Everyone has great stories; stories that are funny, sad and beautiful all at the same time. My story is probably the most difficult I have ever written in my life. Nobody can ever tell my story other than myself. Reminiscing about my childhood and also going through family photo albums has helped me write my story I’m about to tell. Need I mention, I also had my parents think back to my first couple years in life to find out what kind of a baby I was. All of these thoughts got me to ask myself, “What is my story? Briefly I can say, my family of origin, my culture, my gender, my older brother, my friends, and also my health has helped me shape into a mature woman.Order now
I definitely did not have the “perfect” childhood but, all the experiences I went through have made me become who I am today. During infancy, my mother did mention I had a hard time developing the difference between trust vs. mistrust. Ever since I was born, I was not only raised by my mother but, also with a caregiver. Being born to career minded parents was a tough toll on me and also on my older brother.
We were always with multiple caregivers which was confusing to us because we didn’t recognize at first who our real mother was. Especially to me because I was just a baby and I were still trying to understand my surroundings. From what I was told, I never really interacted well with any of my caregivers. I was scared almost all the time and was crying almost every minute. I was uncomfortable and was unfamiliar with all the faces that were introduced because it wasn’t my mothers. This was very bad for my development because I started to not eat a lot and whenever I did eat I was throwing it up right after.
My parents concern about my health was very important to them so fortunately they found a solution. For some reason, the only person that gave me comfort and made sure I was okay when my parents weren’t around was my older brother. His face and voice was the only one I was familiar with which helped me feel more comfortable. Whenever a caregiver had a hard time with feeding me; they had to call upon my brother to make sure it happened. Knowing that I trusted him at such a young age just shows me how early interactions can make a big difference later on.
My brother and I might be just 4 years apart but, I never knew how much of his presence meant so much to me that young. As I started my years as a toddler, the one person that took the blame for my troublesome actions was my older brother. If I was ever caught doing something bad, he took the blame. I wish my brother never did this because I started to think maybe everything I was doing was his fault. I started blaming him and I never learned my lesson; what I thought was wrong wasn’t my problem anymore. Eventually my caregiver and my parents figured out the problem and made sure no errors were made again.
During this time I also figured out the whole meaning of potty training. I was developing the feeling of shame and didn’t want to grow up fast because of the change from diapers to underwear. There were definitely other changes like the difference between female and male toys and also understanding the difference between both genders. I remember from couple pictures of me when I was 3, I never wanted to stop playing with my brother’s toys because we always shared most of our toys so young but, eventually he was getting older and realizing his independence and I always wanted to do the same.
Eventually I started understanding that cars and trains were played by boys and dolls and dresses were played by girls. I can definitely say gender roles are still the same as it was back then. The locomotive stage I would say was the last years of my life being normal. I started to be more independent of my own interests. I still had my brother watching over me but, I made sure I was opening myself up to new activities. This is the time when I found some talents like singing, drawing, dancing, and also swimming.
I was great in all of them and I had great support from my family too. The only negative that came out of it was that I was super busy with different schedules and I never really had the time to do other things like learning to ride a bicycle or hanging out more with my neighborhood friends. This was also the time when I moved from North India to Dubai. A new surrounding meant new home, new friends, new life and I wasn’t very happy with that decision. And as always the only person that was there that felt the same as me was my older brother.
Even if we understood each other, this locomotive stage is also when we had sibling rivalry. We started to compete about everything and always had our routine fights on the daily. I can definitely say my grandmother kept us sane because she taught us not to verbally and physically hurt each other but, to keep each other happy. That didn’t stop us from thinking bad thoughts about each other or trying to get the other person in trouble! Jealousy had a lot to do with it because winning our mothers or grandmothers love was more important than anything else.
The latency period was the hardest for me to adjust into because most of my rebellious attitudes started then. I believe it all started when I was 8 years old, the most intense year of my life because I was molested at such a young age. That memory is hard to erase because it pretty much changed my childhood completely! This incident kept going on for about 3 years and it was very tough for me because I was faced with this trauma for the rest of my life. I was also confused because I never understood why I was being molested or if this was how males interacted with females.
I knew it was wrong because it was an older man but, I didn’t know if it was normal. Knowing that this was a serious matter and I was embarrassed about it, I couldn’t tell anyone about it. Even to this day my own family does not know about it because I feel like they would feel guiltier about it than me. This has made such a psychological effect on me that I keep pretty much everything to myself. It has also affected my trust issues with everyone I met. I used to keep a big distance away from everyone and I never really cared to have many friends.
I just knew that the less people I was around, the more comfortable I was. My parents thought the only reason why I kept my distance with everyone was probably an age matter or my mood swings. It didn’t help the fact that I started my menstrual cycle at age 10 either! Dealing with developmental changes, and now psychological changes was too much to handle. One way I did cope with my feelings was through drawing or like Anna Freud mentions in Necessary Losses, “Sublimation. ” Just like a hobby, I used to pour all my feelings out on a piece of paper.
For others it was just a talent I picked up but, for me it was therapeutic. One story which was humorous to me was the time when I was 12. In art class, the teacher asked the class to draw just a rough sketch about anything and I decided to draw a person being cut up into pieces by 3 women. Till this day, I have no idea what I was thinking drawing that but, I know I did get a call to the principal’s office with my parents that same day. I still remember what the principal said, “Ann, you have an amazing sketch book but, I think your drawings are frightening Mrs.
Heckstrom. ” As funny as it may seem to me, deep down inside I knew I had some problems. Part of me sometimes wished I did mention it to my parents about the incident but, I felt like they wouldn’t believe me because I was just getting into so much trouble. Once I hit high school, I made friends with people that were probably going through rough times in their lives also and I became more open to sharing my feelings with some. My adolescence stage was also another rough time in my life.
I was happy I was interacting with others but, I knew I was interacting with the wrong group of people. I started smoking and skipping school from time to time and also staying out late past my curfew which my parents weren’t dealing with very well. Part of me knew my parents were giving up on me and whatever help they tried to push me with I just ignored it to the fullest. You might be wondering what about the relationship between you and your brother. Well, my brother decided to move with my cousin in another state and finish his junior high and high school there.
That was a big change in life because I didn’t have the role model I needed to keep myself from getting in trouble. Once I hit 16 and started to drive, I also got myself involved into a serious relationship with someone older than me. Some people call it just “young love” but, to me it felt like a real commitment I had with someone else. The only reason why this relationship got serious was because I finally had someone who could understand my feelings and didn’t judge me after. He was the only person who kept me sane and made sure I was doing right in school and after school.
Let’s just say we fell in “love”! It meant more to me than anything else and I wouldn’t let myself out of that relationship. In time, I started to realize what I thought was love was not really what I expected it to be. Getting myself involved with an 18 year old was not smart first of all, which resulted in an abusive relationship and also me being pregnant. I know I hit the peek for my parents when I had to tell them. Being pregnant at age 16 was just a normal case in my high school but, to my parents it was just devastating especially to my culture.
I knew I just put myself in a situation that I know I won’t be able to handle without any support and the support I was getting just came from one person and it was him. I knew it was time for me to let go of my childish behavior and start growing up because my life is going to turn 360 in 9 months. What was unexpected was that I had a miscarriage two months into my pregnancy. I believe this was just the most devastating moment in my life! Losing my old habits was okay with me but, this incident just hit rock bottom.
I was hit with depression medications and counselors so quick that I pretty much gave up hope on my life. Everyone had the fear that I probably wanted to commit suicide or hurt myself really bad but, I knew I was not going to take it that far. Everything was bottled up inside me and eventually I decided to start using other methods to cope with it. I started heavy drinking at age 18 and using substances that didn’t keep me sober most of the day. I was pretty much forcing myself out of reality which was not good for my health at all.
With all the excessive drinking, I gained about 35 pounds and I became more insecure about myself. There were times when my own family used to point out my weight problem and I was not happy about it. Even through all of this, I never put myself into rehab or other institutions because I didn’t want to accept my mistakes. Luckily, I was introduced to faith and this was the only thing that helped me heal myself internally and externally. I devoted my time to God and erase the negative aspects of my life and started fixing myself day by day.
It took me 4 years to clear out everything I went through and trust me when I say this; it was the best feeling ever at the end. I never knew what happiness was until I found my faith. Yes, I was lucky enough to make it into dental school and also survive a car accident but, I knew all of these experiences just made me a better person today. My childhood was clearly not the best but, I am blessed to be alive today. Every step of my life has shaped me into the person I am today and I can definitely say, I do not regret anything that has happened in my life.
This class itself has definitely taught me a lot about myself and how to deal with my emotions. Being able to write my life story was probably the most challenging to me! I took the risk to write down tough moments in my life which I never bought up to anybody else other than my best friend. I have learned to accept my mistakes and to correct them in a manner which can be a positive outcome in my life rather than a negative. Overall, I really enjoyed writing this paper and I know it took me a long time to find out who I am but, I can happily stand here and say I am an independent woman.