My name is Emily Bivens, and while I may have not been born into the worst possible circumstances, my struggles have not been any less valid or easy to overcome. So, I hope my store can inspire those who feel alone and lost, or simply need an extra bit of motivation.
I was born to a narcissistic, drug addict of a mother. She had issues and traumas of her own, that impacted how she raised and treated us. But it was no excuse. Verbal abuse, hours at the table screaming at me over homework I didn’t understand. No real motivation to even try because what was the point? I’d be smacked and screamed at anyway. This led me to drop out at sixteen. Years of abuse had led me to give up entirely and left me with PTSD.
As it turns out, I had undiagnosed ADD on top of that. So, after some therapy, working out my problems, I enrolled at NEXT. Math was the biggest hurdle to overcome. On my first day, my PTSD was triggered because I got frustrated with a problem, I kept getting wrong and I heard my mother screaming at me yet again, though I hadn’t been living with her for over a year at that point. I cried and felt embarrassed for doing so, but the tutors from PAX Learning Center helped me through it. Reassuring me that I could do it, and it was okay to cry and struggle.
In a few short months, finding the strength to get out of bed and go to tutoring, I gained a better understanding of math than I’ve ever had in my twenty-tow years of life. I believed for most of my life I couldn’t do it. But I did. And I’m still doing it. My goal is in view. I’m going to get my GED, despite my trauma, my disabilities, and I’m going to get it before the summer of 2022. When I have it, I’m going to work towards my next goal, to be a zookeeper. It may have not been my fault for all my struggles but it’s my responsibility to overcome them, with help of course. And I couldn’t be prouder of myself and thankful for these opportunities and the people who have gotten me this far.
Well, Alexis here, finally writing about myself. A young woman who fights the same demons you might. Congrats kids, I guess you kind of made it.
Let’s just say that I didn’t have it easy. I had a mom who was very strict about education or getting a paycheck. Trust me, she let it be known that you couldn’t live in her home and not do anything. She was controlling.
Fresh out of homeschool, starting in a public middle school… Into a new world, new surroundings, new people. It was a huge hit to me. It was hard for me to adjust. So, what did I do? I got into fights and would get expelled time and time again, eventually ending up in a behavioral school. In behavioral school, things turned around. I was doing great, I attended classes and my grades were up! I was passing. I did it. I finally did well in school. I passed.
But no one told me about high school… Here comes real life.
HIGH SCHOOL WAS ANOTHER STORY. I went. I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. I had trouble paying attention for some reason, I just couldn’t focus. I just could not understand anything they taught or what was going on around me. From there everything went downhill. I ditched, over and over again. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and I found myself falling deeper into a rabbit hole filled with substance abuse issues. At some point, ditching class became an addiction, too. My education wasn’t important, it wasn’t a priority. I lost my drive and my ambition. But here I am, all these years later… Back in front of a whiteboard, learning. Trust me, it is not fun having to learn everything you thought was unimportant.
Now, I’m 24 and just getting my GED with PAX Learning Center and Next. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m here. I’m taking responsibility for my actions. I’m taking a chance on ALEXIS and as my teacher says, “investing in Me Inc.” I say all that just to say this: You are never too old to keep trying and grow. Your education is important. Trust me, you will get a lot farther with it.
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