Starting Life Twice

May 26, 2008
By Lyndsey Cote, Hooksett, NH

Starting Life Twice

The day my dad moved out was a day I will never forget. It was a warm day in April and I had just gotten home form school. There were boxes in the driveway and only my mom was home. I went inside to find her crying. I asked what was wrong and she said, “Daddy doesn’t live here anymore, he’s moving out.” I didn’t know what to do. I was only eleven and I didn’t know what to think of all this. My life was about to change drastically.

When I was younger, I thought I would never have to deal with divorce. I thought my parents would be together for the rest of their lives. I had no idea of how different life was with divorced parents. I never realized how hard it was to have to live with divorce. I didn’t know how much sadness, pain, and frustration divorce brought on. I hadn’t a clue of the impact this would have on my life.

For quite awhile after my dad left, I didn’t have much of a clue of what was happening, all I knew was that my dad didn’t live with me anymore; I didn’t know where he lived. For about three months, I saw my dad about once or twice a week, for a couple of hours at a time. It was October when I met her. I didn’t know what to make of her. She seemed nice, but I could tell right away that she wasn’t going to be my best friend. I blamed her for taking my daddy away from me. I didn’t really like her, but to make my dad happy, I pretended that I did.

Once I met her, I knew things were going to change… a lot. I learned that they had been living at her house since he had moved away. As time went on, I visited him at his new house more and more. I liked spending time with my dad, but not as much with her. I didn’t really want to get to know her. I did learn that she had two of her own kids. Two boys. Having three boys running around was going to take some time to get used to.

Five months after meeting what seemed to be my dads new family, my dad and her went on vacation for a week. When they got back, I figured out that they had gotten married. They did this without even asking me how I felt about it. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want him to get married. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t like his new wife. I would’ve told him if I wasn’t so scared that if I told him, he wouldn’t be happy with me. So instead, I just plastered on that familiar fake smile and pretended that I was happy.

Fast forward to Easter of 2006. That morning we—me, my younger brother, and my two younger stepbrothers—were told that my step mom was two months pregnant. I was excited to have a new baby brother running around, but at the same time, I wasn’t. I always thought being the oldest and the only girl out of five kids, I’d be the one to be ignored.
From the time Donovan was born, I knew that he would have a huge impact on my life. Everything changed. Going between my mom’s house, where there was only my brother and I, to my dads, where there are four boys, and me, is such an overwhelming difference it makes everyday life that much more difficult.

My life before the divorce was simple. I didn’t have to worry about things like taking the right bus home or making sure I have all my school stuff at the right house. I’m always scared my dad is going to get mad if he sees through the fake happiness. I always worry about making myself believable, making it seem like I’m happy. All these things are more worries that I have to deal with every week.

Life changes. That’s a fact. However, when you’re not expecting it, it’s hard. At the time, change may seem like the worst thing in the world, but in the end, it could teach you things. If there is one thing that I have learned from my experiences, it is to take advantage of what you have while you have it, because it could be gone in the blink of an eye.

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