1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:33 am

I stare down at my feet watching what once was an intact glass bottle, now mere shards, as ocean waves slowly begin lapping up the pieces. I try to pick up the broken fragments and force them back into a whole again but they crack further and are no longer able to be handled.

The relationship I’ve had with my mother the majority of my life is this broken glass bottle- seemingly damaged beyond repair with edges sharp, volatile. For a long time I thought any semblance of a mother-daughter relationship was long lost to the sea. At times I played the daughter, but more often than not I was the mother figure; the former during vacations taken to compensate for the times she was absent, and the latter disabling the brakes in her car so she wouldn’t drive under the influence or picking her up off the ground with a broken nose after she tried to ride a bicycle to the local liquor store. Vacillating between these roles tore my childhood psyche in two as I had no choice but to mature and become independent yet I yearned for the stability and reassurance from even the most basic maternal acts like having someone look over my homework or tuck me in at night.

The first time my mother went to rehab I was in middle school. I anticipated her coming home shiny and new and our relationship finally mirroring all the other mothers and daughters I was jealous of at that age. A DUI in front of my school at ten in the morning a mere month later helped me quickly realize that addiction was not going away over night and my life wouldn’t be the ideal image I had imagined. I wanted that idolized parent to look up to who would guide me down the right path with a strong shoulder to lean on when problems arose. Without a father in the picture, no siblings to lean on, and a substance-abusing, manic depressive mother feebly leading the household, at a young age I learned I would have to be my own version of this. My solution at the time was to throw myself into endless extracurriculars and hide my head in a book at home, all the while building up a wall around myself creating a facade of a life that wasn’t breaking apart on the inside.

The shards were sucked out to sea, not a fragment in sight, not to be seen again until the fundamental weathering had taken effect.

Our relationship reached rock bottom during the interim of my mother’s second and third trips to rehab. Ninety pain pills in one month coupled with alcoholism served as a recipe for disaster. The final ligaments which barely held our relationship together gave way on a day like any other, flipped upside down by a brief phone call. “Your mother has been involved in a drunk driving accident and has hit another car.” In that moment the wall I had built up around myself came shattering to the ground. Questions raced through my mind- was she or the couple she hit hurt? Would she go to jail? How did the situation escalate to this point? I came to the conclusion that waiting for her to change wasn’t the solution, rather what I had control over and the power to alter, my response to her actions, was.

For many years I played into the addiction- fooling myself that this one drink would be her last, that the empty pill bottle was from months ago, that the reason I had to slap her awake was just because she had a tiring day, and letting her convince me that I was the cause of her drinking and drug use. Rationalizing her actions and covering up her tracks only strengthened the power this addiction had over our relationship. Constantly reverting back to this pattern hoping for a solution was not the answer. Reflecting on the countless interventions, two prior stints in rehab, and a home on the verge of repossession, this accident served as the tipping point of my realization that in order to move past this struggle, I needed to reconstruct my role if I wanted to break this cycle. Working full-time throughout college, maintaining high academic standards, and passionately working towards a thesis I spent countless hours researching but regrettably postponed in order to stand financially independent was no easy feat. Ending my role as her supervisor and caretaker proved even more difficult as her words about suicide resonated in my head each day. Remaining resilient by standing my ground and moving on towards my goals despite these epic difficulties was integral to the solution as my mother realized on her own that something had to change, and she signed in to another rehab facility.

The third last ditch rehab effort proved invaluable. Psychotherapists made a diagnosis that would change my life forever, my mother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. This random variable thrown into the mix was never the solution I expected but the answer I had been waiting for. Seven-hundred dollar bi-weekly grocery shopping bills, three in the morning phone calls of uncontrollable sobbing juxtaposed with excitable ramblings the following morning, misplacement of bank deposits, and a longtime inability to kick the addiction coupled with the explanation provided by this solution strengthened my ability to continue down the newfound path I had begun to pave for myself. As her life transformed, I hesitatingly welcomed rebuilding our relationship from the ground up.

With the help of a therapist I started erecting a bridge towards the uncharted territory of a healthy relationship with my mother. Having to learn a new role as a daughter and giving over the reins of the parent is a constant effort every day. I know that our relationship will never be what I envisioned as a young child, but what we have is ours and the journey to get here has shaped me into someone I am proud to be.

It has taken many years but I have realized that my true strength did not lie in covering up for my mother and upholding a facade that our family was “normal,” but rather openly acknowledging the cards I had been dealt and accepting it. This life-long journey has taught me that when faced with adversity, the solution more often that not is one you did not expect. Had I not changed my response to the situation, I would not have been able to alter my course from an emotionally isolated captive of the situation to the liberated free spirit with a broadened perspective I am now. Having a past ridden with adversity has shown me the importance of stepping outside of the black and white to creatively seek a solution in the gray area when one isn’t apparent. In doing so the perspective I have gained allows me to accept the past, continue on an upward trajectory, and keep my mind open to new possibilities every day.

Walking along that same stretch of beach I watch as the pieces wash back up on shore. I examine them noticing that they are now softer, rounded, and able to be handled. Now I am not working on putting the pieces back together, for the original bottle can never be reproduced, but rather creating a mosaic with this sea glass, finding places perfect in their own right for the pieces as I go.

chinadoll
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: 1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

Postby chinadoll » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:08 pm

i hate to say it, but after reading this, i still have no idea why you want to go to law school. your ps does not speak of your abilities; it speaks of your past which, although unfortunate, is not sufficient to convince law school admissions councils that you deserve a spot in their school.

however, if your numbers are fantastic -- and they have to be really fantastic -- you might get lucky and happen upon a reader who feels you deserve a spot because you did well despite your hardships. but if like 75% of all applicants, you fall somewhere between the 25-75 percentile in both lsat and gpa, readers might see this ps as too flowery.

focus less on your feelings and more on your actions. good luck!
Last edited by chinadoll on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: 1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:23 pm

Your PS does not have to list your accomplishments or why you want to go to law school.

My concern with this statement is that too much of it is about your mother and not about you. You don't have to give so much history. You relegate your college, financial independence and your thesis to a couple of sentences. Write more about you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:55 pm

NYstate wrote:Your PS does not have to list your accomplishments or why you want to go to law school.

My concern with this statement is that too much of it is about your mother and not about you. You don't have to give so much history. You relegate your college, financial independence and your thesis to a couple of sentences. Write more about you.


Thanks for the input, I too was concerned I focused too much on my mother. I wanted to make sure I provided enough history to paint the picture and I think I over did it, will definitely focus more on myself.

chinadoll wrote:i hate to say it, but after reading this, i still have no idea why you want to go to law school. your ps does not speak of your abilities; it speaks of your past which, although unfortunate, is not sufficient to convince law school admissions councils that you deserve a spot in their school.

however, if your numbers are fantastic -- and they have to be really fantastic -- you might get lucky and happen upon a reader who feels you deserve a spot because you did well despite your hardships. but if like 75% of all applicants, you fall somewhere between the 25-75 percentile in both lsat and gpa, readers might see this ps as too flowery.

focus less on your feelings and more on your actions. good luck!


Great point as well, I do need to add more action and less emotion. Regarding your other point, I kind of assumed that adcomms will look at my resume for all of my accomplishments and I felt that sometimes the "why do you want to go to law school" aspect is a bit redundant, however, I'll try and weave it in somewhat if it doesn't end up coming across as forced. Thanks so much!

chinadoll
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: 1ST DRAFT, TEAR IT UP PLEASE!

Postby chinadoll » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Great point as well, I do need to add more action and less emotion. Regarding your other point, I kind of assumed that adcomms will look at my resume for all of my accomplishments and I felt that sometimes the "why do you want to go to law school" aspect is a bit redundant, however, I'll try and weave it in somewhat if it doesn't end up coming across as forced. Thanks so much!


a direct "why do you want to go to law school" is redundant, but your job is to show, not tell, the admissions people why you want to/ deserve to go to law school. at the end of the day, all law schools are looking for the same type of people: those that can take the beating from a volatile job market and still be sane/continue paying tuition/not embarrass the school




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