The Air Force taught me to be a good communicator, problem solver and to be good at organizing. I grow up in Fresno California. I guess being my mom’s first born made me independent. Then, a few years later my mom married my step dad; all the sudden I was the middle child. My step dad had older children from another woman and my mom was pregnant with my soon to be little brother. So, that is how I became the middle child. I guess because I grew up the middle child and I was always taking care of my mom, I learned how to be dependable and a good listener. After my step dad would be abusive to her, she would always come to me for support. She could always rely on me to be there. I never really realized that until now. I grew up the good girl. I had a straight A’s. I never got in trouble like my sister and my brother did. My sister used to get in trouble all the time. Looking back, I think it is because every time she would get in trouble at our house her mom would pick her up and let her do whatever she wanted. I can blame her mom for being a drug addict and not being a good mom, however there comes a point in your life when you grow up and realize what is best for you as person. My sister has never realized that. She is always blaming everyone else for her mistakes. My brother on the other hand was the golden boy. He was the youngest and he was good at playing basketball. In my parents eyes he could do no wrong. My sister used drugs to deal with life and my brother used laugher and basketball. I was a different story. I was the strong one in the family. I learned to be dependable and to only rely on myself. I always stood up for my mom to my siblings and my step dad. I guess that is why life was a little harder for me growing up. I almost got really hurt a lot. However, that experience in life taught me to be true to myself. I always stand up for what I believe in and learned from everyone else life what I don’t want in my life. Growing up I would see my mom and step dad and their friends doing drugs. I saw firsthand what it does to family and relationships. I really don’t think my step dad would have been as abusive as he was without drugs and alcohol. From their life I saw want I did not want for myself. That is why I tried so hard in school. I knew if got good grades and stayed out of trouble I could make a life for myself without changing whom I am inside. One night when I was doing my homework at the kitchen table my step dad started yelling at my mom. Then he started hitting her. That is when I snapped. I started yelling at him. I still remember his eyes being so red. He slapped me in the face then I slapped him back. I was a junior in high school at the time. He told me to go to my room. So I did but not quietly. Then I called the police. Well let’s just say he made my life yell that year for me. I called my aunt and she asked me to spend the summer in Idaho with her. I happily agreed. That summer was no great drama -- just relaxing and talking. I eventually told her what happened. My aunt knew of the abuse but she could never get my mom to leave him. She asked me to move up to Idaho for my senior year. I agreed, and thought it would be a great change for me. I could get away from the drama and get a chance to look towards my future. It was good year, but then I realized I missed home. I decided to go home and go to college. I didn’t realize because I was an out of state resident it would be so expensive to go to school. I thought
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