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My abusive ex-husband prevented me from going to nursing school in my early 20s. He refused to let me apply, and not only that, he was a serial cheater, sociopath, imposed terrible restrictions of all kinds, flew into fits of rage, isolated me from my family and friends, yelling and belittling, promising that if we ever had kids he would treat them worse than he treated me, and it was all work (100+ hours per week), all the time.

For over a decade, my dream to become a nurse was unrealized, and I was very devastated that entire time. Around age 31, the abuse escalated to the point I escaped with a suitcase and left that crazy life for good.

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My ex said I would never be a nurse, never be a mother, told me I was worthless without him and hoped I’d fail. It only strengthened my resolve to prove him wrong.

Of course, I had to rebuild myself starting from the ground up, but once I established myself and felt ready, I gave it all I got. I finally had the freedom of choice. I got into nursing school at the age of 35, worked my butt off while juggling several jobs, and took the accelerated degree program.

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As well, I had found the love of my life, got married, and had a child as well, fulfilling another dream – to be a mom.

There were times in nursing school I thought I couldn’t handle the workload, it was very hectic. I had a toddler to care for, assignment deadlines, and clients to appease.

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But perseverance paid off, and I was the only one in my graduating class to secure a placement in the pediatric operating room. I now work in several hospitals as an operating room nurse and couldn’t be happier.

I also have a wonderful spouse and child and cannot believe how my life trajectory has changed.

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As I look back, I had endured much suffering for many years, but the experience gave me the strength to never give up and the courage to follow my dreams.

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