The Power of Believing in Yourself
Sue was born and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota. She comes from a family of 7 siblings and her father died at 62 from Emphysema and Alcoholism. Her dad was very abusive physically and mentally. Her mother worked as a nurse. She says, “Mom didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and had wonderful parents herself.” Sue recalls that she was severely beaten with a belt by her father at the age of 5. She says, “I remembered blood everywhere and my grandfather rescuing me.” She says, “I was raised by my grandparents.” She considered her grandparents exceptional people and her mother as well. They had a positive, caring, and loving relationship. She says, “They taught me great communication skills and the positive environment at home gave me a solid foundation.” They were actively involved in the community and taught me so much about kindness and love. Their door was always open. “Even though I had a less than perfect childhood my grandparents taught us hard work, openness, caring, optimism and resilience.” Sue states that neither she nor her siblings had a dysfunctional family home life with their own children due to their grandparent’s influence. Sue worked as a license practical nurse for many, many years and she really loved this kind of job. However, due to physical limitations she had to apply for Social Security Disability to focus on her health issues.
In 2006, she developed Clarkson’s disease, a 20-year relationship ended, she lost her home, and her financial support. By 2009, Sue says, “I was wiped out.” She moved to Mankato in 2009 and was employed as an LPN. Three years ago, she was having health issues that made it nearly impossible to work. Since 1/3 of her income was cut due to not being able to work, she had to make adjustments – environmentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was very painful. Sue says she is still trying to adjust to not working full time. She is learning to slow down. Sue heard about Life-Work Planning Center through social services and thought she would give it a try. She attended the LWPC “Strength. Balance. Self-Respect.” workshop series. She says, “What an uplifting experience and supportive environment! I learned better problem-solving skills as well as communication skills which is very helpful in my dealings with different personalities. I also began to feel more empowered and realized that I was never alone.” Sue believes that LWPC helped her acquire the skills she needed to move forward. She found another home health job (but recently had to stop working again due to her recurring health issues.) Sue says, “LWPC helped me cope in such a positive way. The workshops were educational and inspiring for me as I struggled to learn skills to help me thrive in my new community.”
Sue states that what she found most helpful was the network of support from the workshops she attended. She believes it is important to network with others. “I’m not only learning in a positive atmosphere but I’m also sharing experiences which can be helpful for others.” LWPC was able to help Sue with some financial barriers she was experiencing during this period. She says, “I began to feel better about myself.” “My personal outlook in life changed as well.” LWPC was also able to help Sue find other resources available to her in the community. Sue says, “LWPC is that kind of place – a safe and caring environment. LWPC is an answered prayer to me”.
Even though, Sue recently had a setback with her health, she was able to cope positively because of the support of LWPC and her new skills. She says, “I know that no matter what is going on in my life, I can do this.”
Sue wants people to know if they feel stuck in a negative cycle and are working to overcome barriers, there is help for them at LWPC. She says, “With the right support, we all can make it happen” Sue credits the supportive services she received with helping her build more solid foundations for her life. She says, “I became a better problem-solver.”
LWPC was able to provide Sue with direct support dollars to help her with transportation and other basic needs. She says, “It is a tremendous help while working through my own barriers to sufficiency.” “What a world of difference LWPC made in my life!” “It is a wonderful resource in the community.”