Senior Military college

by Ryan
(Texas)

So I'm a freshmen at a senior military college. Anybody who's heard of these "corps of cadets" knows that the entire system is based around the principle idea that the "fish" are made to have a life reminiscent of a living hell.


I'm not saying that it's physically abusive or "too much for me to handle" but I've reached the point where I feel stuck, and I'll explain.

Here, all I'm ever told is how awful I am at everything. No matter how hard I try or how much effort I put into "corps" activities, I always fail. I'm not a strong student and this really doesn't help things.

In addition to this, my parents back home are of the mentality that grades are the only important factors in life. So when I don't make excellent grades, they are relentless in their persecution.

If I quit the corps of cadets, then I'll be shamed by my family as a quitter and probably lose any chance of commissioning into the air force, what with the economy being as it is.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I don't want to be alive anymore. I don't think I could commit suicide, but as it is, being alive is a bloody nuisance.

I don't know what to do. I've never used a "self help" forum such as this and branched out to people I'll never meet. But at this point I have literally no idea what to do. I feel helpless and trapped and frustrated and useless.

Help?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ryan,

I applaud your courage to reach out and get support. I know how hard it can be, especially when you are perceived as a very strong person. Usually this inhibits our ability to show our vulnerability. So, congrats for taking the first step!

While I don't fully understand what you are going through, I am mindful that the military is a very different world than what society lives in. My father was a Colonel in the Marines so I know it well. The marines push for perfection and they use criticism, threats, punishment as a means of trying to drive your behavior - to groom you to be a "good soldier". While I understand the method to their madness, it is quite harmful.

I can understand your feelings of wanting to die. I think most of us have these thoughts from time to time. The majority never act on it. Rather it's an expression of just how much pain you are in.

My question to you is this.... what do you really want to do with your life? What are your dreams for your future? Was going to a military college your choice? Do you want to join the Air Force? If this is your dream (and you are not living for someone else) then you will need to do some soul searching to uncover the real issues at hand.

The fact that you are constantly criticized is ashame. However, it is your reaction to the criticism that is toxic. Don't take someone else's opinion and internalize it as if it's true. If someone came up to you and said you were a freak because you had psychodelic hair, you wouldn't believe them or internalize this as truth because you don't have psychodelic hair (well for the sake of this example, I hope not)! So, if someone says you are worthless, a loser, etc. why would you believe them? If and only if you believe it to be true. If you can find your truth - that you are not what they say - and commit to that, then they have no power over you.

The old saying is true, people won't love, trust of believe in you if you don't love, trust, believe in yourself!

Another thing, do you have friends? It's always good to find people that can be supportive. That appreciate you for who you are - imperfections and all! By surrounding yourself with friendship and support, it can make you much stronger in facing the adversity.

As we go through life, there will always be people trying to influence our journey in some way. Honor your own journey and trust that if you do things with integrity and for the right reasons, it will always work out for the best!

I hope this makes sense. Write back if it doesn't and thanks so much for asking for some support.

All the best,

Dana

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