This is a letter freshmen taking the Liberal Arts Symposium class were required to write about themselves. It is meant to serve as a personal insight on me as an individual to help you understand the person I am. I want to warn the reader that this is very personal, and not at all a happy story.

 

I never had the "perfect" childhood a lot of people may think I would have. I was a happy kid, always smiling and playing well with others. I never got into any fights and never hurt anyone. You would look at me and say "Look at that happy child". Little did they know that that was not the case when I went home.

I love my parents, and will always love them no matter what. They were good to me and my younger brother, Julien. We went out to the zoo or to the park to ride horses almost every single Sunday. It was a sort of tradition at our house. I always loved these family trips. But once we got home and were left to ourselves, the fighting began.

My parents loved my brother and me, and never tried to hurt us, but their fighting did affect us without their knowledge. We would hear them screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. The subjects ranged from cooking dinner to how we were raised. Every night, and at least a few times a day, we would hear them screaming. It got so bad that my brother and I would have to run to my room, close the door and try and block out all of the yelling. We cried a lot during those times. We just did not understand why there was so much screaming and hatred. Why did our parents not love each other? We understood that if you yelled at someone with so much force and anger, there was no possible way that there could be love in that relationship.

These fights would usually start with a comment from my father. He would provoke my mother. Even though she tried her best to do what she could to please him, it was never enough. With this comment my mother would generally retort and defend herself, calling him out on this cruel and unnecessary comment. This was how the fights started. And at first they would be whispered, quiet so that my brother and I do not overhear them. But it would always slowly escalate to yells, to the point where their faces were red and they needed to catch their breath. Towards the end of their marriage I would be able to detect the signs of a fight that was starting, and I would quickly take my brother and bring him somewhere where we could escape the hatred.

Though this was terrible, the worst part was after these fights. This was the moment where I would hear my mother crying, and my father would just escape to the garden and smoke a cigar. Looking back, it felt as if each cigar he smoked after every big fight was his way of celebrating a job well done, while my mother would hide herself in the bathroom, crying so hard that she had trouble breathing. And every time there was an especially big fight, without delay, my mother would fall into a depression. She would still bring my brother and I to school and to our activities, but it felt as if she was not really there. She was hollow and sad, and you could see it in her eyes. When we were home she would just lay down in bed. I would have to bring her food on many occasions because she would not eat. I became her care taker and looked after my younger brother as well. I always hated it when she was in these "moods", but what I hated most of all was how my father never did anything to help.

It was a hard time, and it went on for a while until they were separated. Most people would have just shut down after this. They would not trust anyone and hate their parents, but I took a different approach. I learned from this and I believe that a big part of who I am today was shaped from this experience.

I am a caring person; I love to help others and I love to feel as if people need me. I hate getting on anyone's "bad side", I am always gentle and nice, trying to avoid any confrontations and upsetting situations. Also, whenever my mother would shut herself off from the world, I would be the one there besides her making sure she got better. I would feed her, and make sure she would not do anything irrational. I was her mother, her nurse, her guardian in these times and I do not regret them. I wanted to help, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing her get better. And I believe that my love and need to help people blossomed from this.

Because of this, I could not see myself going into any other field of work but Medicine. This, to me, seems like the only job where I could fully prove my potential. The only one where I can just give everything to people and it will be appreciated, as well as where it would really make a difference. I yearn to become a doctor, which is thanks to my childhood.