Tell Me the Truth This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Plymouth, MN
Tick tock. Tick tock. I try to focus on the constant beat of the clock. Clearing my mind of all thoughts and not listening to the rumble of thunder in the kitchen. My mind goes quite for a moment, then snaps back like a rubber band. Screams and cries fill my ears with uncanny volume. Words and phrases rise above the unrecognizable muddled words. Slamming the pillow on my head, violently beating the infectious words out of my mind. A slam of a door and all is quiet.

For now.

Silence is what I get after all those years of screaming, slamming, and shaking thunder. They are no longer living under the same roof. Things have changed a lot in a short period of time. I’m trying to get used to it, I really am. I’m trying to not let it affect me and go on like my world isn’t crumbling under my unsteady feet. I have concealed the emotional monkey on my back for many, many years. Words often can’t describe how a person is feeling. But many do come to mind. Pain. Sadness. Relief. Confusion. Anger. Over-whelming joy. But how I feel and how I felt could never be explained in any type of text. At least the full truth.

My parents were together since they were in high school. They were perfect for each other. They were in love, and wanted a family. So, they had me. I never noticed how my parents changed after I was born, I was too young. Listening to my parents fight was something I lived with everyday. From being suddenly awakened by early morning angst, to listening for a hushed battle as I drifted off to a safe dreamland. To me, this was normal. I thought it was the truth.

My dad is an alcoholic. Finding him passed out on the couch in the morning as I rushed off to elementary school was not an uncommon event in my childhood. He would lie about where he was going and how long he would be gone for. One summer my dad didn’t come home for weeks. I had asked my mom why and she said he was on a business trip. I knew she was lying. She didn’t know where he was either. And this was when I started to pick up on what was happening to my seemingly ‘normal’ life. I discovered the truth.

As I finished up elementary school, my parents really started going at it. I found out we had to move because we couldn’t pay for our house anymore. I was horrified. I was going to have to move out of the only home I had ever known. I was scared. My story was taking a turn for the worst, and I didn’t think I could turn the page. Why? Why would my dad do something so stupid? I wanted, no demanded that I got the whole story as to why we had to up-root the façade of having a Nuclear Family. And I got it. I got the truth.

My dad cheated on my mom. A simple answer that only brought up more complicated questions. My favorite one was: Why? I never thought that one human being could single-handedly rip my family apart and change my life forever. I’m being selfish though, I was not the only one affected. I was a helpless bystander. I know I did nothing wrong and it’s not my fault. My mom was affected. I never did understand how a person could hurt another person so badly with a stupid decision. And don’t give me that “I was doing it for the kids…” speech. If you don’t love your husband or wife anymore, just tell them. Save this conversation with your spouse when you tell them of all the cheating and lying. Just tell the truth.

As I got older, I accepted the fact that my parents will never love the same. In junior high, my dad moved in with my uncle. My mom and I moved to our first town home. Alone. I was now used to the fact that my dad wouldn’t be there every time I went to bed and every time I woke up in the morning. Though I was never used to it. I started to feel, different. I felt something changing inside of me. For the better or for the worst I couldn’t tell. I didn’t show it, though. I didn’t want anyone to think less of me. I would get looks of pity from the people who knew about my past. I didn’t want pity, and I didn’t want you to feel sorry for me. I wanted you to treat me like you didn’t even know anything about my life. Ain’t that the truth.

8th grade and 9th grade were excruciating. Battling my inner demons of change. I slowly sunk into a sadness that I couldn’t handle. But I didn’t show it. I was swallowed up by darkness that I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t depend on my dad, though I never could. I felt like I had been slapped in the face, and forced out of oblivion. My simple façade faded as my emotions bubbled to the surface. I was in denial. I didn’t want to believe that I had problems and issues that I couldn’t handle on my own. I didn’t want to ask for help. I couldn’t accept the truth.

I’m a sophomore now and my life has been sent through the shredder. I criticize myself more then ever, and I strive for perfection as if it’s the only thing left. I can’t control what happens in my life, but I can control what I do with it. I drill myself for perfect grades. It’s the one thing left my mom doesn’t have to worry about. I keep my behavior under the radar so she can assume there is nothing wrong. I ignore the feeling of my world being upside down. The feeling of riding a 24 hour emotional rollercoaster and not being able to get off. I do not show it. I do not wear my heart on my sleeve, but rather in my jeans pocket that are laying under my bed. Sometimes I can’t handle the truth.

What is the lesson of my story? Truth. Tell it, believe it, accept it, get it, discover it, think it, and take it in. Part of succeeding in life is figuring out the power of the truth and how it affects everyone and everything. I have yet to understand it, though. I don’t know where I stand on the “How I Feel” scale, but part of me doesn’t want to know and hope that something happens fast. I don’t know how much longer I can hold off the demons that threaten to break out of my mind and release recognizable emotion. I don’t know how much longer I can avoid all the concerned questions. But for now I guess I will just keep on doing what I’m doing. And this is it. I ignore the sadness and pain that comes along with separation. I take the violent blow with a broken smile. I think I hide it well, do you think so? Tell me the truth.





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