This I Believe

Joshua - Fairfield, Connecticut
Entered on March 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in overcoming obstacles, no matter how far-fetched they are. I am 15 years old and I have had a tremendous life. When I was younger I didn’t have one of the best home situations. My father passed away when I was only 4 years old. Not only did this make my mother a widow, but it left my three older brothers and me without a father. Eventually my mother and I moved to Connecticut to live with her new boyfriend. I was totally against this at first, but as we settled in I found out that I could now get away with almost anything that I did. My mother could as well. This made me feel like the parent in a lot of situations. For instance, one night when she came home and I had some friends over; she was completely “gone” in a sense. I associate this with the saying “do as I say, not as I do” and it still lingers in my head. The emotional manipulation that I endured from my mother while she was a substance abuser hurt more than you could imagine. When I was 11 years old my mother would leave me at home for weeks at a time, with a brief conversation on the phone as to where she was and if she was okay. Did she ever consider how this hurt me? Enough was enough and I soon moved into one of my friend’s homes with even less parenting. I picked up some bad habits, but I stopped them when I felt that I was getting in too deep. I just knew that what I was doing was not only wrong, but ruined my everyday life as well. For example, when I was living with my friend I didn’t care about going to school and I missed so many days I almost lost credit in school. I knew I just didn’t want to be in that situation and I couldn’t take it anymore. By now I was only a 13 year old kid, so no matter how hard I tried there were not many options for me. But I wouldn’t let myself give up. Although I couldn’t care less about school or anything else, I had to keep going or at least struggle to try. I felt that my Dad, in essence, would want to me succeed and prosper. And when my great grandfather passed away I finally received my opportunity. I went to live with my Aunt and Uncle. I’ve been away from all of the negative things that almost ruined my life. Without the desire to escape my old habits I have no idea where I would be today. I don’t think I would trade my experience for anything. It gave me my belief in overcoming obstacles. And it gave me a connection to my dad.