I had a bit of a meltdown today. After only two long days of orientation, little sleep, I absolutely broke to pieces. I opened the book that had been passed out and realized we were starting , yet another three hour block of orientation, this time the entire book was in french. I felt my head shut down and tears swell. I had to get away, I ran, but the bathroom was full, the halls full, then someone ask the wrong question at the wrong time, and the tears flooded forward.
Next, I was attempting to be comforted by a series of question, along the lines of is someone bothering you, are you sick, did your boyfriend leave you (when the hell did I ever mention a boyfriend), because of course those are the only plausible and logical reasons why I would be having a mental breakdown in a brand new country and culture.
- " I can't speak French," I blubbered, "I understand nothing."
he said not to worry about it. I stared at him skeptically and tearfully. I wanted to punch him in the face for even attempting to tell me not to worry, even though I must admit I have had said those same words to comfort many a friend in many a rough time.
He rushed me outside, which cued other advisors also to rush in to see the distraught me he had pulled aside. As they tried to reassure me that everything would be and was o.k... I began hyperventilating. I cannot begin to tell you how embarrassed I was. (Little did I know this was just the beginning).
Now I must say I was in no way homesick. I was a bit of a lot distraught, but not homesick. I was just overwhelmed. I was happy to be there, but unable to communicate my feelings, feelings of isolation and unable to express myself, that was a lot. I had to release. I just wish I had chosen a better place. Though I am glad to know I that I am in the care of a very supportive staff.
So I took what they said and the comfort they bestowed and the horror stories they told and took my seat in the auditorium. Maybe, I thought, I am not alone in this way, maybe is it true and there are many of us struggling, but we can't or won't allow ourselves to express what is within afraid that showing fear makes us weak that uncertainty makes us weak... I opened my book. Actually maybe I am alone on this one.
Then a voice comes from behind, no not within my psyche, as I originally thought.
-"I don't understand one bit of this"
I turned around to face a red haired girl, with the same perplexed look as me.
I learned a very valuable lesson today, that is often forgotten. You are never truly alone.