach English as a foreign language abroad. I know it is helpful if you have a degree, but it isn’t required. I don’t think I can stay in this particular city going to school and work 24/7 for 2+ more years like this. Should I just leave and get TESOL certification and start teaching? Am I really going to regret not getting a college degree? Does anyone have any advice on leaving home and being out on their own for the first time?