Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

I did NOT explode…


…but my brain just might, haha!

I will make this confession – I imagined this to be so much easier. I thought I’d still get around to blog once a week and feel good and all, but now I haven’t posted anything substantial in like two months and I can finally admit that I completely overestimated myself.

University is much harder than I expect – and it’s not even because of the classes. No, it’s because it’s confusing. It’s new people, new contacts and with them, new disappointments. Like that one guy who you were supposed to give a presentation with, only he never did anything and didn’t show up to class that day, leaving you to fill his part as well. Or like the study group which turned out to be shallow young girls discussing their disturbing, yet quite interesting sex lives (is dressing up sexy just to get a guy fall in love with you and then tell him that you despise him just for the fun of seeing his heart break a new sport?).

I wondered about the high rates of failure and drop-outs. Now I can totally see where a large chunk comes from. They fail tests because they don’t show up for class. Because they think seven days is enough to study for a big exam. Because they are young and wild and they still have so much time on their hands and no worries that failing is a part of it – it’s not that bad, they’re all still trying to find their ways.

Only it’s different for me. I’m not “that young” anymore, meaning I’m not 18, fresh out of high school, just testing the waters. I want to get somewhere, I need to get somewhere. I’m 25 and if I manage the average number of semesters to graduate law, I’ll be 32. These younger ones, they can mess up a year or two and still graduate under 30. I guess, simply because I’m older, and more experienced (without sounding patronizing), I have a different view on life. I’m sure they will too by the time they hit their mid twenties. It’s just a point where you realize you won’t be young forever, you won’t manage to live with the excuse “I’m young, I have plenty of time” for much longer.

I thought I’d be better off if I knitted some contacts with the younger group because I feel I’m more on their level mentally (if that makes sense), but it turns out that I feel like a child even next to some 18 year olds but still have different ideas of how I should handle life. And I guess that’s ok.

I now found a slightly older crowd my age (all mid and late 20s) who are first semesters as well. I feel like they understand much better where I come from, though many of them are much more mature mentally than I am. But that’s ok too. Given how “unique” us ex-fundies are, I’d have a hard time finding anybody like me around here. Maybe that would be different in the US where there are good networks of ex-fundies, but not here.

And it’s not just school. Work has become a drag because it robs so much of my time. I get home and I want to spend time with D or my friends, and yet I should do homework, housework, whatever. I’m trying to find a routine of doing the chores and meeting my social needs, but to be quite honest with you guys, my home is a mess.

A few days ago I didn’t even manage to put the dishes into the dishwasher. I had no time at all and I was tired enough to drop. So I left them standing there, rotting all by themselves.

Last week, I didn’t make my bed – two days in a row!

Two weeks ago, I had to go to school with disgusting hair because I had no time to wash it.

And the floor in my bedroom looks like a mix of a library and a paper recycling station. My desk, my beautiful “old made new with my own hands” desk? I haven’t seen that since the second week of school. I am wondering whether it is still there, somewhere under all those books and papers. It might just have vanished into thin air.

Yes, you see, it’s hard, and I would love to add more, but I’m heading off to work now and these five minutes it took to write this post are all I could spare. To everyone who has been through this: How did you manage?!

10 thoughts on “I did NOT explode…

  1. I know what you mean. I went back to school in my mid twenties, as a single parent. I didn’t have the ex-fundie issues you do, but I had trouble relating with most of the young students I went to school with. Try to focus on one day at a time, other than planning study times and planning for projects. I would get overwhelmed in a heartbeat if I tried to focus on the entire semester. As for your apartment, I have never been even what you might call a moderate housekeeper. Take a look at–you don’t sound like you need as much help as I do, but I bet she can help you get to where you feel more in control of the housekeeping. Good luck!

  2. just keep going. it gets better, i promise. you’ll get used to it. du schaffst das. der erstsemesterstress vergeht.

  3. I’m doing it now. I’m an ex-fundie, in my late 20’s, fairly new at living on my own, working full-time and attending school part-time (mostly online). My main goals, aside from getting good grades, are making sure that I eat healthy foods, and that I get some time with my boyfriend. I make my bed about once a month, and I was so tired one morning not long ago that I showered but forgot to wash my hair. 😛

  4. Your post seems pretty good for beginning of first semester – and being a different demographic than most students!

    Kecks is right: the first semester is hardest: you need to learn how to organise your life, who is responsible (and who will stop studying or stay in the first courses for a really long time), how your profession talks, how they work. These things are much easier next year.

    Also there are quite a lot of untraditional students. But they hide good since they don’t hang out at uni as much as the lots of fresh Abiturients of 18-20 years. I found them mostly cooler (more interesting people and more goal-oriented) than the other ones: students who switched major, first started a family, worked besides studying, etc. Seems like you found a group of them. That’s cool.

    Good luck with the rest of the semester!

  5. Dirty dishes in the sink (for only one day?!) unmade bed, papers everywhere…yep you have left fundie world where those things might be unimaginable. I’m getting my Masters one class at a time and work full time. I’m having to learn I have to give up some things to get some things. Have to keep my mind on the goal and let others’ opinions about my crazy life – and maybe my own self-condemnation re: the chaos – just slide. But it takes a concsious effort to do that and I don’t always do well with it. Ah well…..grace.

    • *cough* I have a romm mate who occasionally takes care of the dishes hehe. She works a decent job and doesn’t have school on her hands anymore, so she has a much more regular schedule than I do.
      I thought the same thing about the mess being a sign that I left the fundie-lifestyle! Isn’t it weird how an unmade bed makes you feel so… normal and worldly?

  6. Soak the dishes so they don’t get encrusted and dried on.
    Beds need to air and breath….keep the duvet/blanket/sheets pulled back.
    Dry shampoo works a treat, or baby powder in a pinch, on needs to be washed hair.
    Social life is part of a university education make sure you get that in.
    Don’t sweat the little things.
    Don’t study, just revise revise revise (that means to just read your notes daily, if possible)…..and rewrite your notes after class/evening to reinforce the information and to add information you may have missed writing down.
    Breathe in breathe out, repeat.
    Oh, laugh, live, love and stop to look at all the beauty around you. Work will be there for the rest of your days, today is the moment.

  7. definitely, of all things, do not prioritize dishes or making your bed. i am a student right now, working full time and in a relationship, but i also just bought a house and am busy with organizing and arranging and cleaning and cooking for us. it’s taken me about 3 years, but i now know that sleep is super important: i used to make that last on my list and my emotional state was just not good. so now i make sure i sleep. i get aggravated about the condition of the house a lot of times, but i’ve learned to just sit down and watch a tv show with my boy instead of washing dishes. get headbands or scarves, or just put your hair up in a bun and it hides the greasiness.

    choose to be happy and do what makes you happy instead of what you feel obligated to do. so in my case, sometimes washing dishes is what will make me happy because then i will have a clean kitchen, so at that point i wash dishes. if going out with friends would make me happier at that moment, i go out. just feel free inside.

  8. I realize I’m late to the party, but since I’m finishing up law school now, I figured I’d drop you a line. I’m in a common law jurisdiction, though, so a lot of my own experience may or may not speak to you. Speaking as one of those kids who started law school essentially as early as I could, the experience you have as an older student is actually really valuable – you know better what you want, and it’s harder to pressure you from that path. I started out wanting to work in poverty law, but because all my friends were applying to corporate jobs in second year, I did too – and I didn’t even really want those jobs. I didn’t get hired, was heartbroken for months, over something I didn’t really want to begin with and wouldn’t have even liked doing.

    Good luck! Law is a great profession.

  9. Welcome to the study of law! I’m a third year juris doctor student in U.S. and it is a challenging field all over the world. Good luck! My main suggestion is to try to forgive yourself when you fall behind on something. And when the term ends take time to enjoy yourself before the next one starts.

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