My mother grew up in Bakersfield, CA. She spent her childhood in the foster care system. There was no mother in the picture, and she had a relationship with her father but he was not given custody of her the majority of the time. Her father also never knew his parents and grew up in abusive foster homes.
Her childhood was filled with abuse, neglect, depression, and terrible influences. She was separated from her sister a lot, not given a proper education, deprived of real love, and all around was failed by the adults around her. She could have easily followed in fathers foot prints and continued damaging the next generation, but she did not.
At 16 she moved out, got married and started her own life. With no money, no family, she was completely on her own. She travelled with her husband in the air force and worked multiple jobs to be able to support them. At 20 she had my twin sisters and continued to work for her and her family. A few years later she split with my sisters father and met my father who was in the marines.
Shortly after they met they got married, and lived a very poor life in the south, yet they were incredibly happy and loved. She still had little to nothing in savings, or any degrees, but she had the will to fight for a better life for her and her family. Years later they moved back to Ohio, my dads home town, and settled here. Now making a great income, has 4 kids, living in a beautiful city, my mother was able to break the generational trauma.
She left her terrible life behind, she did not follow her father, her sisters, or anything weighing her down. I believe that is what the American dream is all about. My mother focused on her future, and her success, and came out on top even though she was given nothing her whole life.