Nursing student does not let past define her

[HAMMOND, La] – Throughout many adversities in her short lifetime Annie Goodman is an inspiration for those around her and finds herself in nursing. Goodman is a 21-year-old student who has faced many difficulties in her life. She was not raised with a silver spoon in her mouth at any cost.
Goodman said, “I have faced many difficulties growing up. I’ve lived in at least 13 different locations. I was born into a low socioeconomic family and raised in bad neighborhoods. Neither of my parents graduated high school. They divorced when I was in third grade due to my father being manipulative and abusive to my mom. After an impoverished life with him, OCS stepped in and my mom eventually got custody. Things got better economically after that.”
However, the financial struggle she faced was not the main obstacle she had to overcome. Goodman and her family have seen and been through tragic events on a number of occasions. Beginning with her mother, who later on in life Goodman learned, suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but was also verbally abusive to Goodman.
“After growing up surrounded by drugs, alcohol and violence, my mom committed suicide two days before my seventeenth birthday and my grandmother took us in. At this point I no longer had to deal with constant drunken quarrels. However, I was extremely close to my mom, and her death sent me into a deep depression to the point of self-harm. My mother’s suicide completely altered my personality and who I am. Before she passed away, I had become very numb to everything and didn’t really experience sadness or joy. After she passed, I became severely depressed. My mom was my best friend and my sense of home. When I lost that, I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to die, but I knew I couldn’t do that to my family. Instead, I pretended to be strong while suffering an agonizing pain on the inside. I have since been able to find joy and reasons to genuinely smile again,” Goodman said.
Another impactful life event that has led Goodman to where she is in her life today, physically and emotionally was her uncle’s death. Goodman and her older sister were the ones’ who found his dead body.
Goodman explains how this moment in her life impacts her day-to day. “I will never get that image out of my head. I get a headache and my stomach turns every time I remember it. That is something that will stay with me my whole life, but it solidified the concepts of death for me whereas my mom’s suicide solidified the concept of life. Now I know to not take things too seriously and to just live life one moment at a time because nothing is guaranteed, not even tomorrow.”
Throughout these events Goodman does try to stay away from going to people for help because she likes to feel that she is pretty independent. However, when she needs it she does go to a select few she feels support her in everyday life.
Goodman said, “I usually process through my issues and emotions on my own. However, there have definitely been people who supported me through my absolute worst without giving up on me entirely and that helped the recovery process tremendously. Those people would be my grandmother, my color guard instructor, who I call my adopted mom, and just anyone who would listen. My grandmother took us in after my mom died, and although we haven’t always been on the best terms, I know she will always be there to help me in any way. Also, she taught me how to ‘adult’ early on. She has cancer and knows her time is limited, so she makes sure me and my siblings know how to do for ourselves when she is gone.”
Goodman’s grandmother, Eva Blades, as her support system expressed how proud she was of Goodman because how she has defied the odds and overcame the conflicts she encountered at such a young age.
Blades said, “Annie is on course to become a successful, well-rounded individual. She seeks knowledge and college has offered a door to fulfill this craving.”
Blades describes Goodman’s life. She comes from a family of seven siblings, a very poor broken home and surrounded by drug and alcohol abuse. She endured the death of her mother, the abandonment of her father and drug and alcohol abuse of her two older siblings. For her four younger siblings she sets a positive example that all can be overcome by knowing the past cannot be changed but it does not make you, the future is a new beginning.
“Proud is an understatement, Annie inspires people today by talking and showing people ‘if you want it take it,” said Blades.
Goodman continued on about how her coach affects her life. “My coach has really been like a mom to me in the eight years I’ve known her. She has always supported and helped me even after I hurt her. She gets mad on my behalf when someone wrongs me, provides me with numerous opportunities and has always believed in me more than I believe in myself,” said Goodman.
Someone else who is there for Goodman if need be is her best friend Alyson Coyle, who finds Goodman to be an inspiring person because of everything she has been through and hopes she still achieves.
Coyle describes how she feels about Goodman, and how she finds her to be an inspiration. “Everything that Annie has gone through in her life has made her an even more understanding person; meaning Annie will not take a beat down from life, she accepts what has happened and keeps on pushing for her next goal. Annie will inspire others just as she inspires me every day. Annie is someone who makes you want to do more, to learn more. She is someone who shows you that life isn’t about sitting in the past, because she’s always on the go learning the next thing,” Coyle said.
Goodman despite the struggles she has encountered is pushing to be her best self and to become a nurse in a few years.
Goodman describes why she is pursuing nursing. “I decided to major in nursing after my cousin got into a really bad car accident. She flipped her truck and was trapped under it for four and a half hours. She miraculously sustained minimal injuries, and I took a week off from school to take care of her. I even had to remove her staples myself using wire cutters and pliers. Through this, though, I remembered an interest I had in medicine way back when. I decided nursing because I needed a good paying job with minimal schooling so I could graduate and start helping my grandmother financially as soon as possible,” Goodman said.
Goodman also acknowledges what she wants people to take away from her life story so far. Goodman said, “Know that you will never be fully OK and that’s OK. It hurts, and you will be consumed by negative energy. Don’t let that stop you though. Don’t give up because things do get better eventually. It will take a while, but you will get there. You can’t suppress your emotions or else you will never get better. You just have to accept what happened, process it, and really understand how it affected you and what it means to you and move forward. It will come back again and again. You just have to keep going though.”

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