This I Believe

Wendy - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on May 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

I often sit and reminisce on a childhood that was really tough. There was always a sense of feeling like I never belonged and how I felt like an outcast in every setting. As an adult, I sit and wonder how anyone could expect a child to endure the things that I did and live to talk about it. I could have easily been a chronically depressed person or committed suicide. Now that I’m reflecting 30 years ago, I can honestly say that my relationship and prayers with God guided me through the hard times.

As a child it felt like better times were miles away. It was as if, problems within my life had a domino effect that lasted an eternity. There were many times in my life were I didn’t look for the storm to end, instead I looked for the storm to settle down. I’d gotten to the point where I was a custom to negative settings and attributes within my life. I would sit and wonder; well I know it’s coming so I may as well be prepared.

I’m amazed at how I survived such trials and tribulations at such an early age. Here I was a 4 year old, going through an emotional roller coaster of neglect and disappointment time after time. I was afraid to get attached or settled to anything or anyone for the fear of knowing that my life shifted on a consistent basis. I knew in my heart that as soon as I get comfortable, social services would be back to pick me up again. It was like starting a new job every couple of months. As an adult adapting to a new environment can be difficult, so imagine how it feels for a child. All of me and my belonging in a big black trash bag, relocating time after time. I remembered the day my social worker bought me a suitcase, that was a happy event in my life, or the time she allowed me to spend the night over her house. I wasn’t a mischievous child and couldn’t figure out why these things were happening to me. My caseworker had taken me to see my biological mother 2 or 3 times but I was officially a foster child residing within Lutheran Social Services in Virginia. Why didn’t my biological mother want me? How could she look me in my eyes and say “Hi Tremaine” without wanting to grasp me in her arms? I wasn’t privileged to have an adequate family foundation and it scarred me for life. The wound may have healed but the scar still remains.

Today I believe what I’ve gone through as a child has made me a stronger individual. I live by example, some that I’ve unconditionally inherited and others are just common sense standards that I abide by. I’m a brilliant, determined, courageous and feisty ball of fire. I am a force to be wrecked with, yet a sensitive generous caring person. The early on experiences that I endured as a child have helped formed my character today. I look at problems today with a total different aspect. I realize that things could always be worse and you’ve got to attempt to make the best out of the hand you’re dealt. I also know that you’ve got to come swinging really hard to break my character because I’m mighty force. My life experiences are evidence that what doesn’t kill you, make you stronger and I’m definitely stronger. This is I truly do believe.