I know this forum is for everyone to share so I apologize for the long post, but I would appreciate some advice or feedback.
I am a recovering alcholic (3 months sobriety) and an ACOA (both parents were alcoholics). I have been fired from several jobs over my 25+ years in the workforce, have changed jobs and careers more times than I would like to admit, and during my 20's, I moved from apartment to apartment, city to city never putting down any real roots. I did finally manage to finish an undergrad degree and later in my late 30's a graduate degree. My convolued resume has caused justified concern with potential employers during job interviews. I would like to know if anyone else out there has been as confused and erratic as I have been in choosing and staying in one major in one univeristy, and choosing a career path and sticking with it, and living in one place for a reasonable amount of time before moving somewhere else. If so, do you attribute this crazy behavior to being an ACOA or an alcoholic?
In addition to my crazy employment history, I have just as sordid academic background, which causes me to continue to feel terrible and experience painful emotions of the past, which still resonate with me. Why now? Well I have spent the past 3-4 weeks really devoting myself entirely to Journaling my past successes, failures, good memories and bad, not holding back anything. It has been painful to say the least. I do agree with the comments you all made; thanks. In addition to the issue of musical careers and inconsistent work history is my pathetic education background.
To sum it all up, I did finish an undergraduate degree at a Canadian university, but it took me 9 years to do so. I attended 4 different universities, and changed programs, if I recall correctly, twice. I dropped out of the university I finally got my business degree from 3 times. I did not get any support from my parents. Actually they made it even more difficult me to get student loans since they were going through a divorce, and my father was reluctant to sign the financial details of the guardian section on the loan application for fear of my mother's lawyer getting a hold of it and sucking more $ out of him.
I attended another university for an academic year. I worked in the graduate student pub and enjoyed the year, but passed only 2 classes out of the five I enrolled in September. I then moved to Toronto and signed up for classes for the sole purpose to get student loans to live off of. I know this was terribly irresponsible and I paid dearly for this lack of good judgement years later with so many incomplete/failures on my academic transcripts.
In the last year of high school my parents split and my life became a mess. I ended up having to redo some courses the next year. I went away to a university and was the first person in my family to do so; my two older brother lived at home while attending the local universities. I did ok academically that first year and with a few guy on the same floor in the residence I stayed in, we agreed to share a house come next academic year. That was 1982, and that summer there was a bad recession in Ontario. I bounced around hitching car rides from town to town looking for work, and to get away from the crazy mother I was staying with for the summer. I ended up working about 3-4 weeks and had saved little money. A week before I was to move down to the town where school was I called one of the guys I was to live with. He asked me if I had actually made any money that summer and I said not a lot, but I would be eligible for student loans and bursaries. He basically said that he and the other guys did not want to be responsible for paying for my food, rent, clothing, and so I was no longer part of the living arrangement. I was devastated and had no idea what to do. A friend heard about some other guys who were looking for a roommate, and just a few days before classes were to commence went down to live with these guys I had never met before. They turned out to be great guys, but I never was able to pick myself up, brush myself off and move on. Just 8 weeks alter I dropped out. The feelings of confusion and going it on your own reminded me of the last year of high school when my parents split up, and they decided in their infinite dysfunctional wisdom that out of the 5 kids I should go live with my grandmother to "relive the stress at home." I never did actually go to live with her. In the car on the way to her house I wrestled the steering wheel away from my dad, pulled the car over, got out and ran away to a friend's family's house where I stayed for 2 weeks. My parents later decided for me to go live with my mom when she moved out, and I moved into her apartment on a memorable night-Christmas Eve!
That last year of high school, Grade 13 I was so confused, had no one to talk to in order to try and deal with the ****. What bothered me most was my mother and father never had the guts to sit down in a family meeting and tell everyone about what they were planning.
I was also so embarrassed when I would run into former classmates who looked at me as a total loser; they were moving on in their academic endeavors, graduating, and I was spinning my wheels...Many would make insensitive and cutting putdowns like "are you trying to attend every university in Ontario or something?" Years later when I finally did get my business degree in 1990 ( I began university in the fall of 1981), and graduate school in 1998, I would have my academic transcripts looked over my employers in job interviews who could not fathom what I was doing all those nomadic, directionless years of post-secondary life. Many potential employers in job interviews would comment how this inconsistent, disjointed work and academic history that was presented to them on paper indicated someone who is not loyal, who is unstable, and therefore not suitable for employment at their school-I'm a teacher.
Many supportive friends remind me that I did, although it took so long, finish my degree, and I paid my own way (which is only partially true since I relied so heavily on student loans and incurred a huge debt after graduating). However, some of the most humiliating job interviews were when I tried to point this achievement out to the interviewer, who did not consider it an achievement (i.e. four universities over the course of nine years to obtain a four year Honors Bachelor of Business Administration).
I still am haunted by the chaos and turbulence of my twenties. I don't think either of my alcoholic parents were even cognizant of my academic plight.
Like my bouncing around from job to job and place of residence and city to city, the academic part of my past is very emotionally charged and I feel bad about it. Any input or advice or perspective about how to move on would be appreciated.