Family is Life

Elizabeth - Peoria Heights, Illinois
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family
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Only a little over a year ago, my family and I experienced a terrible tragedy, one that we never expected to have to deal with. My step-father had been showing signs of depression and was drinking heavily, without any warning he lost it and after two months committed suicide. I had considered him my dad, someone I could trust to confide in since I was five. The enormity of his actions towards me in particular, caught everyone off guard and I struggled to overcome this obstacle within my life and rebuild my soul. My trust was completely shattered in the bonds of family and I felt that the only one I could count on was myself. I have always been an independent person and I felt that I could get through this terrible tragedy all on my own.

In the days that followed his initial insanity, I was angry and blamed everyone including myself for what had happened. I couldn’t fathom that there was no possible logical and rational answer for what he had done. I refused to talk to anyone, including my mom, feeling that she had let me down; moms are supposed to protect you from the dangers of life and I felt she should have known who my step-dad really was. My own reasoning reassured me that a person could not possibly lose all ability to know right from wrong. Even now I still have trouble accepting what happened and allowing myself to move on. Despite this tragic event in my life I now trust and love my family more than ever. We have all been through a lot and they have suffered just as much as I have. I consider those of my friends who were there to support me and pressure me to open up as family as well. I have learned that family is not necessarily those people with whom you are related to, but those who, in your time of need, are there for you no matter what. True friends ARE family and despite my efforts to remain emotionally detached and distant from them, I am truly grateful for their love and support.

Family is my life now more than ever and if any of them ever needed me for anything I would be there. Family is there for you no matter what and without them I do not know where I would be today. On hearing my story, many say I am strong and cannot believe I returned to school only months after the incident. I tell them that I didn’t do it alone; my family was there every step of the way. I believe with all my soul that family is what molds us into the type of person we wish to be and they continue to influence your decisions and choices throughout your life.