This I Believe

Elisabeth - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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I don’t think about how things would be different if my parents were still together. Divorce is hard for me now, but I couldn’t even envision how life would be if everything was the same as it was ten years ago.

Ten years ago, I was five. My mom stayed at home with my sister, Cora and I. My dad drove a delivery truck. Just barely getting by is what I think contributed to the drinking of my dad, which led to fighting, then the abuse.

The notion of my dad’s abuse against my mom, all the broken windows, and all the possessions knocked over or hit, it all feels like it never really happened. Like it was an unforgettable nightmare.

I remember the days when things went from bad to worse. My mom would take my sister and I for a drive to anywhere but home. Usually, we would end up at Grandma and Grandpa’s on late nights and we would stay a while until things blew over.

I didn’t cry when I was told that my mom and dad were getting a divorce. I don’t even think it fazed me. What do you expect from a five – year old? I just went back to playing like nothing was going to change.

My mom found another guy. I remember my sister and I were in the bathtub and we heard the front door fly open. Eric and my mom were in the bedroom. I knew it was dad; Cora and I just sat there and listened to the battle. Within a matter of minutes, dad burst into the bathroom. He was all bloody, yet he held us close to him. He told us he loved us so much and we were the most important things in his life, I know Dad never meant to hurt anybody. I could see the hurt in his eyes. He needed help and he knew it. It would be four years until he actually got help.

Now at 15, I am telling you the hardships that I had to go through as a younger child. These experiences all played a role in how my life is now.

Both my mother and father have changed for the better. I look up to them both for how far they have both come. All we can do is forgive and forget and still try to move on.

A valuable lesson we have all learned is that life will take it’s course and no matter what you do, things will change that will either make you, or break you. You take what you get from the experience and learn all you can so in the future, instead of life breaking you, it can make you a stronger, better person. This, I believe…