The Golden Child

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When you grow up, you start to see the world for what it really is. Not the care-free fun world it seemed to be, but for the cruel world it really is. Growing up, I've learned the hard way how much words can hurt. How easily family bonds can be broken. How lost and completely alone you can feel from the chaos of it all. Now, research shows that in America, 50% of first marriages will end in divorce. My parents were not an exception. I can still vividly see the night of when my dad left to this day. I was still too young to comprehend what was really happening, but I could tell something wasn't right.


It was a dark night and at the time when my parents were together we lived with my uncle, his wife and their two daughters who are younger than me. It was always such a lively house full of memories. At that time, I admit I was a bit of a tomboy. Always argued with my mom whenever she tried to force me to wear those ghastly frilly dresses and tried to make my hair somewhat decent. I was also a daddy's girl. I admired my dad so much, he was like a friend to me too at the time. Everything he did was just so cool. I can still remember him making his little special 'Egg cake' for me for breakfast, when he would try to teach me how to ride a bike without training wheels, take me to the park just to fly kites and even saved me from the big bad dogs when I used to be scared of them. I remember when I fell asleep in the car he would carry me to bed with my mom. I wanted to be just like my dad. It seemed like he knew how to do everything. It also seemed like we would be a family forever.

On the night he left, it set everything into motion. Everything changed. Looking back on it now, I don't think I could have ever guessed that things would turn out like this. We were moving out of our house and I found out that for some odd reason my dad wasn't joining us. He had his things all packed and was going to live with my grandparents. I wonder if I even knew what was going on when I was that young all I remember was that I was crying hysterically for him to come back. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for him. Having to leave your only daughter who's only seven and having to leave your wife all in the same night. I wonder what his car ride to his parents house, alone, must have been like to him that day. Did he cry? Did he miss us? I guess I'll never know.

To tell you the truth, I blamed my mom for everything. I guess I always had a soft spot for my dad since he was left with nothing after the divorce. I never hated my mom. It was just, she could never be that one irreplaceable spot in my life. A dad. After that, my mother, grandma and I all lived together. I was getting used to switching back and forth to my dad's and mom's place each week.It seemed like right after that my mom got remarried though and I was introduced to my step dad, his two daughters, and his eldest son. This really changed the way I looked at my mom. Our relationship has never been the same since.

Since I've been the only child for most of my life I was excited and nervous to have step siblings. Only problem was that they hated me and my mom. My mom turned cold after the divorce it seemed. My step sisters and step brother would always talk about how my mom home wrecked the things between my step dad and their mom. How she would always gamble away my step dad's money. How she always badmouthed their mom right in front of my step siblings faces.They used to call me the golden child since their dad spoiled me to please my mom. I was shocked. That couldn't be my mom. The woman who gave birth to me and did her best to raise me on her own. There was no way.

Until I grew a bit older did I realize that it was all true. My mother did do all those things to their family. She took away their family's happiness. She gambled everything away until our house got taken away. She would then cry when confronted about it and would do it all over again. This strained our relationship between us even more. I always locked myself in my room trying to tune her out because of it. Eventually, my relationship with my step siblings did grow to be a bit more bearable when I started agreeing with them about how horrible my mom was. All I wanted was to just stay with my dad after that. The household of my mom and my step dad and siblings was suffocating me. Day after day I would have to put on a fake smile in front of my fake family. Each time, I felt like I was losing myself. Having to put up listening to my step siblings put downs and harsh words everyday. I always thought that if I told my dad, he'd take me in. Of course he would. Until he got re-married.

The first time I met my new step mom I was taken back by how young she was. She looked old enough to be my big sister. It just didn't feel right to me. She didn't know how to speak English since my dad met her when he went back to his home country to visit a year or so ago. Ever since then they've been having late night phone calls until he decided to bring her with him. It wasn't so bad at first. Until my dad stopped picking me up less and less. Each time with a different excuse. I don't know when, but somewhere along the way I felt awkward whenever I stayed with them. My step mom was not the woman I thought she was at first. Turned out she spent most of my dad's money on designer bags and clothes, drank and gamble, even slapped my dad in front of his friends once. I hated her. Then a year later my step mom got pregnant. I was beyond thrilled. Half siblings or not I was going to be a big sister. Yet, I felt so weary at the same time. Maybe because inside I knew I would be even more of an outcast once my sibling was born. It may have even been jealousy. Maybe I was jealous that my dad was building a new family without me.

Whenever I watched my mom and step dad's family I felt like I was just watching a family sitcom on television. I never really felt like I was apart of it. Same with my dad and his new family. My once family of three was now gone forever. Things will never return to how they once were. I felt so alone and lost.

It's been a few years now after that, and my step mom had a baby boy and after a year later had a baby girl. I now have two half siblings. I am now a big sister. I rarely see my dad and my siblings though, and rarely even get any messages or phone calls from him. My father has also changed during the years and began to drink and party a lot more and has gone into debt. Although I worry about my brother and sisters well being a lot, I try to work hard in school when I think about the hardships they will face in the future due to my dad and my step mom. I want to be the one big sister who they'll call when they are having trouble. I want to get a place which will be their haven and can come whenever they want. I want to be able to support my younger brother and sister. My mom on the other hand, after I confronted her after all these years has finally understood the pain she's caused me and has officially stopped gambling and begun to watch what she said to my step siblings. My step siblings and I have gotten past almost everything and even get along really well now after attempts at bonding together.

Sometimes, I find myself dwelling in the past when it was just my dad and mom and I. I ponder if I could have changed anything. Could I have even done anything? That answer is, yes. I think no matter how hard it was to summon up the courage to voice my thoughts through out all those years of bottling everything up, maybe I wouldn't have spent so much time fighting with my step siblings, maybe the relationship between my mom and I wouldn't be this strained. Maybe my dad might actually pick me up on his own free will like he used to. Another thing is not to dwell too much. Adapting is hard, it really is, and it took me years to get used to things between my families. Now that I'm older, I can finally say that no family is perfect. Mine is far from it. It just takes a little bit of time.





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