Interview and Analysis
May Hegazi grew up in an emotionally distraught, physically neglected, and unbalanced home that made her and her siblings emotionally unstable and vulnerable, as well. They were often required to relocate from place to place for one reason or another. Her mother, the expected guardian and emotional protector, was a great part of the problem itself. She was in no way a source of emotional support at any given time in her life but rather removed them from one bad situation to yet another one when she took them from their father’s home in New York after the divorce into another dysfunctional marriage in New Jersey.
Currently, however, May Hegazi is a Police Officer who works on the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. She regularly describes her encounters with domestic disputes and how very young children were in the cross hairs of their mother and father’s fists. She describes the incidents “very saddening, emotionally draining and reliving my past.” However, she describes how “emotionally fulfilling” she feels when she is able to remove a child from harm’s way. It is something she wished happened to her as a child. She tells how “the look of fear dissipates and a child’s smile flourishes her day”, which that her true meaning of life.
My reason for choosing to interview May is that she is one of the few people who lived through a difficult childhood and came out seemingly unscathed by the experiences (Creswell, 2009). Her positive resolve and the way she turned her dark days into a motivation to rescue other children going through the same experiences is a very admirable thing. She is now not only a symbol of relief for the children but an individual who can empathize and connect with them, and they in turn can trust her. This is quite an achievement for someone with a childhood experience that is as difficult as May’s.
Analysis of Interview
While growing up, May had to take on the role of a mother, as well as a big sister to her three younger siblings. She carried a burden that was well beyond her years and constantly witnessed and experienced the anxieties of domestic disputes and eventually the divorce between her parents. At a tender age of about 12 years, she not only had to be separated from her father, but also everything else that she had come to know and possibly love. This created some instability within her, and when her mother’s second marriage turned out just as bad, she still bore the brunt.
When asked how she felt about her childhood, May had a sad look on her face. She seemed to have so many regrets thinking of just how differently things could have turned out. She felt that the things she had gone through could have been avoided if someone had paid just a little bit more attention to her and her siblings. This shows that she was not dwelling on what who did wrong but rather what could have been done to save the situation, and she is actually doing it for other children on the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. She wishes that there had been an adult, possibly a Police Officer to save her and her siblings back then, as well. She realizes as her child brought her even closer to her siblings as at some point in time, they were her only source of strength and emotional support. Her protective instincts were cultivated when she had to take care of them at a very tender age, and they are her greatest inspiration as she goes about her work on the streets.
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From her experience, she realizes that parenting is more than just food on the table. It is about providing emotional support to the children and ensuring that they are in a safe environment. This makes her exceptional in her job as she sets out to protect children and talk to their parents about the effects of their actions on their children.
Her experience taught her that a divorce, while not really good, especially when children are involved, may also be the best option, especially if domestic disputes tend to get violent. According to her, children are better off in broken homes than in emotionally unstable ones as the anxiety affects them quite badly, as well.
She cites that domestic disputes not only affect the children’s emotional stability but their self-esteem, as well, both in the long term and short term. While it is possible for them to recover, it takes a lot of strength and positivity that may not easily be available after such emotionally draining experiences.
From the interview, one can tell that May’s childhood strengthened her character and gave her a positive resolve to prevent other children from going through the experiences that she and her siblings were subjected to. She channeled her anger and frustrations into a good cause that will save the world from having more individuals damaged due to childhood destroyed by domestic disputes and emotional abuse. She understands the feelings of the children she works with having gone through the same herself. This puts her in a great position to not only empathize but also connect with the children that she rescues at a personal level thus inspiring trust and security.
Looking at the way she thinks with regards to the issue of divorce, child custody and parenting, May has developed a perspective in which the child is the center of the family, and it is thus their welfare that should be focused on in all aspects. She believes that the divorce is necessary if children are not happy in the home due to the parents’ differences. In this case, if the parents are not happy, then the children will not be happy either. With regards to child custody, she considers that she was taken by her mother away from her father without considering whether she would be happier with him and not her. This brings out the aspect of what the child wants, and what the parents can provide. For parenting, her perception brings out the need for emotional support, care and understanding, as well as communication as a vital aspect of bringing up a child.
May has a very child-oriented perception when it comes to marriages, divorce and child custody. Other than just building a career, protecting these children is more like a passion for her. She is entirely committed to preventing children from going through what she and her siblings went through. While she recognizes that the past is past and that she cannot erase her history, she works hard to stop other children from towing the same line. Her protective instincts grown from her having to take the role of a mother at the age of twelve helped her to turn it into a good thing for the community, and it is now some sort of a therapy for her having had to go through similar circumstances with no one to rescue her and her siblings. Being the light at the end of the tunnel for these children seems to be helping her out a lot, as well.
May Hegazi is an exceptional individual who deals with children in very exceptional circumstances. She rescues them from domestic disputes thus inspiring their sense of security and possibly emotional stability, as well. While growing up, she had to go through some very gruesome experiences that could have damaged not only her self-esteem but also her spirit and will to live (Williams & Russell, 2013). She was bullied and teased at school for being uncool thanks to the neglect of her mother while in her other marriage. She ended up getting into fights and becoming emotionally detached from other people. Her life, however, took a good turn when she went back to live with her father thus proving that the good side in her still existed. She thus turned her experiences into a preventive resolve and now works as a Police Officer rescuing children who are currently walking on her footsteps as children in unstable homes.
Her interview showed just how her childhood experiences affected her as an individual and how she managed to turn the pain and anger into positivity and not negativity as most individuals do. She may have some negative feelings that often manifest themselves when she encounters a child scared by the fights and quarrels of her parents, but she has channeled her efforts into preventing such occurrences for the sake of the helpless children. Her experiences made her realize that parenting is more than just food on the table. It is about providing emotional support to the children and ensuring that they are in a safe environment. This makes her exceptional in her job as she sets out to protect the children and talk to their parents about the effects of their actions on their children.
Doing this project was quite an eye-opening experience. Getting to interview someone who is exceptional in all interpretations of the word, as well as getting their insight on crucial issues such as divorce, child custody and emotional stability proved to be very educative. The project cultivated my interest in looking at divorce and child custody from the child’s perspective, as opposed to my previous uninformed bias of considering either parent when the real victim is the innocent child caught in the middle. She also made me consider the circumstances in which a divorce is the best option, as opposed to staying in a dysfunctional relationship or failed marriage as the effects are much worse than the divorce’s.
Interviewing May and analyzing what she said was like walking in her shoes and looking at life from her point of view. It was almost like being someone else for a few minutes and getting to understand why she thinks the way she does. Her insights into the life and circumstances of the children that she rescues were so vivid and realistic that it was obvious she had been in their place at one point or another. The fact that she could put it all behind for the sake of these little innocent children and relive the pain in her past yet still save them from their own pains made her a great and exceptional person in my eyes.
Relating the interview to the material in the class was like putting an experience into the theory and giving it a life of its own. It made learning much more interesting, as well as practical. Speaking to May Hegazi helped me in such a way that I understood her strengths and inspirations, as well as her weaknesses and motivating factors. It also helped me understand what it takes to turn a negative past into a positive present and future not only for oneself but also for the society as a whole.