Withdraw

At 6 o’clock this morning, I submitted my official withdrawal from university.

I knew it was the right thing to do, but I still cried. And I cried again when I got the e-mail at 8 AM that my withdrawal was accepted.

It has been over a month and I still haven’t received an answer, and I just can’t wait around for a committee of people who don’t even know me to judge me based on a diagnosis and a few sentences out of my blog.

You know what? I’m hurt. I’m angry. I feel betrayed. I feel judged.

This wasn’t done out of concern for me. With the exception of one person (who I know did not write any anonymous reports), no one approached me about any concerns. Shit, no one even asked me if I was okay. A person who is genuinely concerned about someone will ASK that person, or at least make some attempt to talk to her. Genuinely concerned people don’t create fake e-mail addresses and send anonymous reports to the school, with links to my blog posts. That is not genuine concern. That, in simplest terms, is being an asshole.

You write extensively about your diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Your blog documents serious struggles with mental health issues that have raised significant concerns…

Yes. I have DID. And? I don’t have it written on my forehead. You wouldn’t know I had it from looking at me. I have chosen to be open about it because of the shame and stigma attached to the diagnosis, shame and stigma that I have been trying to fight against. And yes, I  struggle with mental health issues. Any person who has been through similar experiences has them, too. But I manage them as best I can. I work just to pay for therapy.

In the blog you write that you are “consistently suicidal”, and that you are “in school for something that I’m not even sure I can handle.”

Gosh, a person with DID who struggles with suicidal thoughts. Considering that more than 70% of people with DID have attempted suicide, this should not be a huge surprise. As I have explained in this post, there is a difference between feeling suicidal and being suicidal. No matter how I was feeling, I continued to go to work, I went to class, and I did what needed to be done because I knew they were just feelings.

And what student hasn’t had doubts? My whole life, I’ve excelled academically. I’ve never really failed at anything. But I would be lying if I said I never doubted my abilities. I am sure some level of self-doubt is completely normal. I would be more concerned about someone who had absolutely no self-doubt.

Due to the severity of this situation and the perceived threat to yourself and others, I am making a referral…to evaluate whether or not your circumstances impair your ability to safely continue in the program…

Perceived threat to yourself and others.  Wow. Okay. I am not a threat to myself. If I wanted to kill myself, I would have either stayed in home prison or I would have jumped in front of a train by now. I wouldn’t have gotten a job, enrolled in graduate school, started an organization, and I wouldn’t be going to therapy a few times a week to make myself better.

A threat to others? In what way? Because I have DID? A diagnosis does not make me a violent lunatic. What have I ever done to show that I have ever been a threat to others? I don’t hurt other people. I didn’t even hurt my abusers. I avoided all conflict and confrontation and ran away. I let them get away with everything, when other people would have hurt them for what they did. If I didn’t hurt the very people who caused me so much pain, who the hell would I hurt? Who am I a threat to? No one. The answer is no one.

So, despite getting As, having a 4.0 GPA, scoring higher than average on the CPCE before I even started the program, giving an outstanding presentation on the psychological effects of continued child abuse, and handing in consistently professional, high-quality work, I have had to drop out of graduate school.

I’d like to think this wasn’t because of fear, viciousness, or misunderstanding, but my heart tells me that it was.

To whoever reported me, I hope you are never put in a situation where your life is scrutinized.

I haven’t done anything wrong. I will continue to write. I will continue to fight. I should not have to prove my worth any more than I already do.

The response

My grandmother answered my letter.

I emailed it to her, so there would be no trace of my location. I wasn’t sure if she was a fully trustworthy person.

She didn’t acknowledge anything I wanted her to. In fact, she completely ignored most of my letter.

She updated me about herself, about how no one visits her, about how she gave my father a car so they could come over and they still didn’t visit, about how she could have sold the car to someone else instead.

Then at the end, she asked what school I was going to, and what I did for work. And that was that. No acknowledgement of anything else I wrote. No apology, no further questions, not even a mention of the word abuse.

I was disheartened. I realized that she is likely in denial. I said all I could. There’s nothing more I can do. I can’t force people to accept a reality they don’t want to face.

I was angry. She’s continuing to enable my family. She got them a car. A fucking car. All the while they’re still driving the Jeep that I bought them years ago. And they get a car, too. You know what I get? Nothing. I continue to get nothing. I’m the only one in the family that’s not a complete asshole, and I get shit. I struggle to be on my own and they get consistently get handouts. They get rewarded for being horrible people. Ain’t it funny how life works?

I didn’t reply back to her. I sat with my emotions for awhile. I emailed my therapist about it, and she reminded me that I don’t owe my grandmother anything, and I’m not obligated to send her a reply. The fact that my grandmother is still actively enabling my family makes her an unsafe person. I’m not quite sure it’s worth the added stress to go through a relationship that will never be genuine.

It hurts, but I’m actually so used to the hurt now that it doesn’t affect me like it should.

At least I tried.