I can honestly say no words have changed my life more than the ones my mother spoke that day. Going back to my early days of childhood, where I was so eager to stay outside and make up adventures with my dog. Little knowledge of anything, how was I expected to understand the word divorce? Let alone my sister barely being able to keep the cheerios in her mouth, I knew I was going to have to be strong for the both of us. Telling my parents that I was strong and capable of handling my emotions, I put a smile on my face for the both of them. Only knowing I was crushed and miserable on the inside. What’s good for them is good for me so I believed. I now realize that I believe a smile on my face can hide anything.
Looking back on that day, I’ve noticed that people do many things that they don’t want to do for the good of others. It is simply a person’s good grace of compassion or generosity. To show my teeth to my mother and tell her I was going to be okay, I knew that meant everything to her. The things I never want to say can always be kept secret because I want it that way. It’s considered lying in some aspects, but when it’s for the good of another I say differently. It can be done for happiness, sadness, anger, even jealousy. The silent barrier of a smile will always show your inner strength. All coming with different consequences, it’s better to know them before you consider showing how strong you can be in any situation. I knew the hardship my mother was going through and with me living with her rather than my father; I tended to show a lot more compassion towards her than to him. I witnessed firsthand the troubles of divorce and the chaos it brings. It had to be somebody’s fault, so I blamed him. I felt he deserved the agony and guilt to bare down on his head and I would do anything to remind him of that. I did so by doing nothing at all. Sometimes saying nothing can tell a person everything and boy, did he get the picture.
My empty expressions were the downfall of my father. He knew what he had to do and he did it. My mother, being the forgiving person she is, let him back in and soon we were all one big happy family again. The reaction I was hoping for became the reaction I received. Meaning that in any case of consequential circumstances, the manipulation of your actions can greatly affect the targeted person. Whether it is anger, annoyance, guilt, or sorrow, you must be prepared for the reaction you have caused. Did I feel bad for the guilt I caused my father? No, I knew just as well as he did that things weren’t right. Call it manipulation if you please, I call it a push in the right direction. I feel there is no reason to be judged or criticized for your actions if they are for the greater good. I heed that you feel no hurt over the mixed feelings of somebody else. Your decisions are your own and they are what make you, you. Is it sad that a child had to be the bigger person in this situation? Sure, but it’s what caused the reconnection of a great love between my parents and for that reason alone I feel no shame.
Reminiscing of the past, I think of all the situations I’ve put myself in. The old friends, ex girlfriends, and in some cases other members of my family. I’ve hidden myself so well behind this smile and I always understood what I was getting myself into. But the old saying, “There’s a time and place for everything” comes kicking in and I think about the instances where I decided to speak my mind. I didn’t always know what consequences lied before me when it came to expressing my feelings verbally, so I spoke with caution. If I didn’t, I was only going to make matters worse than what they were. Of course this is something I had to learn and I did so after many past experiences. Some things are just better left unsaid knowing the consequences ahead of you. Even though you may be hurting yourself, it’s not always in your best interest to say what you are thinking.
I understand that at some instance everyone reaches their breaking point. Despite everything I’ve said there have been times where I just needed to scream. Life is not easy what so ever, surrounded by an ever changing social life, I believe I can comprehend this a little better than I used to. When you look at the times when you’ve made yourself heard, there was always a purpose behind it. It could have been an emergency, an item of desire, or just a simple expression. Every sentence comes with a shadowed motive whether you realize it or not. It is at these times where you decide the importance of the matter and strategize the appropriate response. Subconsciously I respond with not a word, but an action. I smile to show my inner strength, but I can do much more depending on the situation. Words are only second nature to me and I choose to keep it that way. If I ever decide to change that, I believe it would be because someone changed me. Earned my trust to the point where I can pour my heart out to them and they will not only listen, but respond to it in a way that that keeps me going. They will help me get over that fear of hiding behind an empty smile and continue to show their compassion even after I’ve said all I can say. Patience is hard on everyone, but speaking from experience, it’s worth the wait.
My father and I are not always on good terms even ten years after my parent’s second divorce. He and I both have a hard time understanding each other’s limit when it comes to talking things out, but I can honestly say I try my best to handle things responsibly. I’ve learned that friends come and go and I remind myself that there is a time and place for everything. Therefore, coming out from behind my hollow expressions and displaying true forms of joy. I greatly appreciate the person who has pushed me in this direction and I do all I can to show them how well I’m doing because of them. I don’t find it very hard when I begin with a smile.