Strength After Weakness

Brittany - Raleigh, North Carolina
Entered on June 14, 2011

I believe that what does not kill you only makes you stronger. All the events that occur in one’s life, whether positive or negative, shape that individual and make him or her who he or she is.

I have been through quite a bit thus far in my life. I have experienced being at the lowest of the low as well as the highest of the high. I believe that my childhood experiences and happenings have definitely contributed to who I am today. Growing up, it was always me, my older brother , and my parents. I would say we were the typical happy, loving, well-rounded family that spent tons of time together. We ate dinner at the table every night, had family game nights, and went somewhere fun every Saturday. Both of my parents were very supportive of me and B and they consistently encouraged us to our best in anything that we put our mind to. Coming from my point of view as a child, I thought my parents were perfect and had no imperfections.

In 2000, when I was 10 years old and B was 15, my family crumbled. My mom found out that my Dad had been having an affair. I didn’t really comprehend what was going on at the time but I knew that my Mom was emotionally hurt. My Dad decided to abandon our family and go live with the “other” woman. Not only did my Dad leave his family but he also left all of his responsibilities on my Mom. It was difficult going from being able to get the things I wanted to having to watch my Mom stress over our next meal. It was just me, B, and my Mom. Once we lost our house and car, B and I went to live with friends of the family until my Mom was able to get back on her feet. My Mom lived in a boarding house so I only got to see her on the weekends. After two years had passed, my Mom bounced back from the situation and was finally able to buy a house and a car. Most importantly my Mom was able to bring B and I back together, and we no longer had to live separately.

Although that was a very depressing time in my life, I know it happened for a reason. When I look back on how I experienced transitioning from being in a happy family to a single-parent home, many thoughts come to my mind. I could have a great deal of hate towards my Dad, like B does, or I could blame the “other” woman, who is now my stepmom. Instead of being angry, I look at the whole situation as a tribulation that contributed to my becoming the woman I am today. If I had not experienced this I probably would not be as humble, appreciative, strong-minded, and independent as I am. After having the freedom to be able to get the things I wanted and then switching to being limited and not able to afford the things I want caused me to be humble and appreciative of the things that I do have.

It’s amazing to me what life can throw at us. Everyone has his/her own story to tell and I find it interesting the way things work out. There is always someone whose situation is much better or worse than your own. I love the woman that I have developed into today due to some of my past experiences. When we struggle with experiences that are painful, depressing, and detrimental, the outcomes are always beneficial if we look at how much stronger we are as a person once they are over. No one likes to go through hard times or experience cloudy, rainy days but sunshine always comes after the rain. So I guess it’s safe for me to say that I agree with Nietschze that “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.” This I truly believe.