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A Stranger Looking in my House Would Probably Think...

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A stranger looking in my house would probably think my life is society’s definition of normalcy: a father, a mother, a daughter, and a son, all living in one house. We eat from the same refrigerator, use the same den to watch television, and swim in the same pool. One big happy family, right?
Wrong! Behind closed doors, chaos emerges. Unless you were my friend, or a resident of my town, you probably wouldn’t realize that my parents are in the midst of a hectic and painful process: signing divorce papers. My father resides in a guest room downstairs. My parents take turns with days they choose to look after my brother and me. After all, being in the same room together is not always the most pleasant experience. One could even say that what split my parents apart is the fact that they are complete opposites.

Although 50% of marriages end in divorce, in my small town, divorce isn’t that common an occurrence. My mom, being the social butterfly that she is, has made it known, publicly, that she and my father have become separated. One might assume that I might be bothered by this part of my life being out in the open; surprisingly, I’m really not. The truth is, I was never “Daddy’s Little Girl,” making divorce a not-so-hard pill to swallow.
Having been brought up in Russia, my father has a completely different mindset from my mom, as well as me. He is shy, stubborn, and maintains completely opposing political views. These days, my dad and I could go on for hours arguing about President Bush’s actions, and it would be considered normal. If you went back a year or two, the situation with my father would be extremely different.
I was always somewhat fearful of him; I would never challenge his opinions, and if he and my mom fought, I would sit in silence. The man who was supposed to be the most positive influence on my life made me think that men were pigs, and were allowed to treat women like dirt.
Ever since my parents began their split, almost a year ago, I have continued to learn that women should not only be treated with respect, but should demand respect as well as demand to have their own opinions heard. My father’s opinion is not the only one which matters in the divorce court, and he has no right to expect more respect than my mom. Yes, I sound harsh, but I, like my mother, deserve and demand respect. Today, when in a situation with my father, I am able to voice my opinion, because it matters. Sometimes, I actually want to thank him - thank him for making me a wiser person, and for making me appreciate my own opinion.





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