Breaking Down The Wall This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Many children learn important, meaningful lessons from their parents. Usually these lessons come from the examples parents set. The lessons I've learned from my parents come from the examples they've set, but I cannot say that they have been good examples.

My mother married my father right out of high school, leaving college and career behind. When she married him, she knew that he was gay. She was the only woman who had ever caught his attention. He told her that he loved her, but he couldn't promise that he would not attracted to men, or that he would be able to fight his curiosity.

In the years that followed, my mom found he was right. Even on their honeymoon, my father's eyes shifted to the shirtless men on the beach. Life continued this way. My father stared at men, followed men, and had several affairs.

My mom was willing to look past this. "At least he's been honest," she said, pleading in his defense.

But my father's promiscuity was not the only problem my mother married. In high school my father had drunk a lot, and done drugs. My mother did not approve, and he promised to stop. But his promise meant nothing. He continued to smoke pot, and drank himself into frequent alcoholic comas.

However, love is blind; my mom stayed with my father. Perhaps this would not be so horrible, but then add anger and abuse to the list.

As a child I used to wake to the sounds of my father screaming. I heard the sounds of slapping, punching, furniture being thrown, and then, my mother crying. My father would go to sleep after these brawls, leaving my mother weeping and badly bruised.

My family moved upstate when I was eight after being thrown out of our Long Island apartment because of the ruckus. We moved to start a new life, to find a new town where people didn't know us, and didn't look down on us.

The situation did get a little better. My father kept his Long Island job, so we only saw him on the weekends. The alcoholism, anger, and abuse were only suffered three days a week. However, because my father's time was limited, everything multiplied by ten. His anger was worse than ever, and the whole family suffered.

It wasn't until last year that my mother said, "Enough!" She told him she wanted a divorce. It's been a year, and they're still together. My mom tells me that they are separated, yet he still is here every weekend. His temper is a bit more controlled, but I can't see why my mom didn't leave him years ago.

I do not like my father. I resent him and despise everything he stands for and practices. I have learned many lessons through my life with him. Most importantly, I will never make the same mistake my mother made: I will not allow myself to be involved with a man who goes against everything I believe.

Furthermore, I have learned about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and I vow never to do drugs, and if I drink, only in moderation.

I have built my wall high throughout life with my father. I have experienced true hatred which has at times prevented me from getting close to someone. And I have developed extreme caution.

I believe that I have learned the most important lesson of all: love and trust can be powerful entities, and I promise not to misuse them, or allow anyone else to manipulate my definition of them. It's a shame I learned this the hard way.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 11:36 am
i love this so much!
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