Monday, January 17, 2011

Yucky Monday Morning

For the past few years I have been plagued by a recurring dream in which I was awarded my master's degrees in error, sort of. I was given degrees for both undergraduate and graduate work, only the graduate degree is really no good. Apparently, an extra math class was added as a requirement for the master's in counseling sometime after I graduated, and for some reason this is being held against me making my degree invalid. The truth is that I already have degree in hand to show any potential employer,and no one in the dream is pushing me to go back and take the math class. The more that I think about it, I'm not really sure that anyone said that my degree is no good, maybe I am the one that decided that.

I didn't try very hard in grad school, and my grades were quite good. School work didn't challenge me, however, my constant emotional ups and downs made getting through school a challenge. It seems as though subconsciously I feel that I am a fraud. Because I didn't work hard I didn't really earn the degree.

Last night I was feeling great about a post that I had written. Actually, I felt beyond great, I felt like I had entered a new place within myself as far as my writing is concerned, a place of confidence and pure joy. I felt like I was writing as my true self, writing about something that interested me. However, a couple of hours after posting I received a message from someone saying that they did not enjoy reading my post. That one sentence was enough to send me over the edge emotionally. I just figured out that I have PMS, so I really don't have that far to go right now before I am gracefully floating over the edge of the cliff. All night I felt as though I was a fraud, much like I feel in my grad school dream.

Last week I decided that I would start writing with the feeling that writing is my job (by the way, I am sending out resumes for jobs in my field and not in my field, and for the first time in several years I am not getting any response). Writing in that frame of mind produced feelings of fullness, meaningfulness, and excitement about my writing. However, last night that sweet feeling evaporated for me, and I went back to my painful monologue about being frivolous and useless right now. Other people concern themselves with "real" issues, they care about "real" and important things. Me, I live in a fantasy land where I actually believe that writing has value, and worse yet I have allowed myself to indulge the thought that my writing has value.

So this morning I am completely immersed in the feeling that I am a frivolous fraudulent person. I believe that there is some valuable information that could be extracted from my dream, however, I can't quite put it all together right now. No one is questioning me, only I am questioning myself. No one has threatened me, only I feel that I have been threatened and the degree will be taken away. The mental and emotional anguish in the dream is self-induced? I don't take myself seriously, and I don't take my accomplishment of finishing two degrees while working and raising a child on my own very seriously.

Last night I decided that I would not post anything this morning even though I wanted to. However, my desire to write was strong enough to win out over my PMS. I already dread spending the rest of the day in this frame of mind. Once I stop typing I will have to face myself. Guess it's time to look in the mirror.


  1. I have that "fraudulent" feeling quite often. My degree was in music, but I didn't continue in that field after finishing school. I know that some people assume I didn't actually do any serious work or study for that degree, and/or that the school was not sufficiently prestigious, or that I didn't receive any lasting value from my education. All of these assumptions are so totally untrue.

    And yet, sometimes I feel like I'm not entitled to be as proud of that particular accomplishment, as say, someone who is currently working in the music field. It feels as if I didn't really earn the degree. But I did, just like everyone else who has that degree.

    As for the person who didn't enjoy your post, I find that really puzzling. I can't find anything in the post that could cause someone to react strongly enough to write an e-mail criticizing it. Maybe something in it just struck a nerve about something they've been bothered about in their own life? Or maybe they thought you wanted feedback about your writing and they were just offering a critique of sorts?

  2. Math? Hmmm....numbers. What didn't you count on? What doesn't add up? What losses are you feeling, subtraction? How do you feel divided? Maybe the criticism of your post doesn't add up and it has taken from your sense of feeling good about your post( which I enjoyed). Was your authority called into question by someone not enjoying something you do? A phrase came to me as I read this, "a degree of loss". Not sure if it means anything to you.

    Writing does have value( weight/worth). And your writing is valuable to you and to others. No one's opinion can take away your inherent worth. I am glad you wrote this a.m.

    Big hugs to you.xo

  3. well...I am really bothered by the fact that someone actually felt it at all meaningful to leave a negative comment, that says to me that there is something lacking in that person, certainly not in you.

    Your posts are very generous of spirit and that is why they are endearing and they take me away with you and that is special. Please remember that the creative and artistic writing that you do is unique to you, it is your own special voice and it is valid no matter what comment anyone leaves. Continue doing what you do for the sake of the joy that it brings you and if it brings joy to no one else but you, it is meaningful...but trust that if it touches one person than that is a gift.

    ...and btw...I have a reoccurring dream about a baby that is mine that I have not taken care of, I have forgotten to feed it and change its diapers...those are the dreams of a 59 year old that listened to what other people thought for too many years!

  4. Ms. M, I'm sure that you must have received lasting value from your education. The experience of going to school and earning a degree, or even not earning a degree, provides us with so many rich experiences that shape our character. Isn't it a terrible feeling to feel that you are a fake? If you look at it rationally it is so obviously untrue, however, when it comes to ourselves it can be so difficult to seeing things clearly. Sometimes we imagine that other people are judging us when we are doing it to ourselves.
    What instrument did you play? I started out as a piano major.

    La Belette, thanks for commenting. I don't know how to respond because there is so much in your comment for me to contemplate. I will have to explore the "degree of loss". Thanks for valuing what I write. At my core I value it, but when hormones are raging it is hard to find the peaceful core.xo back at you

    Froogal, what a dream?! Have you started to take care of the "baby" in your real life. Dreams are so amazing. Whenever my dreams start to shift, for the better, I know that something has changed within me. I love entering the world of sleep even when it is unpleasant.
    Thanks for valuing my writing. I value your beautiful work as well.

  5. Clarinet was my major, but I also studied piano and singing and enjoyed those even more. Unfortunately I have, over the years, gotten some really ignorant comments from people, regarding my education. Of course, the key is not to internalize the negativity. It was only recently that I realized how much I had done that. I'm better at stopping it these days.