In Caitlin’s Words: "Fuel to light the fire for my dreams"

Below is an excerpt from an essay written by Caitlin Keesee who attended our workshop at West Virginia University. You can read her full essay and others we featured at In Their Own Words: Ten Outstanding Student Essays.

As Mom drove me home from work that night, I kept the conversation going. It didn’t matter what the topic was, as long as she didn’t bring up that day’s visit to the doctor. It was almost as if I didn’t want him to recover from his alcoholism. I felt like if he did, then I’d have to forgive him …. My mom, on the other hand, would always forgive him. After all the things he’d done to us, she continued to trust him and let him come back into our lives again and again. I understood why she did it. She was afraid to be alone. She was scared that without him, our financial situation would become worse ….

Even though he was a big shadow of darkness upon our home and family, he was also the ray of light that I use to shine my way out. When I saw the way he hurt my mother, I was given fuel. Fuel to light the fire for my dreams. When I think of my future with someone, I know it can never be like that. I know that I have to do well in school. I know that I have to go to college. I cannot keep living in poverty where I have so few opportunities. I never want to rely on anybody else to take care of me. I didn’t want to become trapped as my mother and so many other women before me had.

Now I finally know my way out of this situation. I have to push my education past high school. I have to do well in college. I have to find a rewarding job that will bring up my self-confidence. After doing all these things that I have to do, then I will get to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

–Guestblogger J.B. Schramm

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