My Life Story & Update

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
My Life Story & Update
3
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 7:45pm
My name is Elizabeth. I am 19 years old. My goal is to one day inspire someone.For a 19 year old my life experiences have made me feel a lot older, wiser, and stronger. When I was a young girl, my parents were alcoholics and they way my parents acted was not normal to me so I reported it to a school counselor. They eventually went into rehab and have been alcohol free ever since. When I was 15 years old I met a guy through a neighborhood friend. Everything was great and he was opening up to people for about 6 months. Then things started to take a turn for the worse. He told me what I could wear, and who to hang out with, and he became violent. I had soon come to realize that I was pregnant. One day at my boyfriends house I came to talk with him and he tried to choke me and threw things at me. I ran out of the room crying and my father came to my rescue. I ended the relationship and my mother went to Lutheran Social Services with me. My mom helped me make a decision that forever changed my life. I decided to give up my daughter for adoption. Since my boyfriend wanted nothing to do with me or the baby, he signed his rights to me and my mother and I worked through it. I was only a freshman in a Catholic High School. I went to school although pregnant and had a grade point average of a 3.0. I met the parents through Lutheran Social Services and in July of 1999 I had a beautiful baby girl. I was very happy that I was making the right decision, but sad that I was giving away such a precious child. Ido receive pictures from the adoptive parents and they are wonderful people. I am glad they are raising her wonderfully.

For about the next 2 years my grades slipped. I became depressed. My parents talked about separating. Finally my senior year, my parents decided to separate after they had a money issue. I moved out of my town away from my friends and my boyfriend. I started school in Oshkosh, WI, about 2 hours away from my home town. I got better grades and my dad and I went to the library, fishing and we had fun. One day I discovered some money missing and I asked my dad about it. I became suspicious when I went back to my mothers house for the weekend and my mom told me the reason they got a divorce. My dad had a gambling problem. My dad was also in charge of my bank account because it was a savings account for my future. I soon came to realize he stole that money. So when I turned 18, I had no money for college, and no money for my future. I moved back with my mom, leaving my friends from Oshkosh behind. It was also around that time when my parents finalized their divorce. I was devastated. I started public school back in my home town and they treated me horribly. I felt so overwhelmed because of my personal problems and school I stopped going. Around that time I was hit with another obstacle. I found out my dad had cancer of the blood and it was very bad.He had to move up to Iron Mountain, Michigan for treatment., which is 5 hours away. I felt so torn between forgiveness and life. My head was spinning. I finally took a breath and got myself enrolled in a program at the local college. There I went to school and I graduated a month earlier than all fo my friends.

Then not shortly after that I received my Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in girl scouts. Those two events were the biggest achievement of my life. My mother and I were not getting along. She had started dating someone and I was still trying to cope with the problems I had. Which leads all up to now. I am now engaged to the boyfriend I had 3 years ago, I was laid off from Younkers in February and still am searching for a job. I am struggling with my bills. My dad went through chemotherapy and hes doing better. However, just recently I was so hurt by my father once again. Just a few weeks ago I found out that my dads gambling problem got worse and he committed fraud. I am the closest child to my father. I fear I will not see him for a long time after all we've been through. I am supposed to visit him this weekend about 2 days before his trial. I do not know exactly what I am going to say to him. He doesnt even know that his daughter in law is pregnant and he's going to be a grandpa. I don't want to see my father behind a piece of glass for 30 minutes after having to drive 10 hours to see him. Life is hard. I don't know why my life has been troubled, but all I know is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I feel I don't deserve this. I am always there for everybody. I am a caring person who does community service and wants badly to go to college, but has no money. I feel that I deserve so much better than being hurt and dealing with this beyond normal hardship.I wish I had some support and I wish I could have a friend who could relate. I know that good things come to those who wait, so until that day comes, I will have to deal with it all the best way I know how.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:01pm
Wow, that is definitely a lot for a person to go through. My thoughts are definitely with you. I can tell that you are a very strong person though and I have no doubt that you will overcome your obsticles and become successful.

About wanting to go to college - if you have the desire, you can make it happen. There are plenty of good community colleges and state universities where the tuition is reasonable. You can take classes part time so you can work. There are also plenty of scholarships and grants availible, you just have to find them and apply. I think something like a million dollars worth of scholarships go unclaimed every year because no one applies. So if you want to go to school, go for it. You can work it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 12:21am
Title: There's a blessing to be gained in every hardship

I remember you from an earlier post - and I'm so sorry things are still so difficult for you and your family. You defintely have a different tone in this post, as though you are really beginning to deal with these issues in a very mature manner. Good for you!

It's your last paragraph that touched my heart, and that I can relate to the most - "Life is hard. I don't know why my life has been troubled, but all I know is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I feel I don't deserve this. I am always there for everybody. I am a caring person who does community service and wants badly to go to college, but has no money. I feel that I deserve so much better ..... I know that good things come to those who wait, so until that day comes, I will have to deal with it all the best way I know how."

My life has been no bed of roses, either - but there are some lessons I've learned over the years that help me deal with issues like these when they happen. I don't know if you are a religious person or not, but I am - and that's how I maintained my sanity and optimism through all the he** that life has put me through. For one thing, I believe that God chooses the strongest spirits for a special purpose - and that our life here on earth is a training ground for that purpose. If you endure more trials than most people, then you must be a lucky spirit. You are chosen! Also, it says somewhere in the Bible that God never gives us more than we can handle (or something like that) - and I hold to that belief for all I'm worth. It has given me strength when I thought I had no strength left.

I also learned somewhere along the way that there's a blessing in every trial we go through, and if you look hard enough, you will see it. Call it a silver lining on every cloud, if you like. No matter what terrible things happen to you in life, there is always something good to come from it - maybe you learned a lesson, or you helped someone else, or maybe you just became stronger because of the experience.

For example, many years ago I was a newly-divorced mother, full-time college student, living on low-income rent assistance, food stamps and my student loans. During my student teaching semester, my rent-house burned to the ground and I lost everything. I had no family within 500 miles, except my 7-yo son. I was new to the city and had not had time to make any friends - even with my neighbors. My young son was at school, so we were not hurt - but we were all alone, homeless, penniless, jobless, and I was scared to death. I cried and prayed - asking God why this could happen to me and my son, especially now during the lowest time in my life.

The answer didn't come right away, but it did come. Standing in the yard of my burned-out house, I met all of my neighbors and made wonderful friends. One gave us a place to sleep, food, and access to her phone. Another salvaged what clothing and dishes she could from the house. Another showed up with his pickup truck and a strong back to help clean up the mess. Another found another house for us, nicer than the other one and cheaper rent - just a few doors down the street. My son's school donated food, furniture and money to help. Students at my school gave us cleaning supplies, a television, toys and clothes. I came home (my new home) one day and found a complete living room and dining room set on the front lawn - from a complete stranger.

A few weeks later, an elder in my church asked what needs we had that had not been met, and I told him only one: for someone to turn off the faucet! I already had two living room sets, five kitchen utensil sets, more clothes and toys than we ever had before, cabinets bulging with food.... and still the donations were coming! He said, "Don't be too hasty. If you deny someone the opportunity to help you, then you are denying that person a chance to receive a blessing."

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. So that was it!!! That's the blessing that was to be gained from my misfortune! So, I accepted all donations, and gave what I didn't need to a local program that helps homeless families. When it was all over, I had sent out over 200 thank-you notes - and those only to the donors I had identified - there were many more! This is just one example - but it got me started looking for the positive in every negative situation. It's there, always!

I wanted to talk to you about college, also. I know you say you have no money for college, but that shouldn't stop you! The other poster is right about unclaimed scholarship money, grants, loans, etc. - It's not that hard to get the financial help you need to go to college. There are even some colleges that offer FREE tuition. College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri - www.cofu.edu - is one of these, and it has one of the best academic programs in the country. There may be others in your region if you don't want to study so far from home. You can also study at a community college for your general ed. courses, then transfer these credits to a university to finish a four-year degree if that's what you want to do.

Please, please, please... Go visit a college or university admissions office - talk to the financial aid counselor about what's available, or even go back to your old high school and see your counselor there - they'll guide you in the right direction. I think you'll be surprised.

My prayers are with you, Elizabeth. I can almost feel your strong spirit shining through your posts - and I can tell you are most definitely a very intelligent young woman by the phrasing in your post. Absolutely, you ARE college material. Go for it!!!

One more thing: In a teaching class at college, we had just completed essays about how our life experiences had affected the values we each hold today. After reading my essay, my professor said I was gifted and had far above-average intelligence. I asked her why she felt this way. Her response: People who endure horrible childhoods (abuse, alcoholic parents, homelessness, etc.) and triumph over that pattern are almost always of very high intelligence. She said it takes a special gift to see past a childhood like that and not give in to living a life of drug abuse, alcohol, crime, repeating the cycle, etc. - instead, a gifted person surpasses all that and makes their own life much better. I can see that in you, Elizabeth. You only need to believe in yourself and go get it.

Best of luck to you - and God's grace be with you. E-mail me anytime, if you want to talk - my name is Leta. Star1art@kc.rr.com .

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 9:54am
There's not much I can add to the previous post. I totally agree with everything except I would make one more point. (Don't want to offend anyone) My (personal) belief in God is based on believing the Bible and all it says about Jesus Christ. Now, I've come to realize two things: LIFE IS NEVER FAIR and I am thankful that it's not b/c fairness would not have allowed Jesus to go through all He did for me. That thought keeps things in perspective for me. My thoughts and prayers are with you.