I believe that something good comes from something bad. I know in my heart that even if something terrible happens, if you look hard enough, you can see a glimmer of hope. I didn’t always believe this; in fact, even now, I sometimes view the glass half-empty. But even though I occasionally am a little pessimistic when things get rough, I still can’t help but have hope.
In order to come to this conclusion, I had to go through the worst year of my life. Everything started on a night when I was barely fourteen years old, watching TV upstairs alone. My siblings were asleep in their rooms. All in all, it was a night like any other.
Until my parents’ shouting downstairs reached my ears, that is. They have fought before, of course, but this time seemed different. I could hear them hurl terrible accusations at each other. I heard my dad pleading, sobbing… then the sound of my dad’s footsteps as he walked out the door. I knew that he would not be coming back.
At first, things at home seemed almost pleasant. My parents weren’t fighting anymore. Plus, my mom didn’t nag at me to do my homework or chores. However, life slowly began to tear away at the seams. Bills began piling up. We started to run out of food. I stopped caring about life, and my mom stopped caring about me.
Eventually everything we had ran out because my mom said she couldn’t afford anything, even though she did receive a huge amount of child support. No one but her knows what she spent the money on. First the cable ran out, then the car was useless because we could rarely ever afford gas, then even the electricity was shut off. We went without heat for the entirety of December, the coldest month of the year. She said that she was doing everything she could, and yet she spent most of her time locked in her room blasting music. We did not have presents on Christmas.
The day after Christmas, we were able to visit my dad. He caught on to what was happening, brought the issue to court, and won. We now live with our dad, and my mom is only allowed to see us with supervised visitation. She is clearly mentally unstable, but she refuses to admit it, so she left for her hometown, Texarkana, and I haven’t seen her since.
When we moved in with my dad, life improved. We bought a new house and live comfortably. I no longer have to worry about money or life’s necessities. My dad recently got remarried, and I now have a wonderful stepmom who cares about me. My grades, which had plummeted during the divorce, are even better than before. There isn’t any shouting or neglect. I’m happier than I have ever been, and I’m truly blessed. I have a wonderful family, and a stable life. This dark moment of my life has made me able to see the bright side of life that I now know is always there. All I have to do is search for it. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.