Crushing Guilt

September 27, 2016
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It wasn’t something unexpected. No, perhaps that's not true. It was something quite unexpected, but I never doubted that it was a possibility. Yet, to my faint surprise, it actually happened. My parents decided to get divorced. At the point in my life in which it happened, 16 years old and finished with junior year, I knew that compared to the majority of kids affected by divorce, I was certainly not getting the short end of the stick - though the slightly fearful expression might’ve convinced you otherwise. However, I was definitely old enough to deal with it and I still respected both of my parents very much, but that didn't stop the mild depression from setting in. You see, I, as a person am easily crushed by bad experiences. Actually, let me revise that; I am a person who is extremely vulnerable to bad experiences, but outwardly it seems like I am not. This is because my mind has trouble focusing on more than one topic at a time. Therefore, I can tune out unhappy experiences if I focus my mind on something else, usually a TV show or website. In essence, I have an extremely weak will, which is a big flaw, but my other flaw of not being able to multitask cancels the former flaw out. And for all of this, I consider myself extremely blessed.

However, the fact that my parents were splitting up was not the most depressing part. Nor was it this unhappy separation from part of my close family, or was it the idea that my own parents who raised me now disliked each other, the hardest part for me was choosing which parent to live with. You see, my parents did not divorce in the traditional way. After the decision to divorce was made, I was left with a really fun choice: Option A: Stay with your dad in Colorado! Pros: You get to stay with a parent that you love, and with some family already living there! Also, the weather is always great! Cons: Dad is sometimes stubborn and not accepting of change, also leaving other three members of family who are going to live in Texas. Option B: Move to Texas with mother! Pros: You get to stay with a parent whom you love, the rest of your close family including your two sisters are living here! Also, some relatives are here, and family here has more money, thereby making it much easier to attend college without being in debt thousands of dollars! Cons: Leaving your dad all alone in Colorado with no job at the time, and only my aunt and grandma living on the other side of the city! Also abandoning favorite type of weather! Also, will have to start anew in Texas, at a new high school, with a new home! Well? Which one do you choose?

As one might be able to infer, it took me a great long time just to even consider my options fully, and the prospect of leaving one of my parents and/or part of my family frightened me. And after much teetering on the edge, afraid to decide which camp to settle in, I finally chose. I was going to live with my mother, as my two sisters were also moving with her and I felt like my entire family was leaving. However, at the time, “move to Texas with mother” seemed more like “completely abandon father”. Even after much reassurance from both parents that no matter what decision I chose they would both still love me, I literally felt like Hitler. I can still recall the last conversation with my dad about who to live with. I remember his futile attempts to try and convince me to stay with him, as well as my own refusals to these attempts. I recall my thoughts, “you have to say these specific words extremely nicely”. I knew I meant them nicely and felt the shocking pressure of guilt on my lungs, but in my sad state I could only make those refusals sound apathetic. At the end of the conversation, I can remember my dad smiling at me and reassuring me that he would support me in whatever decision I made, though his smile emanated a melancholy atmosphere, rather than a content one. This greatly helped ease some guilt, however, a large amount still remained.

Through the following months, life was a swirl of being “happy” at school and reluctantly and anxiously awaiting the day when I would move to Texas, shamefully wishing that I would not have to see my dad’s imitation happy, joyous expression he had always had around me. I felt horrible. So, how then am I here today, so clearly happy and joyous myself? Well as I have previously stated, I like to ignore all of my problems, much like a horrible person does, but since time and family heal I have been able to slowly overcome my guilt and recognize it as a part of life.

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