Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

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Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:56 pm

I've been struggling a lot recently with suicidal thoughts. I attempted to kill myself a month ago tomorrow.

Needless to say, being in a lot of emotional turmoil, and how much it's affecting me physically and mentally, I decided to try and figure out why beyond "you're worthless" and so on.

One, it's just sadness I can't get rid of. It makes my head cloudy, it makes it hard to think straight, it makes me have to resist the urge to find a warm dark quiet place and basically huddle in the fetal position, crying. All day, every second. For weeks now.

The way it goes, I go through these depressive episodes, which get slightly longer every time and gets more unbearable because of it. My depression causes me physical pain.

It's actually gotten so bad that the whole virginity thing is just a side note, I no longer really care about how ugly I am (hygiene remains luckily), and my social contact with people has slowly dropped over the past few months to almost none at all.

What started this latest episode? Film school, I think. I'm actually one of the worst students there. Having been taught my entire life to think logically, being forced to think creatively is something I'm bad at doing. The stories I've thought up of have taken years to get to their current state, but we're forced every couple weeks to make an entire film, which then is eviscerated.

Going from being an honors student at my previous college to being basically the dunce of my program like that has been a bit of a jolt. The professors don't have anything against me personally, but they're committed to making good filmmakers even out of the worst students. I'm simply incompetent at it.

So I've confirmed the first reason why I hate myself lately: the thing I love more than anything else in the world (beyond even losing my virginity at that) is something that I'm absolutely terrible at. To find out that you can't even make something you're passionate about hits the self-esteem hard.

Reason Two: this one is new. I'm constantly envious of most other people I know. I'm jealous of how much smarter they are than me, how much more attractive or charismatic they are than me. And comparing every other person I know to myself, I'm at the bottom of the list. "No, that's just your brain." No, that's just the truth. I have no personality to speak of, at least not a genuine one.

Reason Three: I'm not good at anything. I played hockey for seven years growing up. During that seven years, I did not improve in the slightest. I don't even know how that's possible. I would practice all the time and work my ass off, and still sucked at it. The same applies to pretty much everything else I've tried. I'm competent at some things, but I have no special talents or something that can interest people. So when people say to find a hobby, I just laugh.

I dunno, I apologize for being in a bad mood. I feel weak for even posting about how horribly alone I feel here. There's not a single person I know who would actually help me, people would run if they knew I was so hateful.

I hate that I can't afford therapy or drugs, I am desperate, I cannot go on like this, not when every day literally hurts to exist in. I am in a lot of pain, I am stuck in a corner.

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Enail on Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:56 pm

Glides, sorry you're going through such a rough period. I hope the depression eases soon.

For reason one, I don't want to minimize what you're feeling, b/c I've been there and I know it's an incredibly unmooring and intimidating experience. But. This is really common among smart, talented people - many of them are used to being good at things, to coasting, or sometimes even to working hard, but to doing well for that hard work. What they're not used to is struggling at school, getting low marks or brutal criticism, to feeling like the worst in the class. When you start encountering it, it can be devastating.  That's normal.

You're somewhere that's really challenging you, maybe for the first time. I know it feels terrifying and awful and like pure failure. But if your goal is to get good at something, being challenged like this, working on things that are genuinely hard, hard enough that sometimes you fail, that's pretty much necessary. Being the worst in the class feels like shit - but if you can get through it, you learn a lot more than when you're the best in the class.

I know you take criticism hard, and I hope you'll try and be kind to yourself and really look after yourself when you're getting those eviscerations, because yeah, getting that kind of feedback is brutal. But those are things that will help you if you can listen and learn from them and not let them convince you you should give up. Doing badly in class doesn't mean you're hopelessly terrible at it. Don't give up.

For reason two: Nope. Just nope. You have a hell of a lot of personality. Like, that's not even arguable. Smile

And don't feel bad for posting about being alone. Everyone feels alone sometimes, and it's good to be able to talk about it somewhere. Nothing weak about that.

Let us know if you want to talk about other possibilities for finding affordable therapy and/or medication, I'm sure people here can think up some ideas try.
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by The Wisp on Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:06 pm

Glides, I'm so sorry you have been feeling so crappy lately. It sounds awful :( Let me know if you don't want a longer response, if you just wanted to vent, I can delete the rest of this post.

Enail wrote:For reason one, I don't want to minimize what you're feeling, b/c I've been there and I know it's an incredibly unmooring and intimidating experience. But. This is really common among smart, talented people - many of them are used to being good at things, to coasting, or sometimes even to working hard, but to doing well for that hard work. What they're not used to is struggling at school, getting low marks or brutal criticism, to feeling like the worst in the class. When you start encountering it, it can be devastating.  That's normal.

I second this. I've been going through the same thing myself, and have in the past. Currently, I'm taking an upper-division philosophy writing class. This is both my first upper-division philosophy class AND my first upper-division class, period. Philosophy is my major, I'm really passionate about it (seems similar to your passion for film), and I intend to go to grad school in it. I turned in the first paper, convinced I was going to get an A, possibly ace it. I got a low B instead. It was below the class average. I could take something like that in an elective, but in my major? Let's just say I felt quite down that day. But, you know what I realized? I realized that I had never written an upper-division philosophy paper before and that, indeed, this class was meant to teach me how! Furthermore, many of my classmates to whom I was comparing myself have taken other upper-division philosophy courses. They had more experience! So I've been working on improving, and if the current trajectory continues and I continue to work, I'll be right where I want to be by the end of the course.

Why that anecdote? Because, Glides, it sounds exactly like your situation. You love films, and dream of making them. You're incredibly intelligent. And yet you're under-performing in film school. How many film-making classes have you taken before now? How much practice do you have making films under the direction of a teacher? It doesn't sound like many or any. Give yourself credit, Glides!  You need to learn, but you definitely have some natural gifts in writing and storytelling. The whole point of these intro classes is to get you to the level you need to be for the rest of your education. You're not supposed to be able to walk in and intuitively get it. This isn't middle-school algebra! If others are doing better than you, I imagine they just have more experience than you do. You're goal isn't to excel at each class while you're in it, you're goal is to have the skills to excel when you leave film school.

Are you really the worst in your class? Or is that your jerkbrain talking?


Enail wrote: You're somewhere that's really challenging you, maybe for the first time. I know it feels terrifying and awful and like pure failure. But if your goal is to get good at something, being challenged like this, working on things that are genuinely hard, hard enough that sometimes you fail, that's pretty much necessary. Being the worst in the class feels like shit - but if you can get through it, you learn a lot more than when you're the best in the class.

Better to be humbled now than when you're actually trying to make a film after you graduate.

Enail wrote: I know you take criticism hard, and I hope you'll try and be kind to yourself and really look after yourself when you're getting those eviscerations, because yeah, getting that kind of feedback is brutal. But those are things that will help you if you can listen and learn from them and not let them convince you you should give up. Doing badly in class doesn't mean you're hopelessly terrible at it. Don't give up.

Again, I second this. These classes are supposed to be brutal, how else will you learn?

Enail wrote: Let us know if you want to talk about other possibilities for finding affordable therapy and/or medication, I'm sure people here can think up some ideas try.

Once again, Enail is right on the money. You have more options than you think if you want to talk about it.

Glides wrote:Reason Two: this one is new. I'm constantly envious of most other people I know. I'm jealous of how much smarter they are than me, how much more attractive or charismatic they are than me. And comparing every other person I know to myself, I'm at the bottom of the list. "No, that's just your brain." No, that's just the truth. I have no personality to speak of, at least not a genuine one.


Consider this: you have full, VIP, private access to your inner life. You have that for nobody else. You see how the sausage is made, you see all the doubts, and regrets, and negative thoughts, you see all the imperfections. What do you see in others? Carefully crafted images for public consumption. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's how it is. People generally don't open up to people in real life who aren't lovers or close friends/family. And even when they open up, it's not the totality of their inner life, because that could never be communicated adequately. I doubt people see you the way you think they see you.

You actually have a great deal of personality. When you open up about your interest in films here, even if briefly, I've been engaged. There's sometimes a gap between your inner "true" personality, and what comes out in real life. I can relate to that. It's just something those of us who struggle socially/emotionally are behind the curve on relative to our peers.

Glides wrote:Reason Three: I'm not good at anything. I played hockey for seven years growing up. During that seven years, I did not improve in the slightest. I don't even know how that's possible. I would practice all the time and work my ass off, and still sucked at it. The same applies to pretty much everything else I've tried. I'm competent at some things, but I have no special talents or something that can interest people. So when people say to find a hobby, I just laugh.

Bullshit. You're an amazing writer. Some of you posts are more fit for novels than forum posts (that's a good thing). You're an amazing storyteller. That's incredibly interesting.

Sure, you'll never be "the best" at anything. But you don't have to be. You just have to have passion and more knowledge than most. That's interesting. That's what people want from friends and lovers.

I dunno, I apologize for being in a bad mood. I feel weak for even posting about how horribly alone I feel here. There's not a single person I know who would actually help me, people would run if they knew I was so hateful.

I know I'm just some guy on the internet, but I want to help you. Enail wants to help you. Probably most of the people want to help you. I'm sure some people in real life would, too.


Last edited by The Wisp on Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Werel on Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 am

I... don't have anything to say that Enail and Wisp haven't covered with great eloquence, but I will say that all three of you are awesome, from this internet person's perspective, and the openness and empathy and wisdom and just plain warmth I'm reading here make my heart grow three sizes. Just big freakin' jedi hugs for all y'all. Heart
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am

The Wisp wrote:Glides, I'm so sorry you have been feeling so crappy lately. It sounds awful Sad Let me know if you don't want a longer response, if you just wanted to vent, I can delete the rest of this post.

Enail wrote:For reason one, I don't want to minimize what you're feeling, b/c I've been there and I know it's an incredibly unmooring and intimidating experience. But. This is really common among smart, talented people - many of them are used to being good at things, to coasting, or sometimes even to working hard, but to doing well for that hard work. What they're not used to is struggling at school, getting low marks or brutal criticism, to feeling like the worst in the class. When you start encountering it, it can be devastating.  That's normal.

I second this. I've been going through the same thing myself, and have in the past. Currently, I'm taking an upper-division philosophy writing class. This is both my first upper-division philosophy class AND my first upper-division class, period. Philosophy is my major, I'm really passionate about it (seems similar to your passion for film), and I intend to go to grad school in it. I turned in the first paper, convinced I was going to get an A, possibly ace it. I got a low B instead. It was below the class average. I could take something like that in an elective, but in my major? Let's just say I felt quite down that day. But, you know what I realized? I realized that I had never written an upper-division philosophy paper before and that, indeed, this class was meant to teach me how! Furthermore, many of my classmates to whom I was comparing myself have taken other upper-division philosophy courses. They had more experience! So I've been working on improving, and if the current trajectory continues and I continue to work, I'll be right where I want to be by the end of the course.

You got a low B, I'm close to failing all three of the classes I'm currently taking. I went from low As to low Cs in a heartbeat. I literally can't figure out for the life of me why. The information is so unbelievably abstract that I just can't process it. When my dailies (film takes) were shown to the class, everyone else received minor complaints. Then they got to me and one thing after the other was wrong, and none of them I could process. I knew the quality of the film sucked and I knew the actors sucked and everything about it sucked, but I felt like the rest of the class was speaking a foreign language. But worst of all, I couldn't figure out how to fix my own mistakes, and that's basically where I'm at, a very slow slide to being expelled from the graduate program, and by extension, officially killing any chance I have for a successful career. It's taking everything I have to maintain horrible grades. I would not call that normal. I'm pretty sure the teachers have figured out at this point that I'm basically incapable of doing anything beautiful with a camera.

To watch the sheer beauty of some of the shots and then mine, which have always been amateur, again and again and again and "use him as an example of what not to do in class" and basically being looked at like someone with leprosy only a month into the program. I don't know how the fuck they do it, and try as I might, mine just never fucking work, not even with the school cameras. That's not normal. I'm good for some amateur YouTube bullshit, but evidently not even close to the level of even the worst filmmakers. When The Room is better than your films, that's a huge problem.

Luckily, my stuff is at least better than Birdemic.

Why that anecdote? Because, Glides, it sounds exactly like your situation. You love films, and dream of making them. You're incredibly intelligent. And yet you're under-performing in film school. How many film-making classes have you taken before now? How much practice do you have making films under the direction of a teacher? It doesn't sound like many or any. Give yourself credit, Glides!  You need to learn, but you definitely have some natural gifts in writing and storytelling. The whole point of these intro classes is to get you to the level you need to be for the rest of your education. You're not supposed to be able to walk in and intuitively get it. This isn't middle-school algebra! If others are doing better than you, I imagine they just have more experience than you do. You're goal isn't to excel at each class while you're in it, you're goal is to have the skills to excel when you leave film school.

Are you really the worst in your class? Or is that your jerkbrain talking?

As I stated before, the skill level of every other person in the program far exceeds my own. Since I get to see the work of most of the undergraduate students, I'm worse than all of them. Under-performing is mild, "nearly failing everything despite all attempts" is more accurate. I play coy whenever I'm asked back home about how amazing it must be to finally do what I apparently love to do, but I'm not about to tell them that I'm very close to being kicked out and getting shipped back home.

As the teachers describe it, filmmaking is a unique talent. Much like dating, you either have it or you don't (disagree all you want, but I haven't seen any evidence disproving that). You're either a passionate incredible artistic voice or a hack. The teachers hate me because I'm incapable of making anything good. The students pity me because watching me attempt to showcase my work is like watching a mentally retarded kid crossing a railroad, you know he's gonna get hit by a train. About the only thing I'm given any credit for is being able to write screenplays in the proper format and obeying story structure. That's about it. The stories themselves are no good, but at least there's clear and concise instructions for those, and thus that screenwriting class is where I'm best (75 currently, I still get tons of points taken off for horrible story content, but structure saves my ass).

The cinematography teacher is forgiving to a fault, and doesn't particularly mind that I'm awful with cameras (good enough for stuff to be visible and focused, that's about it). He's been pretty understanding about everything, actually. I'm still passing his class because while my shots are horrible, at least I set the camera properly, and that's what he grades on. What other choice does he have but to give an incapable student bad grades? The silver lining to all this is at least he seems to know that I'm trying my hardest. I literally filmed for five hours in the middle of a thunderstorm just to get the shots I needed for his class, I'm most definitely not slacking off. And another two to edit all that footage on top of that. For fuck's sake, I almost got myself arrested when I accidentally trespassed into a local news station's building trying to cut back to the school. I might be terrible, but I am trying.  

It's the directing class, ironically, where I'm doing the worst. I am at a 70 there, one more point down and I'm failing. I scraped a B for my first assignment (a silent film), but failed the second one, and I still can't figure out what I did wrong. Composing a shot visually was something I was never taught how to do, and the rest of the class just gets it and I don't. One shot, my actor looks to the left, and that's apparently not allowed. I film a close up shot in profile, that's not allowed. I film a shot against a brick wall, that's not allowed. And the teacher's explanations are so abstract and make so little sense that I'm left blubbering in confusion, to the point where he literally screamed at me, "how in the hell are you not understanding this?!"

And they refuse to show grading rubrics for anything until after the assignment is completed, so I'm basically left guessing what they want. I get told what I did wrong and try to fix it next time, then by trying to not violate one rule, I've violated five more. I actually got yelled at for not hiring professional actors (which no one else did). When I protested that I couldn't afford that, basic answer was "tough shit."

I know functionally the films are shit, that my camera sucks and my actors are worse and I have slim pickings in where I'm allowed to shoot, but they don't even take points off for that, otherwise I'd already be expelled. I can't figure out what the hell I'm doing wrong. There's just the general assumption that either "you have it or you don't." That you shouldn't ask any questions, because you should instinctively understand everything, and if not, you're not meant to be here.

This film theory shit doesn't make the least bit of sense, especially when comparing these rules to some of the best films of all time and having them violate most of them at some point. Star Wars alone breaks literally every one of the rules we've discussed so far. I honestly think that apart from the basic elements of a shot and production plans, this film theory thing is horseshit.

Enail wrote: You're somewhere that's really challenging you, maybe for the first time. I know it feels terrifying and awful and like pure failure. But if your goal is to get good at something, being challenged like this, working on things that are genuinely hard, hard enough that sometimes you fail, that's pretty much necessary. Being the worst in the class feels like shit - but if you can get through it, you learn a lot more than when you're the best in the class.

Better to be humbled now than when you're actually trying to make a film after you graduate. [/quote]

Yeah, I can look at it like that. Who the hell would hire a film school graduate (assuming I somehow graduate, and if I'm close to failing only a month into the program, I doubt it) with grades like mine and work as piss-poor as mine? Yeah, I could not go to film school and try to submit to a film festival and get told the same thing, but the chances of me ever making a film that isn't YouTube level and actually a work of cinema has become so slim that a toothpick is wider.

I didn't enter this program expecting to be a genius, but I sure as hell didn't expect things to go this terribly. I can almost imagine the teachers counting the days away until I fuck up again and get myself kicked out for bad grades, laughing at how pathetic I am at this.

If I get through this and everything somehow works out, it will be a miracle. I'm not slacking off.

Enail wrote: I know you take criticism hard, and I hope you'll try and be kind to yourself and really look after yourself when you're getting those eviscerations, because yeah, getting that kind of feedback is brutal. But those are things that will help you if you can listen and learn from them and not let them convince you you should give up. Doing badly in class doesn't mean you're hopelessly terrible at it. Don't give up.

Again, I second this. These classes are supposed to be brutal, how else will you learn?[/quote]

Then clearly I'm Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, without the weight gain and psychopathic tendencies. Because I am clearly the whipping boy of this graduate program. Apart from my competence in screenwriting, the only other thing that has kept me from being considered completely hopeless is having more knowledge of cinema history than anyone else so far. We watch short films in class and I spot names who have become big name directors and the teachers get flabberghasted when I can list their entire filmographies. Hell, the teachers are even personal friends with some of them.

As much as I'm tempted to ask them to talk to them on my behalf, being in my current position would probably prevent that from happening.

Even funnier, the teacher I'm getting along with the most is the one who had tried to keep me from getting the program in the first place when I was the only one in the class who knew who Francois Truffaut was. He suddenly started treating me really nice after that.

I dunno, I'm hanging by tooth and nail here, and I don't want to do that the entire time. I want to be a genius artistic voice or whatever you call it. I just have no idea how.

Enail wrote: Let us know if you want to talk about other possibilities for finding affordable therapy and/or medication, I'm sure people here can think up some ideas try.

Once again, Enail is right on the money. You have more options than you think if you want to talk about it.[/quote]

Alright, let's hear it. I've tried Mood Gym, which didn't help at all because it literally ends with "just believe in yourself" and no reasoning as to why or how. The last time I tried Seven Cups of Tea, the person who was supposed to be talking to me turned out to be even more depressed than I was, and the rest of them are exactly the kind of people I complained about in my other post about depression.

Glides wrote:Reason Two: this one is new. I'm constantly envious of most other people I know. I'm jealous of how much smarter they are than me, how much more attractive or charismatic they are than me. And comparing every other person I know to myself, I'm at the bottom of the list. "No, that's just your brain." No, that's just the truth. I have no personality to speak of, at least not a genuine one.

Consider this: you have full, VIP, private access to your inner life. You have that for nobody else. You see how the sausage is made, you see all the doubts, and regrets, and negative thoughts, you see all the imperfections. What do you see in others? Carefully crafted images for public consumption. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's how it is. People generally don't open up to people in real life who aren't lovers or close friends/family. And even when they open up, it's not the totality of their inner life, because that could never be communicated adequately. I doubt people see you the way you think they see you.

You actually have a great deal of personality. When you open up about your interest in films here, even if briefly, I've been engaged. There's sometimes a gap between your inner "true" personality, and what comes out in real life. I can relate to that. It's just something those of us who struggle socially/emotionally are behind the curve on relative to our peers.[/quote]

People don't look at me as if I'm the spawn of Satan, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that I don't really register on anyone' radar beyond "eh he's cool to hang out with and stuff." I don't have any importance to anyone. To my family, I'm only as good as my achievements, which I deliberately inflate so that they don't bother me. My family certainly loves me, but I know that I would be more liked by them if I was a different person.

To put the family in context, imagine the Royal Tenenbaums, then imagine another sibling who is completely incompetent at basically everything besides basic survival and making minimum wage. That's me. They're not perfect people, but they are all extremely talented at something. Unbelievably so.

In the context of friends, I'm just that guy. It's not like "oh my god, I'm so happy to see you!," it's "eh, he'll do. He won't be creepy."

Am I saying that I am the only uninteresting person in the world? No. But everyone else I know is far better at maintaining their images.

I also accept Werel's Jedi hug now. Grin  I do have a soul, sometimes.

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:28 am

Glides, if it helps, you're not alone in feeling like people mostly just tolerate you. I won't pretend to know how shitty you feel when those depressive episodes hit you. But you made it through without harming yourself and I think you can do it again. And again. You'll fight for yourself, because the alternative is not an option.

Keep riding that goddamn wave, Glides.

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by reboot on Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:38 am

Glides, it sounds like film school is turning out to be harder than you expected and other students came with more baseline knowledge than you did. It is a terrifying and intimidating feeling, but once that passes, if you really want to make films, you need to acknowledge your ignorance (rather than lack of talent....it is too soon to judge talent since you do not have the baseline skills) and talk to your professors about how you can do the remedial work to catch up. They should be able to recommend things to read (to get up to speed on terms), what to practice (to get technique up to speed), etc.. Ask what they are grading on and work like hell to improve.

And by the way, getting B and C is not failing, it makes you average. Grades on a strict curve are: 2 standard deviations above mean= A (2.5% of class), 1 standard deviation= B (14% of class), no standard deviations= C (68% of class), 1 standard deviation below = D (14%), 2 standard deviations below = F (2.5%).
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:38 am

reboot wrote:Glides, it sounds like film school is turning out to be harder than you expected and other students came with more baseline knowledge than you did. It is a terrifying and intimidating feeling, but once that passes, if you really want to make films, you need to acknowledge your ignorance (rather than lack of talent....it is too soon to judge talent since you do not have the baseline skills) and talk to your professors about how you can do the remedial work to catch up. They should be able to recommend things to read (to get up to speed on terms), what to practice (to get technique up to speed), etc.. Ask what they are grading on and work like hell to improve.

And by the way, getting B and C is not failing, it makes you average. Grades on a strict curve are: 2 standard deviations above mean= A (2.5% of class), 1 standard deviation= B (14% of class), no standard deviations= C (68% of class), 1 standard deviation below = D (14%), 2 standard deviations below = F (2.5%).

The sad part is that these are "intensive" courses, extra courses for students who didn't qualify to immediately jump into classes. Basically, I'm already taking remedial classes and almost failing the remedial classes.

I am working like hell. I'm not slacking off here, if I was I'd already be kicked out.

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:40 am

One thing to remember about grades that are calculated on a curve is that they do not actually measure your objective level of skill. They measure your standing in direct comparison to your peers. Which means that in a high school environment, where not everyone is taking the studies as seriously as you and not everyone is studying the subject specifically with a career in mind, you're going to get a very different grade than you will be at university, where all your peers are at least on a par with you, without there being any actual change in your skill level.

That doesn't mean you're no good at film. It doesn't mean you suck and it doesn't mean you're a failure. It just means that you're now being pitted directly against people who have the same skills and passion that you do. Which means anyone who wants to shine needs to work exponentially harder than they did before. Especially early on in a course it is totally normal to be in the situation you're in - any minor differences between you and your peers are amplified right now, because the minority who are exceptionally good, had extra tutoring, took Summer classes or did serious hobbyist film-making during school are going to skew the grades a lot, while everyone else in the class catches up.

You are not hopeless, and I promise you can get through this. You're still passing your grades, although as one "gifted student"* to another, I know what it's like to feel that an "adequate pass" is a failure. But you wouldn't have been accepted into university if they didn't think you were worth taking the time and effort on. The thing to do, studies wise, is go to your tutors. Visit them during office hours, lay out exactly how you're feeling and ask them to help you. Ask them what you need to do to improve, and take any extra help or guidance they can offer. It's all valuable. And I promise you'll see more dramatic improvements and get a lot more out of your studies than the kids who walk into class and instantly get As, who won't have their ideas challenged or their flaws polished away.

Be kind to yourself, Glides. You deserve it.

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Enail on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:14 pm

So, it sounds like you're in that situation where the style/content of teaching just isn't clicking with you. That's pretty normal too, and it's quite likely to be one of those things where once you get it, you get it. Which isn't much help to you when you're not getting it, I know, but try not to take it as meaning too much about you or your potential as a filmmaker. Even if you fail a class, that doesn't mean that you can never master those skills. There is more than one class I would have failed if I hadn't freaked out about and dropped them, but by the time I graduated, I had a 4.0GPA.

A few ideas to try and get you up to scratch: are there office hours? Go to them. Bring a particular question about your last feedback, or something you're having trouble figuring out from a recent lecture, as specific as possible. Ask for recommendations of what you should read/watch to get up to speed on X. Your profs have seen a million students not getting it, this is not going to show you up as uniquely horrible, it'll show that you're willing to do what it takes to get good.  Ask another student if they can explain X to you; someone else might put it in the right way to make it click for you.

This is a bit of a stretch, b/c I know nothing about film, but some of the stuff you mention having trouble with sounds like stuff I've seen covered in art/animation storyboarding layout tips, so you might want to take a look at the stuff here and here(there's more if you go back to the older posts) and see if anything happens to be of use.

Glides wrote: Alright, let's hear it. I've tried Mood Gym, which didn't help at all because it literally ends with "just believe in yourself" and no reasoning as to why or how. The last time I tried Seven Cups of Tea, the person who was supposed to be talking to me turned out to be even more depressed than I was, and the rest of them are exactly the kind of people I complained about in my other post about depression.

-Alright, I haven't used Mood Gym, so this isn't coming from a place of expertise, but... Mood Gym has a bunch of exercises to train your brain to help deal with depression, right? Maybe it also has sappy, meaningless messages - a lot of people and resources for depression do do that kind of thing, so it's something you're going to have to expect to encounter quite often while you're dealing with this, but please don't dismiss everything a person/resource says just because they give some meaningless encouragement as well.  I believe cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are something that's well documented to be effective for many people, so please do try actually practicing those exercises and see if they help as you start to get better at them. Or get a self-help book on CBT if you don't like Mood Gym - I'm afraid I don't know which ones are reputable, but maybe someone else here can recommend one?

-Please do give your school's counsellors a try. Again, you might have to look past some feelgood fluff to get anything helpful from them, be openminded that they might have something else to offer as well. And be patient, therapy's not a quick fix, so give it time to see if it makes a difference.

-Ask your school counselling service if they can put you in touch with other free/low cost options.

-talk to your doctor. Ask about free/low cost options they can refer you to. If they think medication would be a good fit for you, they may be able to find you an affordable option. They (or a psychiatrist they refer you to) may even have free samples to start you off (but find out how much it costs for if you're going to have to start paying for it at some point, and do a little research of your own to make sure it sounds like a good option for you. you don't want to take the wrong thing just b/c it's free). Be sure to let them know that you've been suicidal in the past and want to avoid any medications that have suicidal feelings as a potential side effect.

-do you not get any kind of drug plan from your school? Maybe check with the student union if there's one you can buy into. Or is there any government low income drug assistance program you can apply for? Can you get on your parents' drug plan if they have one?

-Ask your parents to help pay for it. If you don't want to tell them what's going on, tell them you'd like to see a counsellor for stress management techniques, or anything else that you don't think they'd react badly to. For medication, many anti-depressants and other mood-related drugs have other, non-mood related uses, so if you do some research you might be able to find something else you could tell them it's for.

-Local hospitals and  mental health organizations might have free resources. They often also have therapy, drug  or other treatment trials (I wouldn't necessarily recommend drug trials, b/c of the potential unknown side effects) where if you participate you get the therapy or a control treatment etc. free.

-A while back, you mentioned a Jewish organization that might offer free counselling (I think?). Did you ever check with them about that?

-Call a suicide or mental health hotline and just ask them if they can recommend any other resources. There are lots of small organizations and programs that can be hard to find, so the more places you ask, the more likely it is that someone will be able to put you onto something that works for you.
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by reboot on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:24 pm

Glides, I also want you to know that I am a student that struggled to maintain a minimum 3.3 to keep her scholarships. I had to study 10 hours to catch things my classmates caught in one hour (assuming they had to study at all) as an undergrad, which was a huge shock to the system because I was a A student in my (as I learned from experience) mediocre, over crowded high school. Grad school was even worse. But you know what? In the end my diploma looks the same as anyone else's and counted as much.

So gut it out. Learn everything you can about film by taking advantage of office hours, discussion groups, etc.. Do not be afraid to show you do not know something. Take care of your mental health. I know you can get through this.
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by kleenestar on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:27 pm

As a professor, I want to strongly second the "talk to your professors and see what you can do" advice. One professional note, though - I sometimes run into students who ask for help and then argue with the suggestions I provide. Don't be that guy!

I'll also say that when I started in computer science, I nearly flunked my very first course. I failed the final project and only passed the class because I studied like mad for the final exam. Today I am a professor of computer science! I hope it helps to know that the difficulties you are experiencing now don't have to be forever.
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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Randomly Rolled on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:14 am

Hi, Glides. I wanted to step in and say a few things, because your threads and posts sounded all-too familiar. After having read them, I found that there are a lot of similarities in our backgrounds, and also in our modes of thinking. It makes me wonder if some of the things that have helped me could be of benefit to you. I read your newer thread, but decided to post here because it fits this one better. Some of the other members had some good advice, but I'll see if I can give some specific information.

I would personally urge you to look into getting some counseling. You really seem to be suffering and it's painful to see. Getting mental health therapy, that actually works, isn't easy. I know this, having been in and out of the system for...fucking ever. I've noticed that you have a lot of cognitive distortions and automatic thought patterns. You've convinced yourself that you're basically hopeless. Enail mentioned CBT training. I'd recommend that or something similar.  What I have been studying is DBT- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. They're both very effective systems of self-awareness and effecting change- essentially it rewires your brain- literally. Pretty cool stuff. I ended up with DBT and not CBT for a couple of reasons. First, is that there were no CBT certified counselors in my bass-ackwards little town. There was a DBT group though. Unfortunately, since it was designed for women with borderline personality disorder, I couldn't get in. Because..well...because that  Smile. I don't know what town or city you live in, so your area health provider may or may not offer CBT. If they only offer DBT you'd have to convince a counselor to work on it with you individually, which is what I did. I had to practically beg mine.
DBT may be preferable in any case; CBT is a short term program, whereas DBT is pretty much an ongoing, constant regimen. It isn't as relentless about instant change as CBT. I guess it kind of depends on how long you want to be involved with a counselor. Either way though, they're good. No watered down therapy there. Honestly, don't go into it unless you're ready to admit, to yourself at least, what the root causes of your anxiety are. That can be a terrifying and revolting process in itself, so if that's not for you or you aren't ready for that, there might be other options. You don't have to actually get into counseling to do it either- they're available on Amazon- but I think having a 'coach' who knows the system is pretty helpful. Another thing that goes very well with that, or even on it's own, is journaling. Don't discount that.

If you want meds you'll probably have to get involved in a behavioral health center. I know that some family doctors will prescribe medications for psychiatric disorders, but they'll probably refer you for counseling. And it's better to get a diagnosis and treatment from someone specifically trained in the field anyways. I don't know what you do for work or how much you make, but most (if not all) therapy centers have sliding scale payment systems. I paid basically nothing while working a part-time minimum-wage job. Medication is the difficult part. They will frequently give samples to start you out, but the costs can be a bottleneck. There might be government programs that sponsor it. I'll look into that for you in case you ever want more information. One option might be Medicare or state Medicaid. If you don't make a whole lot you can often get Medicaid, without having to apply for SSDA (which can be stigmatic). If you do get medications, be honest about your symptoms, and if you notice anything you don't like, whatsoever, report it immediately.

I think I can safely say that the majority of the people here care about what happens with you; you're obviously a good person, and many of us have had bad experiences too, so the empathy level is high. You could do a lot worse than ask for help on a geek forum Smile Don't apologize for bringing your fears and 'feelz' up. I haven't seen you be mean to anyone, so who would get pissed? And you clearly don't want to be the monster you feel you are, forever. If you ever want more specific information, don't hesitate to inbox me or something. And seriously dude, if I can progress as far as I have, I'm more than optimistic that you can reach a positive plateau. I mean, I tend to make Porky Pig look suave, and have enough baggage to make it Indian Untouchable look like English Royalty difficult to be accepted in a society that often doesn't accept people who seem different Smile Don't be ashamed of what's going on with you; I kinda just outed myself as Mentally Fucked Up, myself. Sorry if I sound like mental-health-industry-recruiter-with-a-megaphone-man: there are definitely fundamental flaws in the system, which I'd be glad to talk about. But properly utilizing it can also lead to huge gains. I hope you feel better man!

PS I went on a bit too long, but I want to mention ACT. Check it out if you decide to look into counseling.


Last edited by Randomly Rolled on Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : because it was needed)

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:17 am

Randomly Rolled wrote:I....have enough baggage to make an Indian Untouchable look like English Royalty

[derail]Hey man, this isn't cool. I get your meaning, but the metaphor is inappropriate.[/derail]

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by UristMcBunny on Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:11 am

[MOD] Agreed. RandomlyRolled, your advice is compassionate, thorough and awesome. Please do be careful with phrases like the one Hermit pointed out, though. We try to be a welcoming space for all people here, and phrases like that don't help. [/MOD]

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by Randomly Rolled on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:58 pm

Ok, sorry guys, it definitely wasn't my intent to be insensitive. I'll have to find a better analogy for that. *Has been noted and filed* Uh-oh

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Re: Self-Hatred (kind of a rant? I don't know)

Post by PKB on Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:04 pm

This kinda hits home, so I'll throw in my two cents.

When I got out of AIT and got to my first unit (for those not in the know, I'm talking about the Army), I felt completely hopeless. I was adapting to a completely different culture. Even if everything is laid out in black and white, actually remembering to do all the little things expected of you requires a great deal of conscious effort until you've become acculturated. (Things like remembering to address NCOs by the correct rank, who you can approach and ask questions, remembering various bits of paperwork and procedure, etc.) I was making at least one massively boneheaded mistake every week.

What made this worse was that I was trying really hard to do everything right. If I made a mistake, it was proof that I wasn't cut out for this, that I was doomed to failure, and that I was generally incompetent as a functional adult. The desire to be on top of everything and do everything perfectly makes even a small slip-up catastrophic. If you're making mental statements about yourself like, "I've never fucked up <activity X>, and that makes me a good Soldier," and then you fuck up activity X, then it's not just that you endure the negative consequences of fucking up activity X (whether that is corrective training, a good ass-chewing, or more likely just feeling useless and incompetent for a while), you're making a judgement of your inherent value.

This kind of hyperconscious perfectionism can be useful in driving people to achieve amazing things (and I was all sorts of squared away), but the dark side is endless self-doubt and depression. I spiraled into some very dark holes during that time. Eventually, after seven months in Afghanistan doing nothing and feeling progressively more and more worthless, I had to break down and talk to someone about it.

One thing I've learned from all this is to approach everything from the mindset of an amateur. Do you care about it? Of course. An amateur, in the original usage, was simply someone who was a lover of something. An amateur writer writes for the enjoyment of it. This usage does not carry the negative connotations of being a dilettante or a low-skilled person. However, another aspect of this mindset is that, realizing one is not a master of <Activity X>, they are purely in "receive mode," soaking up as much knowledge as they can gather. If you feel like you should be at N skill level, it may feel like anything to suggest that you are not at N skill level is an attack. If you can let go of this feeling that your skill at <Activity X> needs to be at level N and just focus on learning everything you can about <Activity X>, your ego doesn't feel the need to fight off any suggestion you are not at level N and thus an impostor or unworthy to pursue <Activity X.>

It takes a lot of practice to just let go of this outcome attachment. In the case of my shooting skills I took a year away from it (can't bring any guns to Korea with you!), and when I came back I had no preconceptions of where those perishable skills were, so I was back in learning mode again. When some test of skill comes up, just focus on the task itself and don't feel like you have to prove something every time. Just get in the zone and execute.

I don't know how to apply this to a course of Film Studies, but hopefully the basic psychology can help. It certainly sounds like a place I've been, so hopefully my experience is applicable to yours.
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