What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
See context for the relationship with my parents…but specifically:
In 6th grade, my sister was hospitalized for several weeks for mental health issues. My parents were very preoccupied, and I ended up feeling more than a bit neglected. I was very shy at that time, and my social circle was limited. I ended up pretty close to the edge myself. A friend ended up taking me to church with her, and faith ended up pulling me back from the edge that year. The following year I switched into a different curriculum, made a bunch of close new friends, and learned to distance myself from my family emotionally. Things were never quite easy at home after that, but my perspective on life was different – I chose to be happy, to be optimistic, and to take ownership of my own peace of mind.
The second hardest thing was probably going to France for a semester. The first few months of not being able to communicate with anyone or even communicate enough to manage daily life things, well, that was rough. People think of studying abroad as this great thing, and it was a fabulous opportunity and easy way to travel. That said, I wasn’t staying with a family, classes weren’t in session for weeks after our arrival but I didn’t know anyone, I had horrible command of the language and could barely grocery shop at first. It was great for my independence and a bunch of other things, and it got easier (and even very, very fun by the end), but it was a rough time for a month or two.