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Typanga Patterson

Diana Watkins

M/W/F 11:30 Comp II

January 4, 2017

Write Your Own Story

I believe that your past should never define your future. With that being said I

see many people on countless occasions constantly talk about why their adult life is

so detrimental due to their childhood experiences. Im sure there are good reasons

for everything but I dont see how a persons family and their problems during their

childhood could affect how they decide to live their own lives. This might be me

preaching to the choir, but Ill give it a shot since Im very passionate on the

subject. Im only eighteen years old so I do understand where the fact of me not

being experienced in age comes into play, but also to counteract that

stereotypical response I have seen quite a few things in only my short time span of

eighteen years. Everything from divorces, domestic abuse, sexual relation issues,

drugs, and even greediness due to money, plus many more evils protruding in this

world. These are all very close experiences that has happened to my family

members and I in the past eighteen years, but does it affect me in the life Im

creating for myself? No. So why do others let their past define them?

There are people that go through parental divorces all the time in their

childhood experiences. In fact, there are multiple statistics showing that almost 50%

of marriages in only the United States have ended in divorce, which is sadly very

true. Why is it that we let these statistics define our future and how we see
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ourselves in five to ten years? Growing up in a family that constantly fought, was

not exactly your picture perfect, every day family. There were affairs, physical

abuse, mental abuse, etc., but I have not let that effect my outcome for what I see

fit for myself and my future. Being with a man for almost two years I have never

once let it cross my mind that my fear of failure in relationships would ever affect

the relationship I have today, especially not in the same way it affected my mothers

and fathers relationship and marriage. I have set myself to higher standards then

what Ive experience and familiarized with my family, I actually tend to do the

complete opposite that was given to me as an example in my childhood.

There are also many people that go through domestic violence and sexual

violence on a day to day basis in all shapes and forms, of course I cannot begin to

try and understand some peoples stories and what theyve gone through or are

going through, but like Ive said Ive seen these topics happen on a first name basis.

My family had a lot of domestic disputes, and my sister actually had some sexual

violence happen to her when she was about my age. Seeing this happen I saw what

it could do to a family, and especially to my mother and fathers marriage. Did I let it

affect me in a way that I never wanted to find love and I never put myself out there

to find love? No. In fact, it pushes me into the carrier path Im on today and this

experience is why Im sitting here writing a paper for a Comp II class in one the best

universities in the United States. Most people would become hermit crabs and

seclude themselves from the general population, but Ive learned that I cannot let

my experience of domestic violence affect who I am nor my fears for the now.

Whatever someone may go through we should all use it as a learning experience,

me going through domestic violence situations is why Im here getting a degree in

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Criminal Justice to stop these situations from happening to another child. Ive

learned to use my past for the better and not as an excuse for my failures.

With that being said there are many people constantly struggling with

something like drug abuse and addiction, its a hard battle to experience from the

outside but an even harder battle to fight from the inside. Multiple families go

through the experience of them or a family member having an addictive behavior

rather it be for narcotics, alcohol, or even something as small as a video game. I

grew up in a family that was so dysfunctional, due to alcohol abuse, that there were

many backlashes to the experiences my siblings and I went through. My sister was

abused so much, like Ive mentioned before, that she tried to find an escape from

the chaos that happened in her everyday household so she escaped to a crowd of

friends, being in such a hurry to find friends she found herself in the wrong crowd

and before she could notice it, she was too late. My sister found herself pregnant at

the age of sixteen and after she gave her baby up for adoption, due to the face he

had extreme autism and she would never be able to afford giving him good care,

she found herself addicted to many drugs. She went through a very rough patch

and made herself hit rock bottom, but the good thing about hitting rock bottom is

that there is nowhere else to go except for up, and thats where she started

heading. My sister now has finished her doctorates and is teaching biology at the

University of Pueblo in Pueblo, Colorado while also doing medical research. I admire

that about my sister because she is the core example of what Im talking about, she

took her past and she gave it a big dont let the door hit ya on the way out and

she blew my expectations for her life out of the water and has majorly excelled in

everything she does. This not only makes me admire her but it makes me push
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harder to do the exact same thing, and tell you that your past has no effect on your


Last but not least I have seen so many people in my life who let money

control them in so many ways that they become unrecognizable. I have seen people

in my family throw away every relationship possible whether it be loved ones or

lifelong soul mates for the constant thirst of the satisfying sound two dollar bills

make when you rub them together. My mother and I packed our bags to follow her

dream for true love in 2011 all the way to Pueblo West, Colorado. My mother had

this ingenious idea of remarrying her first true love after being separated for so

many years. There were many other factors to the long story of how we got stuck in

Colorado for six years, but the main reason was because we moved under false

pretenses. The guy my mom though was her forever best friend and would never

let her down, did exactly that. About half way to Colorado Tim decides that moving

a woman to marry him all the way to Colorado might be a bad idea (probably

because he was still married) but, thats not exactly what someone should tell two

girls in a full loaded U-Haul stuck in Dodge City, Kansas. So, we powered through

and we were just going to figure everything out and everything would be okay

when we got there. Well when youre a man (who makes pretty good money) and

you have a wife that you want to divorce you have to legally give her half of

everything you own, and that just didnt sit well with Tim. The fact that he might

have to pay alimony and split his house down the middle was not a good enough

reason for just splitting my family down the middle, and later my mothers and my

relationship down the middle as well. This is just one of many examples on how

money has come into factor and ruined plans for many people, but, once again, I

pushed through.
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I know that Ive given the basic run down of my life and probably made it

seem like my whole life has been nothing but hatefulness, but I did bring up my

worst memories to prove a point. My point is that these are just four examples of

the tough road Ive driven down and I can promise that no matter how bumpy,

muddy, curvy, and car sickening someones road is through life they can always

turn down another road at any time and decide to make their own path. Im a full-

time student living in my own house with my boyfriend and my two dogs, living very

comfortably, working as a waitress, and making many choices to expand my

education as we speak. Im here succeeding because I made a promise to myself

that my past would never define my future. So, no matter where someone is today

and how bad their childhood is please do not use it as an excuse to portray laziness

on a day to day basis or as a reason to why something isnt going right in life. Admit

that bad decisions are a general occurrence that happens sometimes and that

bettering yourself is always available. We are all writer to our own story, and if we

always write a drama then thats exactly what we will get. So, grab a pen and some

paper and write your own story, if fact write a nominee award winning story of

courage, dedication, and success. Everyone defines their future, make the best of it.