I am not so sure this is atypical. It sure sounds like some type of PTSD. You relate the history to school times, and now the thing you avoid doing (unconsciously) is being a success at education. Makes perfect sense. There used to be a diagnosis of self-defeating personality (it has been removed for diagnosis, but is still descriptive). Because of a sever trauma in early education, you have PTSD symptoms and have developed a well defined pattern of "self-defeating" you educational goals. Yet you still want to achieve them, which would symbolically be a cure of sorts. I don't think quitting your education is the answer (a break maybe, while you work this out) as the symptoms associated with this typically find a way of showing up in a different aspect of life. LONG TERM counseling with someone who has seen this type of issue is needed. Not an easy thing to work thru. Medications may help, but won't be the answer.