Ok, here's the low down.
The immersion was great, but difficult. I've been holding in a lot of emotions and stresses and tensions, and those built up to a boiling point in the campo. I'll admit, up until now, I've lived an incredibly sheltered life. I went to public school, but I was still sheltered there. With everything I've been seeing here, especially the kids at the school in the urban slum, it's been a big shock. Also, I came into this experience thinking that I could change things, that I could fix the situation. While I cognitively realized that I can't do anything here, especially in light of so many needs that can be fixed, I still felt that I was expected to fix things. That pressure has been building and building, adding to frustrations that I already had about the whole experience.
Add in the fact that I'm an empathetic and emotional kid, and that just exacerbates the situation. I do well being there for people and try to take away their pain. If you've seen the Green Mile, I'm sorta like that big black guy in it. I try to take on other people's pain as my own. This works well when I can help them get rid of it, but taking on that extra burden as my own and expecting to fix it when I can't was driving me crazy. I've been torturing myself for quite a while now.
I've been trying to make sense of all of the difficult things I've seen and failing. I over analyzed everything about the situation, looking for the solution, only to find none. Instead of accepting it, I kept looking, going deeper and deeper into my head to the point that I wasn't living or really experiencing things here. It was just so painful to confront the realities without being able to make sense of it all that it was much easier to retreat into my mind. The reason why I do so well in school is because there is a right answer, and, usually, I'm pretty good at finding it; however, here, I couldn't accept that until now.
At the same time, I have been edging away from both Blair and Paul. I didn't know what was wrong, but I was avoiding them for some reason and not taking advantage of their friendship and their advice. As a result, I've felt alone, stressed, confused, and overwhelmed for quite some time now. I thought I'd figured out what was wrong a few times, but that only proved to be a false hope. Thankfully, neither of them gave up on me. They forced me to look at what I'd been doing to myself and to the people here in this community. I didn't realize how miserable and depressed I had been until I was forced to look at it.
The bad news is, these feelings aren't going to go away, the situation is not going to magically resolve itself. The good news is, I know what was bothering me and can work to fix it. It's not going to be easy, but at least now I have a fighting chance with both of them and the rest of the community here helping me out. I know it sounds like the ending of a cheesy movie, but I'm so glad to be feeling like myself for the first time in a while. All the stress and worry had me acting like someone else, and right now it feels like I'm relearning how to walk bit by bit.
This isn't my whole situation, but it's the best I've been able to think about and describe it for a long time. Let's just say, it's nice to be back.