This I Believe

Nathan - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

“Make every negative into a positive: Nothing goes to waste, you put it all to use. The old wounds and long ago slights become stuff of competitive energy.” These are the words Lance Armstrong heard from his own mother amidst his battle with cancer. These words strike me in such a manner that I can’t help but smile. I believe in survival. I believe that one must play the hand their dealt, regardless of the circumstances.

It was in the blink of an eye that my life would take a drastic turn and force me to become the strong-willed person that I am today. The moment my stepdad cocked back and hit my mom, my life was thrust into a world of turmoil. I was growing accustomed to the non stop arguing, but I never thought it would turn physical. I constantly had to console my mom as she was in tears over another verbal bashing. It’s not easy being a 17 year old boy having to hold your own mom while trying to ease her pain. My mom was standing atop the stairs, when my stepdad came jolting down the hallway. He was calling her, “a dumb bitch”, and telling her she was worthless. Then he did the unthinkable. After hitting her he stormed out the house, racing away on his motorcycle. Once he was long gone and I finally had my mom calmed down, the police were called. Thoughts were racing through my head, but most importantly I knew that I had to stay positive. It would be up to me to keep my mom sane. When my step-dad tried to come home later that night the police were waiting outside our house. I peered through my blinds in absolute fear, watching him being handcuffed. The stage was not set for a very tough future, and I was committing myself to being the most positive person I could be.

Just when I thought things had reached their peak; it became worse. My mom agreed to take him back. I refused to live with him. Lucky for me, I was blessed with a friend’s family that would allow me to live with them. For the first time in my life I wasn’t living with my mom.

The potential for failure was there for me. I had two choices: see everything that has happened as a negative and give up on life or see everything as a positive and build my character. Without hesitation, I knew option two was for me. I wasn’t going to let myself fail.

I have never begged for attention or even asked for sympathy, but instead saw it as a learning experience. Until this day, my mom is still with my step-dad, and still miserable. I love my mom more than any person in the world and it kills me to see her in pain, but through it all I believe that I must stay strong. I believe in survival and playing the hand your dealt, and I will continue to do so with the most positive attitude that I can!!!