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Maria T

Sorry about the delay. I have been quite busy with school and life. Yes I do have accommodations in school though I only started using them a year ago. I use them sometimes for extensions on assignments or extra time on tests which is especially helpful. It takes me a lot longer to study for classes and write papers. I am an English major so I guess the accommodations might not be as necessary for me as it is for some of your degrees. It took me much longer to get up the courage to go back to school than you though. I waited about nine years (I dropped out of school at 15 years old during all my brain tumor stuff). The main motivation for going back to school for me was the same as you mentioned, “If I can do this I must me normal!” I now realize a piece of paper wont change my life but I am still glad I went through with it and I do believe it has given me a bit more confidence. I am also horrible with directions and I actually only got my licence at twenty-five. I waited to do a lot of things later in life because I felt intimidated and wasn’t sure if I was capable enough after my surgeries. I think with driving, I do alright but I get distracted very easily so I don’t like to have other people in the car with me. I also have a lot of anxiety from my tumor experience which occasionally manifests itself in panic attacks while I’m driving.
Its funny because I used to try so hard to mask my issues early in my academic career and just in life in general. But now when I feel like it is so important to communicate my problems and difficulties for support, everyone keeps telling me I’m fine. My family kind of thinks my problems are all in my head. Sometimes it makes me feel crazy like maybe they are right. Its hard because its not like a broken arm or something people can see. People make these external judgments based on superficial aspects of my life and don’t understand what is going on.(Not that I can expect them to) I just feel that my tumor has isolated me so much. It is great that you have a support network, not to say that I completely don’t. I have a great family but I guess there is sometimes only so much that they can empathize or understand. This site has also helped give me validation and just helped me be able to feel my feelings about my situation which sometimes is enough even if I can’t fix everything. Lately I have been having heightened mental processing issues which hinder my communication. This happens occasionally but it is such a pain. I have all these feelings and thoughts that are just stuck in my head and I can’t express myself. It feels so claustrophobic. I also get totally overwhelmed by sensory stuff during these times. It makes me feel autistic, lol. People are talking to me and I’m like, yep, I have no chance of coming off sounding like a half normal person.(although, its probably not as bad as I feel it is) I guess that is why I hesitated to write back as well though. I felt like I would write something that sounded weird or something. But I guess that’s what this place is for, a place to not worry so much about being judged for your cognitive challenges.
So I guess your surgeries were much more recent than mine. Perhaps you are not quite done healing. I know for me, many years after my surgeries I dealt with some more serious issues than I do now. (I’m 11 years out – since last surgery) Anyway, thanks for getting back to me. It’s really great to have someone to relate to. I hope between this site and your family’s support that you are able to get a little closer to feeling 100%.