Question of the Week: Positive Impact

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Question of the Week: Positive Impact
6
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 2:33am
I thought that for this week's question I would ask who in your life has had the most positive impact on you? Please feel free to share the particulars about how and why this person has influenced you in this way.

I know that for me, growing up with abuse, I looked to a lot of outside sources for approval and acceptance. I suspect that this may be the case for a lot of people who deal with abuse, especially if it happens at home. I can look back on my life and identify key people who were literally lifesavers to me, and they probably didn't even know it.

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

Avatar for opal45
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 9:08am
I used to babysit for this one family when I was growing up. They were fairly new into the neighborhood. I guess part of it was their freshness and the other part was the mom was so cool. I often went to their house just to hang out. She would smoke cigarettes, drink diet soda and I loved the way she would cuss. It was great! It felt real. I also felt so accepted. And feeling accepted was a huge gift to me back then.

Now, she was the most influential person as I was growing up. But the most influencial person in my life and healing has been a friend of mine. This woman was sexually abused by her grandfather and she started down this path about 5 years ahead of me. She also ran the center where I've taken those self-esteem workshops I've mentioned in the past. Well, her wisdom and guidance have been invaluable to me through the years. One time we were doing a forgiveness exercise and I was balking big time. I was so afraid of forgiving my abusers before I had a chance to fully purge the feelings I was holding. In her gentleness, she helped me see I was NOT forgiving him for what he had done, I was letting go of my expectations. In that release I was truly able to see more clearly what he had done to me. It actually helped me to get to the feelings I was holding onto. With her help, I was really able to get beyond a point where I was so stuck and in such pain. It was just a very pivotal time for me.

She's been such a gift to me. One of these days (soon) I must let her know how much she means to me.

Good question Heidi!

**gentle hugs**

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 1:58pm
One person that has had a positive impact on my life has rather been more like a family..my husband's. They accepted me with open arms...we'd only been dating a month when it was Christmas time. I came back from visiting my parents (and after telling my mother about Paul, getting an earful about how I didn't need a man in life but needed to focus on my career...and she kept calling up old boyfriends of mine to tell them I was in town!!) to find that my MIL had gone out and bought me a few Christmas presents.

When we conceived our first child and decided we'd get married, they stood by us. Paul went out to sea and I miscarried a few days later. I would not have made it through that time if it hadn't been for my inlaws (we weren't married yet)...my FIL took off work to take me to/from the hospital for the D&C. Even though we still didn't "need" to get married, they continued to support us; and always have. My mother didn't come for the wedding, and still refuses to truly get to know Paul.

My MIL was integral to bringing me to Christ, and for that I will always be indebted to her.

Basically, his whole family just showed me how a true family is, and should be, and they've been such a blessing in my life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 1:59pm
There were two people like this. One was my husband. I met him when I was 16. We were set up on a blind date, and he called me before we actually met in person. I think that we fell in love on the phone, or at least I did. I was a very shy person, but for some reason (that reason being a normal childhood and loving parents), he spoke to me as if I were a person. I don't know how else to explain it. But he treated me with respect and consideration from that very first phone call. I hadn't experienced that before. It grew from there. When we were together, he listened to me. He just gave me attention in a way no one ever had before. He made me feel like I was worth paying attention to.

The other person was a college professor I had who did the same thing, but instead of it being on a personal level, it was on a educational/professional level. I *really* admired her, and she made me feel like the things I said and thought mattered and were worthwhile and important. Thinking of it that way, I realize now that's my primary teaching tactic for my students, too. Once you can get a student to feel as if something they're saying is worthwhile and important--to really believe it, deep down--there's no holding them back. Everyone has something to contribute; it's just a matter of getting them to believe it. The art of listening is severely under-rated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 2:05pm
mamaelizabeth--are you a Navy wife, too? Is your dh still in the Navy? Mine is. His ship is in the Gulf right now. They've been gone for four months. After reading your post, I wished I had included my in-laws in mine, too. I feel so lucky to have a second chance at having a family.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 11:34pm
Sorry it took me all week to get to this! I knew immediately who I wanted to mention but it's been a crazy week and I wanted to be able to take the time to post thoughtfully. Hopefully that doesn't necessarily mean LONG! LOL

As I've mentioned before, I relied heavily on outside sources for self-esteem and approval, since I did not get that at home. Because I needed that from my mother, the approval of my teachers was really important to me, whether at school, church, dance lessons, etc. I craved compliments and approval.

My second grade teacher was a lady who never married or had children, so her schoolkids WERE her children. She was no-nonsense, but loving at the same time. When disciplining a child she took the time to sit and talk about the situation, and teach a lesson. She told us she loved us. She was wonderfully creative. On our birthdays she made each of us a "birthday book" of cards all the kids made, and her card was the cover of the book. She would decorate the cover in our favorite colors, decorate the cake as though it were our favorite kind, and the ice cream cone was decorated as our favorite flavor. She introduced me to the wonderful world of books; she read aloud every day to us and had the most wonderful vocal expressions.

I knew that she loved me. For many years I wanted to be a second grade teacher because of her. When I get brave enough, I want to go back to school to go into counseling. This will require a master's degree, and I have an associate's. For my bachelor's I'm pretty sure I want to do Elementary Education. She is still my inspiration.

Now here is the coolest thing--when we moved back to where I am from, my kids attended the same school I did, and she was still teaching second grade! Both of my kids had her as THEIR second grade teacher! A year after she taught my youngest she retired. I feel so fortunate that she could be a part of my children's lives.

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

Avatar for opal45
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 8:45am
Wow, your story of your teacher becoming the teacher of your children gave me goosebumps. That's so beautiful.

Hope things settle down for you soon.

**gentle hugs**

Gail

**gentle hugs**