Personal Influence - Unfinished College EssayGrowing up with a single mother that is mentally disabled has lead to a lot of adversities. Because she suffers from bipolar and paranoid/schizophrenia, the challenges that my mom has made me endure throughout my life has had a significant influence on me. Under the impact of her sickness, I have developed into a flexible and understanding person, who knows how to take charge in times of trouble.
When I was younger, my mother was often rushed away by the police into the mental hospital. She was often gone for weeks and months at a time, leaving me under the supervision of my grandmother or a family friend. I was constantly having to readjust to my surroundings, in order to cope with her absence. As I continued to grow up, the ability to become flexible and handle sudden change while enduring new surroundings was slowly developed. This ability to adapt to change has helped me to make more qualified decisions under harsh deadlines.
During the times that my mother is having a paranoid episode, she is usually problematic to get along with. Many times she has accused me of vandalizing her things and coinciding with the government, though it is part of her illness and is all in her mind. Through years of witnessing her mental breakdowns, it has become obvious that she can not control her behavior. This has fostered compassion and understanding in me, toward people who suffer from debilitating illnesses. I now have more patience and understand in the reasons behind what caused people to act the way they do.
The times that my mother is home, and not away at a mental institution, she often can not take care of the daily needs of the household. During her episodes, she is unable to complete simple tasks, such as attending school functions or grocery shopping, because she has an irrational fear of people and public places. This has caused me to have to step up and take control of my family. The experiences of doing the family grocery shopping and handling the family’s finances alone, has shaped me into a take charge leader.