Stronger Stories - Most Recent
I had recently went thru several years of intensive therapy to deal with depression and was finally seeing happiness and hope again. I sent a online msg to my high school lover on Jan 20, 2008 but never heard back. I was continuing to get stronger by the day and really feeling content with myself. On Jan 20, 2009, I got a response from her online. She was single and really eager and thrilled to see me. We met up and have not been apart since. It is magical, powerful and so uplifting to know that anyone can find happiness after all the darkness. I am stronger and more happy than ever.
My Stronger story started when I was 12 years old. I have Congenital Hydrocephalus a brain disease you get when you're born. It's where the fluid in your brain is not balanced as well as other people. So, to alleviate that for a number (for me, 12) of years you get shunts in your head with valves that maintain proper balance of spinal fluid to your ma.
It malfunctioned when I was 12. So, I spent over 5 months in the hospital at one time and then numerous viaitsa to the ER after that. I have had over 13 surgeries, 3 major brain surgeries and 3 (and more in the future) eye surgeries because the pressure in my head caused my eyes become crossed and double-vision (where you see two of everything...not fun!) I'm so much Stronger with fighting this disease for over 4 years now. I've faced things that some people haven't in a lifetime. And I'm hoping for everyone out there that it won't and hasn't been you.
In that time of staying in the hospital, I became so self-conscious of what I went through I became invisible and I did not talk for a time because of it. I would look in anyone's eyes becouse I thought they would judge me. I couldn't talk where people could understand me because I had facial paralysis. (My mouth/face was paralyzed.) Couldn't smile (which is now my best feature now), talk, eat, drink without spilling it on me, whistle, hum, laugh showing emotion...and more that made me limited. Going through months and months of physical/occupational therapy for my face made me really WANT my life back, made me Stronger, and I KNEW I wasn't going to let anything at all get me down or stop me.
After my 5 months of being on the 7th floor of neurosurgery (as if that wasn't enough) I then went to the rehab floor of the hospital. So I went through physical therapy everyday. I went to school there too. (Yes, school is in the hospital...fun!) My teachers from my middle school actually sent in email or sent in the mail my homework assignments even when I didn't know the lesson! So, I went through a couple more months and more physical therapy to get out of my wheelchair I was bound to and faced "regular" everyday life at home.
I'm so much Stronger now and want to live my life as best as I can and I won't ever give up! I thank everyone who has supported me. <3
I struggled through school so badly, I had so many teachers who told me I'd be lucky to pass their classes etc and when I finally finished high school I passed all of my courses with higher than expected grades.
When I went back to see a drama teacher her words to me were "how the hell did you get an A?!"
Not very nice so of course it pushed me to go further. I finished College with a performing arts qualification and 3 other qualifications.
I then went on to study at a top 10 university in the UK and gained my degree.
So many people along the way tried to deter me or tell me I wouldn't/couldn't do it. I'm glad I was strong and proved them wrong!
I'm 13. I am just a kid really and not afraid to admit that. When I was 12 I was sexual abused by my brother's best friend. This boy was like my brother and his sister was one of my best friends. The boy was 15 at the time. Sexual abused does not mean raped. I not only lost my dignity, a best friend, hope, faith, but I almost lost my family. After this happened I didn't realize it was bad I thought I was just used by a guy who happened to be like a brother to me. But it turned out to be so much bigger than that. In seventh grade my grades fell, i couldn't focus, and I felt my world was falling apart. I had no desire or will to live. To me there was no point to life and the worst part was that I had no idea why. One of my other best friends was there for me the whole time. Later in the year when I started making some bad choices she made hard decisions and I own her a lot. Thank you. Things started happening fast my parents found out about my stupider decisions. They didn't know what to do with me. I was constantly lectured and forced into consoling were I didn't talk at all because I didn't know what to say. At that point I didn't think it was a big deal. One day my mom picked me up from school and she said we know you are hiding something. I told some of the highlights of what had happened. I felt like a naughty kid confessing rather than a victim accusing. Things happened and eventually the boy and his parents are pleading guilty. I lost someone close to me that day I told my mom. But I felt like I would of lost myself if I hadn't told. It does't feel over but I hope one day it will. I love music and art. All i ever wanted and breakaway are amazing and I listen to them all the time. Kelly Clarkson is a big idol of mine and I think she is amazing. I want to thank her for making the music that became my therapist during hard times. I can't say I am strong because that would be a lie. But I am definitely getting stronger.
Throughout my life, I have faced so much. I don't know what family is. I just turned 17 years old yesterday and it was just me and my mom again. It hasn't been that way for five years. I tried my best to enjoy it. It was hard. My PopPop died of lung cancer last October, then my Uncle's gambling addiction resurfaced. We bailed him out, but then he kept digging himself in deeper and we won't help him anymore. He has already taken more money from us and doesn't think he has to repay it. So, we have disowned him. I don't call him my Uncle anymore. The sad thing is, now I don't get to see my cousins, Emma, 5, and Maya, 3. We promised Emma we would be there for her first day of Kindergarten, that didn't happen. I miss them so much. I cry because I miss them. I cry all the time for a whole lot of other reasons as well, it just gets to be too much to keep in.
When I was in seventh grade I was diagnosed with severe depression. I became very antisocial and turned into myself. I went to a dark place and started cutting myself and nobody knew, I kept it hidden. I just went deep inside of myself, and I'm stll trying to pull myself out. It's not as bad anymore, but it gets tough some days.
I grew up with a family full of anger, hatred, addiction, and grudges. I don't even know most of my family because they won't talk to us. My family holds grudges. If you would even call it a family when I haven't seen any of them because they don't want to see me or have anything to do with me or my mom. Don't know the whole story but that's been my life, a lot of what I've known. And, I won't get to meet my father until next year. That's a whole other story.
But because of these moments, I've become stronger. I've learned to get through the day. I'm stronger now, a lot stronger than I was before. I'm still growing, gaining my strength.
Yes, I have to deal with rumors at school. I'm the girl who doesn't have a father, I'm the girl who is apparently sick all the time and has problems. But i've learned not to listen. I keep my head held high...until I'm alone. I'm working so hard to get better and to get out of this dark place. I'm not the same person I was, and some people ask me for the old Meghan back, and it hurts. I can't get her back, she won't be back ever. They need to accept that. I sure have.
So much has happened to me, I know its not the worst story in the world. Everyone has dysfunctional families, some more than others. But its just been hard for me to get through it. I watch tv and wonder why I can't have a family like that. But I don't think I'll ever know what having a family is truly like, not with the way things are and have been, even before I was born. I've seen so much, learned so much, and have always been really mature for my age because of what I've gone through and had to deal with.
I'm stronger because of my experiences ever since I took my first breath of air exactly seventeen years and one day ago. Thanks, Kelly, your music has helped through to make it this far in life. Here's to hopefully another seventeen years. There's more to my story, it's just too long to write, and it's late. Maybe I'll write a book about it...someday.
When I was in a baby I had to stay 2 extra weeks in the hospital because I would not eat . My mom and grandma thought I wasn't going to make it . Then my mom took me to this lady named Benny across the street from my moms house and Benny got me to eat so then Benny became my babysitter . Now i am 25 years old and living with my grandma . I just want to say Benny if it weren't for you I wouldn't be who I am today !
I Love You Benny !
In may 2009, one day before I graduated from high school I got an unexpected message from a fellow KCFC member. She had seen a few of my post and decided to message me. She was from SD so about 1000 miles separated us. Naturally we both expected to exchange a few emails here and there but never did I expect to have such a wonderful friend that I still talk to everyday, nearly two and a half years later. It was crazy, everyday we talked we found we had more and more in common, almost as if we were the same person. We became best friends really fast. She was there for me in some of the hardest times of my life, I was making the transition from high school to college, I was dealing with family problems, a recent three year relationship ending, etc. Thanks to her I was able to find strength as I moved away from family and friends, and finally able to get rid of the boy who had a hold of me and basically controlled my life/emotions for the previous 3 years. Not only were we one in the same but we also shared a love for kelly! Put those two together and it seemed our friendship was unbreakable. We made so many plans, however, it seemed like there was always something trying to pull our friendship apart. Several times one of us tried to pull the plug on our friendship and go on with our lives, but no matter how hard we tried it also seemed we weren't meant to be apart, so we always ended up putting the friendship back together. Since that May in 2009 we have went through plenty of ups and downs due to the strain of a long distance friendship and growing up and making lives of our own. I still like to think of her as my best friend. I know God placed her in my life for a reason. He knew I was going to need someone that would listen intently and care for me when I didn't where to go or who to turn to. I wouldnt be the person I am today without her and I know she will continue to be there for me for the rest of my life, just as I will for her
I hope she reads this and knows I would do absolutely anything for her. I'm incredibly proud of the person she has become and cant wait to see where life takes her.
Thank you Ashley for helping make me STRONGER <3 you
I've had many champions who have helped me get to where I am today; teachers, friends, family, co-workers, but one in particular reached me without even knowing me.
I grew up in a dysfunctional, poor family. When I was a freshman in high school that dysfunction was escalated by my father's decision to "home school" me and my siblings. I use quotations because I never did a single assignment or learned any academics for 3 years. It was just a guise to watch the new baby and to get us to be able to legally work over 30 hours a week to help support the family (did I mention I was 15?)
At 17 I lost 2 sisters in a car accident; one who I was very close to and the other had just come in to my life after being estranged for 16 years (I told you my family was dysfunctional).
Needless to say my family and I were more broken than before and I felt like I would never get to make anything of myself.
For a year I was the glue that held my family together; taking on the role of the parent while my parents grieved all while wondering if I'd ever be freed from my cage.
I had no grades to show for anything and my family was dirt poor - college seemed out of the question, unfathomable, but it was my dream to become a music teacher.
Then one summer, this little show came on tv called American Idol and I caught a glimpse of myself in that loveable, dorky, Kelly Clarkson. She had been through things as tough, maybe even worse than me, but she had worked hard and was making her dream come true.
Watching her win was a source of empowerment for me because, if she could win a huge talent contest like that, then I could get into college with no grades and no money.
Fast forward to 9 years later and through hard work and determination I graduated magna cum laude with what was once only an 8th grade education.
Today I am a music teacher working in inner city schools and I get the opportunity to share my story of overcoming hardship with my students every day. So many things have made me STRONGER but Kelly was the push that got the ball rolling and for that I am ever thankful.
After meeting and talking with Kelly Clarkson and attending two of her Chicago performances, it immediately became evident to me how she captured hearts across the country on American Idol, celebrated a myriad of music nominations culminated with two Grammys amongst countless other awards, and has established and maintained a loyal fanbase encompassing the globe since her career inception in 2002. It’s not just her vocal prowess, rivaling that of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, encapsulated with the soulfulness of Aretha Franklin or Annie Lennox, or her unforgettable, often infectious, pop songs of relationship angst that have catapulted her and her record sales of over 23 million into the stratosphere. It is her versatility as an artist to incredibly perform an array of songs transcending a multitude of genres and her graciously humble personality that accompanies her down-to-earth genuine connectedness with her fans. By synopsizing her emotional experiences and expressing them lyrically, Kelly achieves an empathetic association to her followers, as poignantly demonstrated in "Sober," "Because of You," "Chivas," and several others. In sharing her personal trials and tribulations, she has created a sense of familiarity that has both inspired me and made me a stronger person.
There are a lot of people in my life that don’t have that great of a relationship with their mother. With some of them, their mother abandoned them at a young age. One of my friends doesn’t even know who her birth mother is. There’s a woman that I work with that doesn’t speak to her mother by choice. I forget what the problem was, but I recall thinking it was silly. Who chooses to not speak to their own mother? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe that’s just my style of thinking. To be honest, I’ve always been a momma’s girl. I’ve always been mom’s little baby. I don’t know why, but that’s the way I’ve been raised.
I was born two and a half months early, weighing only two pounds, seven ounces. I was in intensive care at the hospital and then transferred to another because of it, because of what I needed to survive. My dad says that I could fit in the palm of his hand. My mom revealed to me a few years ago that when I was born, she was scared to hold me because she was afraid of becoming too attached, being afraid that I wouldn’t make it. So it’s safe to say that all my life, I’ve been doing things to prove her wrong. To prove that I’m worth it, that I was worth the fight and the costs and the worried nights awake checking with the night nurses, the frantic day that they went to see me from the window and I wasn’t there because I had been switched to another unit. I’ve been dancing. I’ve been singing. I always got good grades in school. I wanted to be perfect in some ways because my body is not. I’m short, and I know this. Standing at 4’ 11”, I’m shorter than your average person. I have a scar on my back from surgery when I was a baby to collapse and inflate my lung since it wasn’t developed fully. I have another scar on my side from a tube from the same thing. My right lung is held together by a metal clamp ( and no, I don’t set off metal detectors ).
I’m never going to forget the day I walked home from school to find the front door locked. I had my key, so it wasn’t a big deal, but there was something strange about that day to me. Usually if mom went anywhere, she’d leave a note on the table telling me to get a snack and do my homework, that she had run to the store and would be back. But there wasn’t a note and my dad wasn’t home either. I knew she had a doctors appointment a few days earlier, but I didn’t think anything was wrong. She was admitted to the hospital that day and put on dialysis shortly after and I was ruined. I was a wreck. Dialysis isn’t pretty. It’s tubes and ports and blood and days wasted wondering to yourself what you did to deserve this. I used to go with dad to pick mom up after her treatments and it was the worst. She would be tired, most of the time there would be blood on her shirt, and she would just want to sleep the rest of the day. It took me a while to learn that she had polycystic kidney disease and that her kidneys were failing but she had known it for years. When I was born they had discovered it and she should have been on dialysis a long time ago.
I remember my mom going into the hospital another time. There was another way to do her dialysis that included a tube in her stomach that saline solution would go through a number of times a night to clean the toxins from her blood. Sure, this was something she had to do every night and she had to have a shot every now and then that my dad had to give her, but it was like I was getting her back. After a while she wasn’t as tired as before. But after a few years, they make you stop that dialysis and go back to the other one and she was terrified of it. One woman that went to her work had a transplant a few years before and talked my mom into getting on the list - something she was adamant against for the longest time. I told her I wanted to get tested and she’d tell me no, that I needed to live my life and she had lived hers already.
I’m never going to forget May 21st, 2007 when I got the call at the house. It was 4 pm and my mom was at work. It was a nurse from Hahnemann Hospital asking for her, and I gave her the work number to contact her since she said it was urgent and I had told her she wouldn’t be home until after 7. There was a kidney, and my mom was second in line so they wanted her to get bloodwork done. Now, this wasn’t the first time we had gotten a call like this. A time before, the kidney was from a 3 year old child and the doctor passed. There was no way it would thrive in a 50 year old woman. But this time? They told her to be alert and be prepared. After not hearing from them for the majority of the night, mom and dad went to bed. I followed shortly after. It was around 1 am when the phone rang, and shortly after my dad bust my bedroom door open telling me that he and my mom were on their way to the hospital : that there was a kidney and it was hers and that they were doing final tests. I stayed up the entire night, calling out of work in tears while watching infomercials because that was the only thing on at four in the morning.
We went through hell those next few months. It was in and out of the hospital with her while they adjusted the medications to find the right blend for her. I left concerts early because of it. Want to know something? I meant to audition for Idol - Season Seven. I went down, filled out paperwork, got my wristband and ticket. I camped out nearly overnight, and sat in the cattle call all day. About eight hours into the actual indoor auditions, my dad called saying my mom was heading back into the hospital and he would be picking me up after taking her down. I never got to audition, even though I had waited and rehearsed and had my song picked out. Once things were balanced though, it was amazing. I had gotten my mother back. The mother that was taken from me due to her illness, she was back. We laughed, we went to things together, it was amazing beyond words.
So I guess it goes without saying that when my mom was admitted to the hospital last year, I was terrified. When you’re given a transplanted organ, there’s always that chance of rejection, when your white blood cells attack the foreign object seeing it as a threat instead of something there to help. It’s not uncommon, but normally happens within the first year. This type of rejection, according to the doctors, usually happens immediately after transplantation. There was talk that she’d have to go back on dialysis if the way they were planning on treating it didn’t work. But she wouldn’t be able to go back on the overnight dialysis, she’d have to go to a center and come home drained again and I was terrified that I was losing her again. I know many people live with it, but… I just was being selfish and a brat and I wanted my mom.
My mom has been on dialysis for about a year now. She goes three times a week, for four and a half hours. She has her good days and her bad days, but she's not letting this break her the way that it did in the past. My mom is proving that she's stronger each and every day that she has to live like this, and it makes me realize how small that *my* problems are. She has been through, and is going through, so much. It makes me want to be a stronger person.