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Becoming a Castle

27 March 2013
I petitioned BYU in January to see if I could possibly have my first semester of college taken off my transcript. I was 17 that semester and I was dying. I had severe depression and was suicidal, and I had un-diagnosed social anxiety which made me feel like a crazy, useless person. I didn't go to class more than a few times that semester. I have felt guilty about it for the last 8 years.

I didn't really expect anything to come of the petition, but a chance is better than nothing and it's better to try and fail than to not try. So I turned in a petition with documentation, the support of the University Accessibility Center, and a two page letter I wrote to the petitions committee explaining in detail what happened. (I'd like to send it out to a few people who don't know about that part in my life, mostly because I'd like some feedback on the letter and stuff. If you're interested, comment and I'll email it to you.) I am proud of myself for this part in particular:

I understand that having my grades removed is not a given and that it’s a rare thing to have done; however, I believe that I faced significant mental health challenges during the Fall 2004 semester and that I was unable to perform to the best of my ability. Since returning to BYU in January 2013, my husband, doctor and I have all noted a significant increase in my personal happiness. I love going to school. I love BYU. I am happy that I faced these challenges in 2004 because if nothing else, they have allowed me to appreciate every second I am able to spend on campus now.

Honestly, it's true. Even though this trial sucks and I hate it, I am still happy with where I am now. Sure, I'd like to have graduated at age 19 and gotten a medical degree and etc., but if I had done that I wouldn't have Hawk and Sparrow. (This is how I came to terms with not serving a mission too, by the way.) If my life had gone as I had planned it, I would be more accomplished on the outside, but significantly lonelier and sadder on the inside.

So thank you, Lord, for taking me where Thou wouldst have me go. I'm sorry I fight it so often. Please help me to listen to Thee and to understand that Thou hast better plans for me than I have for myself.

I think I finally understand that C.S. Lewis quote:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

2 comments to Becoming a Castle :

~Kimi~ said...

Keep us posted with their decision! I am especially interested because I went through a similar situation. (I actually don't know the specifics of yours, so maybe it's not that similar, I don't know.) My third semester at BYU, I was sexually assaulted by a boy that I had liked and trusted. Boy oh boy, did I nosedive into an emotional death spiral. I stopped going to all my classes and started eating like a maniac. Really dark times. Needless to say, I failed EVERY class that semester, and gained a good chunk of weight. I didn't tell anyone about it until a few years later, and I never even considered petitioning to remove all my failing grades. I'm really interested.

Un dulce hogar said...

Wow, this hits home. I certainly didn't go through such hardship as you did, but I messed up my grades really bad while trying really hard to finish while my kids were babies. I so wish all those attempts could be erased from my transcript forever. I felt like a big real failure for a long time for not achieving the biggest dream that brought me to this country, which was to graduate from BYU :( Now life has showed me a different path, but still, I want my GPA back to where it was before having kids :)