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What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger (My Life Story)

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM
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I know life can get very hard and people will complain about it.  But when life brings you down things can take a turn for the better.  When you read my story I am not looking for sympathy but to show you guys even at the worst moments in time it could be worse but it WILL get better


When I was younger I had the perfect life. A little girl born in Cancun, Mexico with a loving family. When I was 4 years old, I moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. Everything was pretty amazing. I had great friends my family was still amazing. Then my parents had a few of my younger sisters and brothers. Mind you I come from a pretty big family. I have right now 18 siblings the peak was 20. As I grew a little older I got my innocene taken away very fast one night. As we all know little kids are very innocent and don't know the horrors of the world around them. My father drank too much alcohol and was a drunk for a while. My mother also did drugs a lot. Some how they still held a very steady job and were pretty good at what they did. When I was 10 years old coming home from a friends house I saw my father with a gun to my mothers head. Mind you my father was very drunk and my mother very high. What happened from that moment on is almost a blur to me now. I think I ran to my father, tried to knock the gun out of his hand and tackled him getting him in the hospital for about 3 weeks. Right after that I got my parents divorced. I had to testify against my father which was one of the hardest things to do. After they signed the papers my mother started a rehab program which really helped her. My father on the other hand did go through rehab and go in the the Military. Some reason I stayed with him always. It was because I was scared of what he would say if I didn't go with him, what he could do to me. I saw what he did to my mother and he had hurt me physicially in the past. With this in mind I moved a lot. My father got remarreid and so did my mother. By then I had 10 younger siblings me being the oldest. My father and mother had 5 kids and adopted 5. When my mother got remarried she had 2 kids and adopted 3 brining the count up to 15. Then my father got remarried to a girl about my age just 2 years older than me. They had 3 kids adotped 2 bringing the count up to 20.


When I started becoming a teenager I feel under the horrors of peer pressure. Now as some of you know through the DARE Program they tell you how bad drugs and alcohol can mess you up. I never knew until I had become addicted. I drank way too much when I was younger. I landed myself in rehab few times. I also did drugs when I was younger. Landed myself in rehab as well. Then after moving a lot and losing some friends int the World Trade Center and 9/11 I became suicidally depressed. I would try to kill myself atleast a few times a week. The only person who stopped me was my boyfriend Rhyan who I am currently married to in a very happy and strong relationship. Yes I am a 9/11 survivor and here is my story from that day.

"so my friend in realestate (who is the one who hooked us up w/ the apt) ryan an i were up in the WTC North Tower 32nd Floor Office 32-2. an were all up in her office just hanging out with her

around 8:45:57 (i remember these details) i saw a plane fly REALLY close to the ground an im like "fuck its gonna crash"

so at 8:46 i hear a huge boom sound an i was like 'fuckin private planes breaking the sound barrier' an then i hear screams an fires and then my friends co-worker (who doesn't make it out but her body was found) runs upstairs an figures out the news an calls us

my first reaction holy fuck an i cling to ryan an im just in shock an ryans like "westin stay here for a few min im gonna go check it out" an im like "oh hell no if you die i die with you so were going together"

so ryan never goes anywhere an my friend is just like "run down as fast as you can" so were all running an see a lotta ppl an we get 3 ppl out an ryan an i go back up (why im not sure) an get about 3 more ppl an got them down

now the tower STARTS to fall while we are still in it an were like really close to the bottom about ehhhhhh 3-5 floors down an im like "were jumping we are not going down in this shit jump" an i basically push ryan off a window an jump w/ him (no broken bones or anything we both land on our backs, maybe contribution to my back issues)

so we start looking through rubble an i see the 2nd tower starting to fall an i yell to ryan to run down broadway as fast as he could

so as were running we see the hospital an im like "in here they probably need help" so we go in see if they need help an their like "how the fuck can you help us" so im like "my mom an dad are physicians lets see what we can do" so we end up triage an i call my friend to tell her where we are an shes just like ok ill come when i can, im running as fast as i can just away from it all.

so finally we get to see her an we dont have a car anymroe so we have to walk home when we get home i will not leave ryans side at all unless he goes to the restroom an im just like really quiet for a week later. that night we got about a zillion calls from family and friends first words "HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU!!!" and my story is over"


That was my 9/11 expierence. I was only 16 when that happened. After that I became very suicidally depressed. As the years past I started to lose many family memebers in many ways. Two of my siblings died in a car accident in 2005. Later on my father died in Iraq my mother died from a diabetic coma, one of my sisters got pregnant at 16 and killed herself another sister at age 10 became addicted to alcohol and died from multiple organ failure and alcohol intoxication. My brother also died in Iraq from a roadside bomb and my other brother died in Hawaii Earth quake. My life has been filled with so much tragedy but what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Then around the time of Hurricane Katrina I got the amazing offer to go with my step cousin who works for the Weather Channel to go down to New Orleans to expierence Katrina.  Well needless to say I had quiet the expierence!!  Being slammed in to a building at top speeds and only breaking one rib and two wrists...Thats a miracle!!  That was for about 4 years in my life. Now I am 22 and have a somewhat steady job. Just very recently I was paralyzed from an AVM in my back. AVM means Areterio Venous Malformation. Where blood vessels sever your spinal cord. I am now in a wheelchair and fully independent. During this time my husband Rhyan and I split up. It was job and personal reasons. We are now back together and very happy. We are also in Germany. The story behind this is as follows

Rhyan and I got offered a job in Germany. Yes I know this is a very fast move again. My brother when he died asked me to go over to Iraq and fight. I can't do that anymore since the paralysis has made my body it's home. The next thing I know I get a call from Landstuhl and they want Rhyan and I to work over there. Halifax had already sent over out resumes and didn't tell us. We got the job accepted! I am honestly very scared because of the new baby. From what I have been told by a wonder friend of mine Kris, babies can adjust faster when they are younger. So Rhyan, Laura Elizabeth and I moving to Germany!

That is baiscally my life story up until now. This took about 3 hours to write!! I hope you enjoyed!! I am going to put some more inserts from my myspace blogs to tell you a little more about me. If this is too long you can skim the blogs or stop reading here!! Before you stop here is a poem I wrote


As Time Passes

As a day goes by you wonder why
Many questions are sitll unanswered
Waiting by the phone hoping to hear
An answer about the one you love so dear

As a month goes by the pain still burns
You yearn to hear that loving voice
A sense of closure would be nice
But you are tripped in this vice called life

A year has passed since that fateful day
With all thats happened you start to say
You will never be forgotten I love you so
Thanks for the memories, I will never let go


Losing someone close to you can always be a hard expierence. I have always known this since I have also lost my mother, father, and three other siblings. Alison has by far been the worst death in the family. Not that the others were horrible as well, but her death could have been prevented. Coping with a death in the family is something that nobody should ever have to go through. Alison passed away from alcohol intoxication and multiple organ failure. Knowing her death was preventable makes it very hard. Upon the news of her death I was very shocked and couldn't believe it. I still can't believe my baby sister is gone. Her life ended so suddenly. I still see her smiling face walking around my apartment. Even though she never saw my apartment I can still feel her presence in everything I do. At work today I thought I saw her walking the halls. I know she was not but it's the illusion of her. I am going to be writing and saying her eulogy at her funeral. Going back to Daytona Beach and walking in to my step parents house and Alison not running up to greet me, pushing me on to a chair and tickling me will be one of my most missed memories of her ever. Moving away from her was hard for Ryan and I in general. Everyday she would come up to my office with a smiling face. I know I will never see this smiling face ever again But I know that she will always be in my heart. Alison was very intellegent and funny. Very witty and always knew what to say at the right time. She could always cheer anyone up in the family. Whether it was me when I was very depressed about something or Katherine the 6 month old baby and keep her from crying, Alison was a miracle. Alison said she always wanted to be just like me in many ways. And she really was just like me. Got my bad habits but at a younger age which is very tragic. The phone call from my step father saying she had passed away was probably the worst call I've ever gotten in my life. "Westin, I am very sad to tell you that your sister, Alison has passed away I'm very sorry, there was nothing the doctors could do". Alison, I love you so much and miss you terribly. I just wish there was something I could have done. I wish our goodbye was not so harsh. Like I have said in other notes, everyone has to say goodbye to loved ones at different times. Goodbye Alison, I love you so much baby sister.


This has been the question on my mind for the last few days. How to save a life? How does one save a life? Sometimes the best thing you can do is just talk with the person. Other times just be there for the person. Was there something we could have done to help Alison? Was there nothing we could have done? Where did I go wrong? Was it me leaving for New York? Was it just her time to go? Was this an intentional suicide? Was this an accidental suicide? Could she have been saved if something different had been done? Many questions like these have been on my mind this past week. Who was the cause of this? Did she know how this would effect people? Did she want to be just like me? Was this a call for help? What happened? All I know now is my baby sister is gone and I don't like that. She wasn't the baby of the family but I watched her grow up like all my other siblings. Some special connection maybe. The one who would wake me up in the mornings. Even there was a major age range she was still my baby sister. I love her like no other and miss her so much. So the main question. How To Save A Life?


Concentration-exclusive attention to one object; close mental application.
Concentration. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved October 26, 2006, from website:

Date: 10/26/06

So today, what can I say? 'Thats some crazy shit 'possibly? Using that in a bad context. So going back to a conversation I had with a friend who I consider to be the mother I never had, this conversation was about Trauma Alerts. Well wonderful and ironic days in the Pediatric ER. Now most of you know normally I work in the Main ER but today I some how got over to the Pediatric ER. Probably one of the hardest places to work. It's hard to see a child in such a critical state at times. No child or adult for that matter should have to go through car accidents, family abuse just to name a few things I dealt with today. So now I'm attempting to write up the random charts I guess but I can't concentrate at all. Well I guess what I'm saying here is that I just need some downtime, alone time as some people call it. Maybe just relax watch the World Series. Hoping there is no rain in St. Louis tonight.

So how does that relate to the title? I'm not really sure right now. Well I know that long passage right there has nothing to do with concentrating. Dealing with the charts requires concentration. I guess my point I'm trying to make here would be that no matter what your job is or how you feel you have to concentrate on things.

Today I had an expierence which required a good amount of concentration. I can't say what happened or what the case was about because of HIPAA. But this required concentration from me whic today I didn't have at all. During this I had to tell the family that I had to get something to help take care of her child but I went to get Ryan to back me up. I really don't know where this is going honestly.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that even though today was pretty hard on me, and that my focus level was pretty down today an things just didn't seem to go right at all. I had to keep going and not let that case down. Ask any MD about that.

Determination-the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose
Determination. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved October 26, 2006, from website:

Yesterday as I was talking to my friend we got on the subject of determination. We were talking about how you had to be determined about being an MD. Espically what she does. Neurosurgery. Thats a 7 year Residency. That requires a lot of determination and I respect her highly for that. I guess I really don't know where this is going.

I guess what I am really tyring to say here is that even though life can be hard it requires concentration and determination.

by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM
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