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I have a master's degree

I was born to my parents, in an apartment, in Tacoma, WA. The same apartment I'd spend the rest of my childhood living in. I moved out shortly after 19. The apartment was run down, and the walls were covered in mold, and the wallpaper peeled on every exterior wall. The carpets were filthy. The linoleum floor peeled, and cracked. We had mice, a lot, when I was growing up. I'd find their shit in my dresser drawer, mixed with my clothes. Once I woke up to a rat, not a mouse, on the end of my bed.

We were poor, just like most families in my neighborhood. The city I was raised in is the most dangerous city in Washington State. We lovingly refer to it as, "Tacompton." Drive by shootings. Hookers down on South Tacoma Way, 2 blocks from my parents apartment. Drug house directly across the street, and on the next block.

We didn't own a car for much of my childhood. It was either broken, or we couldn't afford to fix it; later sending it to the junkyard around the time I was in the 6th grade. We never owned a car, again. We began using the bus to grocery shop, and take our laundry to the laundromat.

My father has a gambling addiction, and my mother has schizophrenia. It was a hell of a thing, growing up with the type of neglect I endured. I nearly died as an infant from something called Failure to Thrive. I'm sure any of my fellow medical colleagues will understand just how serious that is, and just how overt the neglect was at that time. My father would leave me alone with my schizophrenic mother, as an infant, while he went to work all day. She provided zero care. If you've never seen videos of what happens to a baby when they are denied human interaction, you're welcome to check it out, but it's not for the faint of heart. He would tell me about coming home from work and finding me in my crib. Bottle empty, or soured, covered in my own excrement after working to get my feces away from my already severely blistered skin. You're probably wondering, "why would he even admit to that?" Because he has narcissistic personality disorder also, and he loves to feel he's a saint. Blaming my mother for the neglect after my grandmother told me about my nearly dying.... well that just makes sense, when it comes to him.

So, infancy was pretty rough. But it didn't end there. My parents were poor, and couldn't afford childcare...... got it. But, what about my hair growing up? It's simple enough to brush a child's hair. Once again, overt neglect.

Once a year I would be taken to a salon to have them comb the birds nests from my hair. Sometimes the naps would get as large as a softball. Giant balls of tangled hair. And my father would complain about the cost of the salon, but he sure did have the money for those pull tabs.

I suffered much more abuse and neglect than what I've listed and described here. I could write a book on my life that would shock people. And probably break many a heart.

I say all of this, to say.....

Poverty. That's my greatest fear. I'm overcoming it step by step.

Today, in spite of all the things I endured growing up, I graduated with my master's degree in nutrition and dietetics, and completed my dietetic internship.

God did NOT help me. I did. I worked so very hard to achieve this. This was all me. Because growing up in a religious household, I was told to pray. And I did, like a good little girl. And it didn't stop any of the abuse. I always knew it wasn't real, deep down.

I did this. I overcame. I persisted.

By nutrition_nerd7
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149 comments (126 - 149)

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Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

spoinewc Level 2 Jan 6, 2019

You should be proud of everything you've accomplished. Emphasis on the "you" part. You deserve all the credit for working towards the life you want. Congrats on your master's!


I'm the youngest of 15 kids my parents where practicing Roman Catholics...i had hand me down shoes for church only, never a store bought anything, we had food because we where farmers and we lived on a island so we could fish, TO MANY STORIES...also i was always made to feel guilty or spoiled because I had more than the older ones, they didn't always have food, they had to break the ground by hand to cultivate, my mother died the day after my 16th birthday, at 18 me and my 68 year old father emigrated to Canada...its been a lonely struggle but for most of my life I belived that one day all the wrongs where going to be made right because God was at almost 50 and not a beliver don't even know what to do to make things work I do have a good job that I like and 3 boys that I love.... I'm so proud of strong people that fight to better their lives...i don't think I'm one of those people...

m27082k Level 3 Jan 6, 2019

i'm proud that you're a fellow canuck.


Congratulations. ...
If I close my eyes I can still smell that Tacoma aroma....permanently seared into my brainstem. My we both live the rest of our days upwind of that wretched odor.

MauiMike Level 5 Dec 31, 2018

It was up-lifting to read about your mental and emotional strength. Congratulations on earning your graduate degree!

djs64 Level 6 Nov 25, 2018


48thRonin Level 8 Nov 25, 2018

Congratulations on your success!!



Fantastic: Congratulations!

The-Krzyz Level 7 Nov 23, 2018

So happy for you. Congratulations.


Good for you! Change the world!! You go!!!


Good for you! Change the world!! You go!!!


Good going...terrific story


Congratulations..... I celebrate with you.


More to say later.A bit overwhelmed.. Did it and experienced it too . You did it That is the final victory.... Life sucked moose cock as a child as the warrior women we are LMAO We fking won. Im not hostile or angry. But being good at "play" saved me

EvaV Level 7 Sep 15, 2018

You overcame a lot of hardships. It seems you were/are determined to make a difference. I have a similar background. There are things that linger throughout ones life. I'm glad I read your story...made an impact. Keep up the good work and congratulations.


That was a tragic and beautiful story❤️


Good for you trying to overcome the real demons of your past. Wishing you luck and strength in your journey!

jondspen Level 7 Aug 22, 2018

AND I'm SO VERY PROUD of you! Growing up in poverty...(like you) I realized that I've learned a LOT more than my privileged classmates about how to live frugally when it's necessary and how to stretch money when I want to do it. I'm sorry you went through it but, in a way, I'm glad for you. You'll see! It'll be exciting to see how much you accomplish! HOORAY FOR YOU!


Thanks you told some of my story too ,there - glad we survived. I did it by disappearing being the amazing nowhere girl, my mother was bipolar, mainly manic and moved furniture constantly my father was just defeated by his war experiences nad became a sort of disappearing puppet himself but in a different way. I left home at fifteen and now I am 70 I can look back and realise I made the life I had and it was good. I never had a god my mother was the only one in our family who had a god.

jacpod Level 8 Aug 22, 2018

What was the turning point that got you out of this dreadful upbringing?


Horrifying past, uplifting example of a human.

Seeker3CO Level 8 Aug 11, 2018

My story could mirror yours in many respects.

azzow2 Level 9 Aug 11, 2018

@nutrition_nerd I use it as a reference and make myself better. Every day I pass the positive aspect of my negative experience on to my kids so that they can have a mentally healthy life.


Congratulations on your achievements.

KKGator Level 9 Aug 11, 2018
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