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AToT- 1 Parent

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20 million kids in the U.S. alone live with 1 parent.

It's a touchie subject.

And because it's a touchie subject (touchie subjects are made of emotions, and if real brimming emotions are present, then something must be done), I'm addressing it.

I know people who've lost their parents; it's almost worse when you lose only one. No matter what persona the child puts on and flaunts in the school hallways, they're hurting inside. I'm talking about the children who's mother or father just walked away. The kids who's parent died... they have it differently.

The children that I'm talking about ask themselves these questions, when they're alone in their rooms, wondering, wondering, wondering:

"Why me? Why did it have to be my dad? What was so wrong with me that mom moved away to that ratty apartment in Pennsylvania, leaving Dad and I with the house and the mortgage?"

A staple of the results is self-blame. Fantasies of finding the lost parent or hiding from him/her. I had a dream once, where I was in the last home I shared with my father, and he was packing up my cats in these big beige crates. I'm not good at remembering things- to remember that dream just tells you I miss him.

So much. And I want him to, somehow, be a good person so we can all live like a happy family.

I believe that every kid who's lost a dad or a mom, or whatever the case is, believes that the parent is still there. The fantasized reality and the reality they live (and thus know is real) conflict, which creates emotion, depression, confusion, and a whole host of other individualistic "symptoms."

(please excuse my use of rather bland and unsympathetic terms. I'm a scientific person.)

And try as they might, children with the (S)He Turned Good fantasies (the dreams that the parent who left isn't such a bad person anymore, not such a bad person for leaving, because in the kid's world, they never left) can't get the parent back. They might research the parent, try and find him/her, but to no positive avail.

It's kind of like a crime show I saw once. The murder suspect was a 27 year old girl who kept denying she was her age. Every time she was about to turn 18, she would run away and start a new life as a 17 year old, to redo the childhood she never got to have. But, she knew what she was doing, somewhere inside of her- she wasn't crazy, she was a human trying to find psychological balance. She had the reality she made (always being a 17 year old and happy) conflicting with the reality she oh-so-knew happened, and the result was internal pain that she tried to ignore as well.

She's the poster-child for what I'm trying to say.

If you've had one of your parents walk out on you, you might be suffering from what I've explained. Knowing what's going on sometimes helps. It erases confusion, and that's always a good thing. The hard part is accepting that the parent left. The why's are individualistic cases.



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