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How my Life was Changed
It all started last November. My mom didn’t come home, she called me to let me know she’d be staying at her friend Marissa’s house for a few nights, but she’d be home to gather more things while my brother and I were at school. I was confused but I knew her and my dad were having problems. They’ve always had problems, ever since I was a little girl. They’ve always fought more than any other parents I’d noticed. As the fighting progressed I started to get overwhelmed by their daily feuds and started seeing a therapist. I learned a lot during my weekly sessions at therapy.
She didn’t take everything when she left. Just enough pairs of clothes for a few nights and toiletries. She owned two cars at the time. A small black Nissan Altima and a blue Ford Explorer. Primarily she usually drove the Nissan, meaning the Explorer, most of her jewelry, legal bills and important paper work and still most of her clothing and shoes, etc, were still left at the house.
My dad was never nice to my mom. He accused her of everything bad that could happen in a relationship. He accused her of cheating and lying. Any time she ever came home even two minutes late he’d be on her case, questioning her about her beings. I never agreed with my dad in this and always felt bad for my mom. This was until the day she decided to leave us for another man. I finally realized my dads suspicions weren’t him being psychotic or paranoid. He was right, my mother was a cheater.
My mom and I never really got along. I was always closer to my dad. He used to take my brother and I to fairs, amusement parks or to McDonalds every Sunday. Most of my child hood memories are of my dad. Whenever my mom would yell at me about something I’d go to my dad and he’d talk her out of punishing me. I never had those mother/daughter talks with my mom, she always made me feel really uncomfortable. But with my dad on the other hand, I could talk to him about anything without feeling uncomfortable about it. He always listened to me and helped me with all my problems. He’s always been my biggest advocate. Anytime I did something wrong I’d beg my mom not to tell my dad because I was always so afraid of disappointing him. He always told me,
“I don’t care what kind of grades you get Doodles, as long as you try your hardest, I’ll be proud of you always.”
My daddy’s always been my best friend. He’s the first person I inform when I ace a test or get straight A’s on my report card. When I made the All American Team at cheer camp two years ago he was the first person I called, crying from happiness and excitement that I had just accomplished something so great. He was so proud of me. I remember when I was little and I first learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. He was the one who taught me and when I finally learned I’ll never forget how proud he was of me that day. Or when I hit my first home run during a softball game. The thing about my dad is that when he cares about you or if he’s proud of you for something, he shows it. It’s not one of those things where he pats me on the back and says,
“you’ve done good Dev.”
It’s as if he actually does care.
It was when my mom first found a new place to live that things started going wrong. I wasn’t home at this time, I had been at my boyfriends birthday party in Westbrook. My dad decided to go to her new house one day just to visit because they were on good terms at the time. But when he showed up he found my mother and her new boyfriend in the house. My dad was furious, he didn’t know what to think. The woman he was married to for the last 18 years of his life was with another man. He left immediately and came back to my house. First thing he did when he arrived was take a crow bar to the blue Explorer. He smashed in the front bumper and put nails in each tire. Next he squirted bleach all through the front seats. He grabbed their old wedding album and strew pictures of him and my mother all around the dash board and keyed the whole outside of the doors on her car. Once he was done vandalizing the car he grabbed every single piece of clothing she owned and threw them out at the end of the driveway, being exposed to anyone who drove by. Unfortunately during all of this there was also a huge rain storm going on so my mothers clothing was being drenched by rain and dirt. Once my dad was done with his tantrum he called my mother and ordered her to come pick her things up out of the driveway and take her car. My mom arrived shortly with my grandmother and Marissa shortly after my dad called her to gather her wet clothing out of the driveway. Marissa drove the Explorer home and my mom and grandmother rode in the Nissan.
This is when my dad and I started to not get along. My mom picked me up at my boyfriends the next morning and told me everything that had happened. All I could think about was,
“where was my brother during all of this?”
My mother made me come back to her house because she felt my dad was very unstable. I didn’t want to be with her, I didn’t even want to talk to her. I’d stayed up many nights with my dad, crying and begging for my mom to come home and not do this to our family. I used to have to sleep with my dad every night in case if he woke up in the middle of the night I could comfort him. I remember waking up every morning to my dad sobbing quietly to himself. I felt like a trader being with my mom.
A few months later, I was at my boyfriend’s when my mom called me. She told me that my dad had came to her house to pick up my brother and scratched up her car again. This was enough for my mom to finally be pushed over the edge. She put a protection order on my dad. That was enough for me to not talk to my mom anymore. My dad wasn’t a dangerous man and although he liked to take his anger out on my moms belongings, he’d never hurt her. He was at a bad place in his life and he wasn’t sure how to react.
For the first few months I started living with my dad I thought it’d be easy without my mom. Until he started going crazy. He started putting bad thoughts in my brothers head about my mom. He started making her seem like she didn’t care about my brother and I. But I knew she did, very much. My brother soon stopped talking to my mom completely. This went on for a really long time. Not to say I don’t blame my mom for leaving my dad but I do blame her for the way she did it. Not that is justifies anything my dad did to her but he was really cruel to her when they were together.
When my dad was going through all of this he started to get terribly mean towards me. I don’t know if this is because I reminded him of my mom or what, but there was something about me that always happened to tick him off. He was so mean to me to the point where I was having tantrums so bad that I’d try to hurt myself. I didn’t really have much of a desire to live anymore. What was the point anyways. Family was all I’ve ever had and now it was being torn apart. There was no point in life for me anymore.
This was all going on during school making it impossible for me to ever focus. I went from getting straight A’s to failing every class. I never came to school. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be around anyone, I just wanted to lay in bed all day and cry and be left alone. I hated life. I was afraid that if I left my house that my dad wouldn’t be home when I came back. My parents were so wrapped up in the whole divorce they never even noticed my grades dropping or the fact that I was never even attending school. Sometimes the school would call them to let me know I’d been out for more than a week and they’d scold me for it but they didn’t have time to worry about me. I honestly felt like no one cared.
My self esteem instantly started to drop. My dad was verbally abusing me so often that I just felt like I was nothing. He’d repeatedly remind me of how worthless I was and how I didn’t help with anything and did nothing. This was the man I considered to be my best friend. The man who taught me everything when I was little. He was the man who taught me how to live my life and how to believe in myself. So when he said things like I was worthless, it made me believe it. And this only got worse when he first met his girlfriend, Missi. He stopped paying attention to me completely and only cared about her. For example, he brought Missi to put tree stands up with him instead of me, which is what we do together everyday. He also went apple picking with Missi instead of my brother and I. We usually do this every year together as a family thing. Missi was what I like to call an “attention w**** for sure”. Everytime she showed up and I was at my dads house she’d get really angry and leave immediately. She even started making up lies that I was stealing from her to get my dad to be angry at me. Finally Missi threatened to leave my dad so he decided it’d be necessary to go to court and have me legally removed from the house.
I’d been at my moms friends house babysitting their daughter at the time. My mom called me and told me she’d be picking me up and asked if i’d like to stay with her for the night. I felt bad that I hadn’t seen her in a few months and accepted her offer. Once I got into the car she started telling me all about how my dad went to court and called me a “disruption to his home” and asked if I could be sentenced to live with my mother. The judge accepted this request and I was then ordered to go to my dads and pack all of my things. I didn’t understand why my dad didn’t want me anymore. I had no idea what I did wrong.
When I arrived to my dads house to get my things I’ll never forget the hurt I saw in my brothers eyes that I was leaving. Me and my brother, Justin had been getting along really well since the separation of our parents. Justin’s been there for me through literally everything even when no one else cared about me. Whenever my dad was mean to me my brother would stick up for me and tell him off. We never really ever got along when I was younger but from this experience and the reason I decided to write about this is to explain the significance of family and how all families come in different shapes and sizes. I’ve never really cared for anyone as much as I do my brother and I remind him of this constantly. He’s by far the greatest friend I’ve ever had.
As I started living with my mom we became closer. I cried a lot when I first found out my dad didn’t want me anymore but I soon realized that it wasn’t so bad. At least I had my mom. I hadn’t realized how much she’d changed since the divorce. She was so much more laid back and not uptight like she always used to be. She talks to me about anything and helps me through everything. My mom is my best friend now and I could never ask for it any other way. I never realized how crucial it was to have a mom in your life to be your friend and your mother. It honestly scares me to think where I would be right now if it wasn’t for her. She’s my savior and I couldn’t live without her and I’ll never take that for granted. I love my life and the way things are now. Since I’ve been away from my dad he’s started to be nicer to me and he’s not with Missi anymore.
I’ve learned a lot from this life changing experience. I’ve learned that as long as you have your family you can get through anything.