A New Start

John - Glen Carbon, Illinois
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks

In the year 2004, four out of every one thousand United States citizens experienced divorce. For many couples and children, this may seem like the end of the world. I have experienced first-hand the devastation of such an occurrence. My mind raced as fast as the speed of light. Where will I live? Will I see my parents? Will I see my friends? Will I have to find new ones? These thoughts made their way into my head countless times. Soon after I realized I should stop thinking about myself and think about what was best. I knew if they kept at the fighting, something bad might happen. One dark and stormy night, something did happen. On that night my views on separation changed forever.

I recall awakening to yelling around 6 one morning at the age of ten. At first it seemed my parents were back to their usual arguments and fighting. I was wrong. I began to make out the faint sound of my mother crying. These tears were followed abruptly by hateful comments towards my father. He had gone too far. In a mindless act of hate, my father had pushed my mom down half the flight of stairs which led to the basement. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. I knew my parents had their troubles but I never thought it would go this far. Later that morning, after I finally managed to get what little sleep I could, I checked to see if my mom was okay. I didn’t let her know that I had heard what happened. I knew she would be devastated if she found out. From this moment on, I had an open mind towards the idea of them separating. I didn’t want my mom to endure anymore pain. I didn’t want my father to end up in jail. Something had to be done.

Over the next few days I found myself stuffing all my belongings into plain brown cardboard boxes. My parents had decided to go through with the divorce and we were forced to pack all of our things and move out. As I finished placing my last few toys into a box, my dad made his way into my room and sat next to me. He apologized to me for what had happened and explained to me why he and my mother couldn’t be together any longer. As I began to cry, he reassured me that everything would be okay. He told me I would be able to see him still and he tried his hardest to cheer me up. I knew what he had done to my mother was wrong, but those actions weren’t his. I knew that morning I had awoken to hear of such actions that my father wasn’t himself. The man sitting on my bed, comforting and reassuring me was the man I came to know and love as my dad.