Your Start in Life Doesn't Matter as Much as Where You End Up

  1. 25

    The 'victim mentality' has been running rampant in society. Even though aspects of my upbringing were dysfunctional, I refused to become a victim. Rather than feel sorry for myself, I took active steps to enrich my life so I could avoid stumbling into the societal ills that plagued my family of origin. Some would say that I succeeded in the face of adversity. Here is a small part of my story.

    My name is _____, and I am a nurse who climbed a series of uphill battles to get to the place where I am today.

    I'm a firm believer that your origins in life do not carry nearly as much importance as your present or future. Even if you had a less-than-ideal start during your growing-up years, this upbringing will not necessarily decide your future unless you purposely adopt the mentality of a perpetual victim.

    I am the only child of married parents who were in their early twenties at the time of my birth (1981). At the time, my mother was a production line worker at a solar products factory and remained employed at the same job site for more than 24 years. My father was an entry level technician at an electronics company. Although they had no education or formal vocational training beyond the high school level, their combined incomes enabled them to afford extras such as occasional restaurant meals, toys, nice clothes, trips to the hair salon, and day trips.

    Fast forward a few years. I was five years old when my father abruptly quit his job at the electronics company that had employed him for eight years. He began abusing alcohol, became addicted to illegal drugs, and no longer wanted anyone to have any authority over him, including workplace supervisors and bosses. It pains me to mention that, during these years, his priority in life revolved around chasing the next high. His behavior became volatile, and sometimes he was downright violent.

    Some people would say that letting young children know about household financial difficulties is unacceptable. However, my mother's modest pay was the only source of money, and she really could not hide the fact that the refrigerator was empty. She could not dance around the fact that the telephone service was disconnected. She could not keep secret the one time the electricity had been turned off. She could not withhold the fact that the car was repossessed. She could not conceal the one time when no Christmas presents appeared under the tree.

    My father had been out of the labor force for nearly four years when he stopped using drugs and secured employment. However, self-inflicted long term unemployment damaged his career to the point where his next string of jobs were rather menial with low earnings. It was still up to my mother's income to keep the household afloat.

    I have a myriad of horrid memories from my early and middle childhood years. However, I feel that my unpleasant experiences strengthened my character in a way nothing else possibly could. During my preteen years I decided that I never wanted to use drugs, be in an unhealthy relationship, or struggle financially. I realized that education was a ticket to a better life.

    To keep a long story short, I earned good grades while in school and accepted responsibility for anything that was not going well in my life. I refused to be a victim. As a young adult I sought professional help to address the demons from my past. I obtained marketable job training to lessen the likelihood of slipping into poverty. I imagined myself in a better place, and in a few years, I actually ended up in a better place.

    In other words, your start in life doesn't matter as much as where you end up. An optimistic outlook and a proactive approach to handling situations will help you thrive in the face of adversity. You can have almost anything you want out of life as long as you work toward it and keep up the persistence. Good luck to anyone out there who feels trapped in an uphill battle, for you are not stuck unless you choose to be a victim.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Dec 28, '12
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?
  2. Visit  TheCommuter profile page

    About TheCommuter , BSN, RN

    TheCommuter is a moderator of allnurses.com and has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a registered nurse.

    TheCommuter has '9' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'acute rehabilitation (CRRN), LTC & psych'. From 'Fort Worth, Texas, USA'; 34 Years Old; Joined Feb '05; Posts: 30,926; Likes: 49,679.

    Read My Articles

    26 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  TopazLover profile page
    7
    I was fortunate to have a very nice childhood. Not rich, but comfortable and hard working family. Unfortunately my children did not alwyas have that. There was a divorce -messy. There were injuries and illnesses that kept us very poor. My children have thrived. One is very good at saving so his children will have a good college education with minimal debt. Another is working on his doctorate in a field where he will never be rich but will do what he enjoys, and the other child had a terrible head injury and was diagnosed as being Bipolar. She has not laoowed to this rule her world. She makes adjustments in her life due to the brain injury.

    Everyone can claim to be a victim if they choose. No one has to be.
    sixela21, VivaLasViejas, beckyboo1, and 4 others like this.
  4. Visit  gaby3187 profile page
    1
    Thank you for posting your story!
    Marshall1 likes this.
  5. Visit  Kimynurse profile page
    14
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My name is _____, and I am a nurse who climbed a series of uphill battles to get to the place where I am today.

    I’m a firm believer that your origins in life do not carry nearly as much importance as your present or future. Even if you had a less-than-ideal start during your growing-up years, this upbringing will not necessarily decide your future unless you purposely adopt the mentality of a perpetual victim.

    I am the only child of married parents who were in their early twenties at the time of my birth (1981). At the time, my mother was a production line worker at a solar products factory and remained employed at the same job site for more than 24 years. My father was an entry level technician at an electronics company. Although they had no education or formal vocational training beyond the high school level, their combined incomes enabled them to afford extras such as occasional restaurant meals, toys, nice clothes, trips to the hair salon, and day trips.

    Fast forward a few years. I was five years old when my father abruptly quit his job at the electronics company that had employed him for eight years. He began abusing alcohol, became addicted to illegal drugs, and no longer wanted anyone to have any authority over him, including workplace supervisors and bosses. It pains me to mention that, during these years, his priority in life revolved around chasing the next high. His behavior became volatile, and sometimes he was downright violent.

    Some people would say that letting young children know about household financial difficulties is unacceptable. However, my mother’s modest pay was the only source of money, and she really could not hide the fact that the refrigerator was empty. She could not dance around the fact that the telephone service was disconnected. She could not keep secret the one time the electricity had been turned off. She could not withhold the fact that the car was repossessed. She could not conceal the one time when no Christmas presents appeared under the tree.

    My father had been out of the labor force for nearly four years when he stopped using drugs and secured employment. However, self-inflicted long term unemployment damaged his career to the point where his next string of jobs were rather menial with low earnings. It was still up to my mother’s income to keep the household afloat.

    I have a myriad of horrid memories from my early and middle childhood years. However, I feel that my unpleasant experiences strengthened my character in a way nothing else possibly could. During my preteen years I decided that I never wanted to use drugs, be in an unhealthy relationship, or struggle financially. I realized that education was a ticket to a better life.

    To keep a long story short, I earned good grades while in school and accepted responsibility for anything that was not going well in my life. I refused to be a victim. As a young adult I sought professional help to address the demons from my past. I obtained marketable job training to lessen the likelihood of slipping into poverty. I imagined myself in a better place, and in a few years, I actually ended up in a better place.

    In other words, your start in life doesn’t matter as much as where you end up. An optimistic outlook and a proactive approach to handling situations will help you thrive in the face of adversity. You can have almost anything you want out of life as long as you work toward it and keep up the persistence. Good luck to anyone out there who feels trapped in an uphill battle, for you are not stuck unless you choose to be a victim.
    Way to go, my life was not easy either.

    I was molested for years, by my grandfather, my parents divorced, we had no money. My mom did the best she could, I was told I was stupid , and thrown into special Ed in fifth grade, and was counted out. No one ever thought I would amount to anything, but a looser.
    In high school, I just wanted to survive, my grandmother with Alzheimer's lived part of the time with us, I would have to stay home with her. I worked through high school, I drank a little smoked some pot, I did graduate barley.

    I worked hard after high school, went to professional help , got married to a super supportive husband, the first year we were married we found out we couldn't have children, the second year we were married we found out my husband has MS. My mother got I'll, was in the hospital for 17 months straight in and out for 5 years, after all that I decided to follow my heart, and go to school to become a nurse.

    In 2007 I looked into schools, 2008 started a LPN program, 2008 graduated, and was valedictorian ( not bad for a sped), started my pre- recs., and I'm starting an RN program in January.

    I am thankful to be able to get up every morning, and care for people. I'm extremely optimistic
    MBARNBSN, msbuttaworth, Kandy83, and 11 others like this.
  6. Visit  shamrokks profile page
    0
    Thank you everyone for your stories. This is a very true statement "Your Start in Life Doesn’t Matter as Much as Where You End Up".
  7. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    3
    Wow! This is an amazing read. Thank you so much for your story.
    I haven't always made the best choices, but my kids are such gifts.
    The very best in your endevours!!

    (and not to quote Oprah, but I will....."When you know better, you do better")
  8. Visit  Keeka_Prenurse13 profile page
    2
    That is such a strong story and you are a strong person. Right now, I am going through uphill battles and sometimes it's easy for me to feel like giving up. But never have I ever (or will ever) develop a victim mentality. I am currently in school now (I started Fall 2012) and I am making really good grades. I hope to continue doing as well as I am doing so that in a few years, I can become a nurse and be able to help patients, my family, and do something I had a feeling for for a while. Your story inspires me and when I am feeling down. I will be sure to come back to this for strength. Thank you for sharing.
    TopazLover and TheCommuter like this.
  9. Visit  Nurse2b7337 profile page
    2
    God bless you for sharing your story. Your story may be someone else's story only they may not be strong enough to tell it. I believe that when you share a story like this you bring deliverance and peace within yourself and to others who read it. Whether we would admit to it or not we all have a story to tell. When we share the story it's a testimony to the power of God in our life. I for one know that, without him I'm not sure where I'd be today.
    krystibland and Marshall1 like this.
  10. Visit  NurseDirtyBird profile page
    4
    Thank you for this. It always irritates me when I hear someone say, "I had a bad childhood, it's not my fault I'm (in jail/unemployed/addicted to drugs)!" I had a bad childhood, I pulled my own self up and have a good life for my family, just like you and many other people here. It is possible to take responsibility for the direction of your life in spite of your beginnings.
    krystibland, Marshall1, violetgirl, and 1 other like this.
  11. Visit  ericaej profile page
    4
    Thank you for sharing your story. I just want to point out that we should be compassionate to those that are not able to "pull themselves up by their boot straps." We all have our own story and battles. Some of us can handle adversity better than others. I believe psychology would call it being resilient and they don't know why some people are better equipped over other. It doesn't make us better, just perhaps more capable. I say this because I, too, had a difficult childhood. I was not abused but I did live in poverty with a father that abused drugs and alcohol. His abuse led to violence and abuse of my mother. There were other struggles as well but there were a lot of people in my life that took the time to care. They remained nonjudgmental. I think you never know if you're going to be that person to someone else. By writing about the victim mentality, we are fostering an attitude of judgment and negativity; so let's not do that. Be a light to someone else.
  12. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    1
    Great story!!! I'm a DV survivor who went through a near-death experience-it will be five years January 29. My sharing is NOT to minimize anyone's struggles, but to explain having resilience can also be a uphill battle. I think you cannot wallow in victim mentality, because you can get swallowed up by victim mentality! That's not to say we who are "stronger" pull up "our bootstraps," sometimes is about letting your vulnerability show in order to get the resources that you need to be the best you. My setback made me more determined to return to school and get my BSN. I didn't believe that I would even get in. I was upfront about my setback, they saw the passion I had in nursing, I did what I needed to do for my grades and on my placement test, and was accepted. I graduated in May, took boards in June, start my first job in a PICU in February.

    I feel that my life setback has came full circle, and my experience has changed my life profoundly as a nurse, in so many volumes. I am more in tune how a lot if people do struggle on a personal level, and sometimes it shows, especially during interpersonal actions. Everyone has the ability to find the best way to be their best selves-we DESERVE it! :0D
    Marshall1 likes this.
  13. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    0
    Quote from jadelpn
    Wow! This is an amazing read. Thank you so much for your story.
    I haven't always made the best choices, but my kids are such gifts.
    The very best in your endevours!!

    (and not to quote Oprah, but I will....."When you know better, you do better")
    I love that QUOTE!!! 😄
  14. Visit  Orange Tree profile page
    1
    I also think it's important to realize that not everybody has the intelligence and/or emotional stability to rise above their circumstances. There's a difference between a being poor with an alcoholic mother and being severely abused, even tortured, for many years. Some people are "excuse makers" and "non-responsibility takers", but some people truly are victims and realistically have very little hope of becoming productive members of society.
    SmoothJams likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top
close
close