The flood of bad news is permiating all of media but there are still good stories to be found. On radio Tuesday, Glenn spoke with listeners who have overcome a bad hand to not just make the most of their lives, but have created a legacy of success.
There were more than just a few people who had amazing stories to share and Glenn wasn't able to get to them all on air. Jenean wrote in and this is her story:
"Growing up, I was raised by a single mother in San Diego in the 1950s. My mother was a non-drinking alcoholic, unstable, and mentally ill. When I was 12, she pretended that her young male lover was my boyfriend, and he molested me continuously for two years. My sister had a baby out of wedlock and abandoned the child — I dropped out of regular school and took care of the baby during the afternoon and night, and went to a continuation school. (He didn't want to be around a baby, and she could no longer hide him.)
Two years later, my sister gave the baby up for adoption, and my mother took her rage out on me. She kicked me out of the house when I was 16, and told the cops I ran away. She was cruel and verbally and physically abusive, at one point taking me to pose for nude photos. The photographer told me to put on my clothes and never let her make any more decisions for me.
I married at 18 and had a baby by a sailor who deserted me when the baby was three months old. I went on welfare ($148 a month), no food stamps, or rental assistance. I married again three years later, had a stillborn baby and then my daughter. My husband left when my daughter was two (February 1972). In April, a man broke into my house and raped me at knife-point in front of my son, who was then seven. I married a third time a year later, but he was (unbeknownst to me) a heroin addict. I divorced him and started working in a factory.
My first job.
I finally learned how to drive when I was 24. I developed Meniere's disease when I was 30 and had to have ear surgery to be able to walk. (I was first diagnosed as nutty). During a lunch break, at the factory, I decided I'd had enough. I walked off the job and enrolled at Mesa Community College on the welfare's dime with the goal of becoming an interpreter for the deaf (I was told I would eventually become deaf from the Meniere's). I started with one class. The next semester, I took four. Mother died the first summer I was in school, and I was completely alone with my kids. I graduated with my BA, Magna Cum Laud, Phi Beta Kappa in 1984. My druggie ex committed suicide three weeks prior, but I didn't find out until after I'd graduated. I finished an MA in Sociology and I started teaching government and Sociology (that was when it was still sane) for the military and continued my education.
I got my second MA in Poli Sci in 1995. I'm 74 and just finished an MFA degree at Eastern Kentucky University. I was always writing and decided it was time to learn how. I have been published in over 265 venues: short stories, flash fiction, poetry, book reviews, etc. I've written six novels, the last one as a thesis for my MFA. It was hell, but I never gave up my dream of going to college even though we were dirt poor and I was the throw-away kid. I am having the best retirement I could ask for. I live with my daughter and her husband and have the time to write I always wanted.
Today, Glenn said he wanted stories of real people who 'made it'... well, I have. By the grace of God, no matter how poor and hungry we were, somehow I got my children raised. They are good people, both in happy marriages. They are my crowning achievement. Please forward my story to Glenn. Let him know, I am a devout believer in freedom: it is the natural inclination of all children to be free. I am one of those who would rather die than live in the prison I grew up in."
If you missed the radio program, here is a clip from David in Missouri's call: