This I Believe

Amber - Buford, Georgia
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Family Values

Throughout my entire childhood my parents were always there for me, but as I am getting older, that support and love has begun to slowly slip away. What happens when throughout my entire childhood I have been supported and then suddenly everything falls apart? It is easy for one parent to get wrapped up in one child’s life and forget what is going on in the other child’s life. This is what has happened to me. It all started when my sister started dating a guy three years ago, whom she is married to now, when my parents’ interest started to shift. They thought the world of him, and he eventually moved in with us. My mother is so wrapped up in their relationship that she seems to forget I even exist. I feel as if she cares more about her son-in-law that she does her own daughter. I now realize how hard it is to accomplish things in life when no one even realizes I am accomplishing them.

My father and I have always been the best of friends and he has always been there for me up until a year ago when he suffered a stroke and brain hemorrhage. He was in the hospital for months and even with all the brain surgeries, he will never be the same. The crisis definitely pulled our family together, but at the same time has slowly torn us apart piece by piece. I am now left only with my mother. I love her dearly, but it is hard to talk to her because I feel as if I do not measure up to my sister in her eyes. I feel as if my mother does not think I am accomplishing anything if I do not become a doctor like my sister.

Given that there is not much left of my father, whom I have always turned to, I turn to my boyfriend and best friend. They support me no matter what and always put me in a better mood. I have other important friends and family in my life, but they are the only two people I can turn to at any time. Even though I know I can turn to them anytime, it makes me wonder if the same thing that happened between me and my family will happen with them.

The circumstance with my family has taught me to cherish every moment and not to take anything or anybody for granted. It has also made me realize that one day when I have a family, I want to make sure everyone feels equally loved. I would never want one of my children to feel the way I feel. I want my children to feel loved and supported in whatever decisions they make throughout life.

Although families can be center of a person, I know that my fate and my life is determined by me, not what my family believes I can do. This experience has taught me to be very independent and has also made me realize that I do not need other people’s approval to be successful in life.