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#125315 - 10/08/03 03:18 PM homework: irresponsibility and distraction
fhorns Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 666
I am a 32 year old survivor with very apparent dissociation, and I am a full time student at our local university. I'm wanting validation and/or correction for something.

My studying habits suck.

Before I ever started focusing on my incest issue, I could easily hide away in a topic of study. I could swim in the world of education, psychology, science, or whatever. I would literally get lost. I was out there. Not forever of course. Real life happens.

Now I am trying to focus on four courses, not one, and I have "ideas" strewn out everywhere. I mean that figuratively, for the literal is that my binders and books are everywhere. When I see one binder, I think of this subject; this book, that one. But I always got lost in them. Anyway, my room is a fricken mess with stuff everywhere.

What I am remembering is how we "compartmentalize". I can hide here, OR there, OR there. But too many things at once and I am slammed. The work I've got to do isn't hard. THE REALITY SWITCHING IS!

Now I'm married. She forces me to be in the real world around her, whether it's vocal or not. Living in la-la land creates terrible distress for us, and it hurts her. That affects us tremendously. Two weeks ago my wife and I were together and she asked calmly, "how much studying did you actually do this week?" I had had about three days (20 hours) to work on homework, but I probably only did 2-4. I told her so, and I bowed my head. I explained how frustrating it is for me trying to focus. I had spent at least 10 hours over the week reading, writing, and contacting people concerning my incest issues. That was EASY to focus on. It was like--real to me. So she realized it and we made a decision to face these issues to the best of our ability. She has been making a lot of calls for me while she is at work looking for help.

Finally, in all of this I still don't know what "real" studying is. Studying has always meant going into a whole other world, safe and predictable. I'm in between somewhat, and I'm not getting the same feeling I used to get. God, this sucks. Who can relate?


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#125317 - 10/08/03 04:16 PM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Ordinarily, I would wonder if you had some phase of ADHD. But, I think this sounds more like a combination of anxiety and intrusive thoughts from the past that must be crying for you to deal with them.

Anxiety can cause us to read and not remember, it often causes me to jump from one thing to another and then to another. I just feel out of control in a sense.

You are fortunate to have a wife to help you. The closenss of marriage would surely be a help. I live alone when it comes to things like that.

Organization can really help here.

Make use of a date book. Write down things you need to do and when they need to be done. Have various folders for various tasks. I use different colors. When I don't do this and am struggling like you are, I just get nothing done. Eventually, I wind up paring down my obligations. I can usually handle one or two things and do them rather well. Three or four just does not work.

All the stuff that seems too easy, does actually work for me. Taking deep breaths--about 10 or 12. Closing my eyes, visualization meditation etc. All of it helps me get stable. I also have found that I have to start slowing down at least 90 minutes before I plan to go to bed. If I work up to the last minute, I might just as well skip trying to sleep.

I hope you can either get some help from this--or ar least know that someone else struggles from time to time with that. I have gotten rather well organized now and it really helps. But, every now and then I still take on something, only to find out that I am already committed at that time. Makes me want to scream out loud.

Peace friend.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#125318 - 10/08/03 11:57 PM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
fhorns,

I can totally relate. When my SA first started to hit me I was an undergrad in college. I could barely get any amount of school work done, even history (my major.) It had come easy to me, and was easy to bury myself in, but it became so difficult to concentrate.

My first semester of Grad school was no better. Becuase two of my classes repeated earlier classes I had taken as an undergrad it boiled down to me having to write one paper and go to class, and I barely got that done (and in fact I had it mostly written as a previous paper!)

I found myself having problems very similar to yours, I couldn't concentrate or become interested in topics that once held my attention so completely.

Unfortunately, I have prescious little advice on how I got through it. I had to work through a lot of issues and emotions that I was just not used to addressing or feeling. I was incredibly lucky because the bulk of my work was already completed. All that I can advice for you is to try to keep plugging away, and if neccessary (but only if neccessary) see what you can get in the way of extentions. But that can easily cause the work to pile up quickly so don't get too many if you can avoid it.

I know that that really isn't all that much help but unfortunately it's all I can think of.

The bright side of all this is that it passed for me and now I am very focused and able to concentrate on my work in fulness. (I don't know if that's because I'm ignoring my issues again or what, but the point is that your lack of ability to concente probably won't last forever.)

I hope that this has helped.

-Eric


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#125319 - 10/09/03 07:06 PM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I've just caught up on this topic, I was busy last night, so I've read it through top to bottom with no trouble at all.

Just before I go to bed I read a novel for about ten to twenty minutes to relax me, and I can read complicated literary novels this way and keep track of what's going on.

But give me an instruction book, and I'm lost.
A text book, just the same.
I can read about one page before I'm day-dreaming.
And it's not as though all the instruction / text books I read are boring stuff I'd rather not be doing. I could understand it if it was limited to the sewage pump repair manuals I have at work.

But I'm doing a Counselling course - my choice and I love doing it - and I just can't concentrate on the books.
I can't even do it with the manual for my old LandCruiser, I tried to regulate the diesel pump the other day and it took me about ten attempts of reading three pages to get to grips with it.
And this is stuff I want to learn.

Someone suggested that maybe I read better from a screen, but it seems to make no difference.

I have a suspicion that this could be linked to dyslexia, I have no problems with words but I have dyscalculia - dyslexia with numbers.
And I wonder if the way I process 'important, technical information' could be the same way I process numbers ? - even though it's in words.

It's very frustrating, and I seem to remember being this way for ever. I just thought that I wasn't that smart at some things. But now I realise that I have enormous problems learning things that I want to learn.
When the information doesn't sink in I dissasociate, always have done. And at 50yo it takes some getting out of the habit.

My friends wife assess adults with learning difficulties, perhaps it's about time I took her out for a drink !

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#125320 - 10/10/03 05:53 AM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Oh, wow, I can not imagine having to deal of this in school also. I had harder time in university then I was thinking, because mostly it was long distance, since I am here in America for over five years now, and school was home in Russia. It was almost all by mail and computer, and would go home to take the final exams each summer. But that was nothing, to compare to trying to deal with the memories and feelings while trying to concentrate on school also. I do not know how you do that, I have great respect to you.

If you are at all able, maybe you can divide yourself of it, and set aside time that is only school, and push other thoughts away? I know, it sounds as 'ideal' situation, and we are not at all in 'ideal world'. I do not know of suggestions to help maintain mind on something, and not have other thoughts invading, because it happens at me all the times now. I wish you good luck.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#125321 - 10/10/03 08:29 AM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hey been there still doing it.

Do I have intrusive thoughts? All the time! Can I concentrate? Only when the subject interests me! I have been diagnosed with ADHD at 62 for gods sake.

My doc and I don't know if it was there all the time and increased by my SA and prostitution and acting out over the years.

Ask for directions, read a manual, read the rules? You have to be kidding!

Do something risky for an adrenalin rush? You bet! Acting out gave that to me. Now it is mountain biking, snowboarding and inlie skating.

Sit still? Not a chance! And I could go on and on.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#125322 - 10/10/03 12:30 PM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I can't remember names - not if my life depended on it ! and that's SO frustrating, but people, and all about them - yes.

When I read a text book I use a pen to follow the words as I read, and that heplps a lot, maybe the same principle as the contraption Jeff mentioned ?

I learn well by doing and experiencing things, which makes the reading - learning so hard to deal with.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#125323 - 10/10/03 08:26 PM Re: homework: irresponsibility and distraction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jeff

Quote:
I will repeat some words twice in a sentence, leave some out, add extra words, switch words, anything you can think of. Sometimes I do the same with how I spell words.
That's EXACTLY how I am with numbers.
Ask me to copy down two phone numbers and it's anyones guess as to what's on the page.
I have trouble reading a digital watch at times, 9-47 makes no sense to me - 13 minutes to 10 does.

What goes on in our minds to do this ?
I don't think it's a result of abuse at all ( not for me anyway ) but maybe there's something about the way someone with dyslexia - learning difficulties acts that adds to our vulnerability at a young age.
Do we recognise these 'problems' ourselves way before we can ever put a name on them, or even say "I have some kind of problem" - certainly before others recognise it.

My wife works in a college with 16 - 17 yo kids, and tonight she told me that she's still amazed at the amount of kids going through schools who aren't diagnosed. My wife works in student services and does the admissions etc - and she picks them up !
Something wrong somewhere ?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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