When one parent has to take on the responsibility of two, it forces independence upon the child. When I was three, my dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It is a dreadful disease that affects your entire body. My dad has primary progressive which slowly shuts your neurologic system down, and he is in a wheelchair full time. I have learned every bad experience comes with gained knowledge.
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Having a sick parent has made me have an eccentric sense of independence. I work as hard as I can, so I can be financially independent. My family is financially stable, but my dad may go on disability in the very near future cutting my family’s income nearly in half. For this reason, I want to pay for college along with anything else I want. I have had a job since I was thirteen. I worked at a jewelry store for two years making $8/hour. As I grew older, I realized $8/hour two days a week was not going to cut it. For the past two years I have worked as a tour guide at a museum making $9/hour four days a week along with babysitting one day a week for ten hours. Along with working, I also balance racing junior dragsters to gain more money. The winner of each drag race gets sent a large check, and I want to save the money for college. With all of the activities I do, I am busy six to seven days a week making money for myself.
I also show my independence by learning to take care of myself when my family is not around. For example, this past summer, I was rough housing with my friend, and I kicked him in the shin sending a sharp shooting pain up my foot. The next day, my dad was too sick to be left alone, so I had to drive myself to the hospital an hour away only to find they didn’t take my insurance. I was sent to two different hospitals before they accepted me inside. It was extremely painful and terrifying having to go to the hospital alone, but I know my dad’s health is more important than my own comfort.
I have been fortunate enough to have other people step in and help me in places my dad cannot. When my dad began to get noticeably worse, I had family members and family friends come into my life to help me in ways I did not understand. Being so young, I did not comprehend their intentions, and I had a very hard time letting them help me. As I grew older though, I began to understand that they were there for my own benefit, and they were not there to take my dad’s place. Having so much support in my life has helped me in many ways. Not only were these people there to drive me to places, to help me with my drag races, and put me into place, but they were most importantly there to guide me. They are always supportive of my decisions and make sure I am taking the right path in life. Although I had some trust issues in the beginning, I have grown to expand my view and let others help me. It has also made me a more compassionate person, and it makes me want to help others as well.
Through all the hardships I have faced having to do with my dad’s disease, I have grown a great extent from it. Independence is the most important aspect of growing up, and with the reality I have faced, I have gained the knowledge of it. I have had to experience many real world problems at an early. This has helped me prepare myself for the future, and I am not afraid to grow up. I also have learned to trust people and see the good in them. Not only have I gained from the growing support around me, but I hope others around me have gained too because I have a want to help other people. I can easily relate to people with sick parents, and I hope that others can benefit from my gained knowledge of independence and support.