My name is Stephanie Ticas, and I am a Peer Mediator coordinator at King Drew Magnet High school through the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center. I recently received my BA in criminal justice hoping to become a youth probation officer. I am the second oldest in my family and I grew up in a single parent, low income household. As one of the older siblings, I took in a lot of responsibility due to my circumstances at the time. I have personally grieved a loss in my family, a very important person, and experienced a close relative’s fall into depression. I can honestly say that these events in my life helped me become who I am today. I felt like it was the end of the world for me at the time, I didn’t know what would become of me without my mother. When these events happened, it was tough growing up but I felt that I had to be strong for my family. Therefore, I basically raised my younger siblings even though we didn’t grow up with the best of the best material wise, I had to teach them things I was barely learning too about boys, womanly things, what was popular at the time and even the simplest things that matter, like saying please and thank you. I became dedicated to my family they are my strength and support to have kept going in life and exceeding. I became determine to go to college, to be the best example and to be financially well off so one day I provide my father with all the riches he deserves.
As I was growing up my family wasn’t perfect I wasn’t perfect either. I was only a child grieving and mad at the world for taking the most important person in my life. I would constantly fight my older sister; now looking back I see how my behavior towards her impacted her depression. I didn’t understand her behavior why she chose to feel unmotivated, she showed lack of interest in everything, why she couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. I felt angry towards her because I needed her to help me not I felt she was being greedy having people feel sorry for her as if she was the only one grieving. However, I was wrong; depression isn’t a choice, it’s very serious, so serious that it can lead to suicide. I am glad to say now that she was able to move on from being depressed and happy to know that even after how I pushed her she never intended suicide. When I went to college I learned about depression and thought about my sister and it hit me, it opened my eyes to understand that even though people experience the same event we will all react differently and it’s not their fault.
My family and I had our share of a troubled teen. One of my younger sisters was a very angry person, she was very resentful toward my father, also very vengeful. As she started middle school many girls would pick on her because she has a strong attitude and looked angry she wouldn’t let herself so fought back getting into many fights. This created a lot of conflict in my family. In a way this was her cry for help but my father didn’t see it that way. My father has always been very strict with us; he is old school and believed that the only way to solve any issue is with harsh punishments and he was not very affectionate toward us either. I was always on my sister’s side, defending her, talking to her, trying to get through to her. But my father didn’t like that so there was always tension, no communication, and misunderstandings. Luckily my father was able to seek help elsewhere, he started taking parent classes and we noticed he changed. I realized that my father was trying, struggling to do his best even though that’s not what we would see, and he never gave up on us even though at times it felt as if he did.
My father and my sisters are the reasons why I want to reach out to others especially teens because I know how it feels to reach rock bottom, how it feels as if it’s the end of the world when grieving, I know that tough stubborn parent, I seen how depression can affect someone and the whole family and feeling all alone when you are not. I haven’t seen it all of course but I know how conflict or certain events can affect people especially because no one is taught how to face and react to conflict or any tough situation. It’s a harsh world out there and I want to show teens that people aren’t all out to get them and that they are not all alone in this world. It’s about your perspective in life.