A Fork in the Road

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August 4th, 2011, 11:24 pm

A Fork in the Road

What do you believe? Do we make our own choices in life, going against or with the mold, becoming who we are today? Or, is how we are raised and treated determine how we will be in the future? Could it possibly even be both? If your parents are drug addicts or war heroes, does that mean that we are bound to be trailer trash and in the military? Or, seeing how this worked out for your parents, are you gonna fight tooth and nail to or not to become like them? This is what I and countless other people I have been talking to have been wondering.

If your parents are red necks who have horrible teeth and never make it anywhere in life beyond their front porch. Drug addicts who can not seem to figure out how to use birth control, or find a job to support the poor children they’re selfishly keeping because of the lack of this knowledge. Millionaires who have more money then they know what to do with, and no true friend who they are willing to share their great fortune with. Or, even a navy seal who is always away from home, never seeing his or her family grow up because work and his country is that much more important to him than holding his wife in his arms every night and seeing his daughter off to her first date. Does that mean that you will become like them in the future? When you look at them, are you just seeing a distorted mirror image of what you have to look forward to?

If your parents are selfish, stubborn, Successful/smart, or generous. If your parents are picky eaters or are die hard sport fans. If your parents are musicians or artist does that mean that you will be?

I’m not so sure about these points. I have a few different friends where this could be the case, that, even knowing and disliking certain traits, it is almost as if it is in their DNA to become like this. It is almost like it was their destiny. I have this friend, let’s call her “Faith”. She was adopted into this very healthy, smart, and successful household. They eat all these healthy four course meals, hardly, if ever, consumed any soda or sugar, and never smoked or drank. Faiths mother had been informed that Faiths biological parents where obese, drug addicted high school drop outs when they had received her. Not wanting this for Faith, they kept an even closer eye on her then they did on any of her other siblings, keeping her on an even stricter diet. All through Elementary and High School, she did keep a healthy thin weight, got good grades and had a normal curiosity of drugs, but then more recently, she has begun to gain a lot more weight and has been going a little heavy on the alcohol and drugs. AND her grades (having been a straight A student) has begun to slack these last few years in collage. Basically, even though she has never come into contact with her biological parents since birth, she has begun to evolve into them still, despite her and her parents best efforts. I have two other friend, “Hope” and “Destiny”, both their mothers are kind of in the same boat as Faiths biological parents, only they both got pregnant and married at a VERY young age, we’re talking 18 or 19 here…Pregnancy coming BEFOR the marriage. Both of them had told me in middle school that they did not want to do or become like their parents when they “grew up” and despite their wants, seeing first hand what it could do to the family and the hard ships their parents had to go through because of it, they become like a distorted image of them. Hope, she became pregnant at the age of 16, just a sophomore in high school and didn’t get her GED until two years after the rest of her class and friends (well at least the ones who graduated) did. Destiny, she is like her mother as well, only she didn’t get pregnant until she was 19. She has yet to get her GED. Neither of them have a job that I’m aware of, and also don’t have the best taste in guys, just like their mothers. The final case, the one that is most heart breaking to me, the one that I hope will be able to break the cycle, would be some one who I would like call “Serenity”. In this case, her family has a history of incest, her father started sleeping with her at the age of I believe 16, she was raised by her step father and mother and didn’t even know who or what her biological father was or looked like until this period in her life. Sadly he was her first, and she started to believe she was in love with him, even became pregnant with his children, TWICE. The first one she aborted, and the second one she ended up losing. After waking up and realizing just how WRONG this was; how sick her father was to have brought this upon her, to put his daughter through this kind of trauma; Thankfully, with the help of other loved ones that she confided in, they helped her work up the courage to report him to the cops. Putting him in prison and getting a lifetime restraining order against each other. Come to find out months or years later, I don’t know which, this sort of thing apparently ran in the family, going so far back as her grandmother, if not further, sleeping with her sons. Now the whole reason I bring this person up is, will she be able to break this tradition now? I have complete faith that she will, so does she, but will she ever have the urge to? Is it in her DNA?

Another thought or theory is that we pave our own path in life. That our past plays little to no part in our lives and how we choose to live them. That we our selves chose rather or not we are going to be astronauts, construction workers, jerks or loving, nursing people. Emotionally strong or weak people. That even if your parents are giving people, that you could become a selfish SOB. That even if your parents raised you “right” you could still become a trailor park whore. Even if your parents are Seahawk fans, you detest sports and prefer strumming a little tune on your “Gi-tar” (did this for pronunciation sake lol, the word here is guitar) to hooting and hollering at the big screen T.V. My friend “Rookie” (aka one of my multiple bros) believes this. He came from a drug and alcoholic household. Our mother was pleasant to everyone, and our father could be pleasant when he felt like it. They had strict punishment when it came to swearing (soap in the mouth) and misbehaving (this sometimes, more often with the boys then my sis and I, with a belt) My brothers also basically raised me since my parents were always to high or drunk to do it themselves. They would pawn in their Christmas gifts so that they could buy their next fix and would send them out to get it. They pulled all my brothers out of high school early so that they could work and bring money into the house so that they could be lazy. My mom did always cook us dinner though, and we always ate as a family around the table. My parents were also clean freaks (well at least for my standards) Rookie got past all of this, has gotten married to a wonderful women who I believe is like his other half. Has at this time, three beautiful children. They are not hard on them at all, having a hard time even telling them the word no. When they cry, they feel horrible and don’t spank them. School is important to them. They always buy a bunch of presents for their kids and let them KEEP them. Pawning them for their own selfish means never enters their minds. He can be perceived as a jerk a lot because he isn’t afraid to tell people his opinion, not censoring anything. He also likes to think he knows almost everything and likes to share his wealth of knowledge. He never has been into the whole drug scene and only drinks maybe two or three times a year. There are a whole list of things that prove just how NOT like my parents he is. Another example would be my sister “Ruth” (short for Babe Ruth but she’s a gal, so can’t be calln’ her that lol). Even with all this in our past and a little bit more, she graduated from High School a year earlier then she was suppose to. Is in college getting even better grades, has never done any drugs or drank a drop of alcohol (at least I would like to think she has not) like so many other teens our age. So, could this theory be right? That we forge our own path in life?
Or, do we do a combination of the two? Where Faith and Hope just destined to be like their parents? Where as Ruth and Rookie had just enough of the will power to NOT be like them, and doing a 180, become the polar opposite of them? Is how your raised basically just laying out the foundation, showing you right from wrong, letting you know your boundaries, and then what we do with these foundations is up to you once you reach a certain point in your life. A fight or flight response if you will. Your past and childhood, depending how you take and receive it, either making you a stronger or weaker person for it. Here are just a few examples: Your father is abusive and you see someone who is being bullied at school. You know how humiliating and damaging this can be to your psyche, are you going to try to help that person being bullied, hopefully stopping them from feeling what you have had to go through. Or are you going to join in with the group so that you will feel accepted, no longer weak and alone, but powerful? If your parents are doctors, taking a lot of stock in school and your having difficulty in school, are you just going to drop out and work at a mediocre job for the rest of your life forever just scraping by, or are you going to fight on and hopefully become successful like your parents. If your mother is a social butterfly, someone who is friends with everyone, but who you view as fake and two faced. Are you going to be nice to other people like her and not always tell people your true feelings so that you do not hurt them or to prevent conflict. Or, risking their wrath and possible heart break, are you going to tell them the truth and risk being thought of as a jerk? I myself believe I am like this. Taking just certain pieces from my childhood to make me stronger and being too weak to stop others. I don’t and still do not ever plan on doing drugs or alcohol, I plan on being strict with my son, spanking him with the palm of my hand, but I am going to try my best to have him complete school. I choose to treat other as id like to be treated, and choose to keep things that I think would hurt someone from them, and other details, that I think someone should know I tell. I don’t want to be like my parents and marry because I got pregnant, I didn’t want to be a high school drop out. I don’t want to only scrape by my whole life. Unfortunately, I dropped out of high school, because I got pregnant as a teenager, despite my best efforts of being on birth control from the very beginning. I didn’t get addicted to drugs though, and I almost have my GED, and will be going to collage. I have already done more then they’ve ever done. I could have not gotten pregnant at such a young age though, you know what they say, abstinence is the best policy, but I wouldn’t ask for anything different since I got such a beautiful little boy out of it, this is beside the point though. Was I just destined to get pregnant at a young age despite me efforts to not, and, trying so hard to not end up my parents, be successful? A friend of mine, “Amore”, She never wanted to be like her mother and marry countless times, never staying with one man her whole life, so, even though she is in a horrible marriage, she chooses to stay with him in the hope of not becoming like her. Is this a distorted image of her parents still?

So, what is it? Do we make our own paths in life, follow, or, do we steer off the path a little (some of us drastically) and then just walk along side it on either the sidewalk or the gutter, going through the same obstacles, but choosing a different path still? Being thankful and appreciative of the good qualities in life your parents gifted you, but not following in their exact foot steps.

All of these stories I have written are living people, are real people that I know personally. Real situations.

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