Thoughts on being a survivor

Our ego’s don’t want to be ignored and occasionally let their presence be known by reminding us that it is someone’s else’s fault especially if that someone is family. It is because I grew up homeless. My mother made mistakes. My father abandoned me. My grandfather died by accident. The reason I inhale chocolate is because I never had more than macaroni and cheese to eat for dinner. I am the way I am because I was born that way and just can’t help it.

Regardless of the excuses, it is the choices we make that decides our present and future. But, once in awhile, I hear about the dysfunctional family again; that they made me do it. Many that are living prominent and basically happy lives will still blame family when they make their own mistakes.

It is a tragedy if our childhood was filled with abuse, death and desolation. As a result of our histories, sadness and confused decision-making does affect our life choices that can cause chaos. But if that happens, the true survivor turns around and gets help, they talk to counselors and mentors so that they can become confident in their decisions and stay away from the dangerous tapes of their dysfunctional heritage.

The true survivor learns to be fortunate rather than dwell on misfortune. The survivor feels that diversity is truly a journey toward success. One student I taught commented that she was always criticized for her grades in school; which was all A’s and an occasional B in math and that her mother told her she was not college material even after obtaining those excellent grades and receiving a 27 on her ACT. The student graduated with High Honors while obtaining her Bachelors and maintains the same average as she pursues her Masters. She did not think another thing about it!

Another student found herself homeless but somehow managed to create the energy and motivation to find a computer and maintain her A average. Did she feel deprived not having a secure and comfortable place to sleep and want to blame the world along with family that could have helped…yes , but she re-directed those thoughts quickly to a distant place in her mind and focused on how she could be successful today.

Yes, the survivor tends to be riddled with one assignment after another; an exhausting identity, to say the least, and sometimes the survivor takes on the problems of others along with their own. In fact, they’re expected to do just that because they are the survivor.

But that is when they get into trouble, because once again, no one is responsible for you but guess who? A successful survivor knows which assignments to accept.

One person told me that from his spiritual perspective and religious belief, we choose our parents and friends before we are born into this world. What were we thinking? However, if true, we, once again, made that choice; now for what purpose is what.. some of us are still trying to figure out.