Martha Stout's When I Woke Up

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When you are young you always have big dreams for yourself. You proudly tell everyone that you are going to be an astronaut or a doctor when you grow up. However, when you actually do grow up, the lines become a little more blurry. As I get deeper into my college career and head further down the dark scary path to adulthood, I often get asked, “What do you want to be?” Although the short and simple answer they are looking for is “nurse,” I can’t help but question myself to further evaluate the impact I wish to make on the world, the identity I wish to obtain and the legacy that I will leave behind. Many other contributing factors throughout my past have shaped and will shape further who I am: my identity. Three profound texts, When I Woke Up…show more content…
The text primarily focuses on the mental and physical effects that trauma can have on a person. It is centered around a woman Julia, who was abused by her parents as a child which drastically impacted her life in many ways. Her past negatively formed her identity into a depressed, suicidal woman. Julia remembered practically nothing of her childhood, and as Psychology Today notes “Your ability to envision the future is strongly influenced by your memory for the past” (Markman 1). Throughout therapy and different techniques, the doctors uncovered that she was abused as a child. In her adult life, she would go days carrying on with her daily routine and work, and not remember anything. Julia states that, “[forgetting] happens a lot. I just lose time. Hours, Days. They’re gone, and I don’t know what I’ve done or where I’ve been or anything else” (Stout 392). She loses days, yet she still carries on normally and no one seems to notice any difference. The happiest and saddest part of Julia’s story is that when she was abused as a child she would enter a “fugue” state; essentially, her mind would go somewhere else. This helped her to endure the abuse, however, since she essentially “was not there” for her abuse, she did not remember it and did not understand why she was so depressed. When the…show more content…
According to Twenge, the American culture has changed throughout the years and past events have formed a generation raging with a sense of entitlement. Centuries ago, life was very different from the one today, “Your marriage was arranged, your profession was determined by your parents, your actions dictated by strict religious standards” (Twenge 478). Eventually, this structure began to loosen and people became more individualistic. Gradually, this changed the mindset of an entire generation. Whether for the better or worse, this change did not happen overnight, but eventually developed a “culture defined by “public violence and aggression, self-promotion, and the desire for uniqueness” at the cost of the well-being of others” (Twenge 477). Although it may seem easy to point out and say how horrible this generation is, it is due to the neglect of the past. This generation acts entitled and individualistic because the past shaped them to be this way. Loosening the strict culture is what gradually made this generation individualistic and the teaching of self-esteem in school changed culture as well. So as easy as it is for past generations to comment on the selfishness of this generation, it is just as easy to say that they made us this way. They are blindly insulting this generation, neglecting their past and the influence it had on this

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