When I was young I lived in a neighborhood where no one struggled for money. For a while that was my family too. I lived in a two parent home with two incomes, we were not rich but we were okay. When I was three years old my father left my family. My mom had money she had saved and she thought we would be okay. In the span of one day we had gone from a stable family to having nothing. My father drained the bank accounts and took all the money my mother had worked hard to save. We had nothing left. Living in the suburbs of northern virginia I knew we didn’t have as much money as everyone else. This gave me a sense of feeling out of place. Everyone had the video games and they had name brand food in their lunches. I know my mom did her best to make me and my siblings not feel like we were on the outside.
Other kids in the same grade as me wore name brand clothing while my clothes came from the thrift store up the street. My mom did her best to hide that we were broke. I remember days where we would walk or the neighbor would bring us to school because the car had a boot on it. The lights went out many times because my mother couldn’t pay the bill on time. At the time I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know we had as little as we did.
I’m not going to say my early childhood was hard for me , it wasn’t it was harder for my mom. I knew that everything could have been a lot worse. Sure we had to empty the change jar we kept by the front door to buy food, and the lights did get turned off a few times. My mother worked so hard to make sure we had everything we needed. She made sure we were fed, clean, and dressed well everyday. Your upbringing is a main part of the way you turn out and who you are. Being broke, being comfortable or being rich has an effect on who you are. There are people you can tell have never struggled for money or people who have never heard the words “we can’t afford it” before. There are people who you know had some struggle or are still struggling to make ends meet. All of this shapes who you become. Similar to how Gatsby put on this fake persona to get people to like him, that's what I was doing. I acted like we could afford all the same things that other kids in my gadre could. I tried so hard to fit in with the wealthy kids, i wanted the sense of belonging that came along with being wealthy.
The people with money turn out many different ways, humble, snobby, or entitled. The people who you know didn’t grow up with this cushioned lifestyle where they didn’t worry about paying rent know about the struggle of having to worry about how you’re going to eat or how you're going to pay the bills. Those people could turn out another variety of ways. They could come up from having no money to being comfortable and gain that entitlement that comes along with wealth, or they could know where they come from and stay as they were.
I myself, have had and still have my fair share of struggles in my life. When people look at me they think that I am a white girl who had had everything handed to me and life has been easy. I know in my heart that everything has not been easy for me and that I have had to work harder than half of the people who look at me and tell me I have had everything handed to me. I
Being so young when this happened definitely made it much easier for me. Eight year olds didn't care so much about the clothes you wore or if you had fancy shoes. What got to me the most was the fact that I saw the hurt in my mother. I knew she was trying her best and doing everything she could to keep us happy. Beloning was important to me. I began to belong less and less and this truly took a toll on me. The person I am was majorly shaped by living where I did when my family lost everything.
I moved from a small town called Bristow in northern Virginia when I was 8 years old. I remember the bright red door on the red brick row home that we lived in. There was a crabapple tree in the front yard. My mom got remarried and this new man had a job in Philadelphia. My mom had recently lost her job due to the mortgage company she was working for going bankrupt. I was 8 at the time, my siblings were 5 and 11.
Moving from the only place you’ve ever lived when you are old enough to remember it all is really hard. I lived in a small town in Northern Virginia where all my friends lived within walking distance from me and everyone knew each other. The first night I spent in Philadelphia was the first time I had ever been here. I was very surprised at what Philadelphia looked like. The only cities I’d ever been to were Washington DC and Rochester New York. It was baffling to me that some people didn’t even have front yards that they played in when they were kids.
I remember the day I moved. It was mid February and incredibly cold outside. I had on a tank top and a thin sweater. My sister and I had a very close friend named Kati Flamm who lived in the town house next to ours. My mom, sister, brother, and myself were all standing outside the u-haul with all our stuff in it and hugged Kati and her parents. Everyone was crying but eventually it was too cold to stay outside any longer. My whole family packed into the u-haul and drove to Philadelphia to start the new part of our lives.
When I got to Philadelphia and started my life here it was a huge culture shock to me. There’s people who had no idea what living outside of the city looked like. There was people who had never left Philadelphia before. City living was not something I was familiar with. Both of my parents are from small towns, I had only ever known suburban living. Moving forward in my life to a big city that I had never experienced before
When I walked into what would now be my home it felt strange. I was living in a freestanding house next to a church, My room was a lot bigger than the one I had before. The biggest adjustment for me was living away from my friends. I couldn't play outside with them anymore. I walked in with a duffel bag in my hand containing my clothes that I needed before we unpacked. I remember feeling so afraid of living in Philadelphia. It scared me to move away from anything and everything I knew. When I sat down on my bed I started crying. One single tear ran down my face as I realized this was home for me now. I felt my face heat up, I knew it was bright red. I was angry at the world for this. My mom walked in after a few minutes to say goodnight since it had been a long day for us all. I heard her slow footsteps coming down the hallway and i wiped my face and pretended everything was fine. She was happy. Being a mom, she knew immediately that something wasn't right. She sat down next to me on my bed and I felt the whole mattress shit with her weight. She put her arm around me, i put my head on her shoulder. She told me this was good for us and that I should give it a chance. I didn’t say a word she walked out of my room with a heavy sigh. I laid down and fell asleep.
Coming from from a small town where you knew everyone in your school and all of their business to Philadelphia where I was placed in a private school was a big jump for me. I felt like my world was imploding I didn’t have friends and I hated living in the city. I wanted so badly to move home to Virginia. I was so confused by everything. Some people had different accents than I had ever heard before. City living was not something I was used to.
One thing I know moving to the city has done for me is that it has given me a new mindset and a new open mind I don’t know if I would have had if I stayed in my hometown. I’ve been exposed to things that I would have never seen in in Bristow. Experiences in Philadelphia have definitely changed me as a person and given me a wider view on life and everything in it.
My mom had driven all the way from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and we were sitting in the car outside my dad’s house. I had a few more minutes before I needed to go inside; the agreement was, at 8 o’clock I needed to go inside. My dad left when I was three. Ever since then he's fought my mother for custody of me and my siblings. Two years ago he finally won. He wanted nothing to do with my older sister, morgan but, my brother and I had to move to his house. I was so upset that I had to live there. The only thing keeping me sane was weekend visitation with my mother. When she would drive us back to my father’s house at the end of the weekend we were expected to go inside by 8pm.
I got out of the car, dreading what had to happen next, when I had an idea. I sat down on the grass and told my dad I was not going inside.
At first, he tried to convince me that I had to go inside. He kept telling me to go inside, that it was just what I was supposed to do.
“Come on Emily, just come inside please.” I remained sitting on the grass where I was disregarding anything he had to say.
I was on the phone with my sister, and she was with my mom. My mom had driven up the road just a few blocks. She was waiting to make sure everything was okay before driving all the way back to Philadelphia.
After about 20 minutes of my dad and his wife yelling at me, I hear my dad come out to the front yard. He was on the phone, and I assumed he was talking to on the phone with his mother. I eavesdropped on the conversation listened when I heard him saying that I was a runaway fourteen-year-old child. Right then I knew he had called the police when he gave them his address.
I was still sitting on the grass on the front yard on his front year when the police arrived. Two 2 police cars pulled up, and there were three 3 officers in total. They attempted tried to approach me calmly and tried to talk to me and tell me that I needed to go inside. Of course I of course, did not move. I did not say a word. It didn’t take very long for the police to slowly become less nice and gentle toward me. One female officer looked me in the eye and very sternly told me that I needed to go inside before they forcibly brought me inside. I then decided to go inside. Anything was easier than being brought into the house by force. So, I went inside.
By this point, I was off the phone with my sister but then proceeded to call. I called her again while sitting and sat down on the bottom step of the stairs right inside the door. My father was so angry that I went didn’t go straight to my room and went to sleep. When he started yelling at me again I just went outside again, still talking on the phone with my sister.
My sister kept telling me to go inside because she said it would be as easier than all of this, but I didn’t care. I sat back down on the grass and waited for my dad to give up just like he h. He had given up on my sister a few years. ago earlier so, So I thought this would make him give up on me, but I was wrong, and He called the police again.
This time I thought they wouldn’t come;. I wasn’t trying to run away, and they knew that all I wanted to do was to go home with my mom.
The police showed up again and I went inside with no problem. I sat back down on the step and my father proceeded to yell at me again. This time, I sat down again on the bottom step, when he started yelling at me again. I didn’t move, and. he took my phone right out of my hand and called the police again. This time I’m sure they were annoyed. They got there and brought me right up to my room per my father's request. My mom went home and I went to sleep right after that.This just really made me think about how messed up my relationship with my father is. When my mom told me I was going to live with my father I was furious. That night where he called the police on me multiple times in one night just reminded me of how upset he gets. He was in my face yelling at me and even at one point raised his hand to me as if he wanted to hit me. It’s been 2 years since that night. I no longer live with my dad and I haven't spoken to him for almost a year and a half. That really just showed me who he really was. Before I was blind to it because he's my dad. Everyone wants their dad to love them and be willing to do anything for them. I guess that’s just not my dad.
In my first blog post I talked about domestic violence and my personal experience with it. I talked about my mother and father's relationship and how to my mom everything seemed normal. My second blog post was about an interview I did with my mother. She experienced domestic violence in her home while she was younger and again when she was adult.
This blog post is about my agent of change. For my agent of change I had the kids at my moms school take a pledge against domestic violence. A girl at my mom’s school who is only 15 years old had to have a restraining order against her boyfriend because he got drunk and punched her in the face.
I had the kids at my mom’s school take this pledge because they need to be aware of domestic violence. I know some of them have seen it firsthand with their parents but I thought that raising awareness would be something good for them. The pledge basically asks that you pledge to never raise a hand to your partner or abuse them in any way whatsoever.
This is a girl in one of my mom’s classes who signed the pledge
30 kids and 15 adults took the pledge against domestic abuse. I found this on the Women Against Abuse website. Women Against Abuse is an organization that helps anyone who needs help after getting out of a domestic violence situation or help getting back on their feet after getting out.
Many women and men experience things such as financial abuse from their partner. Financial abuse is a method abusers use in order to control their partner. It limits the victim's access to their own money. They can gradually take more and more control of their partner's money leaving the victim helpless in the relationship.
Most of the time when people speak about domestic violence you hear about men hitting their wives or you don't really hear about it at all.
I would like to complete my you and the world project by saying that domestic violence is overlooked a lot of the time. Both men and women suffer from domestic partner abuse. There is not only abuse physically but mentally as well, in some situations abuse can be one partner having all the control in a relationship. Domestic abuse is never the victim's fault but in some relationships there are signs that it is an abusive relationship. Signs include your partner being extremely jealous of your other relationships. Making you feel bad about having friends or controlling where you go and who with.
A really big sign of an abusive relationship is when all the blame for everything is assigned to one partner. Blame for anything that goes wrong should not all be assigned to one partner. Being constantly blamed for having feelings is another method of mental abuse. Abuse comes in many different ways and need to be recognized. Mostly physical abuse is what people see but, different forms of verbal and mental abuser can also be damaging.
In my first blog post I talked about my personal experience with domestic violence as well as someone else's. I talked a lot about my father and my step father. My mother's father was an abuser so she married another abuser thinking it was normal. I talked about another woman who went through an awful relationship where she was abused both physically and mentally. She was kept away from her family and friends for what she thought was love
This is a picture from 2003 of me, my dad and my sister
For my original research I did an interview with my mother. I saw her go through a lot of domestic abuse and I wanted other people to know her story. I asked 5 questions about her experience and the long lasting effects of domestic violence.
The first question I asked was “What’s your experience growing up and being married to an abuser?” She said that growing up with an abuser she made it seem normal. In her eyes everything wasn’t good or bad, just normal. She said she hated yelling and the constant anger around her house. “I hated the yelling. That was probably the worst part as it never seemed to end and happened all the time. Nothing was ever good enough for my father.” Then when she grew up she married a man who was similar to her father. He yelled and threw things. Nothing was good enough for him either. SHe had to lie to her friends about bruises and she wasn’t allowed out without his permission. She said canceling plans was a regular for her. He didn’t allow her to go out when she wanted to. “I routinely had to cancel plans with friends because I wasn't allowed to go out and I remember one time that we were supposed to meet a friend out for lunch and he would not even let me call to cancel because he was so angry, so I had to just have her waiting at a restaurant and us never show up.” She had to leave her friends waiting in restaurants because he wouldn't let her out.
The next question in my interview was “Why did you stay?” She said her main reason for staying how long she did was that she wanted a 2 parent home for me and my siblings. Her mom stayed with her father until all her kids were grown. My mom thought maybe things would get better. She thought that having a 2 parent home was better for us and she relied on the hope of everything getting better. “ My mom had stayed until we were grown and I thought that it would be better for you to grow up in a two parent home. It had been my experience and I wanted that for my kids too. I really normalized the experience and thought that in time, it would get better. Clearly, that didn't happen.”
The third question was “How did you get out?” She said that she got out when my father left. He left once and came back. My mother being thinking things could still change she let him back. He then left again. This time she didn’t know where he went, she didn’t know when he would be back. Almost a year later he came back. My mom had been on her own for almost a year. She got her confidence back and knew she could do this on her own so she didn’t let him back. After that he was gone for good.
The fourth question was “What do you think now about your actions and choices then? What advice do you wish you could give yourself?” My mom said that looking back at everything she knows life was hard but she wouldn’t change it. After all this she has me and my siblings. She just hopes that we don’t have relationships like that in the future. She hopes that everything is better in the future.
The last question I asked her was “What were the long term effects after you you got out?” The main effects she mentioned was self esteem issues. “Depression and self-esteem issues are definitely long lasting impacts of the experiences I have had.”
I did some research about the long term effects of domestic violence. Many people experience depression. A lot of people feel unworthy of real relationships and healthy relationships. Other people experience post traumatic stress disorder. They suffer from flashbacks and nightmares.
There was a woman who was in abusive relationship for years. She was not only physically abused but she was verbally abused as well. Her abuser called her things like “whore” or “slut”. It took her a while to finally recover after she was out of the relationship. She felt unworthy of a good healthy relationship. ALthough she finally got her life back, she will have to deal with these feelings of depression and anxiety for almost the rest of her life.
My name is Emily. The topic I chose is domestic violence. Every year too many people are victims of domestic violence. About 1 in 3 women and 1 in 14 men are physically abused by an intimate partner .
A common misconception for victims of domestic violence are that it is purely physical violence. In some relationships there are violent threats made. Also there are many relationships where one partner is basically imprisoned in their own home. Another common misconception is that only women are affected by domestic violence. Male domestic violence charity The ManKind Initiative say that for every three victims of partner abuse, two will be female and one will be male. Domestic violence against men is real but not as recognized as much as domestic abuse against women.
I’ve lived through domestic violence. I watched my father hit my mother for years. Then came along my stepfather. He was just as bad. He hit my mother just as bad as my father did. I remember from when I was as young as 3 my father getting angry and punching walls and doors then eventually my mother would try to calm him down and he would hit her. My mother grew up in a home with an abuser. Her father was extremely abusive towards her mother and her. This being all she knew she married my father who abused her as well. After he left when I was 3 my mother remarried in 2010. This time everything was fine for about a year. Then he began to get angry and hit the doors and walls. Then my mother didn’t want my siblings and I to see him like this. She would then try to calm him down. This bringing him to do the same thing my father did. He would hit her. He left numerous bruises in her arms and legs. He stayed for 4 years before he left. My sister spent 9 days at a mental hospital for suicidal thoughts. She was so depressed. After the first day she was there my stepfather left. As soon as things got hard he left us.
Around 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner per minute. Many victims never speak up about their experiences for fear that their abuser may find them. Other people never even escape abusive homes. They are to scared of being further abused if they are found escaping. There are also some cases where people are in denial about the abuse they are going through. In these cases people see the situation as normal. My mother thought that everything was normal for years until my father made her wear long sleeves in the summer to cover the bruises. He wanted everyone to think we were a normal family. To the public most relationships are completely normal but behind closed doors too many relationships have an abuser who controls their partner's every move. Domestic violence is an act of control. All acts of abuse are about controlling. Weather or not your partner keeps you from going out or physically abuses you, all of it is about control.
A woman named Lovern Gordon shared her domestic violence story to the huffington post. In her story she explains that she was given the option of her abuser or her friends and family. Being “young” she said she chose him. She said that the first time he hit her she thought it was a one time thing. He apologized and she thought it was over. Over the next month he became more and more violent. He slapped and punched her in private. Behind closed doors was a whole different story to what was seen outside. There was an altercation between her abuser and her brother and he again asked her to choose between him or her family. She was in denial and she again chose him. Over the course of the remainder of their relationship he continuously told her that he loved her. He got even more violent he kicked and choked her. SH thought since he apologized and said he loved her it was okay. There was one particular night, the night she finally got the help she needed where he beat her so bad and threatened to kill her that she thought she may die that night. In this case she was lucky. She got the help she needed. She was lucky. Too many people die from not seeking the help they need.