Overcoming Adversity

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“So, what do you want to do today?” The woman stood in front of me with her clipboard and pen, patiently waiting for my answer. I turned my head to look at my brother-in-law’s door down the hallway. My body ached; I had been savagely beaten that morning for no particular reason. Holding back painful tears, I answered, “Ma’am, no charges.” Truthfully, I wanted to have the police arrest my brother-in-law and take him far away from my family. I wanted him gone. Standing before the policewoman, I had silently debated with myself. I thought of my mom, who was being rushed to the hospital by the ambulance; I thought of my three-year-old niece, standing near me and clearly horrified by the crime scene; I thought of the pain my brother-in-law had been causing my entire family throughout the past seven years; I thought about the tremendous power I had been given to change my family’s life. My oldest sister looked up at me from the bottom of the stairs. I noticed the yearning in her eyes and knew I could never place her in financial ruin. With one daughter already and another one coming in about a month, it was out of the question for my sister to pay bail for her husband. It seemed to me that my sister’s sanity would not survive taking care of two babies and her tax service business. After I reluctantly gave my answer to the officer, I stood facing the wall and cried. Though his behavior was inexcusable, I cannot completely blame my brother-in-law. My mom truly believed that making my brother-in-law content would prevent all future arguments. The decision to please him everyday–out of fear–had instigated the tension in the family. Because of this decision, his sense of superiority steadily rose until we became his servants, and as was the case that Saturday morning, I became his punching bag. Initially, I panicked, and in the days immediately following July 24, 2005, my goals and dreams vanished before my eyes. I thought that I had to put aside all my aspirations to fully concentrate on what my family needed most of me. Fortunately, I realized that all I needed was to be strong and determined to survive this incident. Consequently, I became stronger and wiser. Simply by waking up and starting a new day, I know that I am stronger. Today, I look in the mirror and see that Diane Lu is still alive and doing well; once again, my dreams and goals feel within reach as I continue to pick myself up and prepare for the future. I have long since washed off my scabs and can now say that I have an even greater motivation to succeed in life. Like these scabs, my brother-in-law’s ruthless power over my family and me was only temporary. It was merely another obstacle in life to endure, wash off, and put behind me. So what do I want to do today? I want to continue doing my best in life and thrive.

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