Any constructive criticism that anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated. This has to go out tonight.
College was a novel concept for me. My parents never graduated high school, my father dropped out after the 10th grade, along with my mother after becoming pregnant at 16; advanced educational pursuits were neither practical, nor possible. It’s not that they weren’t capable; money and avoiding homelessness became the chief concern of our small unit. Anybody who sought academics in my family would have to be a person willing to stand opposed to the truth of inevitability. Illegitimate children of Mexican American teenagers normally don’t fare well in school, and I was no different as a child.
My parents divorced when I was three years old. My mother and I moved on to live with my grandmother, hoping to garner some protection from my father who had become abusive, becoming absorbed into a gang lifestyle of drugs and alcohol. Our lifestyle remained nomadic with our inability to lay down roots anywhere absent of chaos. We did the best we could with what we had. My mother supported us through the Los Angeles County welfare program, along with a small job working at “Smart and Final”.
Eventually, my mother would move us in with her boyfriend at the time, in the hopes that he could provide us with a form of financial stability. Things were ok for awhile until he turned abusive. He would physically and verbally abuse all of us, believing this was his right, since we were staying in his home. He was a monster, holding particular disdain towards me, as I was never afraid to question his authority to abuse my family. I did this intentionally, because in doing so, I would prove successful in directing his wrath away from my mother and younger siblings onto myself. I felt at 7 years old that I was better equipped to handle the abuse then they were; my siblings were too young and my mother had endured too much; I owed it to her. Through him, I was able to reconcile to myself that I was a “mongrel, bastard, retarded, monkey looking child who would clean his bathrooms one day.” It wasn’t until allegations of child molestation emerged from my little sister before we decided to leave for good, moving back with my grandmother, and great grandmother.
I would write off his attempts to objectify me, but my psyche eventually would give way as I became more and more aware of the abnormalities of my situation compared to other kids. He was right; who was I to believe I could ever accomplish anything. I could hardly read as it was, and though I showed promise in school, I knew that we would never be able to afford college. College was for important people, and I didn’t fit the bill.
I fought depression and self esteem issues for the entirety of my child hood. I was afraid of people, and struggled to ingratiate myself into my school communities. I was broken as a child, but not destroyed. Nobody could take away my love of reading; and I read voraciously about stories of those who had overcome. Autobiographies were my favorite, as they demonstrated that the power to succeed came from within, and the walls preventing us from achievement were not unbreakable. Much later in my early 20’s I began to imagine myself as the things that I could become. I finally started to ask the question, “why not me”? Why couldn’t I become a lawyer? Why couldn’t I excel academically? What was stopping me? I resolved to myself that it was no longer about what was, or what is; it was about what could be.
I am far removed from the desperation that plagued my childhood; I have come to respect my past as a necessary variable shaping the man I have become. I am a man ready to stand opposed in the face of inevitability; grasping fully the opportunities set before me. The opportunity to attend Chapman law school is not one available to the majority of those from my background. All my life I’ve been waiting for my shot, my break to make it and finish my story. I’m ready to finish, I just need somebody to give me a shot.
the wording in the bolded part seems a little confusing to me. was it 1 particular instance or was that a pattern of behavior? if it's a single occurrence, i think it should read "my mother moved us is" otherwise you're switching up tenses which will not look great.