This I Believe

Shelby - Westhampton, New York
Entered on January 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe in many things; people say I’m a constant dreamer. I look all around me, and seek inspiration everywhere. I find happiness in the extra change in my pockets; or finding that stubborn sock vacationing under the bed. However, the most important thing to me is family.

When I was little, I thought my family was picture perfect. My friends thought that the “Pilieros” had it all. The “cool” mom devoted to her kids, cooking, and the lovely task of cleaning the house. The hard working father, who stayed home every weekend to play army with his kids. And don’t forget the trusty golden retriever who never left your side. I was too young to realize that I was tragically mistaken. Too young to fully understand that life wasn’t a hard cover book filled with fairytales. Too young to comprehend that life was nothing more than borrowed time. You see, my parents’ road to love took a wrong turn. Everyone was just pretending so they wouldn’t hurt “the baby”, or in other words “me”. I soon found out that they practically hated each other by all the screaming and the fighting and name calling. I was scared to come home, and I almost wish they would have gotten divorced sooner. A little after my 12th birthday my parents finally split. My mom already had a boyfriend and my dad a girlfriend; it was weird. That year everything went wrong. My sister stopped talking to my mom and soon my brother did the same. I felt like I had been split right down the middle; as if life stood still so it could be a witness to my breakdown. That same year my mom and I lived off her credit cards and my dad just watched as we failed financially. He felt as though I was my mom’s and my brother and sister were his. He felt as though I had betrayed him by staying with my mom. He felt as though I didn’t love him.

Now, three years later, everything is still sadly the same. It’s upsetting to know that my brother and sister hate my mom; and that my dad isn’t quite fond of me. But in a way I’ve grown stronger and I love my life! I truly believe that you should be, absolutely crazy, head-over-heels in love with your family, because that is the key to happiness. Your family is your life and your support system. Even if my family is now separated, I like to think of it as having two families to be crazy about. This I truly believe.