A PERSONAL NARRATIVE 6
Myname is Vivian West, and I am 22 years old. When I was in seventhgrade, I experienced a traumatic incident that changed my lifecompletely. Throughout my early childhood, my mother was my strengthand best friend. She raised me as a single parent and as an onlychild she could not help but spoil me a little with constant giftsand surprises. By the time I was eight-years-old, I had visitedDisneyland four times, and other glamorous places in the country.While we were not rich, we had enough funds to take care of our basicneeds and a little to spare for leisure events like picnics, trips,and museum visits among others. My mother worked as a clerk in one ofthe financial firms in our hometown. Hence, I always considered mylife perfect since I believed that with my mother by my side, I wouldtackle any challenge I faced. I was even among the brightest studentsin my class, since every evening my mother would ensure that Icompleted my assignments on time and even tutored me in areas where Ihad difficulties. However, when I was twelve my world was turnedupside down as my best friend, mentor, icon, inspiration, protector,and strength was crudely snatched away by a hit and run car accident.
Mymother went to do some grocery shopping one evening, when a drunkdriver’s car swerved off the road and ran over her on the pavementpath she was using as she returned home. When the police came todeliver the sad news, I was doing my homework while the babysitterthat was taking care of me was watching television. When I saw them,I immediately felt that something was wrong and when they conveyedthe heartbreaking news, I fainted. When I recovered from the shock, Icould not believe how the world could be cruel to take away mymother, who was only thirty five years old. After the grievingperiod, I was placed under the care of an uncle that was a cousin ofmy mother. He had three children aged fifteen, thirteen, twelverespectively.
Mycousins were always vindictive to me and the new environment andaffected me immensely. I was used to being the center of attention inmy home, but in my new household people rarely noticed me orunderstood my grief. As such, I became withdrawn and detached fromthose around me (Corr & Corr, 2012). In my home my mother used anauthoritative parenting style, whereby while she had establishedrules to observe, she would also listen to my explanations before anypunishment. Nonetheless, in my new home things were different as mynew guardians only used an authoritarian parenting style that I founddifficult to follow. Hence, I was often punished even for the pettyissues, making my stay there excruciating.
Aftercompleting middle school, I had given up on life. I had transformedfrom an “A” student to one of the dismally performing students inthe new school that my uncle enrolled me. I managed to achieveaverage grades that secured me a position in high school. However, myperformance kept dropping. I also started interacting with some ofthe deviant groups at school as a coping mechanism for my grief andpain. Soon I was coming home late as I spent most of the time with myfriends doing silly things such as shoplifting and even bullyingother children (Crosetto & Garcha, 2013). I had also stoppedconcentrating in class, failed to do my assignments, and eventually Idropped out of school when I was seventeen years and in my senioryear in high school. I also run away from home and went to live withmy new friends in some abandoned cottages.
Inmy new home, I felt accepted and was allowed to live my life as Iwished. However, I faced economic challenges since I could not accessthe trust fund my mother has saved for me. She had directed that Iwould only have the funds after obtaining my high school diploma.Therefore, in my new environment, I encountered economic issues and Icould sometimes sleep without eating (Crosetto & Garcha, 2013).My friends introduced me to substance abuse and after a while I wasleading a miserable life like a street beggar. Even the casual jobs Icould secure, I was often fired for failing to show up or for comingto work while drunk.
Ilived this life for two years, until a Good Samaritan saw me on thestreets and offered to help me. Mrs. Sanders was a friend of mymother and she was a social worker. She arranged for me to go torehab to sober up and build my life afresh (Crosetto & Garcha,2013). After spending eighteen months at the drug rehabilitationfacility, I was finally free of drugs and I could start a newdirection in my life. The woman that helped me get rid of drugs alsohelped me secure a job at one of the supermarkets in my neighborhood.She also arranged for a living place for me, of which she helped topay the rent. I started saving money to return to school and completemy high school diploma. Mrs. Sanders had come into my life when I wasengrossed in drugs and helped show a new fulfilling life to me. Shewas like a second mother, and she showered me with the support andlove that helped me finally let go the grief of losing my mother. Sheprovided me with the support that my guardians failed to offer and Iam thankful to her for her generosity and understanding.
Currently,I am one of the older students in high school studying with scholarswho are four of five years my juniors. However, I face this challengegracefully and I am working hard and diligently to complete my senioryear and acquire my high school diploma. I still work at thesupermarket and I am making savings to buy my own place in thefuture. I am a confident young woman that my mother envisioned Iwould be, and I remind myself every day that I have to become abetter version of myself that she would have liked and encouraged. Assuch, I am focused on finishing my high school education so that Ican fulfill my dream of working as a pharmacy technician. In theprocess, I can access the funds my mother had left for me and evenjoin college. Following my mother’s demise, I had becomepessimistic about life and was unable to deal with her death properlybecause I lacked the right support to guide me through the grief.However, I am thankful to my mother’s comrade who turned up at anopportune moment and showed me the right path. I intend to keepliving a positive and fulfilling life to ensure that I make mymother, Mrs. Sanders, and myself proud, since I have a second chanceto achieve all I ever wanted.
Corr,C. A., & Corr, D. M. (2012). Death& dying, life & living.New York: Nelson Education.
Crosetto,A., & Garcha, R. (2013). Death,loss, and grief in literature for youth: A selective annotatedbibliography for K-12.Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.