This I Believe

Christina - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on June 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My mother passed away on February 20, 2008. To this day, I often think about my high school years and my early years in college. I could not stand being around my mother, and I was sure glad to get away from home and go to college. There was constant yelling in our house and my mother was often critical of my stepfather, my brother, and me.

My mom gave me no confidence, was always critical of me, lost her temper, and mocked the way I talked. It is sad that I was afraid to talk to my own mother. It was hard talking with her because she was so critical. No matter what I did, I never seemed to make her happy. I do not understand why I could never make her happy because I am a good person. She expected me to read and write a lot, and she got me to baby-sit my little brother a lot. There are struggles that I face today because I have a learning difference and I have problems with speech. Academics are a struggle for me. My mother wanted me to focus mainly on my education and she also wanted me to do some volunteering in hospitals. She thought that volunteering was more important than having a paying job. My mother did not want me to get my driver’s license until after I graduated from college. She also did not want me to get married. She did not think that I needed to go to speech therapy because she thought that my speech would never improve. As for my education, my mother wanted me to major in Child Life and pursue a career as a Child Life Specialist. Being a Child Life Specialist sounded good to me because of my volunteering experience in hospitals. I knew my mother would be happy if I graduated with a degree in Child Life, so I made that my major. I often had doubts whether I really wanted to be a Child Life Specialist or if I would ever make it in that field.

It was difficult for me to make choices in my life because of my mother. I just let her make decisions for me, and I tried to make her happy because I did not want to disappoint her. Basically, I follow my mother’s orders. I just put up with her and held my anger inside. It felt like my life was different than anyone else’s. I hated my life and sometimes questioned why I was on this earth. I did not give myself much credit, and I did not believe in myself. I felt like my life was going nowhere. I believe that what I went through has affected me very much.

Well, things have turned around for me since my mother’s death. I changed my major to Family and Community Service. I have been going to speech therapy to improve my speech and voice. I have a part-time job working at a day care, and I do not volunteer anymore. My test scores in school have improved. I have some confidence and I am starting to believe in myself. Unfortunately, there will be a delay of my graduation but it is worth it. There are still goals for me to accomplish such as getting my license and improving my voice. I believe that the changes are helping me emotionally, physically, and cognitively. I am currently happy with my life. I believe that I am learning to like life because of the changes, and I am taking charge of my life. That is something that I could not do in the past because of my mother. I now feel free and nothing will stop me to get to where I want to be in life. Overall, I believe that I was unhappy when my mother was around because I was doing things to make her happy. I did not respect myself or make my own decisions. If she was still around, I believe that I would still be the same person that I was, and I would be unhappy with my life. I believe that things are much better for me now, and I believe that I am going to be successful in life.