This I Believe

Elizabeth - Grand Junction, Colorado
Entered on March 16, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: work

I grew up in foster care. My mother was a drug addict and my father an alcoholic. I moved out on my own when I was 14. I always worked 2 jobs, and never got into trouble. From a young age I always knew there was no one to catch me if I fall. So if I wanted to succeed, I had to do it on my own. I got marrie at 20 and had 3 children by the time I was 27. My ex-husband was very abusive. When he tried to shoot me I took the kids and got divorced. I never asked anyone for help, never went on public assistance, and worked hard. I found my mother after 25 years of not knowing were she was, and she was still on drugs. On July 7, 2005 I got a call telling me to come identify my mothers body in Arkansas. She died of a meth overdose. I am now 33 a senior at Mesa State College and a single mother of 3 beautiful children. I have worked for the same employer for 12 years, and I do not recieve child support nor any public aid. Myself and my children are happier now and safe. We may not have everything, but we have each other. I am getting my degree in criminal justice and plan on going to law school (god willing). I want my children to have the oppurtunities I did not have. I got my GED when I was 14 because I had to work. I would have loved to finish high school, but I knew what I had to do to take care of myself. Me and my brother were seperated for 14 years, and we now have a wonderful relationship. He is a state trooper. We never got into trouble, although many people did not expect us to succeed in life. I want to teach my children that you control your destiny. I suffered abuse, homelessness, and heartbreak as a child. But I feel it has made me the strong person I am today. I now talk to my father, but our relationship is strained. He has lung cancer, and we do not expect him to be here 5 years from now. But, I do thank my parents. Even though they were not there, I learned to make due. I learned to fight for yourself and the ones you love. Now that I am a mother, I would do anything for my children. My goals are to finish law schooland become a guardian ad libem. I want to fight for children who can’t do it for themselves. I want to give my children the values I have and provide a future for them were they can finish high school and go on to college. I hope they see me, and see that I worked full time and went to school full time and took care of them alone, and they are inspired to go on to college and succeed in whatever they choose to do. I am a firm believer that you make your destiny not your environment, put your mind to it and it can be done. Cherish everyday you are here with your loved ones. That is my philosophy on life. I believe anyone has the potential to succeed, no matter their circumstances. I overcame the odds, and I plan on continueing to do so.