Negativity Can Equal Positivity

Rachel - Thornton, Colorado
Entered on September 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve had what seems to be the weight of the world on my shoulders, and now that much of that weight has been lifted, I think of how some of the negative experiences I’ve gone through over the past few years have helped me become the person I am today. This I believe: some negative experiences in life can have a positive influence on your life.

When I was only 13 years old, I lost two of the most important people in my life; within just two weeks of each other. I lost my father, my hero, to pneumonia. Then on the day of my father’s funeral, I lost someone else to pneumonia, someone who had been like a daughter to me: my younger sister. This experience left me heart broken and though there is nothing really good that can come from the loss of two loved ones, the loss of my father and younger sister showed me that we shouldn’t take for granted the time we have with our loved ones. I’ve realized that the famous saying “You never know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” is true!

Living with my mother during this time of grief affected me in many ways, but mostly because I was sort of forced to grow up and become an adult prematurely. My mother fell into deep depression and turned heavily to drugs, so since I was the oldest of my two brothers and I, I took on all the responsibilities my mother couldn’t handle at the time. I was cooking, cleaning, and going grocery shopping with the little money my unemployed mother had. I was even skipping school sometimes so that I could be at home with my half brother who wasn’t even old enough to be in school yet; I was practically raising my two brothers. Taking on these kinds of responsibilities taught me how to be strong and prepared me for some of the things I’ll have to do as a mother of my own children someday, and made me really begin to value school.

During the time I was raising my brothers, social services learned of my mother’s depression and addictions, and they saw it best that my brothers and I live somewhere more suitable for children; somewhere without our mother. My half brother went to his dad, my other brother to our maternal grandparents, and I went to a foster home. I was constantly worried about my brothers and was going through a depression stage myself, so school became almost impossible for me to concentrate in at the time. This part of my life taught me to have high endurance, tenacity, and also opened up my eyes to the option of becoming a foster mother someday to help children.

Everything happened so fast, but I’ve overcome the many obstacles of my life and now have a sense of family and home. My brothers and I are happily being taken care of by paternal family and we’re able to have good and positive lives. This was a sob story, but I don’t want it to be received that way because that’s not how I live it, and because this I believe: some negative experiences in life can have a positive influence on your life.