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Allender states, “Our passion moves us to choose one path over another, and it is as unique as a fingerprint.”

My passion is people as well as helping them. I know that most people in the counseling or human services state that helping others is their passion but I feel like my passion is different. It’s not just helping people, but also understanding them. I love newborns and I love older people. I don’t have an age that I prefer, although ages two to four is rough. J If I have the opportunity to help someone have a better life then I will do what I can to help.

Growing up I had two aunts and an uncle who were mentally disabled. They would come to the house frequently because my mother didn’t like them staying with her father. Especially my Aunt Gail… My mother might have been the youngest child but she took care of her sister like she was older, and mentally she was older. When my aunt was at the house I would spend a lot of time with her. I tried to teach her how to read and I loved my aunt so very much.

My younger brother was born when I was four years old. I loved babies, even then, so I took him under my wing. I treated my younger brother like my own personal babydoll. I can only imagine how frustrating it probably was for my mother since I was this little four-year old dragging her baby brother around. As I got older my relationship with my younger brother did change a bit. I became like “mom” to him as things got rough…

So what does this have to do with my passion to help people? I learned at an early age not to judge people and to help others, because of my aunts and uncle. As I got older it continued. I would volunteer to go on mission trips with church and watch the babies in the nursery. I did whatever anyone needed of me as long as it would increase the satisfaction of their lives.

When working with children in WA I realized that my passion for helping children also came from being a mother and wanting to protect. I do not want to see people go through trauma or problems in life so if I can do something to help I will. The most rewarding thing for me is just the smile on the individual’s face because if even for just a split second, they are happy and hopefully this will go further than just a second.

If I’m honest about why it causes me joy then I have to think about the troubles that I have gone through in life. Some of the times I had wonderful people to help me while I was going through difficult times, but others I did not. It could have been the fact that I wouldn’t allow anyone to be there or to be honest there just wasn’t anyone there. I feel like had someone been there perhaps the times wouldn’t have been so difficult. If I had allowed people to help me, or if someone had told me they were going to help, then perhaps I wouldn’t have had to be so strong.

So I want to use my experiences to be able to help people. It is not that I do not want them to be strong, actually I want them to be strong, but also know that they are strong. There are a lot of people who are suffering because they don’t know their own strength and they are not looking at the one who can carry them through the sand when they don’t feel like they can keep going.

Allender states that, “all passion is founded on pain, grown through risk, and marked by the decisions we make in the face of tragedy.” What tragedies from your past set into motion the plot of your life?

Domestic violence seems to be a theme in my life as well as my mother’s. My father was not abusive towards my mother but her own father was and my mother has been involved with other men who were. I’ve thought about this a lot and I feel like the tragedy that has set into the motion of the plot of my life is not my story or my tragedy. The tragedy that I’m speaking of has caused more tragedies in my life, but I do not believe that these secondary tragedies set into motion the plot but fueled them.

Thinking about it though… perhaps there are two tragedies… one that happened to my mother, and one that happened to me. My mother was raised in a poor environment with a mother who was not strong enough to leave a man who was controlling and abusive to the whole family. My mother was the youngest of six children, although three of her siblings were mentally handicap so as she got older she took care of them.

I would love to say that my mother had a good life at some point in her childhood, but that would be a lie. Her father started sexually abusing my mother when she was three years old, and this is what started the plot of my and my family’s life. This caused my mother to never fully mature as she started using drugs at 10-12 years old to get away from the horror of her life. At 16 years old my mother got married to get away from “home,” but that man was not a nice man either.

Why do I say that my mother’s tragedy cause the plot to be started in my life? Well that is easy, because she was not a mother to me. My mother has bits and parts of time where she was a good mother I would like to say, although I do not remember too many of these times, but ultimately she was fighting a battle inside of herself. I do not believe she was a terrible person. Actually I believe, from the one period of time I got to see her, the real her, which was when my oldest son was born, that my mother had the ability to be an amazing woman. She just could never defeat the demons in her life completely, and that caused her to run to the two things that always numbed the pain: men and drugs.

So I stated that there is another tragedy that helped set into motion the plot of my life… This one is more personal. This one, although I wouldn’t change it, still hurts my soul. See I got married at 17, I thought that my ex-husband would always love me if I gave him a child. The one thing I always wanted was to feel loved and I thought, “finally I will get it.”

Perhaps he did love me, but didn’t know how to show it. Perhaps we were just terrible together.

Perhaps we were too young, as he was only 19 when we got married… These “perhaps” don’t really matter since they cannot change things. My ex-husband was a very controlling man at first, but over time it progressed to physical. This too has shaped how I see the world, and how I relate to people.

One of my goals in life, is to open a Domestic Violence clinic to help people, not just women, who are going through situations where they need help. I want to be able to use these two tragedies to improve someone’s life. Now do I have all the details on how I will do it? Not yet but I feel like God will provide those in time.