Saturday, 7 September 2013

Let Down

I am feeling really let down with the University. But while feeling let down, it feels quite surreal and as though this is all happening to someone else.

I thought I handled myself quite well at the meeting. I managed to control my anxiety. Outwardly anyway. That may have been something to do with the medication I took in the morning. But it worked. No fiddling with my necklace, earrings, ring. No leg going like mad. I managed to think about the question they asked me, take a breath and answer. No freezing up and going "I don't know". I don't know how I managed it.

Well, I say that. They asked me what had lead to the episode in April. I did say I didn't know. But then waffled a little bit about sleep deprivation. I didn't talk about the hallucinations that were getting to me so much that I couldn't cope with them. It was a really stupid answer. I didn't know what to say. I talked a bit about how there were lots of little things that had added up and I got to the point where I couldn't cope. I think this could have been where everything went wrong. But then saying that I have a feeling that they had decided even before they held the meeting.

The opened with their concerns. I knew then that they would be saying no. It really didn't matter what I said. It didn't matter what the reports said. I feel as soon as they knew I was in hospital in April, it was going to be a no. I don't even know why they put me through the whole panel.

They talked about not knowing if I would have the resilience to cope with the stress of the course and placement and they were worried it would effect my practice. They also said that they were not going to be part of my recovery.

So, yeah. I am feeling really let down by Uni. I don't feel supported at all. It has made me not want to go back to that uni to finish the course. I know I want to finish the course, but I don't really want to do it there. I feel as though I am being stabbed in the back by them. I did expect it of them though. When I was first admitted in 2011 I made contact with uni to let them know. On the surface it was all supportive, telling me to concentrate on myself and of course I could come back in September if I was feeling well enough. I was on leave, about to be discharged, feeling so much better and engaging etc etc etc, on the whole ready to move on, then the course director emails the psychiatrist who was over seeing my care at the time telling him a whole list of reasons why I was going to have to defer for a year.

I am really upset with them.

Ok, I know I didn't think I was ready to go back. But I wanted to. I was going to even though I didn't think I was ready. But of course I never let on to this. I told my psychologist I had my doubts. But I was trying to get back this year as I was told I wouldn't be funded to do it if I didn't. And that would mean I would lose out on about £10k.

When I spoke to the psychologist after the appointment he said he was sorry if he had let me down by encouraging me. I don't think he has at all though.It's not as though he got my hopes up. I don't allow myself to get my hopes up about things. It stings a hell of a lot more when you are let down. I needed some support with it anyway. It was something I was going to try and do whether or not I had support. Well, I wouldn't have done if they weren't going to support me as there was no way uni would have even considered it without some medical support. But my family weren't supportive, and my friends were quite passive over it. One friend was good and she came with me. But I have had very little support over this.

They said to me they want me to get some work in the health and social care field. So I plan on getting some volunteering work. I would like to do it in mental health. I would like to do some peer support kind of work. But, I don't want to do it on the wards as of me knowing the staff from my own experiences. Also, I can't be sure that I am not going to end up back there. Although, it would be the biggest motivator in staying well wouldn't it? But still, it's a bit too soon.

I was supposed to go round to my parents after the meeting at uni, but I needed to be on my own and come home. I text my Mum and told her it hadn't gone well and I just wanted to be at home on my own. Both my Mum and Dad called me telling me to go round and I said no, then my Mum was worrying asking me if she could come over and I said no. I could tell they were worrying but I just needed to be on my own. My brother turned up about an hour later. Too much of a coincidence.

Anyway, the next day I did see my Mum. I was really surprised at how supportive she was. I expected a I told you so attitude after the way she was the other week when we were talking about it. But she said that it wasn't the end of the world, and that this would be the last opportunity to have time to myself, to concentrate on myself and to have fun. She said that yes, I should pursue volunteer work so I have some purpose, but to make sure I have this year and have fun. I said i felt bad doing that as the last couple of years I have hardly done anything. But she said I was ill. I couldn't help it and no one hold that against me. She said I have only been stable for the last few weeks and that I am only just finally getting it together after so many years of not being ok. That I had not been this well in a long time and I should make the most of it. It will be the last chance that I have to do this as once I do qualify I will be getting a job, and then hopefully a relationship and kids will fall in somewhere. She is right. I am going to try and see the positives.

She actually said, that as awful as it sounds she was hoping uni would say no, as she didn't think I was ready. She felt that while I was doing well, it was too soon to be putting pressure on myself and could go badly for me if I went back and started to fail. I talked to her about funding and that that was my main worry right now. I was originally told by the course director last year that last year was the last year I would be able to defer as I would not be able to get any more funding to do the course. I couldn't see how the hell I was going to get the £4k plus fees plus living expenses. The bursary paid my fees and I got around £500 a month bursary. My Mum said that she hadn't spoke to my Dad about it but she could possibly consider a loan to me to help me out. But if she did that she was worried that again it would put me under a lot of pressure to succeed as I'd feel like even more of a failure having borrowed money from them and then not being able to complete the course. I said I wouldn't want to take the money from them anyway as it was a lot of money and it wouldn't be fair on my brothers. Also, I didn't say it, but I am trying to be as independent as possible from them, borrowing the money from them would take away that independence. But, if the worst came to the worst it is always a possibility.

But, on a more positive note, I was proactive and I called the NHS Bursary hot line. I explained the situation to them and they said that while they couldn't guarantee it, it would seem as though I would be funded to complete the course. He said as long as I am not repeating a year, it should be ok for me to be funded. He said they couldn't guarantee it as changes are coming in all the time, but as it stands at the moment I should get my funding. He also said that most of the changes that are coming in are affecting new students. So it does look positive.

I was speaking to my friend about this also. She said it is not as though I have chosen to defer my studies, I didn't have a choice and I was ill. So, I can always say it's discrimination if I am not given my funding.

I have also emailed different universities to see about the possibility of transferring my studies to them. I feel so let down by my university that I am not sure if I want to continue to study there. It's a prestige university with good employment chances after. So I have looked at other prestige universities. Although most have got back to me and have said they don't allow students to transfer and if I wanted to study there I would have to start from the beginning again. So it looks unlikely that that is going to happen.

But I am trying to remain positive. Yes, I cry about it and I feel totally shit. I am having quite big urges, suicidal thoughts. But I am trying not to dwell to much on it, to not see it as the end of the world. If I let it get to me like that it just proves that I wasn't ready. I know I am not, but I can't have them knowing that.


Anonymous said...

Hi gp
Im sorry to hear about uni but you know what you are stronger now that you have ever been. You didnt rush off and do something impulsive your thinking of the positives that can come out of it you are distracting your self and that is huge huge progress!! I know you must be horribly disappointed but give yourself credit for getting through the meeting you have your pride and they didnt take that from you. With the kind of thinking you have now you can accomplish anything. This time last year you would have ended up in a and e most likely seriously hurt and the only person who deserves praise for how far you have come between then and now is you. Your psychologist is only helping you come to your own conclusions you are still doing all the hard work yourself. I know you dont really know me but you know im an avid follower of your blog and im proud of you for being where you are. I hope you are proud of yourself too. Xxx

Golden Psych said...

Awwww, thanks, that was a lovely comment and you made me smile. xxx