Divorce: Hard to Understand

March 5, 2009
In some ways, I think I am lucky that my parents got divorced when I was so little, but in other ways I think it is unfortunate. When I was almost two, my parents got divorced. I didn't even realize it for a while. I was so little; I remember thinking that that was how every family was; I didn't know the difference. The divorce just kind of faded into my life. I keep on wishing that I could just have one flashback of when my parents were together, because I can't remember a second of when they were.
Some people may think that it's easier for you when your parents get divorced when you're so little, because you won't have such a dramatic change when you're older, like in middle school or high school. Well, that's one upside to it, but it all catches up to you sooner or later. They don't understand how it feels to switch houses every two or three days for twelve and a half years; just a little less than your whole life. They don't know what it feels like to have two different households, two different sets of rules. People don't know what it feels like to have parents fight a lot and have so much stress running through the house like electricity runs through the telephone wires. You would think that only my mom and dad fight, but really, my dad, mom, and step mom all fight with each other. So pretty much, I'm around fighting all the time. Most people have never needed to cry themselves to sleep. I bet they have never needed to wish to remember when their parents were together. In my case, divorce is like a movie set. The movie set comes up when my friends and my parents' friends are over. Everyone is so happy and nice and there's no fighting going on. But when the guests leave, the movie set gets torn down and all I'm left with is fighting and tension and stress.
When kids are little, they wish for ponies and castles for their birthday-wish, right before they blow out the candles. Ever since I can remember, I've been wishing for my parents to be happy and stop fighting. The thing is, divorce changes a person forever; whether you like it or not. In some cases, a parent may lecture you every day about something that doesn't need to be lectured about; maybe you ate a cookie and your dad doesn't want you to because he wants you to be healthy, but everyday he eats candy and drinks multiple cans of diet coke. Or he wants you to work out every day and you think three or four times a week is enough. There is so much pressure to stay healthy, that you may end up being lazy and exhausted because you're too stressed out to handle anything. There are such high expectations.
My cousin passed away last year four days after Christmas due to colon cancer. He was only nineteen years old. When my grades began to fall, my dad got angry. Honestly, I tried making up excuses to why they fell. When I finally told him it was about Brian, he said that it was not a legitimate excuse. For those of you who don't know, it is very difficult to keep yourself from breaking after a family member dies. I wasn't allowed to break, even if I needed to, just so I could heal. It was all school, work, and helping around the house. I didn't get a break and I couldn't just sit around the house to relax. I experience situations everyday that may be a result of my dad treating me this way. Since my dad gets mad so easily and he lectures me often, I feel afraid that if I do something wrong in front of another adult, they will get mad at me and lecture me. I don't know any better because that's how my life is.
For all those people out there who make fun of kids because they're different, think again. You don't know what they come home to every day. You don't know how their life is. Even if they seem all happy and energetic, that may be a cover up. They may just want to feel normal when they are at school or a party because they can't at home because of their situation. It's like wearing a mask. At school you feel like you're wearing a mask because you can't tell people what really goes on at home. But then at home, the mask is torn off and you're forced to face reality. I wonder how far ill have to go to make my dad understand what he is doing to me and how much he is hurting me; whether it be running away or living with my mom most of the time or permanently. The truth is, you are given what you are given. I try to make the best of it, even if it means saying I have a lot of homework when I don't, just so I can relax in my room and stay out of the fighting. Or not telling people about my problems at home so I can try to forget them, even if it's only for five minutes. One of my very good friends pointed out to me that when people tell me their problems I try to fix them and don't mention my own. But what they don't know is that I have so many problems at home. But at least I have a family and a home. If only I had a better environment to live in at my dads house.

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