This I Believe

Natalie - Hollywood, Florida
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe that in life one must go through hardships in order to become a stronger and a better person.

I had a pretty normal upbringing. I was born in a happy home with what may have seemed almost perfect, with a mom and dad that loved me very much. But as I grew older I sensed that things were beginning to change. My parents started to constantly argue and I saw them grow apart. Things began to get worse when I was nine years old. One night after a really bad argument my dad packed up his things and left. He had done this before, leaving when arguments got really bad, but he would always come back the next day and talk things out with my mother. This time was different. After a couple of days my mom told me she was going to file for a divorce.

At the time I did not know it, but this was going to have a long lasting effect on my life. As the years went by, it was hard for me to trust people. I would think that the relationships I built were not going to be “real” relationships. In a way I believe that my parents divorce had made me afraid to get close to anyone, because the two people I had thought I could always count on had “let me down.” So if I couldn’t trust my parents who would I trust? It defiantly did not get easier in high school.

High school is hard enough as it is with meeting new people, new school, making the right decisions, and picking your friends wisely. In high school I believe that you start to grow or form into the person you are going to be in life. Through all my “discoveries” I did not really have a stable relationship with my parents. I knew I could always go to my father for advice or whenever I just needed to talk to someone. My mother was a different case. It seemed to me that she was a little bitter and resented the fact that she was now alone. She would take it out on me sometimes in arguments. Even my father told me once that the divorce was my fault. I actually believed that. Looking back on it, I have realized that it could not have been my fault because they had had problems from before I was born.

At times, I did feel weak and did not see myself getting through what I was going through. I felt like I needed support. With time I have learned to pick myself up when I have fallen and to keep my head up through the hard times. I am a much stronger person now. I have learned from my mistakes. I believe that if you are happy with the person you are and if you love yourself, others will love you too.