“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.” This was the ominous voice of Morpheus as it came off of the television. The Matrix was one of my father’s favorite movies I would watch it with him whenever it came on. When I was younger, I spent most of my time with him. But as I would grow older the tensions between my parents would become stronger and more obvious. There would start to be a designated time in which I would see my father, instead of the casual “Matrix” every now and then. During this time, I would start leaning toward my mother and I would stay with her more.
Once there was an incident where my father would come and stay with us about a few months after the what seemed like the final separation. At first he would stay in the master bedroom with my mother. Then eventually he started transitioning all of his things to the room across the hall from mine. It felt good all being in the same house again but it was something about the aura in the house that gave me the feeling that it would not last. One Thursday like any other, he was gone. It hadn’t been out of nowhere but I didn't assume that it would be so soon. Apparently his job had offered him a position that would move him to Montgomery, Alabama and he took it. I was so upset that my mother had warranted me to stay home for the day. Even though I know now that it was not my fault that he left, it still affected me in a very emotional way that would stay for a while.
My parents had agreed that I would stay with my mom and I would visit my father on weekends and on holiday. There would be times where I would be asked which parent I wanted to stay with and being younger I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I prolonged it until the question was forgotten, at least for the meantime.
Eventually, I would also start spending summers with my father, even though I usually would spend them with my grandmother. The first the fall after the first summer that I had spent with my father I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as alopecia areata. It was said that this disease was most commonly caused by stress. Without realizing it I had endured a lot of stress from their divorce and my immune system did not know how to react. There was a lot of pressure on me when it came to who I wanted to stay with.
This had changed my personality and how I viewed the ideals of a perfect American family. Some people glamorize the idea of divorced parents with double Christmases and going more places when in fact it is never the same or as good as just being one collective family. I was only able to experience this for not even the full first decade of my life and then everything changed. Am I glad that this happened? No, but it made me who I am and if I had not undergone those challenges then I wouldn’t be who I am today. In this case, I chose the red pill because the only thing worse than understanding the truth is being to ignorant not to want to.