Just a few years ago, my family suffered through a horrific time in our lives. My mother found out that one of our close family friends had been molesting her youngest daughter, my baby sister. Not only did this devastating news break my mothers heart, but it brought shame to her name and a since of failure as a parent. For 3 months we were in and out of court rooms and hospitals. We had been to court appointed family psychologists, and counseling sessions, but nothing seemed to help. The household was quiet and my mother was in a state of mind that I thought she’d never come out of.
In the middle of all this tragedy, I received a phone call from an officer at school, saying my mother had been checked into a mental hospital for trying to commit suicide. There are no words that can describe the way I felt at that moment. My heart dropped to my shoes, and my mind began to race. “These kinds of things only happen on television,” I thought to myself. I figured I was in a bad dream that I couldn’t wake up from. She was gone for 3 days, which felt more like forever. Social workers sat me down, and told me that we had to go to a foster home for a while. “This isn’t happening,” I kept repeating in my head. Finally, one of my aunt was contacted in Chicago, and given permission to take temporary custody of us. We had never been separated from her before. This person I looked up to all my life, the glue that held our family together, was slowly slipping away.
Four months had passed, with only phone calls and memories of what it used to be like in my head. I started to blame myself at one point. I thought it was my fault that all this happened, and if only somehow I could have stopped the whole thing. For months either one of us refused to talk about it. When we were finally reunited with our mother, tears of joy streamed down our faces. She sat us down and we talked for hours about everything we were feeling. This was sort of a breaking point for all the walls that were placed in front of our thoughts.
Today, the relationship that my family has is very open, and continues to grow. I honestly believe that our trials and tribulations contributed to the bond we have as a family now. All families have problems whether they are big or small, and these problems can tear a family apart or build a foundation for a better relationship. You have to be willing to work out the problems and/or find some sort of stepping stone towards peace within the household.
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