# Can someone tell me a good life story, please?

So here's the deal. I'm going through a lot right now, between school, work and family and friends, every aspect of my life is incredibly unstable and I need to hear some stories. Specifically, I need someone to tell me a story from their life pertaining to a significant obstacle they overcame. "Significant" is somewhat cryptic, so what do I mean? I mean "a event or period where the outcomes had life altering ramifications" Hearing someone else's tales of their trials and tribulations will be therapeutic.

If you so desire, I can tell you my predicament.

jedishrfu
Mentor
Are you trying to get someone to write your college essay? People don't just volunteer these things without seeing some benefit to telling the story.

I recommend going to an alcoholics anonymous meeting, or if you're not a drinker, perhaps an al-anon meeting. There should be one near you! That's what I do when I'm in your state. If you wanna hear some real horror stories and "life altering ramifications," you can do no better. And it definitely is therapeutic. You're probably gonna get more out of sitting through a few of those holding a cheesy Styrofoam cup of coffee while people ramble on endlessly, than anything you'd get here.

No, I am in grad school now. I was just curious if anyone had personally inspirational(right word?) life stories.

Danger
Gold Member
I briefly died two years ago, if you can call that a life-altering experience. I didn't care for it, so recovered to being merely comatose for 4 days, then in intensive care for another 3 weeks. On the good side, I quit smoking during that period and have not had even a slight craving since then.

HayleySarg
Gold Member
Hmm, I was initially hesitant to post this, considering I'm so new. Though, I suppose sometimes it's just nice to get it off my chest. This is the incredibly condensed version, with some part omitted. Also, it's written terribly.

Born into a irresponsible set of parents. My dad flunked out of MIT, my mom was a party girl. They're pretty smart, actually, but sort of the iconic "not ready for children, ever" types. My mom drank a lot, always had friends over. My dad was a pizza boy. Until he finally decided to go into IT. He did exceptional well, and is a well respected sys admin. In all honesty, life wasn't too bad. I mean, we had a house, a car, I went to decent school in the greater Detroit area. Then, it all changed.

I walked to school, being only a block away. I started walking with this kid, little did I know she was one twisted cookie. We became friends, only for the worst. For the next two years I endured her physical and sexual abuse, as well as her step fathers. I was a fragile 7 year old girl. They went on in those two years to "baby sit" me every evening before I had gymnastics. How kind of them....

I had been running away to nowhere at night, for what reason I'm not entirely sure. Little kids have limited foresight, so probably just to escape the pain. Eventually the police became involved. Studies show that children behave this way when something is wrong in the home. They drove me around for hours, telling me all sorts of false promises if I confessed that my mom was doing this to me. See, I had many open wounds from my nervous habit of picking at my skin. No one could figure it out, but gee, they sure looked like cigarette burns. The cops ran with that idea.

Eventually, at the promise of my very own pony, I confessed. Immediately I was rushed into foster care. I ran into even more awful homes, though a few good. People passed me on like the time-bomb I was. But the damage was done. I was unruly, I'd cry, I'd fight. I think the word is "emotionally disturbed". Finally, the court hearings began. I explained tirelessly that it was someone else outside the home, and that I needed help. Not my parents, but my baby-sitter and neighbor.

I was so traumatized and difficult to handle that I was sent to a place called Children's Home of Detroit. It wasn't a nice place. It was a behavioral ward for minors with issues. It's where I developed my eating disorder. All the while, my education is being disrupted. Before everything happened, I was a good student. By the time I left CHD, I was 12. I spent 6 months in out-patient with my family. The court had decided that my parents were fit if they spent 2 years in parenting classes with drug tests etc. My mom was charged with the felony of child abuse in order to end the court case as fast as possible--she pled guilty. In an act of sacrifice, honestly.

My family was in chaos after that. A fragile home, my parents struggled with what had happened. We moved around quite a bit. In Oklahoma, where we stayed for 2 years, I was never enrolled in school. Paranoid, they home-schooled me. Needless to say, I didn't learn anything.

We finally landed in Oregon and things were at their worse. See, my father is Schizophrenic, and this stress ate away at him. He slowly slipped off his meds, and had to go in for inpatient care. At the age of 14, I took my drug-ridden mother (narcotics being her drug of choice) all around town desperately trying to get into school. I was finally enrolled at a middle school, for the last few months of 8th grade. I could barely read. I didn't know my multiplication tables. I was probably still at the 2nd grade level where my mind was left.

I spent the next year and half battling with my parents. They were the unruly ones at this point. Deep into drugs, depression, self-pity and shock. I couldn't take it anymore. I was literally alone. My father worked more than 80hrs a week, and slept. My mother was always trying to kill herself.

One night, we had a massive argument. My parents held me down and drugged me with a heft dose of oxycotin. That morning, I left. I ran to my only friend. Him and his family helped me on my feet, but you can't live with at boy at 15-16. So, I filed the papers to become emancipated.

Because I wasn't capable of supporting myself by the state's standards, I ended up being a ward of the court. I found a farm and offered to work in exchange for living costs and they agreed. (I previously had connections in the horse industry, and knew them.). I struggled with a heroin addiction not too long after I left. It was in secret, and it was something that numbed the pain just a bit. But my head was still on more or less straight. I spent my junior and senior year trying to make up for lost time. See, I always, from very young, wanted to be a physicist.

Unfortunately, a rural school didn't offer the classes I needed such as AP calc or AP physics. Even though I excelled on my standardized test, it was barely enough to get me into state schools, let alone provide me with scholarships. I ended up leaving Oregon for another working-student position in the horse industry. That eventually ended. I decided to put myself through school for my true dream, and here I am.

I got a job working full time, though it's a "temp" position by their standards. No health care or benefits. I put all my money into community college and I'm finally on my way to a state school hopefully next fall. I've since kicked my heroin addiction, and delt with the majority of my eating issues--though they stay with you for life.

My only advice is, surround yourself in wonder. Don't let the negativity, no matter how small or large, eat at you. If you let it, it will turn you into a hollow version of yourself. I'm not without issue after all this, but it's taught me one thing-- human willpower is ... well, powerful. I graduated with a 3.95, 2nd in my class, all the while working nearly full time the last two years and dealing with insane parents and limitations the first two. I taught myself to read. I taught myself how do basic math.

Never underestimate the power you have to control you own path.

Cheers.

1 person
WannabeNewton
O.O jesus and I thought I had childhood problems when my friend traded me her copy of some lame Spyro game for my Pokemon Sapphire and never gave it back to me.

HayleySarg
Gold Member
O.O jesus and I thought I had childhood problems when my friend traded me her copy of some lame Spyro game for my Pokemon Sapphire and never gave it back to me.

How could they?

That's about as bad as when I let my friend borrow one of my .hack games and never got it back. The game in question is a bit more than $100 used at this point. Pure evil. lisab Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member You have an amazing life story, HayleySarg, and you're still very young! I admire people who can get through hardships and still have a good attitude. HayleySarg Gold Member Thank you Lisab. I live by two pretty easy rules. 1) A healthy dose of realism in your optimism will keep your life engine going strong. One cannot sit around and expect change. However, the optimist will find that when the engine gums up, there's likely a solution. The pesimist would just exclaim "Again? Why is it always me?" and nothing would move forward. 2) Irregardless of how difficult one's life is, the struggles we face are our own and are uniquely challenging to us as individuals. Each lifetime endows us with some problem, or set of problems, we must learn to solve. Not knowing how anyone else truly solved it, we learn by our own hand. Thus, we are each uniquely adapt to deal with our own lives. I could not, for example, handle a parental divorce. In all honesty, I cannot fathom that reality. Yet a large percentage of my peers have. Cheers Danger Gold Member Hayley; With the exception of a couple of grammar fluffs that make my teeth itch, I must say that you are one hell of a great writer. I'd almost bet that a publisher would snap up your story on the spot. Inspirational "clawed my way back up" biographies are very popular, especially since there are so many people trying to do what you accomplished. WannabeNewton Science Advisor How could they? That's about as bad as when I let my friend borrow one of my .hack games and never got it back. The game in question is a bit more than$100 used at this point.

Pure evil.
It's ok. I'm studying physics now and she's studying poetry so I win

HayleySarg
Gold Member
Hayley;
With the exception of a couple of grammar fluffs that make my teeth itch, I must say that you are one hell of a great writer. I'd almost bet that a publisher would snap up your story on the spot. Inspirational "clawed my way back up" biographies are very popular, especially since there are so many people trying to do what you accomplished.

It's the--dashes; and sometimes those-- pesky, pesky, semicolons.

I'm sorry about your teeth. I've considered it, though it's a bit less interesting for me to write on. I've got bits and pieces here and there. My ego tells me to wait until I'm noteworthy enough for a biography. At least, that's the hope. I'd settle for a wikipedia page.

WannabeNewton: I do think you declare victory. To me, the study of poetry is irritating. Such beautiful work dissected and torn to shreds about what you should believe it means. Physics, and most STEM fields really, are much more concrete. The way it's expressed is the way it is. The way we ingest poetry is completely dependent on who we are and what our experiences tell us.

Seems unfit to study it. Almost, bastardizing.

1 person
WannabeNewton
Physics, and most STEM fields really, are much more concrete. The way it's expressed is the way it is.
Until the philosophers come along and manage to turn even the simplest things into random BS

Danger
Gold Member
It's the--dashes; and sometimes those-- pesky, pesky, semicolons.
:rofl:
Actually, I don't recall seeing either of those, so you must have used them correctly.
It was only that "irregardless" isn't a word, and the use of "Him" rather than "He" in the sentence about your friend. It was certainly nothing to be concerned about, but I'm picky. (You wouldn't believe the crap that I have to go through because of PF's in-house spell checker trying to make me convert proper words like neighbour, metre, etc. into Yank-language.)

I fully agree about analyzing written work, and not just poetry (which I generally detest anyhow). My school friend had a 5-page booklet that explained every phrase of every line in "American Pie". In an interview years later, Don McLean said that he wrote the song for his father and it had absolutely no meaning beyond that.

HayleySarg
Gold Member
Oh, those are generally my flaws. And I used irregardless? D: Hang me from the rafters! I've done wrong!

I bring shame to my major. Oh wait, I get a few free-passes being in a STEM field. Or at least, that's what the welcome flyer said.

OP, this could also be a good story, depending on your tastes:

http://cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/553/553733.jpg

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Danger
Gold Member
Hang me from the rafters! I've done wrong!
Stay on topic; that's "I done bad". :grumpy:

Cute cartoon.

They went on in those two years to "baby sit" me every evening before I had gymnastics. How kind of them....

Yeah right, how kind. There really is only one adequately-acceptable currency for that but it's disturbing so I won't say. Still though, few sins are graver then the betrayal of a young girl's trust and that sin must be paid for in penance dearly to be wiped clean.

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HayleySarg
Gold Member
In all honesty, I feel badly for the girl in the situation. I don't think at 7, she really understood the gravity of the situation. Who knows what her step father when on to do to her, honestly. I'm the lucky one.

Sometimes you can't go around murdering people, even when it seems prudent. The least I want to do with my life is do work-shops and outreach for troubled youth. I want to inspire. Science was the only thing that got me through those tough times. Well, and a few fictional characters I chose as role models. But in reality, it was "If I give up now, I'll never get to teach, I'll never find more questions, I'll never know"

The best revenge is a happy life.

Cheers

Danger
Gold Member
Sometimes you can't go around murdering people... ...Science was the only thing that got me through those tough times.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

HayleySarg
Gold Member
we shall murder them with science?

Danger
Gold Member
we shall murder them with science?
It's been done before...

Wow I didnt expect this topic to get so popular given the initial response. Hayley, thank you for sharing your story - it is good to hear about someone overcoming a great adversary in their lives. I commend you.

I know how it is to grow up under bad circumstances. I thought I finally escaped my past when I graduated from engineering school. Only after did I fall into a pit of hell when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after I was hospitalized for 2 weeks. I basically lost every opportunity to I had to go through graduate school smoothly in the span of 2 weeks. I also learned a great deal about why I was such a strange person growing up. 8 months later and I am still trying to pick up the pieces and fix my life and I am very, very scared that things aren't going to work out for me this time. Lost my stipend/income, lost a professors trust and an amazing research opportunity, tried to find a job but cant because of my gap in history, will have to pay for housing using financial aid (if I get my aid in time - otherwise I'm screwed), I accidentally enrolled in a summer course that I never took that I now have to pay for (with the money I don't have) and am not sure if I can get it off my transcript. On top of that these past few months have completely killed my self confidence and drastically changed how I feel about the whole "working hard pays off, honesty is the best policy, value integrity and respect" life doctrines.

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HayleySarg
Gold Member
All-star is pretty much the best uplifting song ever.

Bonus points if you were born between 1980-1990.

Cheers