Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Courtenay, BC Canada
Exam Phobia, advice greatly appreciated
i know it's a lot to read, but i would greatly appreciate it, if you would please read it all, instead of just skim it and post randomly, because this also has background information. i need some advice about my predicaments here.
This does not accurately fall under anxiety, but I am in need of advice, as my fear of exams - leading into resentments and destructing and interfering in my goals of education and career.
In my past I have always quit when things become tough, I have never finished anything i started. When opportunities arise the stress becomes astounding to the point my mind shuts down. Using my resentment towards conforming to society as an excuse to do nothing and take the easy way out. I have never held a job for long term because when stress rises, i break down. Complete psychotic breakdown when i push myself into doing things that are not pleasurable to me. I am a perfectionist.
I have also lived my life with the moral of only doing things i love.
From an early age I was traumatized by school and education, because i had a learning disability which was not diagnosed back then, and I tried my best to succeed yet failed many times, and in turn was labeled as rebellious. Thus I lived the rest of my school days being rebellious because it was a better title than being seen as stupid, and refused to learn, then dropped out of school as quickly as possible.
I refused to touch education for several years after, except english, i went back and got my english 12 only.
My learning disability is rare, i was unable to read, and take in surroundings, they could not understand how i excelled at some things, but was incapable of others. I had to teach myself how to learn.
After years of vacation and doing nothing with my life, I am wanting to get a career in the medical field. Found a passion for first aid, anatomy - am training to become a paramedic, and have many more goals and set plans to take. It is something i love.
Its like I overloaded myself with my goals.
I took my exam for level 2 first aid, a week ago and aced the written part, but failed the practical exam.
Problem is, when i took the standard written first aid a while back, and got 99% percent, i beat myself up for getting one wrong, and it was not good enough for me.
This time, I killed many imaginary patients, and got over 300 percent deducted off the practical exam. The failure has been hard on me.
This set back has spiralled me down into a depression i have not experienced for years. My childhood is coming back to haunt me. I am well past the stage of where i usually get to and quit. Something in me really wants to go forward and achieve this, but it is really taking a toll on me emotionally and mentally. I panic every time i even think of going back to retake the course.
I am flooded with bad traumatic childhood memories of failure. Negative thoughts non stop.
Because I know, no matter how well i know the subject matter, I am still going to fail.
On the practical exam - it is hands on - they judge your every move, your supposed to act, and pretend it's a real life situation, while remembering everything in order. We only had 5 short hour days to stuff millions of different role play scenarios - and i do not learn that way, especially hands on. The thing is i knew enough to pass, did not feel completely confident, but i could have passed, if i did not freeze up and panic.
I made the most ridiculous mistakes, and reliving them in flashbacks is like a nightmare.
During the course, I was getting so angry at everyone, acting like a jerk, and i didn't know why, but now I know it is because of my insecurity. When i am wrong, i get mad. It is my anger at myself for messing up making a mistake, but then i blame it on everyone else for not explaining it properly, or my ego gets in the way, and i think i should be right anyway. I have a hard time accepting I know nothing, let alone admitting I am wrong. I have difficulties learning, and it frustrates me. Especially forking out 600 dollars on a 5 day course, that was pressed for time, and i did not agree with the way they taught it in the first place, i feel ripped off of my money.
So my psychologist and I came up with a plan for me to take. I have 4 choices: Give up.
Redo level 2 - go right into level 3 which is ironically easier (i had taken level 2 for the sole purpose of preparing myself for level 3) was told during class i should have just went into level 3. OR I can pay someone to teach me and prepare me in a more relaxed environment for a longer amount of time, before i try and take another exam. I lean towards the last one, but knowing my community it will be impossible to find.
And i am still terrified of even thinking about going back to those courses eventually.
Thing is i react extremely well in emergency situations. I would be perfect at that job. And I would love it. But getting there is ******* me off and proving to be difficult. They don't have any alternatives to learning, or exams.
It seems like society will do everything in its power to keep me down and hidden, especially with my mental illness background and past of addictions, they don't want to see people like me succeed. Oh no it's a psychopath, run away! But they are even more terrified of BPD. All i ever am is judged, and labeled with millions of pathetic mental illness categories, but I am not the same person i was back then. They don't believe I can recover and live sane, even though i have. And i can't even count the times people have told me i can't do things. When doctors read my medical charts now, even though i am doing the best i ever have, they say i shouldn't even be out roaming the streets. My self doubt comes from real outside influence. All they want to see is me locked up, despite the successes i have already had. Sometimes i wonder, why I even thought i could get a normal career and live normally. But i know i can. But who says life is fair.
Not to mention i am only 9 months sober from alcoholism. Even though I do not plan to go back, If they ever found out i had to lie about that in order to get a career in this society, i would have my certificates taken away. Sometimes i believe them, that i am a danger to the world and i shouldn't be trying to get into a medical position of saving lives. But that statement is coming from supposed professionals who seem to think i don't feel empathy when that's a load of crap.
But if any good things have come from my past and horrible experiences and getting over those, it would be that i am meant to be a healer, meant to help people recover, saving lives, meant to be in the medical field and i know i would be good at it, i know i could succeed. But i still have those doubts programmed into my brain from my past. Let alone, it is still evident i do have some self work to do.
People say i shouldn't be so hard on myself. That everyone fails. That it's just a part of life. Or they even laugh when i tell them i killed my fake patients. I don't respond well to failure. Never have. I guess if you know anything about Borderline, it probably goes hand in hand with that.
But "get over it, this too shall pass, try again" That's the only horrible advice i've received, and it just isn't cutting it. Every day i am falling more and more into a pit of despair, more things from my past being brought up from these pitfalls, and the more i hear those comments, i just decide to not talk about it, pretend everything's okay, then things explode inside of me, because no one understands how much something ridiculous like this could effect me so badly. I don't understand it much myself.
I hope someone can help me out here.