I know no one here can relate but I had to write this down somewhere. There isn't anyone I can talk to, particularly someone who can relate...
I don't know what I am going to do. I can't even admit it to myself right now, let alone anyone else.
All I have wanted since I was THREE years old was to be a pilot. I am nearly 20 now. When I was 8, I decided I wanted to go to my current military institution. I worked VERY hard to get here, and even when I did not get in the first year, I reapplied the next year and finally made it. I am about 3 and a half years away from finally obtaining my goal of getting selected for pilot training in the United States Air Force. But it looks like that isn't going to happen, EVER.
I had a routine eye exam yesterday. I have never had any vision problems before, and my vision in the past has ranged from 20/20 to 20/15. Well, yesterday, they found something wrong with one of my eyes, astigmatism. It pretty much means there is something wrong with the curvature of my eye and I was told there was little chance of it able to be fixed. PLUS, my vision is worse than ever, I don't even know how bad. The optometrist told me to try to come back today to schedule another appointment to get GLASSES. I didn't go back today or even make he appointment for that matter.
ME? GLASSES? No, it CAN'T be. I asked the guy about my pilot qualification and he said that right now my file was marked "navigator - at risk" which means that I am at risk for even being a NAVIGATOR. So my dream of being a pilot is completely gone. That's all I have ever really wanted in my life. Everyone around me has helped me so much in the past, particularly my father, trying to help make my dream a reality. And now I have to not only admit this to myself but tell people like HIM? I can't f***ing do that. He's online right now (on instant messenger), but I can't even bear to talk to him (and ignored him last night too). This whole thing is eating me alive and it is beyond my control.
I want so much to talk to someone about this, or something, but there is no one I know of who can rlate. The past day and a half since I found out, it has constantly been on my mind and I have been going through things in a daze. I have always said "even if I don't get selected for pilot training for some reason, I still want to serve my country in some way as an officer" but now that it has actully happened... I just feel lost. I never thought this would actually happen. I know that things don't always go as planned, but I am used to there being some way to "fix" things. But nothing can fix this.
I would rather die right now than admit to myself that my dream will never come true. And even after I admit that to myself, I still have to tell my father who has put so much into my life tying to ensure my dreams could come true. He has always tried to somehow magically protect me from life's big harms, yet even he can't fix this.
I don't know what to do. I haven't told ANYone about this. How can I? I can't even tell MYSELF. To me, this is the equivalent of a dancer becoming a paraplegic.
Standby Crushed, if you can wait five minute I can get someone who has some experience in this area.
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000
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quote:Originally posted by *******Crushed*******: I know no one here can relate but I had to write this down somewhere. There isn't anyone I can talk to, particularly someone who can relate...
And there, my dear friend, you are sorely mistaken.
There are quite a few of us on the boards here who have had dreams dashed by various unfortunate circumstances. Some folks were star athletes who were sidelined by injury. Some folks lost jobs they loved due to the current economic climate. Some folks worked as hard as they could to secure themselves a position they'd wanted all their lives, only to watch it be given to someone else. It happens, it's miserable, and I think there are more people who have been there than you may believe.
And then there are those of us who have been in almost your exact situation. I'm assuming you're AFA right now, and for obvious reasons (can someone say "Threat Condition Delta?") I won't go into too many more details here. But suffice it to say that I've got a very, very strong understanding of what you're going through and I found myself in an almost identical situation a few years back.
And to be honest, it was horrific. I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew how to get there. My father was a pilot, his father and grandfather were too, and I'd been groomed since birth to keep the family tradition alive. I was working through the program and enjoying the hell out of it when a few obstacles (one of which was a rather unpleasant girlfriend, I'm ashamed to admit) sprang up that made me change my course of action (and MOS) rather dramatically. At the time it hurt pretty badly, and it got to the point where I just thought it would be better to go out and find something new and exciting to do than to stick with something that wasn't what I wanted.
So I made the drastic choice, which was great for a while. And then, little by little, I started realizing how wrong I was to have made that choice. It got clearer and clearer in retrospect, and now that a few years have passed, I regret the hell out of the choice I made and I'm doing everything in my power to reverse course and get back to what I've always wanted to do.
The moral of this story is twofold. First of all, don't make drastic choices. This seems like the end of the world right now, I know it does. And it hurts, and it stings, and it keeps you up at night. I understand, I remember it, and I hated every moment of it too. But making drastic choices is never the way to go when your mind is clouded with emotion. Wait it out, see what can be done, and take things step by step. The days may seem like they are dragging, but I can guarantee you that you'll end up a whole lot happier if you take things slowly and see what options become available before jumping to a decision.
And the second part of the moral? You are never alone. Ever. There is always someone out there who is willing to help, who has seen similar circumstances, and who will lend a comforting shoulder. I know that given the current climate it is unwise to delve into too many details here, but I may know a few people who can help you out. I think it may be quite beneficial if we can discuss specifics off the boards, and I will ask the boss for authorization to continue discussing some of the more "sensitive" details in a more private setting.
In the meantime, take care of yourself and never, ever, ever, ever give up. (You remember your Warrior Knowledge, right? ) It won't be easy and it won't be fun for a little while, but it is all doable. And I'll be back with more info as soon as I can figure out how.
Dan, thanks. Yes, I am at the AFA. This is my first year. I am not where I should be physiclaly, I am carrying 21.5 academic credits this semester, and "40 day" (which is the gradual buildup to three days of hell, after which we will be treated almost human) just started last week, so I am already pushed beyond my means and just trying to survive here. And now THIS? I can't even concentrate on anything else right now. I keep TRYING to think of anything that would be able to fix this, but I can't.
There isn't anyone here I can talk to about this. Everyone is so busy with their own stuff. As far as pq (pilot qualification) here goes, there are two major groups: those who want to be pilots and those eye exams go fine, and those who have eye problems but came here with other motives than to be a pilot to begin with. What would I say to someone anyway? It is not like I am close to anyone here (in the way that I feel comfortable talking to them about personal stuff). And I NEED to let my dad know but I can't bring myself to do that yet. I can't even talk to him on instant messenger because of the feeling I would hiding something large from him. He comes to visit in a WEEK. What then? I NEED to make an appointment for glasses, but I can't bring myself to do that either. And once I get them, I don't want to have to explain to everyone why I am wearing them and that yeah, my pq is gone. Also, if I get them without telling my dad first, I have a feeling he will find out by way of the huge gossip ring that tons of parents seem to be involved in. Geez...
I just feel so lost right now and I have no idea what to do. For now, I am just trying to go on about things pretending the eye exam never happened. That is the OUTWARD image I am trying to portray anyway.
Also, I HATE whining, complaining, whatever you want to call it. I tend to keep to myself a lot, particularly with personal matters and deal with hem myself. I don't like bringing a whole bunch of people into my perosnal life and adding more drama to their lives. I don't like being (or even feeling like or appearing to be) an inconvenience to other people.
I don't expect you or anyone else to have any solutions, really. I just had to write this somewhere...
quote:Originally posted by *******Crushed*******: I don't expect you or anyone else to have any solutions, really...
What? You doubt the powers of the Almighty BruinDan?!
Somehow I knew you were AFA. And that in and of itself has got to be a source of immense pride for you. Way to go on sticking to it and getting into a place that several of my friends and I (who all lacked the Congressional write-up) wouldn't have had a chance at.
I've heard all about 40 Day, and we had our own equivalent as well. I remember waking up at insane hours thinking, "What on God's green Earth am I doing?!" And then I remember falling asleep at night feeling like I'd just climbed Mt. Everest or something, both in terms of fatigue and accomplishment. I guess it suffices to say that you are doing something few human beings would willingly do, and you're hanging in there under conditions that would break most others. I'm damned proud, and you should be too.
Don't worry too much about the physical stuff just yet. Though it won't happen overnight, you'll get there in short order. I remember being in high school and struggling to do 5 pull-ups. And then when training began, I was suddenly doing 30 with no problem whatsoever. Never underestimate the strength of someone who's being yelled at! Over time I began to notice subtle changes in my level of strength and endurance, and before I was fully aware of it I had become able to do things I'd never dreamed of doing before. It happens, if you refuse to give up.
I know how competitive PQ is, and I remember how down one of my buddies "Sledge" got when he failed his routine eye exam. It was his lifelong dream too, and the poor guy had teary eyes for the next three days at Formation. But he hung in there, did what he had to do, and is now having the time of his life navigating his 52 out at Diego. I haven't had contact with him in a while for obvious reasons, but last I heard he was lovin' life with his crew and enjoying waking up every morning for work.
As hard as it may be, I'd say it would be best to talk to your father sooner rather than later. First of all, fathers are uniquely able to help when disaster strikes. When I injured my knee a while back and went through job turmoil as a result, my Dad was the best help I could have asked for. He helped me draft a plan to get things taken care of, and let me know how proud he was of how I was tackling tough times. I kid you not when I say I'd be an abject mess if it weren't for my father, and though he was disappointed that I'd suffered such a setback, he gave me all the emotional support I so desperately needed. By talking to your father and sharing your pain with him, you should at least have that moral support. This is something that happened to you, not something stupid that you did. Nothing in the world could have prevented this unfortunate setback, and your father will know that right off the bat. Let him in on what is going on and see what ideas he has.
And fear not. We all hate whining and complaining. I think there is something inherent in people like us that causes us to sort of keep our heads high and our fears inside. It's as if there is some sort of genetic code written inside some people which instructs them to keep things inside, hold down the drama, and fight on another day. While that is useful in all sorts of situations, there are certain points when it can come back to bite you. And minor disasters like these are just such instances. Holding this inside will eat at you and drive you nuts, which is part of the reason I'm so keen on getting you to talk to your father pronto. And aside from your father, you've got us here. As insignificant as it may seem, there are tons of us here in Scarleteenland who would love to try and help. And if you don't feel that is enough, you're reading a post from someone who has been there before. I'm not sure you can ask for much more.
Be strong. You've already proven yourself as among the best of the best, and not many of us can say that. You're obviously quite capable of getting your stuff together and working hard to achieve your goals. And while this is quite a nasty setback, that is all it is: a setback. This incident will not be the be-all and end-all of your existence, and keeping that in mind right now is key. If you can remember that, and that you've got folks who care about you and will support you all the way, I think you will do just fine.
So in the meantime, take care of yourself and hang in there. I'll try and get a hold of you off-boards in a bit.
(FYI, moderator e-mail addresses are available in the forums they mod, if you click on their names just under the Scarleteen banner. BruinDan can be found in All About You, Village People, and Gender Issues.)
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000
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