Exams... Revision... ARGH!!!

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  1. 10st10lbs

    10st10lbs Gold Member

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    Helloooooo...

    I have six lovely three hour long exams coming up and I just can't get into the right mind-frame to work. I am determined to do well but every day starts with 'I'll do some work later' and ends with 'I'll do some work tomorrow'. I get about half an hour done before something or other happens - I'm working at home at the moment due to my youngest brother being unwell and me being the extra helping hand.

    I feel quite mean saying this but I really resent my brother, sister and mum at the moment, all for different reasons.

    My brother is in his final year of high school, so doing his GCSEs. He is very lax about everything and really doesn't put the effort in. Consequently, he doesn't get the grades, and so has two tutors and a very strict revision timetable. He doesn't stick to this AT ALL and spends his revision time on Facebook or 'revising Design', which basically means he sits there and draws sketches that are in no way relevant to his work. But the point is, he gets that revision time and we all have to stay out of his way. I feel so angry towards him because he gets that time and doesn't use it properly.

    My sister, I resent for being an early bird and acting like a don, there is no other word to describe it. She is seven years older than me, has done the same course that I'm doing at uni (I'm in second year at the moment) and has been working since the day after she graduated. She insists on waking us all up at 8am like a rooster, has no idea what happens in the house while she is out, and comes home only to start telling us all off for silly things that are beyond our control. Every day, without fail, she will cause an argument and manage to convince whoever is there that me and my brother are to blame. It's quite boring now, and eight days out of ten, I will just get up and leave the room, but I'm not the kind of person who can let things go easily.

    I feel quite angry at my mum too. Recently, with my brother being ill, he has been a lot more clingy than normal. He's 10, has Down's Syndrome. It isn't very apparent, but he does have it, and needs someone to keep an eye on him pretty much all the time. Since our dad passed away in November, he has been ill with viruses and bugs a good five times, and if we used to be sick, it'd be dad holding our hair back and making sure we got into bed, keeping an eye on our food (strictly dry toast and water) etc etc... I honestly don't think my mum knows how to handle my brother being unwell, as she gets angry and loses her temper very quickly, which results in my brother getting scared, crying more, vomiting more, needing the toilet more, etc. For this reason, I have been spending more time with my brother, sitting with him while he sleeps, making sure he is getting enough fluids, all the normal stuff. I'm not saying my mum isn't spending time with him, she's just spending a lot less than I would expect her to, so I don't feel comfortable going to the library or locking myself in my room to work.

    I barely get any work done during the day and am a lot better at working at night, I always have been. The problem is though, that what with looking after my brother all day and running the house (I cook 80% of the meals), plus my sister demanding I wake up at 8am because I 'waste half the day sleeping' (I haven't slept past 9:30am in a long time), I have no energy to work at night. I can't concentrate, I can't put things together, I can't remember formulae and methods, I can't do a decent amount of revision before I start to feel tired, distracted, distraught even.

    My mind is telling me to be selfish for a month, just until my exams are over, but I can't bring myself to do it. I hate inconveniencing others, I just feel as though if I'm not at home, mum will have to split her time between five different things and it's not easy to do. She wants me to take my brother to the library so he can revise aswell, but I honestly don't think he deserves the time that he is given. It isn't for me to say, but it's how I feel. If I were to take him to the library, the only things on his mind would be how long before his phone battery dies and he can't listen to his music, whether or not he can find a free unlocked wi-fi connection, what time he'll get to have lunch, where he can go for lunch, you get my drift. How do I say that to everyone at home without sounding selfish? I'm not saying that my exams are more important than his, because he needs to pass just as much as I do, but when I did my GCSEs, I had no tutor, I had no strict revision timetable, hell I don't even think I revised more than a week on each subject, but I still walked out with 2 A*s, 4 As, 4 Bs, 1 C and even a D in an AS Level subject.

    The main thing on my mind is that we have all lost someone. I know exactly what my brothers and sisters are going through right now, it's so horrible that life goes on so innocently after someone leaves you and it's really hard to deal with, I know full well that I'm not coping right now. I would like to be able to throw myself into my books by way of distraction and pass this year with 70%+ in all my subjects just to make my dad proud, but I really really really can't do it. I know there is no such word as can't, and I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it, but I have to find my mind first.

    I have just realised I have written a LOT and also that I will be rudely awakened in a very small number of hours, so I better get my head down either back into Corporate Finance or my pillow... I don't know what I expect to come of sharing my feelings on here, maybe I'll feel better in the morning or maybe someone will say something that will make me think twice.

    xxx
     
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  3. Samprand

    Samprand WILL do it!

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    ooooooomg first of all tell ur sister to back off! dont ask nicely as if ur askin persmission, TELL her u will get up when u damn well please! it isnt for her to say who gets up when, ur old enough to make that decision. with regards to ur brother, u could try to have a quiet word with him about pulling his socks up - give him the opportunity to think about what hes doing, chances are he knows how important his exams are and just cant be bothered so might need a kick up the bum. maybe you could take him to the library once or twice, but if he messes it up, hes blown his chance - why should you have to sacrifice any more of ur time? as for your younger brother, you could suggest that you (and ur older early-bird sister?) take care of him for a set amount of hours during the day e.g. ur sister takes care of him until lunch time (giving u time to sleep in or whatever u choose to do), and u look after him until 3 or 4pm, after that you study because its important that u do, i dont want to sound selfish but why should you have to sacrifice ur revision for something youve worked so hard for and want to do to make ur dad proud?

    maybe ur mum could benefit some counselling to help to deal with ur dads passing? perhaps u all could? just to learn how to deal with things better as it sounds a bit like ur all struggling - maybe this is why ur brother is being so half-hearted about his GCSE's? I dont know, its late and ideas of things to say keep popping into my head and I cant type quick enough to get them all down lol
     
  4. AnwenG

    AnwenG Full Member

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    Hey!!
    It's loads better getting it all out than bottling it all inside :)
    With your brother not studying, boys will be boys lol, but I know exactly where your coming from, he has all the time he wants to study while you struggle to find the time.
    Maybe you could make a timetable?? from when you wake up to when you go to sleep and allow yourself at least 3hrs to study a day.
    Or the method I use when I look after my granddad is, I make mind maps as I find it much easier to remember names and dates (I'm a history student lol) and then before I go to sleep I try and memorize some of the mind maps, or even just read through the ones I've made and you'll be surprised at how much you remember the next day. I hope this helps :)
     
  5. Lonestitcher

    Lonestitcher Silver Member

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    Right, first things first, take a nice long deep breath....

    Now, I'll try and help...

    Your brother: Your brother is doing what all brothers do... being a pain in the butt. Yes you are annoyed that he has all these advantages (and isn't making use of them) and that you would grab them at the drop of a hat... but you can't MAKE him wake up and see how fortunate he is... He is also probably used to coasting through life, with no real demands made on him. Your mum and you probably do everything for him (your mum because she thinks she should, and you because you have to help out your mum!!). All this negativity that you feel towards him will not change him nor help you.

    Your sister: Your sister probably resents the fact that she has to get up early and go to work. She probably imagines that you are having this idyllic day, lounging in bed, spending time with your mum, living the student life.... if only she knew!!! This is why she probably wakes you all up early (I call it the Union syndrome - 'one up, all up!!'). Maybe she is insecure that you will do better than her - after all, the comparison will be very apparent - since you are doing the exact same degree as her.. When she comes home, she probably feels guilty and resentful that she hasn't been at home and so is 'lashing out' to get rid of her feelings. As soon as she comes in (and before she has a chance to say anything) ask about her day. If taking an interest in her doesn't help, you could always try the 'blanket conversation'. This is where you just constantly talk to her and 'smother' her negativity.. 'Oh, I'm so glad that you've come in, this has happened, I need your help with my course, I need your help in the kitchen, mum needs your help with our brother, our other brother needs to shape up, I'm glad that you're here - can you just to this, I've got to go out to the library now...'.

    Your mum: Your mum might have her own deep seated feelings that you might not know about.. If she gets angry at your brother, maybe she feels guilty that he has Downs? Maybe that was why your dad looked after him more? (Your mum 'dealt with' the house and everyone else, your dad helped our more with your brother and when people were ill?). Some people just can't cope when other people are ill. Maybe your mum is angry because she misses your dad... If your dad did the 'doctor' thing, your mum is missing him now more than ever. It is probably just another way that shows that he isn't there... Your mum also probably resents the fact that your dad isn't there to help....

    Now for the hard one.... You missed someone out of your list.... Your dad...

    You probably resent your dad too... for leaving you, for leaving your family and for making you feel that you have to step in and take over some of 'his' responsibilities (ie. looking after your brother when he's ill, taking the lead in worrying about your other brother's future). Grief is a funny thing that affects us all differently...

    So, what to do now?... Offer to take your brother to the library - you don't have to make him work and whilst he is sloping off to update his status on facebook, you have the opportunity to get some work done!! Take him everyday - your mum will love the fact that you are trying to encourage him to do better!!! If you can't stand the thought of a sulky teenager wailing about the 'unfair nature of his life', wait until your sister comes home - then say 'I'm so glad that you are here to help out, I'm off to the library!!' The uni library or even Central library should be open fairly late...

    If you are worried about your younger brother, is there any family members who could come and sit with him for a couple of hours? That way, both you and your mum could have a break? - Who knows, maybe you'll end up spending your 'break-time' together??!!? ;)

    Sorry it's a bit of a long reply.

    HTH.
     
  6. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I haven't got a great deal to add to the advice already. Only wanted to say that you are taking on far too much for someone as young as you are ( please don't take that wrong!). Your youngest brother is not your responsibilty, andof course you want to help your mum out - but you aren't supposed to be a replacement for her. Your other brother will learn a v difficult lesson and there is nothing you can do to make him work. Your sister sounds like she is attention seeking - often the case with much older siblings wirh a younger sibling who has special needs.
    Finally - you are all still grieving for your dad and need to recognise this. It WILL get easier though - i promisr

    Make some time for yourself and do not take on other peoples responsibilites.

    Take care x
     
  7. 10st10lbs

    10st10lbs Gold Member

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    Hey you, I read this just as I got into bed after 3am and really wanted to reply but my phone is bonkers since I updated the software :mad:

    Thanks for everything you said, it really helps to get an outsider's opinion as I'm sure if I complained to anyone in my family about this, I'd get a right b*llocking and get told to stop being such a girl!

    The problem with my brother not revising is on-going; he has never put any effort into anything, whereas my sisters and I were all very educational - I blame the rise of Facebook, I really do. The problem with my sister is that she works 9-5, but is out of the house 8-6, and she is one of those people who can p!ss you off just by looking at you. Mum and counselling - it's not even worth a mention, to be honest with you. We don't talk about anything as a family, we just don't share things and it's unheard of to go to other people with your problems, which is why I love MiniMins so much. I had a counselling session at uni a couple of months ago and was then put on a waiting list which I am really disappointed with. If my brother is feeling half-hearted about his work, he has a hundred and one people he can talk to, but I think I'm the only one in the family who can express my feelings properly, even if it is just by typing.

    Thank you for your advice, I will take your points on board and try to get my sister to back off!

    xxx
     
  8. 10st10lbs

    10st10lbs Gold Member

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    Hi :) You're right, I felt this surge of relief while typing and I'm continuing to feel it now, maybe the sunshine is helping too :)

    I never realised boys were so bad at working, in general I mean. I know all boys aren't like this! I went to an all girls high school, but my sixth form was mixed. 90% of the boys worked really hard there - I guess that's what motivated me to work hard too, even though I didn't do as well as I should have done. It used to be a private grammar school, so everyone worked really hard to get in. It's the same place my brother wants to go to, I just don't think he realises it's not as easy as rocking up on enrolment day with your certificates and dropping the line 'my sisters used to come here'.

    I would love to be able to make a timetable and stick to it - I wouldn't be satisfied with 3 hours, I'd have to do atleast 7. There is so much that happens in one day though, unpredictably. People come and go, the phone rings more times than I have fingers and toes, it's honestly a mad house.

    I will take your idea of a mind map and replace the names and dates with formulae and calculations - I'm an Accounting & Finance student! At the moment I'm trying to get my head around a whole subject that I barely attended lectures and tutorials for, and did quite badly in the assignment. Someone on my course has offered me help so I might take him up on the offer. Every little helps, right?

    Thank you for your advice :)

    xxx
     
  9. 10st10lbs

    10st10lbs Gold Member

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    You're so right, mum does do everything for him! I don't though, lol, I just shout at him and try to make him realise he has so much that I wish I had. You're also right in saying that the negativity will not change him or help me - I feel a lot less angry towards him now than I used to, purely because I let a lot of things slide now.

    The points you make are the same ones I make, except if she isn't at home, she will never see that it is not an easy day for me. I have been handling a lot more since I was 15 than she has done at my age. I run a business single-handedly, my dad used to do it and I slowly took more and more responsibility, and now it is in my hands. I cook more meals in a month than she has done in her whole life. I cook most of her meals. I am guaranteed to do a lot worse than her in my degree - last year's results, she tutted at them. Just as I don't like dumping things on my mum, I don't like dumping things on her either. I guess I am stubborn and don't want to feel as though I have to rely on her.

    She probably does. But this kind of resentment doesn't get anyone anywhere, and the arguments that stem from it are pointless. I'm middle child, scapegoat too I'd say, and definitely get the worst thrown at me when it isn't my fault, but one thing I can't control is my tendency to justify my actions. If I haven't done something wrong, I will continue to make that point and it's probably not the best thing to do when your mum is mad at you...

    I really don't know about this one. I definitely feel a bit lost, if anything, as my dad was the only one who would listen to me - and I really mean this. He was a very quiet man, but silences said everything.

    Haha, I took him to the library on Sunday after my sister complained that we sleep the day away (seriously, I don't know what planet she lives on, I'm up before 9:30AM!) and it was shut. Central library is closed till 2013 I think, which is sad. I would love to do all-nighters at the library, I may just have to throw this idea into the ballpark. I'll tell you something I hate about my life: I'm 20 and have NO social life. I don't drink, but I wouldn't want to. I don't club or party, I'd atleast like to try it once. I'm home by 6 most days and don't go out on the weekends. My friends rarely come over to my house and I only ever go to their's during the time I'm out anyway and don't have to bother telling my mum where I am. I always thought it was my dad who was strict, but it is definitely my mum, and it makes me so frustrated that I could cry.

    Long reply or not, you really have helped :) I need to find a way of explaining all the points you made to my mum and sister so they can see I'm not over-reacting. Thank you for everything :)

    xxx
     
  10. 10st10lbs

    10st10lbs Gold Member

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    :hug99: Thank you so much. I've never heard of the attention seeking sibling thing, that would explain a lot though. I will try my hardest to make some time for me. Letting go of other people's responsibilities though, that will be hard...

    Thank you for your advice and I didn't take anything in the wrong way. I know I have taken on a lot but just wish my family would recognise that and leave me be sometimes.

    xxx
     
  11. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I know its very hard to relinquish responsbility. I was in a similar situaiton to you when I was at Uni and it took me years of therapy to get my head round the fact that my family weren't my responsibility so I won't pretend its easy.

    Also you also need to recognise that you are the only one who change things. You can't control what your family do and say, and how they treat you

    Essentially- you need to take les responsibility for them and more for yourself. Be a little selfish occassionally (or more than occassionally if necessary)
     
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