I’ve been thinking about how families run and how things can turn that around completely, so easily. Families should be loving and supportive, but why is that so easily destroyed by the people you trust the most. Parents are the essence of a person’s life, they define who we are and guide what we want to be and do anything they can to support us, so where do we end up when our parents no longer do this? You’d think they would be misguided or ruined. No. It makes us stronger. It makes us see the world in a different way, to not trust everyone, to know how to be who we want to be and most importantly gives us life experience. I’m not going to lie, being smothered by parents would be good every so often but not all of us have that option to have the smothering parents. Having a mum who is out all the time and living her life while forgetting about her children is difficult though and puts a lot of pressure on us. To what point is it acceptable to leave your children at home all the time with no money for food, or minimal food in, make them (well, one of them) do all the chores and not appreciate it in the slightest and worst of all, not being there to check if they are okay; to ask how they are doing and if they are happy? I understand that she wants to have a life, I get it, I really do – but when she isn’t there ever and when she is she favours the other sibling and makes you feel that you aren’t worthy for her love – that’s when you have to re-evaluate your life and think about your priorities. Surely mums want to spend time with their children before they move away and start a career (for me, I have been to university and have come back home – ready to move out again) but it doesn’t seem that way at all.

All I know is that even though it is hell everyday not feeling like your mum loves you and she only cares about your younger sibling really drains the life out of you. But I am learning to deal with it. I am learning to turn my emotions off to it, to not give in to her money demands, and to just carry on playing the mother to my younger sibling. I know in the long run it will give me the knowledge to be a great mum to my future children and I appreciate this lesson she has taught me. Don’t get my wrong, I want my mum to have a life outside me and my sister, but I also want her to love me, and it seems as though she is only capable of one thing… 


Everything you need to know about donating your voice: Why you should help The Human Voicebank Initiative

TED Blog

Rupal Patel shares at TEDWomen how she is making synthetic voices as unique as fingerprints. Here, how you can help. Rupal Patel shares how she is making synthetic voices as unique as fingerprints. Here, how you can help. Photo: Kristoffer Heacox

By Rupal Patel

At TEDWomen, I introduced the audience to VocaliD — a project aimed at designing personalized synthetic voices so that people with severe speech impairments can use a voice that fits their body and personality. This is a project that I’ve been working on for several years, along with my students and my collaborator, Dr. Tim Bunnell of Nemours AI DuPont Hospital for Children. Together, we have developed algorithms to build unique voices for those unable to speak without computer assistance.

[ted_talkteaser id=1928]We have conducted experiments to iteratively improve our techniques, which rely on combining the recipient’s vocal identity features with the speech clarity features of a matched voice donor. In early 2013, we reconnected with a young woman named Samantha, whom I had met years before…

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Thoughts about life

“Always be a first rate version of yourself, and not a second rate version of someone else”

This is a quote which is something I think about everyday. Everyday I have to remind myself to be myself and not what others want me to be. There is this constant belief that being what others want us to be is going to make us happy – it isn’t. Be yourself, do what you want to do and don’t feel as though you have to be someone you aren’t. You are special – show that. Show the world what you can do.